My wife and I have been more or less self-quarantined for some time now. Officially, lockdown in our county went into effect at 12:01 AM last night. With virtually no guidance from either Washington or the state capital, our local leaders decided it was time. We amuse ourselves reading, writing, phone calling, playing games on our respective i’Pads, and walking the neighborhood. We suspect we’ll be doing this for weeks, if not months.
We did go for a drive yesterday and found ourselves at a take-out-only burger place we’ve frequented for years. Cash changed hands without touching, the bag with food was placed in my hands, to be soon wiped down with a handy Clorox wipe, along with our hands from touching it. Overkill? Probably, but once you get your brain around the idea, it’s no big deal.
What is a big deal is the impact of this pandemic on the local, national, and global economy. It’s already dramatic and will no doubt get worse before it gets better. No one has a clue how or when that’s going to happen. I tend to fall back on a saying I heard years ago, to the effect that while the good times come to an end, so do the bad. I hope I live to see this outcome.
Whatever happens at the Federal level needs to happen sooner rather than later. It needs to be transparent and benefit every one. No exceptions. If you have a Social Security number, you get a check. If your tax return in 2021 shows you still made a lot of money, you may have to return any money sent to you. But right now, it needs to reach everyone. Period.
I’m also OK with providing interest free loans to any business, provided the first priority is making payroll for everyone. No money indirectly coming from you and me should be discretionary funding. Period. If you run a business and don’t need it this month to remain a functional business, taking care of your employees, then save it for next month. You can ask for more next month if you have to.
For some people who don’t have adequate, or cannot afford, access to the internet, regular mail is a critical lifeline to sustain themselves. The Post Office is going to need help to stay open and functional. There’s no excuse good enough to not make sure that happens.
Yes, this is going to present some administrative challenges, and there are going to be some who violate the rules. It happens. Don’t give me a bunch of excuses that it’s just too difficult. Just make it happen. If we’re alive and breathing when this is over, we can take steps to discover and define the new normal going forward.
The health crisis alone is going to disrupt society for years. There’s no need to screw up efforts to keep the economy alive too. South Korea appears to have figured it out, which suggests we should be able to also. Unless those in charge screw it up once again.
I wish you and yours the best of luck. And many thanks for reading this if you got this far. Assuming I can, I’ll keep sharing ideas from those I value as we move forward.
Tony Kendzior \ 24 MAR 2020