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Don’t Count on Me

Dennis Friedman

I DON’T THINK I can do it. I know it’s the patriotic thing to do—support our local businesses. But I don’t see myself visiting local restaurants, movie theaters or department stores for a quite a while.

After they lift the stay-at-home order, I’m not rushing out to my favorite restaurant and ordering a grilled chicken avocado wrap with a kale salad. I don’t care if the waiter is wearing a protective mask and gloves, and if I’m sitting six feet away from the next table. It’s going to take some time before I feel comfortable being around strangers in a social setting.

I know some people think the economy is going to take off when the current safety measures are lifted, but I have my doubts about a V-shaped recovery. I believe there are too many people like me who will err on the side of caution—and simply aren’t ready to visit the gym, book a flight or sit down at their favorite bar.

A recent Associated Press poll found an overwhelming majority of Americans favor stay-at-home orders as an important way to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, many individuals will be reluctant to spend money because of the economic hardship they’ve endured during the shutdown—and especially so when U.S. household debt is at a record $14 trillion.

With Americans reluctant to spend, the economy may have a hard time bouncing back. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, consumer spending accounts for almost  70% of economic growth. The key to an economic rebound is getting consumers to a place where they feel comfortable spending again. If businesses focus on the health and safety of their customers, that’ll help somewhat. Having a vaccine to combat the virus would, of course, do the trick, but the earliest that’ll happen is next year.

In the meantime, everybody has an opinion about how and when we should proceed in reopening the economy. But they fail to realize that the ultimate decision is going to be made by the consumer—you and me. Right now, I’m not ready to visit any nonessential businesses.

I’m not just thinking about myself. I’m also thinking about my significant other, about the doctors, nurses and other health care providers who risk their lives every day to protect us, and about all the essential retail employees, whose jobs have been turned into a high-risk profession by the pandemic. I don’t want to risk their health by risking mine.

When my state meets public health officials’ criteria for reopening the economy, that’s when I’ll take some baby steps and start tackling some of the items on my to-do list. What’s on my list?

  • I need to get my teeth cleaned. I missed my last appointment because my dentist closed his office during the pandemic. He’s currently only seeing patients who need immediate attention.
  • I need to have my annual physical. My doctor recommended I delay until the safety restrictions are lifted.
  • I need to get my eyes examined.
  • I need to get my car serviced. It’s time for an oil change.
  • I need to start fixing up my house. Making the necessary repairs would make it easier to abide by the next stay-at-home order, should the coronavirus return later this year.

Yes, that’s it. What about my wish list of nonessential activities? Those things will have to wait until there’s a vaccine, an effective treatment or the coronavirus somehow disappears.

Dennis Friedman retired from Boeing Satellite Systems after a 30-year career in manufacturing. Born in Ohio, Dennis is a California transplant with a bachelor’s degree in history and an MBA. A self-described “humble investor,” he likes reading historical novels and about personal finance. His previous articles include Don’t Go It Alone, Lost and Found and Keeping My Balance. Follow Dennis on Twitter @DMFrie.

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Michael First
Michael First
1 year ago

FEAR NOT: It’s your health and immune system, see proof below

Illinois COVID-19 Task Force Admits the Numbers Are Seriously Rigged
April 27, 2020 HighImpactVlogs
Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, says that ANYONE who dies after testing positive for the virus is classified as having died from the coronavirus.

“If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means that if, technically, even if you died of a clear alternate cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of the death.”

That’s what she said.
Add: (states that have been caught rigging)
California, Minnesota, New York—

The March 25 order handed down by Cuomo’s Health Department mandating that nursing homes could not reject those recovering from the illness set in motion the events that inflated the state’s COVID-19 death tolls. Far from realizing the mistake and seeking to correct it, Cuomo was still doubling down on the order at an April 26 press conference, at which he said again that nursing homes had no right to challenge the state order and reject patients who were likely to spread the illness. (Johnathan S. Tobin, reporter 4/29/2020)

Alcyones
Alcyones
1 year ago

I can’t wait to do everything you are in FEAR to do. This is an overblown event….and I am 66 years old. Get a grip and stop living in fear. My immune system is awesome, because I take care of myself. Been to a doctor only a handful of times in my life. OH…you think I should be considerate of others…I am…and going to stand as an example of how NOT TO FEAR LIFE…. get over it …this is nothing but a media scam.

Andrea Krome
Andrea Krome
1 year ago

I replied to a comment in this thread already and I even said I couldn’t comment on the actual article but having read it again along with some of the comments I feel the need….Is that Dennis guy for real? Economic rebound….in order for something to rebound it should have been there once already. Thats what I took from that statement. It is truly scary to see for myself that the great distraction effort that has been in motion for many years is actually working like a well oiled machine….If you’re of above modest means and you have a juicy pension as I believe someone else commented , then you listen to what the federal reserve tells you or wall street which is meant to lull you into security . Then you busy yourself with mundane things like annual physicals and spend free time pondering the workings of the world around you all the while never realizing that you the exact product of the controlled “environment ” around you…the prototype could be , its that damn good….if I we’re the evil powers that be I would certainly be toasting to my success after reading your little article…cheers to you, the blissfully brainwashed and programmed.

Roboticus Aquarius
Roboticus Aquarius
1 year ago

I need to renew my Driver’s License, but I need an eye exam first, apparently! Things are getting backed up, but there’ll be time to pull it all together again at some point.

Langston Holland
Langston Holland
1 year ago

On the other hand.. I’ve lost 19 pounds recently on a low-carb diet and feeling better than I have in a long time. I’m starting sailing lessons this Friday and our beaches are opening then as well here in NW FL. I contacted the owner of a local gym and he’s going to call me the day he opens to help me in my effort to turn the clock back a decade or so. The UPS guy delivered a box today and somehow we got on the topic of his new salsa making hobby that’s becoming a side business and I ordered 5 Mason jars at $20 each. After I try one, if it’s good and I don’t die, I’m going to give the rest to my neighbors. Had a fire start in the back of my 2 acre lot a few days ago due to someone burning leaves nearby that took out 40ft or so of my neighbor’s wood fence. On the plus side, it helped clear out my yard a bit. We put the fire out with our garden hoses before the fire truck got there, then I gave the neighbor a bottle of 16 year-old Lagavulin (my favorite). We are probably going to be friends for the rest of our lives. 🙂

Rick Connor
Rick Connor
1 year ago

Dennis, thanks for an honest look at a topic many, if not most, of us are thinking about. Number one for my my wife and me – when can we fly across the country and see our grandsons. I was looking yesterday and could not find a single non-stop flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia – there used to be 6 or more per day. So, beyond what we want to do, or are willing to do, will the services be there? Going to be very interesting to see how it rolls out.

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