If you see what I did there, I tip my cap.
Living in a region with some early cases and a few fatalities from the Wuhan COVID-19 virus, my perspective might be more immediate than some. My reactions, however, were unlike and yet like those of others. Based upon the data, I began with the following assumptions:
- Since COVID could be contracted from an Amazon packer’s paws seven days before, while hand washing and other basic hygienic precautions might slow it down, it would erupt in surprise locations with a payload soon to hit.
- My wife and I would ultimately contract this virus, with some chance of mortality. We would be fools to ignore it.
- Whatever government might say would be targeted at manipulating behavior, not keeping people healthy. True of any government at times; truest of all of this one now.
- People would expect the government to save them, and would discover that it cannot.
- Most people would react irrationally to that realization.
- People who did not believe in science were not about to start now.
- People who believed in thoughts and prayers were going to find out just how well such things worked.
- Financial media would immediately attribute any stock market faceplant to coronavirus. Any stock market recovery, somehow, would not. Few would question the fundamental association between high markets and sudden selling behavior.
Most of the above has come to pass so far, except for us catching the virus. In addition, people have been:
- Cleaning out supplies of staples such as toilet paper. Costco is making bank.
- Avoiding crowds: crowded stores, big public events, anything with many people.
Around here, we haven’t changed anything except for better hand washing and adding a couple of supplements aimed at immune boosting. Compared to many, I seemed to be under-reacting. Everyone else seemed more affected than me. And then I realized some things all at once.
I always keep on hand excellent stocks of basics. Maybe once a year I take my pickup to Costco, and I come back with the bed mostly full. I have no shame about buying five big bundles of paper towels, four tubs of dishwasher pods, twelve cans of coffee. I grew up in a household that constantly ran out of the basics and did everything cheap cheap cheap cheep cheep cheep cheep. I refuse to maintain a similar household.
I don’t like crowds; my normal life is based on avoiding them where possible. When I can’t avoid them, I exfiltrate from them as quickly as I can manage.
America, welcome to my regular life.