Dear Future Generations,
This letter is addressed to the future curious and is meant to be a history of our experience with this COVID-19 event. At the end of this letter you will find a link where you can add your own observations.
March 24, 2020 – It’s been 11 days since our household has shifted to self-quarantine mode. We are staying home and have supplies delivered whenever possible, only doing occasional supply trips. Kathy continues her employment remotely and I’m busy with home improvement projects and Board of Trustees work. We spend significant amounts of time in Web Conferences (Zoom): business and church meetings, services, yoga classes and family and friend get-togethers. Mostly we cook all our meals but have ordered out a couple times to support favorite businesses.
State of the Virus – As I write this there are over 49,000 U.S. cases, with over 500 deaths. These numbers are considered low because of lack of available testing. New York is hardest hit followed by California, Washington and Louisiana. The U.S. is third in cases behind China and Italy. Recorded cases are doubling every 3 days. A number of therapies to treat the virus are being researched; some look promising but none look to be a very near-term fix.
State of Governance – Federal, State and Local government has the country well locked down, at least in theory. Enforcement of “flattening the curve” policies is problematic. The executive branch has instituted and is enforcing strict anti-hoarding laws. The President continues to send out mixed and confusing messages and says he wants the U.S. open by Easter. He’s worried that the lock down is hurting the economy. Congress is doing their job by haggling over a multibillion-dollar stimulus package that includes sending almost everyone a check for over a thousand dollars.
State of the Economy – The economy is undergoing massive shifts of resources as people are laid off from noncritical jobs and some are then rehired in critical jobs. The Federal Reserve projects unemployment of 20 to 30 percent in the second quarter. The stock market has dropped 30% from its high in February and is fluctuating by as much at 10% a day.
State of the Environment – The environment appears to be benefiting from the lockdown with less air pollution and a decrease in fossil fuel mining.
Good information about this crisis is available online. A few are Coronavirus Resource Center Harvard Health, Center for Disease Control, and credible news sources like the New York Times and the Washington Post.
State of caring – Businesses, Churches and Community organizations are stepping up to help those in need. Many churches are encouraging their members with jobs to give generously at this time of increased need. Locally Meals on Wheels is very active on getting food out to shut-ins. The New York Times article “How You can Help Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic” gives sound advice.
As hinted at the start, this letter is intended for future generations as a record of our experiences during these dangerous and interesting times. I encourage you to add your experiences, stories, and opinions to this letter. I’ve shared the letter at Letter Link ** and I plan on keeping it open for at least the duration of the California lockdown. All I ask is that you limit sharing of the link to the Chalice Community and mark your entries with the date and your name (or known pseudonym). I don’t plan on editing entries unless they are offensive.
Best Regards and stay safe,
President Chalice Board of Trustees
** To add your thoughts to the Chalice journal, go to: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kdbUTEbvFXApfmXRyfjjwQqemCOWRdArMDLw6HcrRiE/edit