Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Our State is Officially on Lockdown

The governor of Nevada just officially put the state on de facto lockdown.  All non-essential businesses were ordered closed including all casinos in the state which will basically make Las Vegas a ghost town.  Even though I have personally planned for such an event, and actually worked on pandemic planning a couple decades ago, the reality is still quite surreal.  Here's what's happening in my neck of the woods...

  • We had already prepped several months of food so the couple times I went to grocery stores last week were mainly to survey the damage.  I'm glad we didn't need water or toilet paper or the myriad other supplies that were flying off the shelves.  One of my store visits coincided with a fist fight over the last package of toilet paper...people definitely seemed unprepared and were barely keeping it together and this was BEFORE things escalated to where they are today.
  • We have been self-quarantined at home for the past four days just to avoid the aforementioned crowds.  For me, another month or so at home is no problem, I've got yard work and shop work to keep myself busy.  The spouse on the other hand is already missing a laundry list of social activities so I predict cabin fever setting in soon.  Yikes.
  • All of the vehicles have full gas tanks.  On the one hand, we don't plan to go anywhere over the next several weeks, on the other hand, we need to be prepared for all possibilities.
  • We are checking up on elderly relatives via phone calls, texts, and social media.  So far all is well but I've offered to order grocery deliveries for them if needed.
  • The list of people I am concerned about is fairly long: EMS and medical personnel (they are very much lacking PPEs no matter what the government is saying; poor people in our city (there are a lot of people who were barely getting by on a good day, surviving this situation may be beyond their capabilities and the last thing the government--or anyone--needs is hungry people protesting in the streets); people who had good, stable jobs in Las Vegas just last week and were summarily laid off with less than 48 hours notice (many Americans live paycheck to paycheck so the possibility that these formerly well-employed people will be among the starving hoards sooner rather than later is a real possibility); the ill and the elderly (unfortunately this is the highest risk group and our peer group so I'm hoping our friends and relatives manage to keep themselves safe and healthy).
  • The future, the part that comes after the pandemic, is still anyone's guess.  I am thinking it won't be a quick and clean rebound like many are predicting.  The economy of my city, and my state for that matter, has been gutted.  It will be a slow and painful slog to make Las Vegas back into the city it was.  How my investment portfolio bounces back is again, anyone's guess.  Based on past history a rebound is the general default but then again, the world has never seen anything like what is happening now.  We shall see how things go...

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