The Coronavirus

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep

“For What It’s Worth”
Buffalo Springfield

It’s gonna kill the concert business.

The good news? Many tickets are sold a year out, maybe more, especially to the most lucrative tours.

The bad news? Will promoters have to give all that money back when ticketholders are too scared to attend?

This will be a giant public relations problem, never mind the outright cancellation of shows.

Traditionally, shows are rain or shine, if the act can play, you’re SOL if you don’t show. Especially Broadway. But will the public put up with this?

The public is scared.

And disinformation is making people even more afraid. Especially in a world where facts take a back seat to emotions, where facts are fungible anyway.

I’ve got a compromised immune system. I didn’t think twice about it until all the nitwits in California decided not to vaccinate their children. They too are relying on bogus science, but it’s how they feel that counts, and they feel that only they matter, that they and their children are inviolate, living in a bubble, and the rest of society does not count. In other words, no herd immunity. This didn’t worry me until my doctor refused to give me the vaccine, since it is live. So if I go to Disneyland, if I go to your pre-school, I too could get infected and die.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

So, should we buy masks or not? Instinct says to, the surgeon general says not to, he says they’re useless for the uninfected. But you want insurance, you want to wear one anyway, what difference does it make. And do you trust him? Or is he just trying to stop panic.

But panic is happening.

I just flew out of LAX. Masks were rampant. People got on the plane and immediately wiped down the armrests and tray tables, and during the flight the first person in the U.S. died, after Trump said no one would.

Let’s make it about Trump. Not his re-election, which is what Fox and Limbaugh are talking about, but the lies. We now live in a land where the law doesn’t matter, especially if you’re wealthy, and science is out the window, and you wonder why people are getting behind Bernie Sanders.

And at least Bernie Sanders is promising a better future, whereas all the rest of the candidates, and Trump himself, want us to jet back to the past.

And I live in California, which Trump abhors. If Newsom takes action independently, Trump/the government will sue the state, just like with auto emissions. And the car companies didn’t know which side to take. Because they wanted clarity, they wanted to establish a roadmap for the future, and now that was up for grabs.

I could envision dying in a car accident, getting cancer, skiing into a tree, but I never thought of dying by pandemic. And it’s not how I want to go.

But I grew up with a mother who didn’t believe in illness. So I’m not curtailing my activity, but how long until public places start shutting down, before concerts are canceled?

But it gets worse. There’s a cascade down the drain.

All those venues have employees, who are suddenly laid off, so they have no money and they cannot buy anything, certainly not luxuries. And the economy runs on consumer spending, and when people have no money, it crashes. Billionaires and the rest of the rich can only buy so many cars, can only go to so many concerts.

And the music business has completely flipped. Used to be the tour was the advertisement for the record, now the record is the advertisement for the tour. In other words, most acts make their money on the road…but there might not be a road.

So they won’t be able to meet expenses. Not only will they not tour, they’ll lay off their band, their crew, there will be no stage construction, no tour buses needed.

And with no shows, the promoters lay off people. Maybe not at first, but if the crisis sustains…

And we have no idea what will happen. One thing’s for sure, it’s not going away very soon, like Trump said.

And like me, no one wants to die of disease, something they have no control over.

So people start hoarding supplies, like masks, because it’s every person for themselves in America today. And then there are not enough supplies to service the sick.

And we’ve heard since Reagan that government is the problem, and costs have been cut because the free market reigns… The government is unprepared and the free market will make it so that companies will upcharge, like the Uber surcharge when traffic is heavy.

It was a distant story.

First it was in China.

Then overseas, Italy and Korea.

We heard stories but it couldn’t happen here, because we’re the United States and we’re immune, and we can conquer any problem immediately. Like spam? It’s been twenty five years and your inbox is still cluttered with junk.

Which reminds me of the environment. Do we turn a blind eye figuring science will have a solution, or try to solve the problem now, or be like Trump and say there is no problem, and that if we can just get the stock market back up everything will be groovy.

But most people have no savings. So, soon they will not be able to pay their mortgage/rent, food will become a priority. And the homeless problem will increase. And uncovered medical costs are gonna shoot through the roof, because of the uninsured and the underinsured. Who’s gonna pay? You! Yup, that’s where your tax money is gonna go. But you think you’re entitled to 100% of your income, because the government wastes money. Or that you could distribute it better. Are you gonna kill the coronavirus single-handedly?

Somehow, all the talking points of the last four years, of the last four decades, have come alive with the coronavirus. It’s your worst nightmare. And the rich are not immune. They’re part of society just like the rest of us.

So everybody stops flying. They’re already holding sporting events in empty venues.

Or maybe you believe you’re immune, that it can’t happen to you, that you can’t go bankrupt because of medical bills. And then, just like with AIDS, someone you know dies. And you could solve that problem by refusing to have sex. But at least there’s pleasure in sex. Now you can just be going about your business and lose your life.

So, you stay at home.

But food still has to be delivered. Were those people infected?

I have no idea where reality is on this. Whether a few thousand people get infected and only a handful die or whether millions pass away. We just don’t know.

But we do know everybody is afraid, paranoid.

Isn’t that what all the Democratic candidates other than Bernie are preaching? If you don’t elect them, bad things will happen, only they can solve the problem.

But now we don’t even trust the vote, never mind empty promises.

And suddenly, it’s the educated elite who will save us, the ones the people on the right despise.

This is why Trump is afraid, this is why Fox and Limbaugh are getting out ahead of the story. Unlike the disorganized Democrats, the Republicans get on the same page and spin a story as it happens, before it happens. They control the dialogue. They blame the left to neuter it. And then the left cries amongst itself, whining that it’s unfair as the right rolls right over it.

We no longer have faith in facts. And science. And government. And we believe that capitalism can solve all problems. What if this isn’t true?

This is the trickle down effect. The corporations did not rain money down to the hoi polloi, but the inept government that Grover Norquist believes should be drowned in the bathtub exacerbated the coronavirus problem.

So, once again, you’re on your own.

Going broke is one thing.

Dying is quite another.

No one can calm you down. You trust no one. And the news is contrary. So you’re freaking out. Especially now that people are dying.

There will be economic consequences.

Comments are closed