COVID-19: "Post-COVID World," Losses Mount, and now "Phase Four?"

in #covid195 months ago (edited)

Having last written about this "slow-moving hurricane" on March 23rd, where are we today? Listening to a growing chorus of all the different ways you can say "the world will not be the same," after this global pandemic is behind us.

AP News: Coronavirus claims an unexpected victim: Florida vegetables

Anyone wish to tell me "Oh, that's way too overstated @roleerob!"? Are you sure about that, dear reader?

Given my family's agricultural background, the news report above stood out to us. One of the many unintended (?) consequences, of what is being done in response to COVID-19, are massive disruptions to our various supply chains. In this case our food ...

While the "Almighty State" can pretend it can get away with printing money, what about all of the resulting losses of economic output from the "lockdown?" Can it also "print food?" No, of course it can't ...

Before continuing with this post, here is a bit of what I said in my first 3 COVID-19 posts:

  • Sunday, March 15th (Day 1):

    We are told the protection of our health is the one and only objective of all of these unprecedented actions. With no one questioning (at least that "we" are ever going to hear from ...) what the unintended (?) consequences might be. "We the sheeple" are dutifully falling in line and complying with all of it. With nary a bleat to be heard anywhere ... Because, of course, "everybody knows" ...

  • Friday, March 20th (Day 6):

    In response to Covid-19, the United States is proposing spending measures that have never been attempted before now. With much of the world appearing to be following their own version of the same "plan." Note well, dear reader, the "plan" is not to solve the almost insurmountable debt problems we already have, but instead drive them to staggering new heights.

  • Monday, March 23rd (Day 8):

    In war, people continue on with their lives. In the best way they can individually manage, under hellacious circumstances. In the midst of these tragic times, there are heroes. And there are those who fall under the simple label of "collateral damage" ...

    The overly used word "unprecedented" in these tumultuous times is now being replaced with ... wait for it ... Sacrifice! Of course. Soon enough, to be followed by another "S" word. Suffering.

________________________

Since writing these posts, I have spent less time "in here" and more time "out there" in the real world, with my immediate family, extended family, and friends. Dealing with the consequences of our government's decision to largely "lockdown" America.

This morning, with the close of ~ Day 30 yesterday, I will write a brief update on what's going on here around us, as our world continues to experience the global reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Consequences

Surely the trillions of USD thrown into the "war" on our "invisible enemy" has turned the tide in our favor. The Federal Reserve has taken a number of "unprecedented" steps. The U. S. Government has taken a number of "unprecedented" steps.

We're "good to go," right?

  • Stock market losses reached levels exceeding those of the Great Depression, as "unprecedented" market volatility shakes the global financial system.
  • The Federal Reserve promises to do "whatever it takes" to address the COVID-19 crisis, including the use of financial "bazookas" ...
  • By April 3rd, it was reported 24% of small businesses were already temporarily shut down. With the potential for another 40% to close within 2 to 3 weeks. Scariest of all:
    "Forty-three percent believe they have less than six months until a permanent shutdown is unavoidable. Nearly half of small businesses (46%) believe it will take the U.S. economy six months to a year to return to normal." - U. S. Chamber of Commerce
  • The previous ATH of 17 million Americans unemployed has now risen to 22 million, "as economy sinks" ...

Source: Yahoo! Finance post on "$349 billion coronavirus loan program for small businesses is out of money after 13 days"

Hmmm, I guess not. Well, has the Federal Reserve "thrown in the towel?" Has the U. S. Government said "enough!" and changed course? What would be your first guess, dear reader?

Phase Four" anyone?

Source: The Century Foundation post on "We Need a COVID-19 Phase 4 Relief Package. Here’s What Should Be In It."

Source: Business Insider post on "The next stimulus plan could include more checks for Americans.
Here's what else DC power players want to cram into the bill — and who would benefit most.
"

"Everyone" is coming "out of the woodwork" to weigh in on what should be included in Phase 4. In executing Phase 1, 2, and 3, our "fearless leaders" were merely "warming up in the bull pen." It is incredible the scope of what is being seriously proposed.

Even President Trump and the Republican Party leadership, decrying the Democrats adding a bunch of "non-essential" items to previous legislation, are now talking about using Phase 4 for all sorts of wonderful new ideas. Like, for example, completely rebuilding the infrastructure of America and spending trillions of USD more to do it ...

________________________

I won't spend any more of my or your valuable time to dig into further details because, as this is written, this legislation is once again "bogged down" behind the scenes in smoke-filled rooms, while our futures are being determined. With the inevitable state-selected "winners and losers" being strenuously debated back and forth ...

Supply Chain Consequences

In many countries around the world, we have deceived ourselves to think we can forever print money, creating "something out of nothing" and have it all turn out just fine. After all, if we don't look too closely, it has all been working out well so far, right? Modern Monetary Theory anyone?

Setting the supply of money aside, what about the supply of everything else? In this era of the remarkable complexity and interrelations amongst all the producers of these items? Commonly utilizing the principles of Kanban "just in time" inventory systems to keep costs at a minimum?

Can't we just "print" it? No ...

Growing food, for example, doesn't even pretend to lend itself to any of this nonsense at all. And if not efficiently distributed, once grown and ready to eat? It tends not to have a long shelf-life either. See the lead image and story above ...

In North America:

"Today, conventional wisdom is that the average city in North America has a three-day supply of fresh food (dried, canned and other preserved food supplies will last a bit longer). This, according to some, means that we are all only ever “nine meals from anarchy.” Luckily, North American grocery stores have sophisticated supply chains so no one is seriously suggesting that the panicked purchasing of the last few days that has emptied shelves will persist. Nevertheless, the systems we depend upon are, in many ways, fragile and inherently vulnerable."

The Conversation Post, 17 March 2020 [emphasis added mine]

Source: NPR post on "COVID-19 Threatens Food Supply Chain As Farms Worry About Workers Falling Ill"

Anyone even remotely familiar with the all-important agricultural industry knows we are entering the time of year to begin planting, for a new growing season. While heavy automation helps in a number of ways, it is not all automated. Laborers are needed.

Then, we will have the need to harvest. Again, while there are automated aspects of this mission-critical process, there is also a lot of manual labor involved, as referenced above. What is the "Almighty State" proposing to do about that?

I have obviously only barely scratched the surface of this topic. And focused only lightly on food, which is a universal supply issue. I haven't even started on other critical supply issues, e.g. medical supplies ...

It is enough to convey the general idea of how massive the challenges are we face in having chosen to "lock down" much of the world. The clock is ticking ...

________________________

How do we get out of this mess? Free people up to return to work! To pretend there is an alternative to that basic statement borders on insanity. Or worse ...

Having "locked down" much of the world, to supposedly protect us from COVID-19, how do we do that?

Source: Stat + News post on "Covid-19 ‘immunity certificates’: practical and ethical conundrums"

State-issued "Certificates of Immunity" anyone? No? Okay, how about "COVID Passports" then? Do you need more than a few moments, dear reader, to consider all the complexity involved in getting everyone tested, under some nightmarish new bureaucratic process?

Of course, only after a test has been developed that is:

  1. Reliably and consistently accurate, and
  2. Produced in sufficient quantities and efficiently distributed across the planet?

No pressure. Take all the time you need ...

Given how well all of the global response is working out so far, what could possibly go wrong ...

Global Consequences

With the United States having achieved the unenviable position of suffering the most ("honestly" reported?) COVID-19 deaths, China has slowly but steadily received more and more attention, due to its alleged role in its origin:

  • How accurately are deaths being reported worldwide, particularly in China?
  • Claims are growing louder and stronger that the Wuhan Virology Lab was the source of COVID-19.
  • Growing demand for accountability, all the way up to reports of consideration being given to "waiving" repayment of international loans provided by the Chinese, to recoup the "unprecedented" global costs of COIVD-19 and their cover-up of its seriousness, until it was too late.

Surely, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people's President for Life, Xi Jinping, will have no problem, with whatever is decided. Right?

Source: National Review post on ""How to Make China Pay"

While America's financial losses have already been staggering, reportedly the conditions are even worse in other countries around the world.

  • Japan is in a "severe situation" and is "extremely depressed."
  • In the European Union, with a report that the "coronavirus outbreak is having a profoundly negative impact on people’s livelihoods, on companies of all sizes and on economic growth", the response appears to be similar to that of the United States.
  • Overall, the picture is grim with a report the "World economy in 2020 to suffer worst year since 1930s Great Depression ..."

We all have our perspectives on what it is like to participate with others "all over the world" in adding value to our Steem blockchain. In doing so, we can easily read the personal stories of others and the impact this pandemic is having on people "in here" and their families.

Many have already lost their jobs altogether, been laid off, or furloughed. This is at the end of approximately the first 30 days ... What does the future hold?

________________________

As stated in past writings, I have long been interested in history, in general, and military history, in particular. Have you ever read about some of the "sparks" resulting in outbreaks of full-fledged war?

In this "tinderbox" of problems, all over the world, do you think the seeds of World War III are being sown? While perhaps not so obvious today, what about the impact of growing shortages in the supply chains of needed goods all over the world? What about tomorrow?

There are already stories, even here on the Steem blockchain, over the impact of these shortages. Even though, at the moment, they are still relatively non-threatening. Again, what does the future hold?

Personal Impact

Is it possible, even in the relatively short time frame of 30 days, there is someone, somewhere in the world, whose lives have not been personally impacted by the global response to COVID-19?

Hard to imagine ...

  • The impact on my own family is growing:
    1. Even though we are theoretically in the "high risk" category ourselves, my beloved lifemate continues to faithfully serve daily in her role as a healthcare provider for the elderly, i.e. even older than we are. And definitely more fragile health-wise ...
    2. Three of our children are directly impacted by the "Paycheck Protection Program" [PPP]. 2 as business owners. The 3rd as an SBA Loan Officer for a bank (while their spouse has been indefinitely laid off). All have been overwhelmed by the complexity of compliance for obtaining the "free" money ...
    3. Another child, with the failure to find work and generate income, is facing the sale of their home and a move ...
  • A member of our church family passed away from complications linked to COVID-19, the only fatality in our circle of contacts.
  • Our church family is experiencing an increasing amount of stress in two directions - the emotional and mental impact on every type of "first responder" position held and the financial impact on those who are no longer employed.
  • Our own personal financial losses have been substantial ...
  • While contact via the remarkable digital devices we have available to us at this point in man's history are nice, they are simply incapable of satisfactorily replacing time with loved ones.

Source: Creator enriquelopezgarre on Pixabay

I am very thankful, in the midst of this gathering storm, for the closeness of my family and my friends. I hope you, dear reader, have close associations with others in your life. In whom you have trust and upon whom you can count to "be there," in bonding together, to help you get through what we are already experiencing.

And what is coming ...

________________________

Photo: "Spring" day, here at home, on 16 March 2020. Great day for posting ...


As a follower of Christ, I do not have any fear of the future. I am settled on knowing that God has ordained what is happening. And what is coming. The outcome is in His hands.

For those who have different systems of belief and, in one way or another, are relying on the "wisdom" of man to guide them through times like this ... Well, I will simply say you have a lot more faith than I do.

Closing

After only 30 days of "unprecedented" this, that, and the other thing, America is in a state of upheaval only matched (possibly) in history by times of an actual war. Right?

Yes, certainly to this "old warhorse," except for one "teeny weeny" difference:

We did this
to
ourselves!

As the losses continue to mount, in general, and the impact of major disruptions on our supply chains "come home to roost," in particular, I predict those finally starting to ask "what are we doing?" is going to grow dramatically in number.

It is very sobering to me to consider what people are going to feel compelled to do, as this crisis grows more acute. And what the "Almighty State" and our "fearless leaders" are then going to justify doing in response. All while we receive an increasing number of calls for and reports to prepare for a "new normal" in the "post-COVID" world ...

I’d love to hear any feedback you may be inspired to provide.

Respectfully,
Steemian @roleerob

________________________

P.S. As soon as "Spring" returns, I am really looking forward to getting back to work on our "Back to Eden" garden. Which now seems to be a far more important activity than when we started into it last summer. Here in America, during World War II, these were referred to as "victory gardens!"

P.P.S. As this is being published, there are reports President Trump is laying out the "guidelines" for "Opening up America Again" in three phases, which the 50 State Governors are to use in determining when to "reopen" their states and allow their citizens to return to work.

________________________

Posted using SteemPeak and “immutably enshrined in the blockchain” on Monday, 10 April 2020!

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Interested in reading more of my related posts?

Lead Image Title, Link, & Summary
Day 1: COVID-19: Out of the News, Into our Lives at Home ...

Summary: With alarming speed, COVID-19, the "Coronavirus disease," went from the news in China to a pandemic here at home. What are the implications of the unprecedented response to it?

  • Impact at Home
  • Question of "Proportionality"
  • Unprecedented Disruption
  • Unintended (?) Consequences
Day 6: COVID-19: Pandemic Defense and "Helicopter Money"

Summary: How many times can a writer use the word unprecedented to describe what they are experiencing? Trillions of dollars promised, up to and including "helicopter money!"

  • Manna from Heaven
  • Off to War!
  • "Too big too fail!" Right?
  • "Financial Distancing"
Day 8: COVID-19: Gathering Storm of Looming Financial "Armageddon"

Summary: Under a scenario which could aptly be described as a Perfect Storm, "unprecedented" consequences of the "unprecedented" actions from the "Almighty" State continue to grow - on the 8th day of America's "lockdown."

  • War and "Collateral Damage"
  • Personal Impact


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I'm so glad you're okay, my dear friend. Every day I pray for my friends and on my list are you and your family. May God bless you and protect you every day with his holy blood.

Definitely nothing will be the same after all this. The future is only known by God, meanwhile, let's dedicate each day to his eagerness because otherwise, we will be exhausted thinking so many things, I say it from my personal experience, when the virus came here in Venezuela, I thought and thought every day about so many things and that exhausted me a lot, until one day I thought, God is wise, and he said: every day has its trouble, do not worry about tomorrow and when I think about what may come tomorrow or how all this will be in a month , and the anguish wants to attack me, I repeat this word again in my mind and I think of something else, especially my daughters.

Matthew 6:34 New International Version (NIV)

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Yes, my dear friend, we are doing just fine. Thank you for praying for us @blessed-girl. We pray for you and many others on our list, as our Lord leads us, not knowing the details necessarily, but certain the Only One who matters does.

We do not fear, nor are we anxious about, the future. Our Lord has ordained this and we simply want to be in the center of His will for our lives. Given that my beloved is still actively going out and caring for the (more) elderly, we talk about the statistical risk to us being greater. But ... It is all in His hands and if it comes to that, we'll go through it. One way or the other ...

You are wise to select and focus on this verse. It is a life-long pursuit to learn how to let go and try not to control the outcomes in our lives. As stated above, while we are not concerned, we do struggle with thoughts about our children. And our grandchildren. And the "post-COVID" world we are being prepared for ...

Still, the call to obedience remains the same. Let it go and trust in our Lord ... Our focus is to be the salt and light He has called us to be, no matter what, as only He knows what is coming.

Glad to see you are healthy...as for the rest of it I just don't have it in me to even comment at this point. I'm drained emotionally and physically. The current government overreach is truly is crushing me right now.

Nice to "hear" from you @pifc / @thedarkhorse, although sorry to "hear" of your general state there. I can only imagine what the impact has been on your dreams of a business, etc. As you do not indicate otherwise, I assume you and yours still have their physical health.

The response to this, as should be clear enough in my posts on the topic, is incredible to me. For at least this "old warhorse," it is inconceivable that the consequences will be far beyond what we are being told ... And they will not be favorable, as we are still at only the relatively early stages of finding out whatever is coming ...

Take a look at my current post, you can see my windows for the store. You can see the vision of my dream there. It won't die from a little virus nor the overreach of government officials that is currently happening. Not to boost, but I work very well under pressure and make things happen. One way or another I will get these doors open and this store will succeed.

The economic impact of this all will be very far reaching. An economy can be killed with a flip of a switch, but it can't be restarted. Not looking forward to seeing how many businesses go under...it's going to be a blood bath IMO.

I wish I could offer a more positive assessment @thedarkhorse, but ...

"Not looking forward to seeing how many businesses go under...it's going to be a blood bath IMO."

... I would be lying to suggest one. Or foolish ...

While I make no claim to any artistic talent nor do I know anything about comics / collectibles (of this sort, anyway ...), I was impressed with the vision of what you would like your business to become, based on the images on the windows. For what it is worth, I can say "Well done!" 👍

Beyond that, we'll find out together what the future holds for realizing your dreams, as well as millions of others ... I mean, when "Uncle Sugar" has "got your back," what could possibly go wrong ...

Uncle Sugar hasn't helped us in the least...been a shit show. My timing on the move from self employed to payroll left us unable to apply for unemployment, without ability to get any stimulus money for businesses, and so far still no stimulus money since our taxes have been stuck "processing" for almost 2 months. Yes I was behind, but legally with an extension and they owed me money so wasn't really high on my list of things to worry about.

So besides the over $8k in refunds they owe me on the returns they seem to be refusing to process it looks like I'm not getting the $3400 in stimulus money until some unknown date in the future. That money would really help right now...heck just the money they owe me from my overpayments would be great!

It's amazing how some people file and get processed in a couple days, while others are waiting for months with nothing. Know someone that filled on Feb 5th and still nothing.

Yes, well, it doesn't really help any at all, but if ...

"Misery loves company ..."

... here's the result of our morning (April 20th, not the original April 6th ...) check on where our "helicopter money" is:

People are still clueless and unprepared.
Awakening will be hard for them.

Nice to "hear" from my fellow "old timer" @oldtimer. Yep ...

"... clueless and unprepared."

... it is hard to argue with this. Not just here in America, but all over the world. Remarkable to me, at least as reported in what we have for "news" sources, the largely docile response of most across the globe.

What does "the view" look like there to our North? I checked your account and didn't see any posting on this topic.

My view is far too extreme. Even for the blockchain.
But I'm ready in any case. For good or for worse.

What? Hard to imagine ...

"My view is far too extreme. Even for the blockchain."

... what that might mean @oldtimer, but I would still be interested in hearing as much of it as you would care to share.

Thank you @oldtimer, for sharing that link with me. Dr. Wodarg's film provides "professional skeptics" like me (and perhaps you as well?) with a lot of "food for thought."

Reading my posts will show anyone who reads them I have been doubtful of what is going on from the outset of this "unprecedented" crisis ...

So, I could write volumes. For now, just leaving you this brief comment. If this is your reinforcement for having views "far too extreme," then ...

😉

The more I read on what is happening in America, the more I'm reminded of an account I read on Mao's time as ruler in China. He took the farms from the farmers "for the country/people" and he took private businesses from the people who built them.

I see the US is bailing out the big corporations, but small businesses get loans, meaning that if they get through this, they will be practically owned by their creditors. Now I see US farmers going out of business because the supply chains they've built have been severed while the import supply chain continues to supply the supermarkets that are people's only choice for food purchases. It may not be as obvious as Mao's takeover of the country, but will the results be the same?

Making no claim to being wise enough to know @minismallholding ...

"... but will the results be the same?"

... I certainly am no fan of how this is being handled. And, at least from what I "see" in the so-called "news" and what I read "in here," the issue is far, far bigger than America alone. To an amazing extent, the world has been led into a "lock down" to one degree or another. And it has been pretty well accepted apparently ...

How are you doing there in your corner of the planet, my friend? I hope okay, all things considered. It is my very great concern, while we are also okay at the moment, that we are only in the very early stages of whatever is coming. As an inevitable consequence of the choices made by our "fearless leaders" ...

As I say, from time to time, "I hope to be proven wrong." We'll see ...

Being proven wrong would certainly be a blessing, but so far all the predictions are coming true. Our prime minister has made threats that this could go on for a year, which would well and truly destroy the majority of businesses in this country and we aren't even at the level of lockdown of some countries. Those that are still managing to tick by will eventually grind to a halt as the supply chain breaks.

At the moment my husband still has work, but my eldest had finally found work in hospitality and gymnastics coaching and weeks later it was all shut down. She's not taking it well, because she was all set to move out and find a place near the city. We're taking the brunt of that, because she doesn't want to be here any more, she wants her independence. At a time when I feel we should be pulling together as a family to get through this, she's resentful. Funny how crisis can bring out the worst in people or the best.

Yes, @minismallholding

”… which would well and truly destroy the majority of businesses in this country …”

… we are already well on our way here. Listening this morning to some of the details of the so-called “three-phase reopening” plan here in America, I am not impressed by how clearly this is understood. Or, likely more accurately, being acknowledged ...

No matter where we are in the world, in my view, we are all in the early stages of finding out the limitations of any State's ability to “save” us. As stated inside this post, inevitably, in amongst all the internal political “wrangling” over what to do, “winners” and “losers” are being determined.

We all wait to find out which category has been selected for us …

”Funny how crisis can bring out the worst in people or the best.”

Very true. When the facade of “preference” is stripped away, we all find out what level of “conviction” there is under the surface. Only the latter has any realistic chance of holding up in the midst of the “fire” …

Hopefully your daughter, in time, will "grow up" and accept the situation for what it is. And be the better for having gone through it properly. Sadly, at least for most of us, we tend to learn our best lessons the hard way ...

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