New York, NY – April 21, 2020: Oculus mall and transportation hub stays virtually empty because of COVID-19 pandemic at World Trade Center (Photo: Lev Radin/Gildshire)
New York City: April 28, 2020. The pandemic races through the city, seeming to barely pause in its destruction. Some say that the peak has passed, while others say the worst is yet to come. The stay-in-place directives have held, for the most part. But you can feel the impatience beginning to bubble up around the edges. Our trust level of the authorities depends on which authorities. Local authorities: a mixed bag. State authorities: confidence is high. Federal authorities: Not so much. Gildshire wonders what it all means. Here is where we land for now. Though, in these confusing and trying times, even our own opinions are mostly made of meringue instead of steel. With that disclaimer, this is a Gildshire update from the field.
“One country, in unity?”
You know, we had high hopes for this one. Arm in arm (six feet apart), shoulder to shoulder (virtually), understanding what is really important in life. Recognizing the tireless efforts of our doctors and nurses, first responders on the way to treatment, and eventually a cure. Celebrities and athletes put in their places while we stay safe at home and beat this thing with one consolidated effort. No need for blue or red, urban or rural. Just one. That’s where we hoped a Gildshire update would land.
“That didn’t work.”
Not for long. Soon, the same old political divides reared their ugly heads. The reds wanted to open back up, damn the cost. The blues were more careful, earning the wrath and misunderstood interpretations of the Constitution of the reds. Even New York City, where our Lev Radin is monitoring the situation, saw pushback against the recommendations of the CDC and Dr. Fauci. Soon, the undercurrents became rip tides, and attacks against the Center for Disease Control dotted the nightly news broadcasts. We know now that these divides will only get worse.
“If hearts and minds won’t change, what will?”
Gildshire sees a chance that some workplace distancing rules may stay in place. The days when 15-20 people crowded on to the same elevator may go the way of smoking on an airplane. The technology is in place for body temperature scanners that can diagnose an illness before you may feel sick. In other words, businesses that can afford to be up to date may do so.
What about the smaller shops?
That may be where the tragedy lands. Most analysts expect that 20% of the small shops, or Mom and Pops, won’t come back after this is all over. They lost too much income and clientele momentum to be able to get back on top. Their customers got used to shopping at Amazon and having meals delivered by Instacart. The landscape will be littered with “For Lease” signs, and we will be all the poorer for it.
“When do you think things will be back to a new normal?”
Things will be humming along again in August. That’s our best guess, though we could be off by a month either way. However, the professionals tell us that another spike is coming this Fall and that a vaccine is still a year away. If that spike means a 75 percentile infection rate compared to this outbreak, more stay-at-home rules will be put in place, though for a shorter period.
Make no mistake, and pay no attention to those who say this is no big deal. So far, the extraordinary measures taken by the public have slowed the pandemic and saved lives that would have been lost if we had stayed in “life as normal” mode.
That’s a Gildshire update for now. Enjoy the articles and entertainment we continue to bring to you every day. We’re all in this together.