I thought that I should write a little about these days of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic . We are holed up and social distancing , acting as if we have the virus , as the Surgeon general said to do .
Ada and I are not in the vulnerable position that most people in the country are in . We are both retired . We don’t have kids at home to home school and to keep entertained . We don’t have to worry about our jobs . We don’t have to fret over lost income and wonder if we will be able to afford to pay the rent or the mortgage or to have enough money at some point for food .
We have a garden to putter in . We are not locked up in an apartment with no yard to hang out in . I spend extra hours now in the garden straightening up , planting and re-planting , planning for future projects , wondering what happened to the spinach in the two flats that had been sprouting up so nicely this week but that suddenly disappeared overnight last night . Everything in perspective during these days of quarantine .
Ada has her theories about the spread of the virus and I try to listen in on the information offered in the various daily news conferences , the facts and the flim-flam . Meanwhile , we keep our social distance , wash our hands , and wonder .
Friends of mine call me to check up on us , to create some voice connection , at least , instead of face-to-face interaction . Some are retired , too . Some are out of work and worried . One or two are still on the job. I’d be worried too , but as long as the State of California doesn’t go belly up I should be okay . I’ve got a state pension .
Sorry about the stock market . Not sorry enough to willingly sacrifice my life for the good old Dow Jones, though , for the stock investors and Wall Street and the bottom lines and the CEO yearly bonuses . Count me out on that trade-off .
Count me out on the fatalism , too , if you don’t mind. The “everyone dies ” , the ” if the coronavirus gets me it gets me ” kind of mentality isn’t my philosophy by a long shot . Call me naive . Call me a simpleton , but I’m not throwing myself upon my sword even though I’m old for the sake of the economy . ( To tell the truth I don’t even have a sword any more. I had my uncle’s Army sword until several years ago when I gave it to my brother .)
Ada is cooking great meals for us . I am baking bread and biscuits . We are watching movies on the internet , reading , and taking walks around the neighborhood. In the back of my mind I wonder how long this isloation will last . No one knows , of course . We’re not in panic mode .
A friend of mine called a few days ago just to say hello . He believes that we’re all infected already . Maybe we are .
We are avoiding the grocery stores as much as possible . Panicked people have been loading up their shopping carts as if it’s the end of the world , as if the stores will all be gone tomorrow . They pack up on bottled water , too , despite the fact that the tap water in most places around here is perfectly fine .
I can see having some emergency supplies in case of an emergency like an earthquake , for example. Then there might well be a supply problem . Okay , this is an emergency , too , but a person shouldn’t throw common sense out the window . No one needs a supply of toilet paper , for that matter , that might well last longer than they could possibly use in a lifetime .
Of course I could be wrong .
The woman next door just delivered a plasic bag full of cotton masks that she has sewn . She said : ” These are for your nephew.” Our nephew is an emergency room nurse in Portland , Oregon . His hospital is critically short of masks in this health crisis . His wife is a nurse , too , who has an underlying medical condition which makes her especially vulnerable to the attack of the coronavirus . He is worried sick .
We are all in this together , yes , but some much more than others . Some of us are worried about having money to pay our monthly bills and some of us are highly susceptible to sickness and suffering and some of us are kept alive on ventilators and some of us are dead .
Now , shall we talk about losses in your stock portfolio ?