American Consequences - May 2020


Anthony Fauci thinks I should obey the government guidelines. He seems to be the smartest person in the room, at least as far as rooms at the White House are concerned. Also, he’s got this accent... I mean, not to stereotype Brooklyn Italians or anything because Fauci is a brilliant scientist and all that, but... He does have the kind of accent that makes you think that if you don’t go along with his social-distancing demands, you’ll wind up with a horse head in your bed sheets. Plus, there’s my wife to be considered. She just got out of self-quarantine, which she put herself into for my sake because what our teenage kids call COVID-19 (when they think Dad can’t hear them) is a “Boomer Remover.” My wife hasn’t actually said that I’ll leave the house over her dead body. She doesn’t have to. I haven’t stayed happily married for 25 years by underestimating her willpower and capabilities. I’ll leave the house over my dead body. So I’m home, thinking deep thoughts. Will I discover that I really didn’t like going anywhere anyway? Leaving the house – that’s getting way too far away from the refrigerator... Will a 21st century Jack Kerouac publish a controversial novel called On the Couch ?... Will a millennial Shakespeare write plays like... O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? I’m home watching ‘Tiger King!’

And why do economists keep confusing me with their “letter” descriptions of the economic recovery? They talk about a V-shaped recovery in which the economy quickly rebounds to where it was in 2019. But then they warn that we might have a U-shaped recovery with a much slower return to prosperity. Then they say we could have a W-shaped recovery if there’s another spike in virus cases. I’m afraid the economists will start using the rest of the letters of the alphabet. Selfishly, I’m thinking we could have an I-shaped recovery where the economy comes back... but only for me. However, it’s more likely that we’ll have a T-shaped recovery, where the economy returns just for the very top layer of the economic strata, meaning nobody but Jeff Bezos. Or we could have an L-shaped recovery... that’s no recovery at all. Perhaps an O-shaped recovery, like the old rhyme that goes... When in danger or in doubt, Run in circles, scream and shout! How about a Z-shaped recovery after we all get bored listening to economists’ predictions and go to sleep? Will I discover that I really didn’t like going anywhere anyway? Leaving the house – that’s gettingway too far away from the refrigerator...


May 2020

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