April 3, 2020
Stocks – None
Macro – None
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Last Friday evening, I went out for my usual walk with my dogs, and I saw the strangest thing, a firepit lit-up on one of my neighbor’s front yards at the opposite end the block. Around it, a group of my neighbors sitting and spaced a good 6 to 10 feet apart, talking, eating, drinking, and laughing. I had never seen anything like that before in my nearly 10-years of living here.
I take long walks with my golden retrievers every day, and sometimes I look at the houses in my community. I wonder what it must have been like when these homes were built in the early 1930s. After all, it wasn’t exactly the most fabulous time for America, being in the middle of the Great Depression.
Nearly 80 years later, for the first time, I am getting a rare glimpse of what it must have been like back then when the streets were less crowded, and the pace of life was slower. The coronavirus, while bringing a great deal of fear to many of us, has helped to bring communities together and slow down our hectic lives.
The neighborhood get together on my block wasn’t the only sense of community that Friday evening. On another block, a mother and father played basketball with their three little girls, all having fun. While on another, a family of 5 were riding their bikes. It may sound like normal activities to some. But, in a busy town with people always commuting a good 45 minutes to and from New York City or racing to drop their kids off for sports, time is usually limited, and these are not regular activities. However, over the past few weeks, the pace of life has slowed, and while the coronavirus cases continue to pile up here in Nassau County and New York state, people are finding simpler ways to stay connected and pass their time.
The pace of traffic has slowed dramatically in this area. The busy roads leading to the Roosevelt Field Mall could take 10 minutes just to drive a quarter of a mile because the traffic was so thick, are now nearly empty. The mall used to be so busy on the weekends that it would take more time to find a parking spot than to go shopping –is now empty.
Stores in town are closed, while restaurants now only offer curbside pick-up. Grocery stores have empty shelves, and the frozen food section only has chopped spinach left. On a good day, you may be lucky enough even to find one roll of toilet paper you can take home with you.
Boxes tend to just sit on some people’s doorsteps for days, as the fear of bringing the virus into our home is greater than the need for whatever was ordered from Amazon. Meanwhile, ordering groceries from a delivery service has become nearly impossible, with delivery dates only available two weeks into the future.
Now my days are filled with watching stock prices drop as I teach my 9-year old daughter fractions, remembering the days when stock prices used to be quoted in fractions. Instead of having clear podcasts for my subscribers to listen to my thoughts on the latest developments in the stock market, my podcasts are filled with the sounds of little girls giggling and dogs barking in the background. Such has become life. As for those kids, instead of playdates with friends, they use FaceTime to see them. Meanwhile, zoom night allows them to see their grandparents and cousins together.
In just three weeks, society appears to have slowed to something that may have only been recognizable in years long gone, while supported with modern technology. The coronavirus has undoubtedly left everyone feeling uncertain and scared, but in some ways, given many of us an opportunity to spend time with neighbors or family, we may not have otherwise had.
Have A Great Friday!
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