It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over.

1209688759The oft used phrase was first uttered by Yogi Berra about the National League race in 1973. It’s now used in many instances and it has universal applicability.

Today’s application is a serious one—COVID-19.

It’s clear everyone wants it be over. Who wouldn’t? Our nation has gone through 4 months of hell of self-isolation, business shut down, school closings, social distancing, and mask wearing. In every aspect, it has been awful. And it continues to be.

The reason has been clear. What was purported to be a minor issue effecting a handful of people which would just vanish, obviously has not.

What’s worse is that it isn’t going away, and appears that it won’t until a cure is found. And the more we “open the economy” and resume normal life, the worse it gets.

The Northeast was clearly the most significant wave, and New York and New Jersey were the hardest hit. The lock down was serious, and initially the region was devastated, However more recently the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dramatically decreased.

The problem is that those in other areas of the country viewed the Northeast problem as a regional one—“the superstorm Sandy” of pandemics. It never was. But the red state/blue state crap has ZERO relevance to a ailment that knows no geography. We can out to rest the “Going to disappear when it gets warmer crap too” unless we think it’s not hot enough yet in FL, TX and AZ.

The dilemma is an economic one and a demographic one. Economically the virus is a massive bummer. It crushes some businesses, particularly hospitality and some retail. The desire to “open up” to help these businesses is sincere, but alas problematic.

The demographic problem is a real one. The health impact still skews to seniors, but the cases now skew to under 50, a more “social” group. Combine that with a summer weather and the increased desire for socialization (magnified by months of isolation) and you have a virus powder keg. Glad to see Don Jr. partying without a mask at the Hamptons. I’d expect no less. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

And we are just seeing the leading wave of new cases which is a leading indicator of hospitalizations which is a leading indicator of death. The death rate is and may continue to be declining as a percentage of cases for 2 obvious reasons:

1. Younger, healthier people are being infected and their survival rate is higher

2. We are getting smarter about treatments for those who are infected.

state of unionsBut the facts are clear: cases are rising, hospitalizations and rising, and deaths are rising. And they are rising in the US at levels beyond those of other nations. (see chart on US cases vs. EU. The EU has a larger population than the US.

And we still have 25%+ of all cases and deaths while having a little more than 4% of the world’s population.

The point now is not how did we get here. That answer is we got of the gates slowly and didn’t taker it seriously. The issue du jour is how we will we handle going forward.

The answers are simple:

  1. Masks for all
  2. Social distancing

If that means all bars throughout the U.S. need to remain closed and restaurants can never be more than 50% filled, so be it. If that means masks are REQUIRED in every retail entablement that’s good too.


No shirt

No shoes

No mask

No service

The lack of a federal response is mind numbing. But we shouldn’t expect much more and they will be toast on November 3.

This virus will last beyond election day. Let’s keep it in check until a vaccine is found.

It’s not over, Yogi. Not even close.

More Strumings

Leave a Reply