Excuse me, while I push back the intended part 2 of my post “What does it take to get a mortgage?” to next week. I think there’s something more urgent right now.
Last Thursday was probably the most impactful single day on the western world since 9-11.
A single positive covid-19 test of a professional basketball player Wednesday evening started the dominos falling, the likes of which we haven’t seen in almost twenty years. The stakes have since changed daily, even hourly, as we face the worst crisis in most or our memories.
I’m absolutely no expert of any sort, and rely only on what I see and hear in the news, but since I have a large following on this blog, I thought it prudent to express my opinions. Hopefully, they will provide some food for thought, and maybe even helpful response or comfort in a troubling time. So here, in no particular order, are some of my thoughts:
1. I think our officials, especially here in BC, have been pro-active in getting a handle on this crisis, at least compared to some of our neighbours. I applaud them.
2. Many people think we’re over-reacting. I don’t! We need to “nip this in the bud,” or, as the professionals put it, work hard to flatten out the curve of virus contagion. The call for us all to take strong precautions, is well placed. Many of us are well advised to be more thorough about enhanced hygiene, like hand-washing. Let’s be overly cautious now, and then continue with some elevated level of that caution after this crisis is over. And let’s obey the current advice on social distancing.
3. While it is prudent to stock up on some reserves, prepared for the possibility of being somewhat housebound, the hoarding of supplies is ridiculous! And the reselling of those supplies online, despicable. Those who have done so should be compelled (were that possible) to contribute excess goods to such agencies as the Food Bank.
4. What’s with the hoarding of toilet paper and facial tissues? The virus does not cause diarrhea nor nasal congestion. Are people planning to eat toilet paper when they run out of food? Again, they should be compelled to distribute it to the needy.
5. Ignore social media advice and purported cures or antidotes. Scientific sources warn that there is much misinformation going around on social media. Rely only on official sites, such as government agencies and national news sources.
6. Common colds and the flu continue to occur, as before. We need to maintain the same precautions for these as usual, but these should not be mistaken for Covid-19, and we should not become immediately alarmed or put pressure on the health system as soon as we have mild symptoms of these. Let’s educate ourselves on the specific symptoms of Covid-19, which are: dry throat and dry cough, elevated temperature, and difficulty breathing.
7. The economic crisis this is creating will surely hurt many individuals and businesses. Some of the world’s most stable airlines are, apparently, already on the verge of bankruptcy. Ditto the cruise industry. Ditto many tourism operators. Ditto oil companies. Ditto restaurants and bars. Ditto, ditto, ditto. And some employees who are suddenly without work are already hurting. Even though the government has waived the EI waiting period, EI is much less than a full income.
8. The housing market will take a short-term hit. But once this is over, the economy will bounce back more quickly, I think, than after most recessions, because this one is so directly related to a specific cause that will, presumably also end, as have other epidemics like SARS.
9. Should we live in fear? I think not. While extreme precautions are necessary because of how quickly the virus spreads and because there is no anti-virus for it, the cases are mostly very mild. The really serious ones are confined (at least, so far) to those whose health is already severely compromised. Let’s be cautious, but optimistic about the outcome of that caution. And enjoy alternative activities in the meantime.
10. How long will this last? Who knows? Here in BC, and in all of Canada, I suspect the peak will be lower and the crisis shorter than in many other areas. But we will still have to maintain our cautions beyond our own crisis period because of what will likely still be occurring elsewhere. Until the crisis is over around the world, we will not be able to get back to our own fully normal lives. That said, there will be a “new normal” coming out of this, that will be different from the old normal. My (totally uneducated, based only on news reports) guess is that we’ll peak around the end of April.
11. There will be some good news stories coming out of this. For example, there will be increased family time as people avoid going out. Some frivolous expenditures will be avoided. People will reach out to support one another. Differences between us will fade behind our need to work together. Companies like Skip the Dishes, Netflix and Amazon Kindle, and many others, will flourish. And the assault on the environment will have a reprieve.
At least, that’s how I see it…