Tuesday, March 17, 2020

So day 3 here. Well really day 2, I was supposed to get here before midnight the other day but the tow truck broke down and we didn't arrive until 3 am instead. 

Whatever the case, it's early, I couldn't sleep.  It's nice and quiet in this room, just sleep eluding me right now, my tooth thing is still sore. I wish I would have brought that Tramadol with me, it would have helped immensely yesterday.  But then again, I couldn't find out if they had looked at the truck, come up with a diagnosis and fixing it until afternoon.  Today will be different. I'm going to need to know if I am staying another night before noon, which is checkout time here. I have no where to go and I suspect even if they do get it done today, it won't be before noon. 

Meanwhile, this coronavirus pandemic. I don't care where you go - anywhere, size of town irrelevant - it's affecting the entire nation.  I'm in Oklahoma city where the mayor has made a decree of no venues being open with over 50 people.  He didn't include restaurants in that decree, tho, so I can still go sit down and eat breakfast this morning. Is that a good idea? Should I instead just have them hand breakfast to me in a bag and bring it back to the hotel room to eat? I dunno.  I haven't decided that yet.

A friend just advised me that the entire City of Houston has shut down all restaurants and bars. Restaurants can still give people food to go, but there is no sit down service and it's going to last at least 15 days.  There's 2 schools of thought here. The first is the idea of eliminating the scenarios where the disease is transmitted from one person to another in a setting where there's a bunch of people congregated together. The second thought, however - and is pervading the minds of most people I am encountering - is that if all businesses shut down like this, the economy is going to collapse.

And make no mistake, it will collapse if businesses shut down. People won't be making money, they will eventually not be able to make their rent or mortgage payments, they'll have to prioritize whether they can eat or have a place to stay.  Credit card and other debt is a foregone conclusion: when it comes to eating or basic life necessities or paying a credit card bill, which do you think a person is going to choose? 

I don't have the answers. No one really does.  How long would it take for life to get back to normal if the economy completely collapses and we are all broke?  Would there ever be  a normal again?  I guess officials think stopping the spread before it just goes hell bent loose on everyone is the better choice than having it perhaps slowly infect everyone?  So shut everything down?  I don't know that they are thinking through the potential consequences? Or they are and they think this is the best option.  Lots of politicians own their own businesses so I they must understand what may - or inevitably - happen with these kinds of decisions. 

I was thinking now is a good time to buy stock.  But stocks continue to plummet. I don't know where the floor of this thing is.  I've been following several of them, they continue to down, down down.  One of them is less than half the price it was just 3 weeks ago. 

Now I'm thinking it's a good time to hold onto the money I've got.  I may need it.  If work wants me to stay on the road, I'm staying on the road and making whatever money I can. Because it isn't going to be shocking to find out that the plants we deliver to slow production or shut down completely because of lack of demand for their products.  Get whatever I can get while I can get it.

My house in Phoenix is also of concern. What if the people living in it lose their jobs or just have temporary lay offs and can't pay their rent?  What am I supposed to do in that situation? Throw them out on their asses and say have a nice life?  Not really the Christian thing to do and some of those people have been living there and faithfully paying rent for years now.  A bridge I'll have to cross if it happens.  Just from a practical sense, if I threw them out how hard would it be to find people to replace them? There's lots of questions and there are not any answers.  The people in the other house? 2 of them are living on government payments. I wouldn't say it's "guaranteed" money, but it's probably more secure than a regular job right now.

So, I sit here in this hotel this morning thinking about all the ramifications of this virus - it isn't the virus itself I am leery of, it's the consequences of the virus on the American economy.  And people are STILL hoarding!  What the bleep. Videos and pictures are still surfacing of people stuffing their shopping carts with toilet paper and other supplies - supplies that those stores should be limiting quantities of.  This is utter selfishness. But it's also the outcome of media fear mongering.  People are literally panicking - that's just not going to work. 

I will remain focused. I have questions, I have ill feelings about what may happen, but panicking is not going to be on my list.  If I get sick with this shit, I'll ride it out and hope to survive. If I don't, we'll c'ya on the other side!!


Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...