A few Observations from my island’s crow’s nest:
Traffic is returning, although it is unclear where folks are going. Although stores have been slated to open, a large number still have limited hours and equally limited service. It is possible that people are just driving to stay in the habit, or perhaps to take advantage of the cheap gas.
Along those lines, gas is no longer cheap again. Demand is up, so the price has snuck up to pre-epidemic levels. Which is the opposite of how supply and demand is supposed to work, although I am no economist.
Although there was no way to know how long the shut would or will last, it seems to me that we would have been better holding any sort of stimulus payments until things were opening. I fear that the stimulus money landed in secure vaults with other funds and will stay there rather than going into the revival of the economy where it is needed.
I am a little bewildered by the delay in the opening of museums at least on a controlled-attendance basis. We have all discovered during sheltering that art is essential. It is also fluid. Few people stop and linger in a single spot for hours on end the way they do in restaurants.
Libraries could also be reopened along safe lines, since the act of studying in a library is almost the definition of social distancing. I mean that in a good way.
However, I do not understand how a bar can ever practice safe social distancing. Not to say that bars should not be open. I just think we should be honest about our expectations.
What are sports if not spectator events? The rush to open major sports without folks in the stands proves that the fans are the least considered part of the industry. No surprise I guess, just sad to see.
However, my hat is off to the inventive ways that teams have tried to give the illusion of attendance. Fox Sports purportedly included virtual fans in the stands of some of their televised events. Other teams have used mannequins (including one foreign baseball league which seated sex dolls in the stands). The German soccer league has placed photos of fans’ faces on the seats, but I wonder if they charged the supporters for the privilege of seeing their disembodied visage on a television screen.
This pandemic has included a remarkable number of holidays – Easter, Passover, Earth Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Arbor Day etc. Is there another two-month stretch that would have swallowed as many milestone dates? November and December, I suppose, although those include big holidays and would not match the sheer number. Hopefully, we will be loose by July 4, but I wouldn’t be too optimistic at this point.
The most obvious Observation is that I clearly need to get outside more.