Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Will the Last Person in America Turn Off the Lights?

 

I don’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings and I don’t think of myself as a doomsayer because I’ve always been a pretty optimistic fellow, but in light of the recent news and reactions by organizations to deal with COVID-19 (aka, coronavirus), I think it’s important to state what some of the ramifications may be in the coming days and months. At present, the spread of the virus, now labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization is demonstrating its power to drastically affect not only the U.S. economy but economies around the world and it has the potential to bring each of them to their knees.

Out of an abundance of caution, the NBA has suspended indefinitely the remainder of its season. The NHL has announced that it will issue a statement tomorrow whether it will follow suit. As of this writing, other scheduled sporting events are canceling in a falling domino pattern. The pressure to cancel the Tokyo Olympics will likely increase. Various scheduled golf events, The Masters slated for next month for example, may be canceled and a travel ban may prohibit the participation of golfers from Europe and Asia if it remains scheduled as planned.

The NCAA has announced that fans will be barred from attending both the men’s and women’s basketball tournament games. Players’ families and necessary team staff and courtside officials only. In light of the NBA’s decision, this may change and there is a possibility that all March Madness games may be canceled. In the sports world alone, this means the loss of revenue for concessionaires, hoteliers, security and arena staff, airlines, taxi companies, Uber, Lyft, local restaurants and bars, and other support services and venues. It also means the suspension or outright loss of revenue for the major sports networks – ESPN, FoxSports and others.

Colleges and universities around the country have told students not to return to campus after Spring Break and that courses will be conducted online, even as some students are still on campus in dormitories or huddling in off-campus housing. College towns have the potential of severe revenue loss. As an example, Westwood Village is a collection of stores, restaurants, bars, and movie theaters that sits on the southern edge of the UCLA campus. It’s safe to say that a good portion of the Westwood patrons are students. This campus-adjacent business community is replicated several hundred times in college towns across America. So, the question that arises if sports arenas, stadiums or gymnasiums are prone to propagate COVID-19, then how safe is a crowded bar or restaurant? And not just a crowded bar or restaurant in a college town but any bar or restaurant in America? And will the time come very soon when cities, municipalities or states around the country begin mandating that certain venues where the public gather be temporarily closed until further notice? Eateries? Theaters? Shopping malls? K-12 schools? How many scheduled trade shows will cancel? How much more loss to the hospitality industry when flights and hotel reservations are cancelled in turn? Will the lights dim on Broadway in New York? Will crowded casinos in Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, Atlantic City, and elsewhere be less so?

If schools begin to close, working parents may have to stay home with their kids. If companies have the ability to allow some workers to work from home, they will. But other workers – in manufacturing positions, construction, various service industries who don’t sit a desk in front of a computer may still be required to show up to their work locations. Will one parent in a two-parent household have to take a leave or quit their job altogether in order to care for their kids at home? What does that mean for loss of wages and inability to pay for food, utilities, mortgages, or monthly rents?

We’ve already seen or witnessed panic-buying in stores, particularly the large, wholesale warehouse stores like Costco and Walmart. Will those crowded stores be deemed unsafe for contracting the virus? Will the stores have to institute a system where only a designated number of shoppers can be in the store at any given time? Will each store patron have to be checked for their temperature to see if they’re running a fever? Will shoppers be turned away? Will shoppers have to schedule an appointment to shop? Do you have stock in Amazon? It’s likely that buying groceries, vitamins, and household products online will increase sharply. So, you may be seeing more of those smiley Amazon trucks in your neighborhood.

It seems to me that regardless whether you think that the NBA, the NCAA, or other sports leagues are being overly cautious or whether they are being properly cautious, they may be the tip of societal spear as it were because they’ve essentially communicated that any venue where numerous people are gathered cannot be deemed a safe refuge from the virus. And that has ramifications for any venue where people gather or frequent – from your local grocery store, your local fitness center, your favorite restaurant or bar, the cineplex, schools, PTA meetings, city council meetings, commuter trains and buses, airlines (which have already taken a major hit), and on and on. And the disappearance of commuters, customers, students, moviegoers, etc. will cause massive revenue losses for businesses across the country.

If you thought initially that only the vacation and hospitality industry (cruise ships, airlines, vacation resorts, theme parks, and other tourist destinations) would feel the brunt of the impact of COVID-19 and that your more immediate community would be spared from financial disruption, well time will tell but I would hazard a guess, that unless there is a sudden solution or comprehensive eradication of the virus over the next few months as we approach the winter season — it doesn’t look good.

There, now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you…you may want to rent or check out some lighthearted movies on your favorite streaming services to take your mind off of all this doom and gloom. For example, there’s I Am Legend with Will Smith about this…uh…never mind. Hey, here’s a pretty picture I took of the sunset tonight.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Unfortunately, you can’t entirely count on self-sequestration as an adequate control mechanism. There will be infected people whose symptoms just don’t seem serious enough.

    • #1
    • March 12, 2020, at 4:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Unfortunately, you can’t entirely count on self-sequestration as an adequate control mechanism. There will be infected people whose symptoms just don’t seem serious enough.

    Which is why state and local governments, if this gets worse, may step in and force certain venues to close. Doubtful that people will be taken away against their will to facilities or places unknown by the authorities as they have been in Communist China. Well, okay…maybe in the Soviet Socialist Republics of California, Oregon, and Washington. I jest…a bit.

    • #2
    • March 12, 2020, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    And it’s pretty certain that when warmer weather comes the virus will be reduced naturally. The world will not come to an end as a result of this virus.

    • #3
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. MarciN Member

    The post is sadly an accurate picture of the current state of affairs. 

    The photograph is spectacular. Thank you. 

    I read a story many years ago about an Orthodox cathedral in the heart of Moscow during the scourge of the Russian Communists’ persecution of Russia’s many churches and religious people. It was an old stone church, and the Communists had taken everything they could move out of it, including the pews. So every day, a group of nuns and laypeople would gather in the empty cathedral and pray on their knees on the cold stone floor. 

    I think that is where we are now: left to our prayers. 

    • #4
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Unfortunately, you can’t entirely count on self-sequestration as an adequate control mechanism. There will be infected people whose symptoms just don’t seem serious enough.

    Or idiots like the father in St Louis who, having been exposed to one daughter confirmed to have the virus took her younger sister (also exposed) to a party and a father-daughter dance at her school.

    • #5
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:33 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Ralphie Member

    Everyone seems to be looking at what others are doing and just to be safe doing the same thing. I think it is some kind of game theory. The safest thing for those with accountability to do is to shut down. Like the big hurricane that didn’t happen that everyone prepared for, no one remembers that, but the one you didn’t prepare for everyone remembers. 

    I wonder what it was like when the first nuclear bomb was tested. I have read that some thought it would be a chain reaction that kept on going, end of world. 

    We are pretty much still operating in theory mode on this and it seems we won’t really know a lot til it is over. 

    We need to get liberals to say conservative measures are best. haha. They probably don’t understand the context.

    • #6
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    And it’s pretty certain that when warmer weather comes the virus will be reduced naturally. The world will not come to an end as a result of this virus.

    The OP is focused on the economic and societal ramifications of the virus in the next few weeks and months. Yes, odds are the world would not come to an end. However, I’m entertaining the idea of writing about the Sweet Meteor of Death soon…before it’s, you know, too late.

    • #7
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Disneyland will remain open. It’s a small world afterall.

    • #8
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Disneyland will remain open. It’s a small world afterall.

    Friends tell me that park attendance is down. And this week, it’s been raining in Orange County and the rest of Southern California…so, not a good week for ticket receipts despite Spring Break. 

    • #9
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Disneyland will remain open. It’s a small world afterall.

    Throngs of people from all around the world. What could go wrong?

    • #10
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:54 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Concretevol Thatcher

    If the cancel the Masters I am going to be pissed

    • #11
    • March 12, 2020, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    And it’s pretty certain that when warmer weather comes the virus will be reduced naturally. The world will not come to an end as a result of this virus.

    The OP is focused on the economic and societal ramifications of the virus in the next few weeks and months. Yes, odds are the world would not come to an end. However, I’m entertaining the idea of writing about the Sweet Meteor of Death soon…before it’s, you know, too late.

    That ain’t necessarily so. It’s summer in Oz and the virus is spreading just fine. It will spread. It will probably be until next year before it settles into endemic status and becomes just another thing we have to deal with. 

    For an excellent discussion of where we are, and containment vs mitigation, read this.

    The coronavirus is coming to you.
    It’s coming at an exponential speed: gradually, and then suddenly.
    It’s a matter of days. Maybe a week or two.
    When it does, your healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
    Your fellow citizens will be treated in the hallways.
    Exhausted healthcare workers will break down. Some will die.
    They will have to decide which patient gets the oxygen and which one dies.
    The only way to prevent this is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.
    That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.

    We’re currently at the “this guy is sick,” business as usual level of ongoing crisis.

    At the second level [is contingency care,] which may go into effect for large outbreaks, like what is expected for the future of COVID-19. At this level, hospitals may be unable to keep up with the increased demand of patient care needs. Space, staff or supply elements may be overrun in this scenario. These problems can still be resolved if resources are shifted appropriately. For example, if a large portion of the staff is quarantined at home, the hospital may bring non-hospital staff from their outpatient clinics in to help. Similarly, they may request staff from regions that are not as affected by the epidemic. If hospital ICU beds are full, the hospital may choose to pause elective procedures to open up more space and convert temporary areas to a more critical unit.

    At this stage, in a respiratory disease epidemic, ventilators are a critical resource. IRL, “Ventilators” includes staff to run and maintain them, and consumables like ventilator tubing, for example. Tubing, tubing. I wonder where we get the tubing?

    At the highest level, there is crisis care, where the hospital’s gold standard of care changes. In such circumstances, hospital leadership will likely reallocate resources to where they are needed most. This could occur in a mass casualty situation.

    (Patients are in gyms and empty warehouses with few doctors and nurses, inadequate supplies, no ventilators or people who can run them, with the more ambulatory are helping with the sicker.) 

    • #12
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Biden Pure Demagogue Inactive
    Biden Pure DemagogueJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I updated my profile in keeping with the times.

    • #13
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Biden Pure Demagogue Inactive
    Biden Pure DemagogueJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Disneyland will remain open. It’s a small world afterall.

    Throngs of people from all around the world. What could go wrong?

    They always were a Mickey Mouse operation. Look what they did to The Avengers.

    • #14
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Biden Pure Demagogue Inactive
    Biden Pure DemagogueJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One of the amazing films screening at the 38th Cambridge Film Festival. The Cambridge Film Festival is presented by the Cambridge Film Trust, a registered charity with a mission to foster film culture and education for the benefit of the public, in Cambridge and the Eastern region but also throughout the UK. Full information is available on the Festival website: http://www.camfilmfest.com ‘Unwell’ chronicles the descent into madness of award-winning BBC foreign correspondent Malcolm Brabant after he receives a routine yellow fever vaccine required for an assignment in Africa. He begins hallucinating and starts to believe he is the new Messiah, being directed by the ghosts of dead friends who, like him, covered the siege of Sarajevo. Brabant suffers several relapses, psychotic episodes and bouts of treatment in psychiatric hospital. He captures one episode on camera himself, while his wife Trine Villemann keeps video diaries in order to document his
    transformation…

    We are delighted that directors Malcolm Brabant and Trine Villemann will attend the screening for a Q&A with the audience.

    • #15
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Gary Robbins Reagan

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    • #16
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    From the OP: “Will the lights dim on Broadway in New York?”

    • #17
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Weeping Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    And here’s the interesting thing about that. I don’t remember it, and I don’t remember my life being affected by it at all. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t in some way — after all, I have what I call a Swiss-cheese memory; and 12 years is plenty of time for things to fall through the holes. But I honestly don’t remember it.

    Added just before hitting “Comment”: Now that I think about it, maybe I don’t remember the event because the Weeping Family was already in the middle of a personal financial crisis at the time. Mr. Weeping had been laid off earlier that year (in the spring of 2008) and would not find a job until the spring of 2009. That could explain why the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy didn’t really register with me and stick in my memory – I was too stressed about things that were a bit more personal.

    • #18
    • March 12, 2020, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    From the OP: “If schools begin to close, working parents may have to stay home with their kids.”

    • #19
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MGM Resorts temporarily closing Las Vegas buffets amid coronavirus outbreak

    I mean what’s the point of going to Vegas anymore?

    • #20
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Ralphie Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    From the OP: “If schools begin to close, working parents may have to stay home with their kids.”

    I’d just let them have a holiday. I’d just say, see you back at school in a few weeks. Save everybody frustration. Homeschool kids won’t misss a beat.

    • #21
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Disneyland is closing…perhaps for a month…

    https://www.cnet.com/news/disneyland-is-closing-amid-coronavirus-fears-as-california-halts-large-gatherings/

    • #22
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:13 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Ralphie Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    I remember John McCain suspending his campaign.

    • #23
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Biden Pure Demagogue Inactive
    Biden Pure DemagogueJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    • #24
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Biden Pure Demagogue Inactive
    Biden Pure DemagogueJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    I remember John McCain suspending his campaign.

    He hasn’t resumed.

    • #25
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane OyenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think that this will essentially blow over within a month. Any epidemic that does not simply instantly kill whoever breathes the same air as a carrier is limited by the number of vulnerables in the population, then further limited by the closure of transmission opportunities. If you follow the international news, you know that China has already peaked and will have full factory operations resumed (it is already operating at fairy high levels) within the next month.

    Michael Fumento, who has been steeped in mass scale epidemiology since he was mercilessly trashed for the unspeakable evil of writing The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS 30 years ago, points out that Chinese reported cases have declined from 4,000 per day to less than 200. Epidemic disease follows Farr’s Law, which has accurately described every epidemic of the last couple of centuries where any data were available. It says that “epidemic events rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern that can be approximated by a bell-shaped curve…… this time-evolution behavior could be captured by a single mathematical formula (“Farr’s law”) that could be used for epidemic forecasting.”

    So, use common sense the way you would in a serious flu outbreak- avoid crowds, follow hygiene rules. I am old and asthmatic, but I am not particularly concerned. As Fumento said, “wash your hands with hot water and soap or an alcohol solution for at least 10 to 20 seconds. That way you won’t spread any germs when you use the TV remote to flip off the latest hysterical news report”

    Yes, the economic disruption will be inconvenient- but the recovery will be like WWII, not like 2008-2012. The underlying demand is strong, so as soon as it is safe, the factories will be roaring on overtime to meet the pent up demand.

    (note: edit was to correct date “2008-202” to read “2008-2012”.

    • #26
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Weeping Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    I remember John McCain suspending his campaign.

    Given my earlier comment about not remembering the Lehman Brothers’ filing for bankruptcy, I feel I should add here that I do (vaguely) remember this. I just didn’t (still don’t, really) remember exactly why he suspended it. Memories – they’re strange things. At least mine is.

    • #27
    • March 12, 2020, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    I remember John McCain suspending his campaign.

    That was a huge mistake. Obama played McCain like a violin.

    • #28
    • March 12, 2020, at 3:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    This feels like September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

    If the worst comes to the worst, cash will be king. I withdrew cash from my line of credit.

    I remember John McCain suspending his campaign.

    That was a huge mistake. Obama played McCain like a violin.

    This post isn’t about Obama and McCain. Stay focused.