Journaling the Coronavirus (COVD19) Pandemic, Reflection #36
April 19, 2020
As the nation shuts down.
Although the door is closed and the signs are up, the nation has not achieved full shut down status just yet. The effects of shutting down are what I am writing about. The effects will be both short term and long. In the short term, it will become about paying bills and food. It will be about keeping the heat, lights, and water on. It will be about maintaining the Internet, phone and television services. Those things are going on right now. But, over time, what will be the effect if this shut down extends into the end of May or the beginning of June, or even beyond?
Education will take a hit like never before. Colleges will not reopen and those that do will not have enough students to pay the bills. The shock to the system of the citizenry will be too great to allow young people, or old, to bother with the now frivolous-seeming time and money spent on higher education. Businesses will not reopen because of rent they have not paid but will still be owed. Suppliers of those businesses will fail because they will no longer take credit. Cash on a barrelhead is what will be demanded and that barrelhead will soon become an inert empty anvil. Independent gas stations will fail because the price of gas is so low and the incidence of people purchasing diminishing at a frightening pace. Gas sales are down 70% in Wisconsin alone. Attorney operations will fail because accidents and enforcement of the motor vehicle rules are down more than 70% almost everywhere, and most courts not handling capital crime are shuttered for the duration. Civil law has already died almost everywhere. Police ranks will thin, as there becomes little for the police to do (already laying off officers in Lake Geneva). Hospitals will fail because nobody wants to go and there are not nearly enough Coronavirus patients to pay the bills. Nobody today wants to even drive by a hospital, and besides, so many virus-attacked people are poor and don’t have insurance. Real estate sales are in stasis which means that realtors are without commission and realty offices either.
The shut down of America becomes an ever more silent and deadly struggle of endurance. Who has the reserves to see it through? I have listed just a few of the areas that will be impacted as this goes on. There will be many many more, and, in fact, the list is pretty much endless. You see, the nation has depended upon the ‘flow’ of money and not money itself. Like a river’s water driving a huge water wheel or turbine, when the water stops moving so does the turbine…and EVERYTHING the turbine powers.