If you asked me a month ago if I had corona, I would have simply replied, “No, I am a bourbon guy.”
So fast the world changes.
We are in a true black swan event for most of us. (A black swan is an extremely rare event with severe consequences. It cannot be predicted beforehand, though many claim it should be predictable after the fact.)
As of the writing of this article, there are over 200,000 worldwide cases. We watch how other countries are dealing and pray we are like some and not others when this virus hits hard. We are told things like “shelter in place,” and we are given statistics on how long a virus can live outside the body. We hear conflicting information, from “Older folks suffer worse” to “Most are younger in the hospitals.” We watch our president and his crew respond the best they can in what has so far been non-partisan and thought out.
What is clear is that many are panicking because no one knows what tomorrow brings.
What I personally feel is:
- This is a badass virus and can kill.
- It can be transferred from person to person via cough, sneeze and touch, and it lives on some surfaces for a while.
- If you get it, you can show few to no signs of the virus but still pass it on to others.
- If you have underlying conditions, you could suffer worse.
That’s about all I really know up to this point. Knowing just those facts to be true, my personal strategy is to avoid contact with others within about six feet, wash my hands a lot, stay inside as much as possible and don’t spring break in Florida. As testing becomes widely available, I am sure the numbers of known cases will grow far faster than they are now. I personally think the shelter-in-place option is good if you are elderly or have any of the other conditions that cause concern.
What about your portfolio? What about LACERA? What about our paychecks? I think LACERA has been through issues similar to this in the past, and while the fund will absolutely take a hit, hopefully a rebound is in the future once the disease levels off, they develop a vaccine or they find other medications to really slow the progress and severity of the virus.
Again, who knows what the reality of life will be in the next few weeks between my typing this and your reading it?
As for our Department, there’ve been no cases in the jails yet, but I imagine they are coming or are already there but unconfirmed. We should hold in our hearts all of the Department members and other public safety personnel who are keeping us safe during these times.
I guess the point of this article is that no matter where you are, we are all going through this together — every one of us, from Los Angeles to Peru to Morocco to Japan. It isn’t like an earthquake, a market downturn or a hurricane. Everyone across the globe will be impacted in one way or another.
Some things I truly hope come from this are:
- More U.S. manufacturing
- The end of handshakes (I like the elbow bump or the Spock “Live long and prosper” thing)
- The end of neckties! (I mean, really, why are those still a thing?)
- An increased sensitivity and regard for others
- A more important realization of true heroes: public servants, doctors and nurses, versus sports players
- More people learning to cook and more people appreciating bourbon!
To all of you retirees out there reading this, I truly hope you stay safe. Follow the guidelines they are recommending. Put the bikini away for a while and watch a season of True Detective! (Only seasons one and three, though; season two was just “meh.”) At this point, there isn’t much we can do except support our families and loved ones, and when it’s all over, maybe bury some grudges, forgive some faults and try to be closer to one another.
If you have some thoughts or want to share what you are doing to avoid boredom during a lockdown, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.