I read these first thing this morning:
Now all last week the number of new COVID-19 cases seemed to hit new all-time highs daily. And yesterday there was a new daily high of 50,000 cases. At this rate there aren’t too many days to go before the US hits 100K a day.
I don’t know if I completely agree with Scary Umair’s article … but I think it’s because I’m afraid that he’s right. As creepy ol’ Herbert Spencer once said, “The greatest of all infidelities is the fear that the truth will be bad”
If the US keeps marching briskly toward the 100K daily mark … when will that awful milestone be reached? Will the numbers leap up arithmetically or exponentially? What’s the infection rate going to be at the end of August? September? Because if Scary Umair is right, and I think he is, then when that terrible number is reached … the US will be broken. What does that mean? From Haque’s article:
What happens at 100,000 cases per day? Society as we know it — even what’s left of it — simply ceases to function. Everything stops, and begins to fall apart. A nation explodes from the inside out, like a supernova. Financial systems, energy systems, water and hygiene systems, last mile delivery systems — all these begin to buckle, for the simple reason that, well, who exactly is going to take care of them anymore? If Coronavirus reaches 100,000 cases per day in America, modern life — what little is left of it — will simply cease to exist.
Then there are the economic consequences, which I won’t fully cover in this essay for the sake of brevity, but I will mention. There is no such thing as a V shaped recovery from a catastrophe — there never has been. Anyone that tells you so is not a very good economist. Every day of a catastrophe takes at one to three days, maybe five to ten, to recover from. Think of an earthquake, war, tornado, flood. Catastrophe cause recession, and great ones — like this pandemic — cause depressions. This pandemic hasn’t yet peaked in America. It’s bee four months. People have had little to no support from the government — unlike in Europe — just one’s weeks equivalent. A massive depression, too, is now in the cards.
Things I think Dept.
The price of food keeps going up.
From the Vancouver Sun on June 30th.
“The current food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent and could reach 4 per cent by year’s end,” said Sylvain Charlebois, senior director at Agri-Food Analytics Lab at the Dalhousie University, in a new note. “The food inflation is likely to be much higher than the typical, which is anywhere between 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.”
The decoupling between the general and food inflation rates will make a 4 per cent food inflation rate feel more like a 10 per cent or 12 per cent for the average consumer buying food.
And that’s up here in Canada. Where are prices going to go in the US?
Unless there’s A Big Sea Change it’s possible that by the end of August/beginning of September that the 100K mark will be getting uncomfortably close. And by Big Sea Change I mean everybody wears a fucking mask when they go outside. Starting yesterday.
Y’know what’s worse than a Second Wave? A really high plateau. From Umair Haque’s article
“Remember, a peak is a human creation. This is something Americans still don’t seem to understand. A peak is not something natural. Left to its own devices, a new virus can just plateau amongst the human population — forever. Like smallpox and polio did.”
Remember when there was polio? It was just always … there … always in the background. Until the vaccines showed up. Then it was gone. My dad had polio when he was 3. it left him with a wasted leg. A couple of my friends had it. We were the same age. Born a month or so apart. They got it … I escaped that fate because of sheer luck. Polio was a dreadful thing … something to be feared … and there wasn’t anything you could do about it until the vaccines.
What’s it going to be like with COVID-19 always being there … lurking in the background? I remember the fear of polio. I wish more people were afraid of COVID-19.
So … What To Do?
I think it’s a really good idea to have a stuffed pantry going into the Fall/Winter. And by stuffed I mean 3-6 months of non-perishable food. 3 months is good. 6 months is better. If food prices continue to rise, stocking a pantry will be cheaper now than later. Plus … it’s the only thing we can do.
On that happy note … back to reading Kurt Vonnegut. He makes melancholy tolerable.
Regards from Beautiful British Columbia,