And, Here We Go
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it does. Watching today’s Newsom News update on the pandemic, I realized something that I should have known all along… no matter how bad things get, it is always (and I mean always) possible for things to get worse.
Last week, reeling from the revelation that he is not above the law, Governor Newsom made a public apology for his faux pas at the Blanchisserie Française restaurant in Yountville (do I still need to tell you where that is?). I remarked that the smirk on his face belied his attempt to look honestly apologetic.
This week, while disseminating even more bad news, he looked honestly humble and worried. The hour long newscast basically came down to this: the numbers are rising faster than they did over the summer and we don’t know what to do about it. Two weeks ago, during his covid update, Newsom just barely mentioned how the numbers were rising in many counties and how the state may have to take action to reverse the trend. The next day, 40 counties were demoted back to the purple tier. This week, all but one county returned to purple tier.
Today, Newsom talked about how the numbers continue to rise at an alarming rate. Somewhere in his discussion he mentioned how the state might have to shut down again as they did in March. He quickly added that the shutdown would be with “modifications”. So, don’t be surprised if tomorrow you are hit with a big fat stay-at-home order. This seems to be part of the Newsom plan so he can claim that he warned everyone.
To defer an immediate attack by the press, Newsom quickly moved on to how the state was going to help the little businesses by deferring sales tax payments and offering SBA loans. Loans based on employee strength were also mentioned. That’s great, really great…except, most businesses won’t have to worry about deferring sales tax as they aren’t selling anything. And although Newsom spoke of easy to get business loans, they won’t do much good when the loan can’t be paid back due to lack of business. So, these promises he makes about helping the economy are just as shallow as his scientific knowledge of viruses.
Clearly, Newsom has botched this for the beginning. He is not alone. Much of the leadership across the country has taken the same tack – shut down the economy, bring everything to a standstill and wait it out. The hope was, if we wait long enough, the virus will just pass us by. Any scientist worth their salt knows that is not how it works. By shutting the economy down at the beginning of the year, the government simply put off the inevitable spread to a later time. That time seems to be now.
Yeah, yeah, I know. We should have had a vaccine by now. And, honestly, I was surprised we got one as quickly as we did. But supply chains and the government bureaucracy being what they are, one had to know it would not come quickly. So, of course, we are still awaiting distribution. And, who gets is first? I can tell you it won’t be you or me. (Rightfully) It will be the healthcare and frontline workers first. You and I will have to wait until at least the second quarter of next year. I can pretty much bet that Gavin, as an essential worker, will be at the head of the line.
So, do we continue to shutter our economy? At this point, it may not matter, the damage is done. It will take years to recover from what we have lost. Many local businesses will never recover; many are gone already. Of course, that doesn’t include Gavin Newsom and the elite who run the country. It doesn’t include Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. It could include you and me, along with our 401k’s and IRA’s that will surely suffer a hit by the time this is done. When and if this is ever over, I hope we all think it was worth it.