Lockdown in San Francisco, Silicon Valley & the East Bay: We’re to “Shelter in Place.” What it Means Now & Long Term

The eeriness of the whole situation may leave permanent marks on consumers and business-decision makers.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET:

OK, this is it. The big moment. We the 6.7 million people in six San Francisco Bay Area counties have been ordered to “shelter in place,” with “the only exception being for essential needs,” starting Tuesday just after midnight through April 7, “or until it is extended,” the directive by the San Francisco Office of the Mayor said. The counties are San Francisco, Santa Clara (southern part of Silicon Valley), San Mateo (northern part of Silicon Valley), Marin (north of the Golden Gate Bridge), Contra Costa and Alameda (both East Bay).

All travel from place A to B is prohibited “except to perform Essential Activities, operate Essential Businesses, or to maintain Essential Government Functions.” Among the prohibited forms of travel are walking, biking, driving, or using public transit.

All businesses have to shut down – except a very very long list of “Essential Businesses” which are allowed to remain open.

I get that the directive – we’ll look at it in a moment – is not an effort to shut down the economy, far from it, but an effort at thinning out the crowds so that there are fewer people on the street and in offices and shops that come into contact with each other, and that these people are further away from each other. This will slow the transmission rate. That’s the goal, so that not everyone shows up at the hospital at the same time.

What has happened before the lockdown is eerie enough.

And it impacts your mood and your thinking. For two weeks now, traffic has thinned out, most of the tourists are gone, and the whole City of San Francisco has quieted down. Tonight, as I’m writing this, it feels like the first few nights after 9-11 when we were living in Manhattan. Everything has changed. The quiet is eerie and disconcerting.

The only exception to the quiet were the grocery stores, where a tsunami of shoppers has emptied out the shelves.

The first time you walk into an American grocery store, normally loaded up with merchandise, and you see empty shelves, something happens to your mind – and one of the things that happens is that you too become a panic-buyer once you see something that you can actually buy.

Empty shelves in a grocery store leave a lasting impact. People won’t forget that for a long time. There is a traumatizing aspect to it. We’re used to excess supply and gluts – and the resulting discounts and sales and 50% off signs – and not scarcity. And when this switches from glut to scarcity, it hits you between the eyes.

But grocery stores will remain open, and businesses in the supply chain will continue to operate, and transportation enterprises too – they’re all exempted as are many others. So there won’t be shortages once people stop panic-buying, and the supply chains can catch up.

So now we will get the lockdown as of midnight. “This measure is necessary to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community,” the directive said.

“Essential Businesses” are excluded.

They include: Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, restaurant kitchens but only for takeout and delivery, pharmacies, gas stations, vehicle parts and service operations, healthcare operations, work on essential infrastructure, housing construction, transportation (that’s the Uber driver), utilities, banks, garbage collection, hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, educational institutions but only for “distance learning,” laundromats, dry cleaners, delivery businesses, childcare facilities that allow “Essential Employees” to go to work, and businesses that perform work that allows “Essential Businesses” to operate, such as payroll services or security services.

“Essential Activities” are excluded.

OK, we can go out to walk our dog or to take a walk or jog for exercise, but if we do, we have to maintain at least six feet of “social distancing” to anyone else. We can also go out and buy groceries, if anything is on the shelf, and supplies. And we can go to the doctor or an ATM, and care for a family member living in another household; and we can care for “elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.”

People who work for an Essential Business or Essential Government Function can go to work. And since there are a lot of essential businesses – including all the grocery stores and supply chain and transportation businesses – and essential government functions, there will still be plenty of people going to work. But there will be a lot fewer of them.

“Essential Government Functions” are excluded.

These government functions that are to remain open include “all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.” That includes mass transit, police, fire, and healthcare services.

What about the homeless?

The many homeless people in the Bay Area are not required to “shelter in place,” which is more or less obvious since they don’t really have a place to shelter in. But they are “encouraged to seek shelter.” So bunk beds three feet from each other? Maybe it’s healthier to sleep out on the street in your own corner or in your car.

No public or private gatherings.

“All public and private gatherings of any number of people” outside the home are prohibited, with some exceptions, such as the essential businesses and government functions. That’s the end of baby showers, birthday parties, weddings, sports events, political rallies and fund-raisers during election season, business meetings, and conferences – but most of this stuff had already been cancelled before the lockdown.

What does it mean?

We went jogging tonight along the shore, through Fort Mason, along the Marina Green, and out to Crissy Fields. It seems everyone had the same idea, which is to get out of the house and enjoy the setting sun and the Bay. I don’t think I have ever seen this many people out on a weekday. It was not always easy to maintain at least six feet “social distancing.” But everyone seemed glum. The exuberance was gone.

My wife, who works for a refrigerated-food company, which is in the supply chain business and therefore an Essential Business, will continue to go to the office. The commute has been a breeze for a couple of weeks already, getting easier by the day, but now she’ll have the normally congested streets and highways essentially to herself. Many people are in the same boat. The supply chains are being maintained – unlike in parts of China, where they collapsed.

My WOLF STREET media mogul empire is not on the list of “Essential Businesses.” But it doesn’t need to shut down. Its vast headquarters campus is located in what used to be the master bedroom of our home, and it will continue to operate as before, while I’m sheltering in place.

Many people who used to work in an office now work from home. This includes many tech workers. They have already been working from home for days. Teleconferencing is now a big thing. Skype works too. Even the phone does. Other people have always worked from home. So lots of people keep working.

But people working for retailers or restaurants, cafes, or bars, or yoga studios or beauty salons or myriad other businesses, they’re not working. Many of them at the lower levels are out of a job. Others are out of commissions or tips. Musicians are out of gigs. While taxi and rideshare drivers can work, there isn’t a lot of business.

If this were just a short disruption of several days, it might be manageable for many people. But April 7 is three weeks away, and that’s a long time, and it could be extended. For many people, this will turn into a financial fiasco. Landlords and mortgage lenders are going to have to be flexible for their own sake. Now is not the time to try to find a new tenant or run a foreclosure auction – because there is no housing market at the moment, period. It’s shut down.

Then there is the psychological aspect of it. People are resilient, and tough, and they’ll get through this somehow, and business owners and managers are resourceful and will try to survive this. But the psychological impact will likely be permanent. For many consumers and business-decision makers, this will draw a line through their lives, with a “before” on one side, and the “after” on the other side. And these consumers and business-decision makers – and the companies they lead or own – will not be the same afterwards, which may impact all kinds of things in unforeseen ways.

It’s not the drop that worries me, it’s the historic neck-breaking volatility. Read... S&P 500 Plunged Most Since 1987, Gave Up in 18 Days the 42% Gains of Past 3 Years. Boeing Shares Collapsed

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  300 comments for “Lockdown in San Francisco, Silicon Valley & the East Bay: We’re to “Shelter in Place.” What it Means Now & Long Term

  1. WES says:

    It is not the drop that worries me! It is the sudden stop that worries me!

    • Rand Passmore says:

      Really difficult times also present many possibilities for personal and social growth! The C19 Pandemic and the many economic difficulties which we may also soon face CAN spur the development of new and yes,improved ways of perceiving and constructing a better place for all of us.

      • IdahoPotato says:

        True. It also forces us to revisit what we have and be grateful. I have the kale and spinach I planted last fall that continue to grow under my makeshift tarp greenhouse through blizzards, all the butternut squash I harvested last year in my pantry and all the new plants I just put in this season.

        Oddly enough, if you go to the grocery store at 6 a.m. here in Boise, there is plenty of milk and eggs, etc. and the fresh fruits and veggies are well stocked. After 10 a.m., the shelves start looking bare.

        There are plenty of greens in the nursery section waiting to be taken to someone’s home and put in some soil in the yard or by a sunny windowsill.

    • Old-school says:

      I could not figure out how the current administration could navigate coming into power at year 8 of economic expansion with there never being one 12 years long. They surprised me by running a trillion dollar deficit at the tail end of an economic expansion which used to be a no no.

      In my mind it’s going to mean a huge blow out in deficit to 2 or 3 trillion as I guess you really do need to spend in recession and tax revenues will dry up. We probably will come out of it with real per capita income way down. The 2020’s was going to be the decade we could no longer can kick because of demographics and it probably just punched us in the face.

      • 2banana says:

        Did the trillion dollar deficits (not adjusted for inflation) of a decade ago suprise you too?

        Or was not a no-no?

        2012 – $1.1 trillion budget deficit
        2011 – $1.3 trillion budget deficit
        2010 – $1.3 trillion budget deficit
        2009 – $1.4 trillion budget deficit

        • Old-school says:

          The old way of doing things you tried to squirrel away some nuts once the economy got out of a recession. Probably the real truth is it takes a trillion dollar deficit and zero rates to keep the bathtub ful these days.

        • Karen says:

          I’m old school too. We have reserves for our business that will allow us to waive client fees for the quarter so as to keep money in portfolios. The catch: our clients have to donate the equivalent $ to individuals, small businesses, front-line health care workers and others in their community who need it.

          Everyone has been living on the edge for decades. Households got more careful after 2008, which became increasingly difficult given the limited availability of good jobs and slow wage growth. But then businesses went on a borrowing binge. Don’t even get me started on airline bailouts, given how badly these companies have been managed, and the way they’ve treated customers and employees. Anyone remember Dr Dao?

          Now only the government has the capacity to borrow to support the economy. Once the deflation scare is over, it’s going to kill the bond market.

      • ewmayer says:

        Sovereign governments which issue their own fiat currency (you do know what the Latin world ‘fiat’ means, yes? The “let there be light” phrase from Genesis in Latin is “fiat lux”) can never go broke – why do so many otherwise intelligent people refuse to grasp this?

        Asset-price bubbles and economic downturns like the one we’re heading into are nearly always highly tied in with *private* debts, not public ones. This misapprehension, not any silly statistical-modeling problems, was the real flaw with the (in)famous 2011 Reinhart/Rogoff “This Time Is Different” book and related academic research.

        The real issue with government debt is whether its issuance is helping the real economy, and in the US that is very much not so. An endless tide of debt going to fight imperial perma-wars and enrich the MIC, massive bailouts of the Wall Street crooks and greedheads any time their precious asset-bubble punch bowl springs a leak, those don’t do diddly for the real economy, and in fact help weaken it. Just now was looking at a typically inane confusing-the-gambling-casinos-with-the-real-economy headline on Yahoo Finance: “Trump may have to uncork a $1 trillion coronavirus relief package to save the stock market: strategist”. Hello? Put that kind of money into the pockets of those who need it most, “the little people”, and they will put it to good use by spending it back into the real economy, thereby achieving the kind of muliplier effect government deficit spending is supposed to have. More bluntly: where’s our bailout, assholes?

    • R Hughes says:

      As Hemingway wrote “how did you go broke, gradually and then suddenly” ( para phrased ).

      • Yaakov Moskowitz says:

        As a grandson of a woman who was locked into a cattle can like an animal, I am outraged at the egregious abuse of power by the Mayor of San Francisco. Mr. Mayor, it is not a crime to be young & healthy. I should never have to excuse myself for my wish to breath fresh air. We the people, must protest this unlawful mass incarceration, lest this travesty be repeated across the country.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “unlawful mass incarceration” and “I should never have to excuse myself for my wish to breath fresh air.”

          Obviously you didn’t read the article. So first thing, READ THE ARTICLE before posting nonsense!

          You can go on walks or hikes or ride your bike to exercise, and you can go to the supermarket and the hardware store and the bank, and lots of other places including take-out restaurants, and some people can go to work and others can’t…

    • 911Truther says:

      World: You’re grounded. Now go to your room.

      Your hidden overlords @ the Illuminati.

  2. max says:

    My friend with a factory in China

    [11:40, 15/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: How is Europe?
    [11:40, 15/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: The virus?
    [13:01, 15/03/2020] max donelly: Going crazy
    [13:01, 15/03/2020] max donelly: How about china
    [10:41, 16/03/2020] max donelly: Are things back to normal
    [10:41, 16/03/2020] max donelly: How are orders
    [13:15, 17/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: Everything goes well
    [13:15, 17/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: But people no money
    [13:15, 17/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: Even the call girls no customers
    [13:15, 17/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: LOL
    [13:18, 17/03/2020] Alpha Ironman: Mask is ok now

  3. Gandalf says:

    Or, the American people and Corporate America especially, will quickly forget this ever happened, like the Dot-com crash, 9-11, and the GFC of 2008-2009

    How else do you explain the Everything Bubble that people were starting to think would last forever?

    The Spanish flu almost disappeared from American history. There were so many other Important Events that happened afterwards – the Great Depression, WWII, the rise of America to become the #1 superpower in the world, which washed that all away

    • 2banana says:

      It is easy to forget something if there are no consequences.

      “Too big to fail” and “too big to jail” became part of the American lexicon.

      Everyone, from banks to car manufacturers to homeowners, now expect a bailout for any downward turn in a market. QE is just a thing that no one cares about. Banks routinely commit fraud and they have priced the fines into their business models (as jail is not even considered anymore as a punishment).

      My grandmother lived through the great depression. She never trusted banks again. When she died we found the equivalent of $70,000 in a piece of furniture.

      There were no bailouts in those days.

      • Old-school says:

        Sometimes a crisis makes us face that our perception of how we thought things worked was wrong.

        I thought that bond vigilantes were always going to keep government spending under control and the Fed would not monetize the debt. No longer good assumptions.

        People used to think that private savings were the key to prosperity and that led to society enhancing capital investment. Now personal consumption is key to economy and Fed can conjure up a trillion in savings on demand.

        Used to be understood that central planning led to economic failure, now treasury secretary and Fed chief run the show.

      • Brant Lee says:

        When the casino’s start getting bailed out (probably a Trump priority for his interests), you know where you stand with the leadership in this country.

        Very few people believe anything like the 30s depression could even happen again. Yes, back then, many people hid their money, much of it gold, from the government and locals.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        I hear ya re your grandma 2b:
        my cousin saw his mom, age mid 90s, walking up the hill to his house with a grocery sack in her arms one day in the 1970s, of course stopped and picked her up, and then asked what was in the bag; $600K in cash and negotiable securities that she wanted to make sure he got before she died.
        And to save the fare, about $5, she would not take a cab.

        • Socal Rhino says:

          My mother lived through the depression in the south, talked about standing in lines for government food being handed out. To the end, she kept a ginormous reserve of canned foods in our basement

        • Cas127 says:

          Now, see, that was one sexy grandma…

    • William Smith says:

      After the great depression, a whole generation were forced to suddenly become extremely frugal. It took a generation or two before Madison Avenue convinced people to “live large” on the credit card again. Wolf is right. If this lasts more than a few months, and/or takes out a huge chunk of (over-leveraged) corporate America, you are going to see a generation all of a sudden scared to spend. They will rightly say that no-one saw this coming and that they weren’t warned, so what is waiting around the next corner? An income hit of several months is just not something many businesses can take. There will be massive ripple effects that will not be possible to forget for quite a long time.

    • Jest Love says:

      Those are great points. I was thinking about that a while back. Humans can forget anything! that’s why there’s bubble after bubble!
      Even when your Mother and Father die ..u soon forget!
      And take this same thinking ..that’s why no one can relate to anyone else unless they have been through it too…but then they quickly forget.
      Like Trump wanting to take away the food stamps April 1. I can’t imagine a mind like that ..neither could the Judge!

  4. GHASSAN A MALIK says:

    This shelter in place thing should be done in all metros especially on both coasts. In Boston I have noticed less cars and smoother traffic since Friday even before the city & state announced major restrictions on schools & restaurants & gathering.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      Ghassan – shelter in place will come to all cities that get hit with enough cases locally. Westchester (done), Bay Area (done) and King County WA are just a few days ahead of the rest of the country.

  5. 2banana says:

    Or what will happen for “violations” of the “essential needs?”

    Arrest? Under what law? To be put into a jail in close quarters with others? Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose?

    You have mentioned the homeless won’t be touched? And Biden’s “undocumented aliens” will be off limits.

    There is no way even a mini demonstration of BLM or LGBT folks will be touched.

    So, it is a feel good exercise. With another power grab far beyond any authorization of the elected office.

    The mayor of Champaign, Illinois has declared a town emergency over the Wuhan coronavirus that includes a ban on the sale of firearms and ammunition.

    Never let a crisis go to waste.

    “We the 6.7 million people in six San Francisco Bay Area counties have been ordered to “shelter in place,” with “the only exception being for essential needs…”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Seems your brain has gotten starved of oxygen. Go take a brisk walk. This is serious, if you haven’t figured this out yet.

      • Dave says:

        This is becoming terrifying, as I believe scary is now in the rearview mirror. Our very complex global society is at risk of crumbling and the impact this will have on the lower economic classes is incalculable (economically and psychologically).

        We live in a time of extreme political discord and polarization, distrust in media, distrust in government, distrust in our society and this was ALL BEFORE the virus upheaval.

        We are living in a historical moment right now, I hope we measure up

        • S says:

          >>This is becoming terrifying…<<

          "Terrifying" means different things to different people based on one's life perspective.

          I fear my fellow man more than I do a virus. IMHO, the destruction of the middle class and resultant fragmentation into a mostly upper and lower class, can set the stage for violence during current events.

        • Frederick says:

          Doubt that very much Look at all the denial regarding the 911 attack America is asleep and I don’t think we will awaken anytime soon

      • joe says:

        We shall see what the fat lady says after she is fired from her singing job.
        But for me now, I think you crudely insulted a reader who brought up some serious issues that should be reasonably addressed rather than snidely derided.

        • Canadian says:

          The reader insulted the intelligence of other readers; he shouldn’t be too surprised to get a mild and entirely reasonable rejoinder in response.

        • joe says:

          Canadian – you insulted my intelligence. So here’s your response.
          Facts please. Got any?

        • Prairies says:

          If you go through the articles over the past year or 2 you will understand the relationship between Wolf and 2B.

          2B always hates the articles, loves the drama.

      • Jeff Relf says:

        People are afraid of the unknown, Wolf.
        The Y2K bug was bogus.
        AIDS never lived up to the hype.

        Our current problems started earlier,
        with the riots in Hong Kong and Chile;
        the virus is a symptom, not the cause.

        Willy-Nilly borrowing,
        like there’s no tomorrow,
        relieves the pain.

        Heroin and religion also work,
        when the pain is too great.

        Last time it was this bad,
        World War II woke us from the slumber.

        • VeryAmused says:

          “AIDS never lived up to the hype.”

          Uh, what?

        • Jeff Relf says:

          “VeryAmused” replied ( to me ):
          > > AIDS never lived up to the hype.
          > Uh, what ?

          HIV never lived up to the hype.
          Magic Johnson being a case in point.

          HIV was a scary when it was unknown;
          much less so now.

        • VeryAmused says:

          You mean once a ton of people died and we spent decades/billions finding an expensive treatment that is not a cure?

          What is your definition of living up to the hype? Was it supposed to start a zombie apocalypse?


        • Sydney Collin says:

          “ The Y2K bug was bogus.”

          Wrong again. It was a huge issue. It just didn’t affect you because programmers worked for years correcting the issue prior to Y2K.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          You were clearly not in the SF area when the AIDS epidemic flared into its maximum.
          Seemed to me that, like me, everyone I knew had either family or friend or both die.
          It was very challenging time, even for those of us in long term monogamy of any variety.
          So far, in spite of a clearly known mild version, this one seems equally deadly for the one currently known mutation, with very likely more mutations to follow. And the main difference this time is the ability of this virus to be transmitted without the carrier having any symptoms at all long term, including none observable by simple tests.

        • Gandalf says:

          Jeff Reis,

          You are totally FOS.

          I still remember wheeling a dying man with AIDS out of his room (this was the VA, if you didn’t do this yourself nobody was going to take him there) to get his brain biopsy. His brain was filled with lesions, which could be toxoplasmosis, lymphoma, etc. He was going to die anyway, but his doctors wanted to know what the lesions were to make one last try to save him.

          His wife was at the door and confronted me.

          “What’s going to happen to me?” she asked. She was terrified and wanted reassurance.

          This was 1984, and the standard BS line from the CDC was that women didn’t get AIDS, that you couldn’t get it from needle sticks or just one homosexual encounter, etc., etc. Only the Four H’s – Haitians, Hemophiliacs, Heroin (IV) drug abusers, and Homosexuals (male) could get it.

          There was still no test to detect HIV, no CD4 count to measure the progression of the disease. All that came later.

          I had seen another patient on an ER rotation, a truck driver, whose SOLE reason for going to the ER was to confess that he’d had one homosexual encounter and he and his wife (who was there also) were worried that he might get AIDS and give it to her.

          I knew the CDC mantra, but didn’t want to be responsible for feeding them this line, so I got the attending ER physician, who proceeded to reassure both of them that, no worries, they were highly unlikely to get AIDS.

          Right, so here I am stuck at the door with this AIDS patient’s wife in my way demanding the same answers and I just knew that I was NOT going to give her any false reassurances

          “M’am, I don’t know. I really don’t know”, I blurted out.

          What I really wanted to say was, yeah, lady you might get AIDS if you’ve had sex with this man, because that was just total common sense, but the CDC didn’t admit to that until YEARS later.

          So, Jeff, you weren’t there, you were obviously born yesterday.

          AIDS was FREAKING TERRIFYING. I saw a lot of AIDS patients. A few of my fellow interns refused to come near these patients.

          A LOT of people, including famous people, died of AIDS. Over 700,000 in the US, over 32 million worldwide since the start of the epidemic

          That AIDS treatment you speak off? Expensive and unavailable to everybody in the US. 1 out of 7 people who are HIV+ don’t even know they have it. Over 16,000 people a year continue to die of AIDS in the US. That’s more than the 14,000 people murdered with guns every year, and yet the news media says nothing and people like YOU think AIDS has been “cured”.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          you nailed it Gandalf, and thanks for your first hand report of that very scary time; i ”just” lost a dear cousin from afar, as he never said a word to anyone until he went over
          he was always a good guy to me, reliable, showed up on time, etc., but also always very very shy to non family
          my sister, who loved him dearly, found out about his passing when she finally got through to his former landlady in SF after weeks of trying to contact cuz after not hearing from him at the usual interval

        • Happy1 says:

          I trained in SF during the AIDS epidemic, half of all hospital beds occupied by young men dying in their 20s and 30s, your comments are supremely ignorant.

        • Jeff Relf says:

          > a ton of people died [ of AIDS ]

          How does that compare to the common cold ?

          The less facts you have,
          the more you wallow in your nightmare.

          Viruses are not the -sole- factor;
          getting high wears down your immune system,
          making you susceptible to deadly viruses.

          Now I return you to your
          regularly scheduled nightmare…

      • Thought you did a pretty good job explaining it. The one thing about extending and lowering the curve is that the virus lasts longer. Have to suppose the economic impact will as well. To a lot of people the economy is a tribal god, no sacrifice is too great.

    • Alberta says:

      Review the Wuhan citizen videos and watch what happened to violators of curfew: they were tackled, shackled and their *** was thrown into a police van (at gunpoint) and carted off to “quarantine hospital”.

      You think it won’t happen here?

      • MC01 says:

        I have sent Jeff Bezos some advice on how to recoup part of the losses he incurred due to his recent divorce and the ongoing market crash.

        The first is to promote ‘La Peste’ by Albert Camus like there’s no tomorrow. A masterpiece by one of the greatest writers who has ever lived, and a very contemporary book to boot.
        The second is to finance an English translation of Simon Leys’ masterpiece ‘Les habits neufs du Président Mao’, so that Westerneres will finally stop blindly believing every single piece of propaganda originating from China.


        • Unamused says:

          The first is to promote ‘La Peste’ by Albert Camus like there’s no tomorrow.

          One must also learn its lessons. And that takes unlearning other lessons.

          Sartre’s Huis Close works on many levels, including the present situation. Hell is other people, because they refuse to do the opposite. The door is unlocked, but none leave. There is No Exit when one traps oneself. Collectively and individually, we make our own hells. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it almost alway is. Where I live we have chosen otherwise.

          So then I said to Woody Allen, “Well, Camus can do, but Sartre is smartre.”

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” “Problems of War and Strategy” by M Zedong

      • Wolf Richter says:


        Nope. Don’t mix up some stuff you saw on the internet about Wuhan with reality on the ground in the SF Bay Area. Here, violating a public health order such as this is at most a misdemeanor, similar to a traffic violation that results in property damage or injury.

        Voluntary compliance is the rule. People have to get through this together. And from what I see, compliance is very high. Very little traffic and almost no one on the sidewalk. That’s the purpose. And it’s working.

        I’m writing this during morning rush-hour here, and I’m right next to a normally very busy four-lane street (turns into five-lanes during evening rush hour). It now has only a few vehicles with long periods of quiet in between. It’s ghostly.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Wolf, You might want to read the ACA parts that reference the ”martial law” aspect that was being made available to health folks for the first time, and let us know your opinion.
          I may be wrong, but only because I read almost all of it in one of the early drafts, so the martial law part may have been deleted in later versions as part of the final agreement/settlement.
          Having been recipient of brutality in Berzerkeley after RR ”enabled” LE excess to make his points/chops early on as guv, I am quite well aware of such tendencies, though the 4 cops that beat me up, all high on ”whites”, were fired soon after.
          Certainly there has been a lot more testing of LE candidates since then, and I don’t get the same vibe at all from the younger LE folks these days, but definitely still a thing for most minority folks, so still out there.

      • Keith says:

        That is the big risk, the collective fear tramples our civil liberties. I think people are embracing the fear culture a little too aggressively.

      • elysianfield says:

        “You think it won’t happen here?”

        Do you think it should not happen here?

        Do you know anyone who could be considered “not socially responsible?”

    • timbers says:


      Biden’s undocumented aliens. That’s so precious.

      I’m gay, married a young handsome Brasilian undocumented alien half my age, who got into this country by paying an American girl $10,000 to do a fake marriage so he could get a green card and become a U.S. citizen. He was working 70/hr a week at Donkin Donuts when I met him. I made him cut his hours back and go to school, he took some meaningless medical coding courses that got him into the door, and is now a manager at Boston Children Hospital where they are paying for management training courses they want him to take so they can promote him.

      You gotta admire that kind if drive.

      Marriage lasted 5 years…more than I expected due to age difference but it was worth every bit of it.

      • Old-school says:

        I am aware of a guy who married a girl from Brazil too to keep her in the country. I was told marriage needed to last 5 years. Dont know if that is true. Maybe these marriages happen a lot. Hard to prove it’s a fraud if you live together.

        • Dave says:

          Last time I asked, it was two years.
          Two of my (girl) friends have imported a husband this way,

    • Petunia says:

      The democratic mayor of New Orleans is also proposing a ban on firearms. I, being a deplorable, never realized mayors could cancel our constitutional rights.

      As I have said on many occasions, we are a lot closer to 1932 than to 2032.

      • Petunia says:

        Worry about yourself.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Pot calling the kettle black? I agree with Petunia. Born in 1932, I lived what she believes.

      • joe says:


      • Unamused says:

        Suit yourselves.

        We are at no risk from cov-19, joblessness, homelessness, loneliness, powerlessness, starvation, depreciation, inflation, ignorance, misinformation, disinformation, neglect, or most of the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, and have an infinite supply of TP besides because nobody here has any use for the dusty plastic-wrapped stack of them in one of the warehouses.

        We’re taking a couple of dogs and horses out to look for truffles. May you find your way as pleasant.

        Oh, wait . . .

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Videos on internet of folks in full containment clothing, including proper respirators 3 on 1 ”beating down” unclothed and unmasked individual allegedly breaking quarantine…
      ACA gave health authorities ability to declare martial law, with all the sub menus that implies, including, likely, suspension of habeas corpus as has been done before in USA and many places.
      Exactly how they are going to be able to differentiate with all the many exceptions Wolf notes above, is TBD, but, having been through ”martial law” a couple of times so far, I really urge folks to ”err on the side of caution,” especially for the first few days and weeks; times in the past, this kind of event has given those among LE with closet brutality desires somewhat freer license.
      Please STAY HOME folks, to the greatest extent possible.
      Thank you.

      • elysianfield says:

        “this kind of event has given those among LE with closet brutality desires somewhat freer license”

        I was in Law Enforcement. When an adult sized individual refuses a legal order, whatchagonna do?

        Thousands of years of human history have not negated the need for violence…no matter how alien the concept is to you.

    • The Colorado Kid says:

      I remember an account of the Spanish (actually Kansas) Flu in S.F. where the Policia would, could & did shoot your ass dead if they caught you without a mask and you refused to put one on in public.
      The Spanish Flu kept mutating till, at the end, it became hemorrhagic and could take out a healthy person in less than 12 hours. When Folks see a disease like that, it can make Folks violent. Already, look how some people are treating people that look Asian.

    • andy says:


      It is always possible to find fault in any proposed (government) course of action, and to find opportunistic and conflicting agendas.

      But that is not the big picture.

      The big picture here is to understand the objective – in this case reduce infection – and for all of us to figure out how we can collectively and personally do that.

  6. Jon says:

    This too shall pass and people would forget as life would become normal un next few months

    • Josh says:

      Assuming the virus goes away in a few months I completely agree but can you imagine if this becomes a yearly thing and mutates like the flu. Then all bets are off until vaccines are created. If that takes years businesses may see working remote as standard but other than that I see everything going back to normal. People will want to travel and have the same experiences they had before. Working from home would help people move out of high price areas into lower cost places which would be great for everyone.

    • Things to Come says:

      Goldman Sachs is saying expect this to last 18 months.

      Trump a few days ago said over by August, but Trump say’s a lot of things. We know that his job is to comfort orphans and small animals.

      IMHO GS is telling the truth to its paying customers.

      18 months means if you didn’t already do a bill-gates and go to Lanai ( your private island ), then you ought find a private-plane quick. Somewhere far away from the mass of men, and some place that you well stocked for the pandemic that we were told about years ago.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Things to Come,

        NO ONE, not even GS, has ANY idea how long this will last. If the virus becomes a permanent feature, there will be vaccines. They’ll be ready next year. And the population will build up immunity. So the lockdowns won’t last very long. The purpose of a lockdwon is to slow the spread so that not everyone goes to the hospital at the same time.

        • Dave Chapman says:

          There are pretty good computer models available of what is likely to happen. All of these models have a lot of slop in them, because parameters like the rate of infection from asymptomatic people is still not known.
          The fact is that the “best case” models look like several hundred thousand Americans dead, and the “nominal” models give numbers like 1-4 million dead. You don’t want to think too much about the “worst case” models.

          Best case, we find a drug which is already approved and which cures the disease, in which case the problem ends in June.
          Worst case, the disease goes endemic and kills a few million people every winter, kind of like the flu, but more deadly. If it turns out to be as hard to make a Coronavirus vaccine as an AIDS vaccine, then it could last a few decades.

          So, yeah, some of us have an excellent idea of how long this will last: It’s a probability distribution.

      • Frederick says:

        You’re kidding right? I seem to remember a scandal back during the Great Recession where Goldman employees were joking about how they put one over on their clients selling them garbage They are about as trustworthy as Jim Cramer in my opinion

      • MCH says:

        interesting, GS is apparently full of qualified people from a diverse range of fields that they can speak effectively to medicine, epidemiology, and public health. They really ought to get out of the money business and get into the business of dominating the world

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          MCH-gave me a much-needed smile, thanks.

          May we all find a better day, with less E Pluribus and more Unum.

      • rhodium says:

        Get a stronger immune system and eat healthier. Believe it or not, after the hump of infections, they will let your survived bum back to work if there’s a still a job for you. This is not an extinction event, but a lot of people will probably die. The quarantines can and probably will save a lot of people, but I’d bet this starts to blow over in May, wfh starts to subside, easing other restrictions on work and socialization. The more scary thing is how our overleveraged zombie corp economy manages. So much of everything is built on debt. Will creditors expect their money even when cash flow has died?

    • Les Francis says:

      Sorry. Too late for things going back to normal.
      We are in a new paradigm.
      The virus is secondary. Its what the shock to the economy of the everyday person is whats going to count.

      As pointed out. The everyday normalcy biased person who has seen the empty shelves in the supermarkets is going to think twice about the future.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Some USA folks today have seen empty shelves fairly often:
        1. Empty shelves in every store in FL when hurricanes approach, IF given notice – note that panhandle folks had very little notice of recent Michael.
        2. Some areas of southeast USA see empty shelves at approach of every ”snow event,” (in spite of such events being common up north,) with locals knowing roads will be shut down for any ice, etc.
        3. Some ”Super Centers” with extended consumer driving distances have empty shelves every Sunday evening, frequently not restocked until Tuesday due, I guess, to ”just in time” ordering and delivery. I have seen this in every state I have visited last ten years or so, on way to see the grands.
        IMO, the current shortages are just due to demand spikes that are completely outside the algorithims, and will be cured quickly for anything not originating outside each country; for others, and the economic mess, I think GS may be optimistic.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          VVNV-thus illustrating that an overwhelming drive for just-in-time financial efficiency can hollow-out the long-term resiliency of a society…

          May we continue to find that better day.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        The computers will buy on good news.

        It really isn’t about people.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      Professor Pangloss, Voltaire’s “Candide”.

  7. MF says:

    The feelings invoked by empty store shelves is only new to the protected classes.

    There’s a whole underclass that shops at dollar stores because that’s what they have at any given moment: $1.

    They regularly experience the stark terror of food panic induced by staring down empty cabinets with dinner time looming. And, no, the well-stocked Whole Foods across town does not bring comforting thoughts.

    The Complex Post Traumatic Disorder that results from chronic food panic will still be a foreign concept to people who live in the protected sectors of society.

    If you’ve been “college poor” or have always known Mom & Dad could bail you out in a pinch, then you have not experienced these feelings until the past few days.

    • OSP says:

      Virtue signallers gonna signal.

      • Zantetsu says:

        Spot on.

      • joe says:

        If we’re gonna go full ZH, I gotta cut in.
        If you never been hungry – Shut up.

      • Unamused says:

        Virtue signallers gonna signal.

        In vain, because you’ve neglected French existentialists and never learned semaphore or Morse code.

        • joe says:


        • Ripp says:

          Thanks for the image of Simone de Beauvoir waving flags around…

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Simone waving flags as she was writing, ”The Story of O” to try to get that sartre guy back into her boudoir?
          made me laugh out loud, so thank you!
          such a continuously misunderstood attempt at a new lifestyle/philosophy, eh

      • MF says:

        I agree 100% that there’s virtue in encouraging people to see each other through a lens of common cause and to act in solidarity with one another.

        OSP has issues with this? I don’t understand it, but OK.

        If the protected classes want their old way of life back, the only path forward is to see and understand what the underclass has been dealing with for the last 40 years. Waving their lived experiences aside with two-word platitudes isn’t going to do the trick anymore.

  8. Tony says:

    Im in Santa Cruz county, Wolf. Can confirm the same. My girlfriend works in Santa Clara and is an executive for the hotel industry…4 major hotels completely closed. I can’t imagine what Las Vegas is going through right now.

    • Mark says:

      “I can’t imagine what Las Vegas is going through right now.”

      Yeah those caring millionaires and the great service they provide to society……

      • VeryAmused says:

        You mean the service of entertaining?

        I think that is a large service to society.

        Without entertainment what do you have?

        What does them working hard to be millionaires have to do with anything?

        • Unamused says:

          You mean the service of entertaining?

          If you need wealthy, powerful, and ruthless overlords to entertain you, you have bigger problems than a mere plague.

        • VeryAmused says:

          “… ruthless overlords…”

          Uh, what?

          Man, what made you become the incredibly jaded person you are?

          You are one minute from sending manifestos to government entities.

        • Unamused says:

          Man, what made you become the incredibly jaded person you are?

          Many years of careful observation and a healthy disrespect for authoritarianism. The old books speak to me. Spooky, huh?

        • VeryAmused says:

          Yes, you are spooky.


        • VintageVNvet says:

          Gotta agree with the UNA muser on this one Very; many thoughtful folks thinking, as expressed the last few decades, the current situation in USA mimics very closely that of the Roman decline/end times, if for no other reason than the increasing reliance on the circus/entertainment levels of then and now to appease and dumb down the people…
          Going to be ”rather interesting” old chaps to see how it plays out now, as opposed to then; though I must admit, so far as I have seen the last 50 years while doing my best to pay attention after the best collegiate public education I could find in USA back then, it certainly appears to have very many similarities so far.

      • Les Francis says:

        I have a friend in Las Vegas. She owned her own house outright.
        After 2008 her neighborhood was full of houses boarded up by the banks. You could have bought one for a few thousand bucks.
        She couldn’t sell her house at all to move out. In reality worthless.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          The main reason I don’t just write a check to pay off my mortgage. Home is the least liquid asset.

      • Clete says:

        Um, how about the xxx,000 employees of those hotels who work for hourly wages and/or tips?

  9. Bob says:

    Our phone is still ringing but no where near what it should be for this time of the year. I’m a remodel contractor in San Diego. I suspect that by tax day work will be virtually extinct here, unless we go the route of the Bay Area and shut things down earlier, which I suspect will happen.

  10. Double D says:

    I too live in the SF Bay Area & I heard about this today as my wife & I & our 5 yo granddaughter were coming home from Reno after visting our son, daughter-in-law & grandkids over the weekend.

    Over the weekend I expressed to them that I was really worried about their job security, everyone staying safe & what is going to happen to their house in 6 months as the inevitable bottom drops out of the real estate markets. The sad thing is, I suspect many young adults like them are in the same boat in not understanding how dire a situation we are all in. Staying alive long enough to have a future for them and staying alive to enjoy what you’ve worked your entire life to enjoy for us older so-called seniors. My wife & I are 61 & as far as we’re concerned, society can stick that “senior” moniker.

    Right Now it’s all about the New World Order to gain ultimate control over the population. 1st they steal your wealth (Stimulus) , then they ensnarl everyone in catastrophic levels of fear (Pandemic), then they steal your freedom (National Emergency). through the greatest wealth The U.S. Government is the most diabolical, corrupt entity on earth. How fast did it take them to implement these draconian measures today after news of the virus first hit the U.S.? One day Trump’s talking about the virus only being a flu. The next week he’s talking about mandatory stimulus measures & interest rate cuts. On Sunday an Emergency Rate cut down to 0. Now today, the day after, our freedom is virtually taken away for 3 weeks & that could be extended. We’re not too far away from mandatory FEMA camps, much like the internment camps Japanese Americans enjoyed during WWII.

    The sun is setting on the Ponzi. It’s already blown up & no amount of stimulus is going to delay the inevitable like it has the last 10 years. Welcome to the Great Reset.

    • joe says:

      Agree. Look for the dog that didn’t bark. Look past the slick magician misdirection.
      If you were faced with citizen death and unemployment (which everyone says is just around the corner) , would the first thing be to give the banks trillions to backup their derivative bets and require small businesses to cover the worker costs?
      No, I believe you would allocate your resources differently.
      They have not, and actions do not match words. Consider clearly.

    • VeryAmused says:

      I would suggest you loosen the tinfoil hat, take some deep breaths and fix yourself a strong drink.

      No one is coming to put you in to camps and there are numerous entities on earth than are more diabolical/corrupt than the U.S. government.

      But I do agree that the economic scheme is blowing up and there is little they can do to stop it for a good while.

      • joe says:

        Damn you’re good at non-sequesters.

        Pray tell how if economics and finance “blow up” and money dies, and no one has money, we all don’t end up in bread lines or camps.
        I’ll answer: Govt reinvents money, not as gold, not as debt, but as dependency.

        • joe says:

          Geez Wolf, throw me a bone and let me error correct.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Carry your typos with pride. We all insert them here for the amusement of our readers :-]

        • VeryAmused says:

          The economy has “blown up” tons of times through history and hey, look, people still have money and the world is still spinning.

          Just like life in general, there are winners and losers from health to wealth.

          Learn the game and try not to be a loser.

          I am not sure you know what a “non sequitur” means.

        • joe says:

          Actually you are correct and things have blown up lots of times and things could be worse, but so what.
          And you avoid the argument as I see no defense of the current financial plan nor alternate plan.
          Nor rebuttal of the non sequitur that drastic times will not cause drastic solutions.
          More misdirection with no specifics. Typical of liberals.
          So what do you propose?


        • VeryAmused says:

          I am confused on what problem you think needs a solution.

          Are you asking how we solve the human condition and the institutions it spawns?

          There is no “solution” but a constant dialect between civilized men and understanding the game that comes out of such discussions.

          The world is the way the world is because of all of us.

          I am a realist, you should strive to become one as well.

          Or, you could run for office and try to change the ills you see in the world.

          Or, you could rail at the world on message boards and see how that works out for you.

        • Zantetsu says:

          “Typical of liberals.”

          And right THERE you have confirmed yourself a moron, Joe. Would have been the same had you said “Typical of conservatives”.

          Yeah I know you’re going to delete this insult post wolf and that’s fine. I just had to say it. Joe’s mindset needs to go away.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          hey Joe,
          After you type your comment, take a moment to sit back and have a sip of your choice, then go back and check/edit before you hit the post button.

          works fairly well for me, though it does seem to depend on 1. what I am sipping; usually my former wine futures after noon eastern, and 2. how lazy i am feeling re grammarnaz, etc

        • joe says:

          Naw. I’ll stick to my rant. It relieves stress.
          The problem is corruption in government but in one sense you are all right. I should run for office or support someone I think is better. I tried that.
          I identified liberals specifically because they introduce specific problems. Conservatives introduce their own problems (when they back big business) but liberals are the current problem with PC misdirection from real problems to imaginary problems. Primarily degradation of education. Yeah, I should specify specific policies but there is a clear divide in philosophies that is easier. OK , I’m lazy and restricted to these small word boxes.
          I’m not asking to fix the human condition (again misdirection) but hold government to reasonable principles of benefiting the citizens versus benefiting the elite – like I was, I am a defector from the class.
          We are all playing around on these boards, hopefully you are doing something worthwhile in between posts. This is a heavy post day for me and I see not particularly productive.
          But have a nice day all and we will see what tomorrow brings.

      • Double D says:

        Not Amused,

        I would suggest you pull your head out long enough to ‘Wake Up” and Smell The Coffee. This crisis is like no other brother. Based on the multitude of sarcastic, insightful comments you make, it looks like you’re the one who needs a strong drink – & a lesson in humility.

    • The Colorado Kid says:

      Double D, you forgot to mention the systematic genocide of 62.5 million Native Americans.

      • Double D says:

        I didn’t forget Colorado, I just didn’t know. It’s an important part of history & just another example of the extent of the atrocities created by the U.S. Government.

  11. TonTon says:

    “The supply chains are being maintained – unlike in China, where they collapsed.” This is not accurate Wolf. You could say that in Wuhan the supply chains might have collapsed as it was the epicentre of a new global pandemic. Outside of there, there was barely a blip in the food supply chain. Some fruit & veg disappeared from shelves for a few days and there weren’t as many disinfectants as normal. There is an abundance of both now. If you are referring to the manufacturing supply chain, that appears to have collapsed throughout the globe. I’m not trying to complain but I’m sometimes fascinated on the western viewpoints toward some distant locations. It’s caused by the MSM. I’m closer to the ‘action’ if you will and can definitely verify that life continues quite fine.

    • Clay says:

      Anecdotally, from non-Chinese friends who’ve returned to work in Shanghai, life *appears* to be ever so gradually returning to normal. Commerce remains muted and schools remain in online learning mode. A cross-border Chinese e-commerce chat group I’m in is discussing shipping options as if operations were normal, though there’s also talk about how to get paid by your employer for time lost during the lockdowns.

      But yes, just an anecdote or two for now…

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      @TonTon – I concur based on personal information from people living in China but outside of Wuhan/Hubei.

      Except for problems implementing the cordon sanitaire around Wuhan (~1% of Chinese population), China protected essential functions pretty much the way Bay Area intends to.

      • VintageVNvet says:


        IMO the crucial point right now is the timing of the cordon sanitaire for each area, as well as in the aggregate for all nations individually and even globally.
        Please let us know your well qualified thinking about how that is going down, locally and nationally, as well as any suggestions you have that we might want to pass on to our Reps, or even Senators or Governors. Stuck in FL these days, but local rep at least is asking for every suggestion, and I believe he is actually listening.

        Thank you,

  12. pauleaston says:

    Welcome to Zombie America. This is the end of all institutions that came before. The economy was already on life support. Obama kept it going by doubling the national debt in his eight years, and Trump is going faster. It couldn’t go on forever. Now it will end.

    The Government is a zombie. It can’t collect taxes on a dead economy, and no one will buy its zombie bonds. Soon no one will want its zombie money and its employees will quit. Transactions will be barter. Then banks will issue funny money backed by cigarettes and pot.

    • Old-school says:

      I don’t think we are going there yet.

      Barter is hard to do on a big scale. You just have to play the game knowing that the dollar isn’t a long term store of value. Government always gets their resources by hook (taxes) or crook (devaluation). Dont think we are at the totally gray market and black market stage yet. It’s not worth it right now in my opnion.

  13. Boomer says:

    “But the psychological impact will likely be permanent. For many consumers and business-decision makers, this will draw a line through their lives, with a “before” on one side, and the “after” on the other side. And these consumers and business-decision makers – and the companies they lead or own – will not be the same afterwards, which may impact all kinds of things in unforeseen ways.”

    Seeing the empty store shelves, the lines at Costco just to get in and the lines halfway through the store waiting to pay is an abstraction until you witness this. Seeing the feeble bewildered elderly person looking for whatever they can find on those picked over grocery store shelves …. being told you no longer have the freedom to move around as you please, something we took for granted as a fundamental liberty in this country … Wolf is right this will have a lasting on our lives.

    • Zantetsu says:

      The hoarders really annoy me. I have hoarded nothing and have no intention of hoarding anything. But I am legitimately out of a few things and try going to the grocery store for my normal weekly supply and everything is gone. If there still isn’t anything on the shelves in a week I’m going to be in a tough spot.

      I found that fresh fruits and vegetables are in ready supply still, so I probably can just eat healthier and be fine, except that it’s not so good to have to go to the store twice a week instead of once so meh.

      • Gold is just..gold says:

        “I’m going to be in a tough spot.”

        When the supply chain for fresh fruit & veggies breaks down, you certainly will be.

        Respectfully suggest you make peace with a hoarder.

        (don’t look at me..)

        • joe says:

          Don’t feed the grasshopper.

        • Les Francis says:

          That’s the issue.
          Fresh Fruits and veggies.
          Millennial’s don’t eat such poison. Only eat maccas
          More for us Boomers

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Gold is just..gold,

          The supply chain of fruit and veggies are not going to “break down” because farmers are working, and truck drivers are working, and the entire supply chain is working, and grocery stores are open. Quit posting this fear-mongering BS here.

        • IdahoPotato says:


          Here in Boise, my local grocery store manager informed me that they stock the shelves all night, trucks are getting through daily and if you shop early in the morning, everything is in stock. I went in this morning at 6 a.m. and found everything that wasn’t there last evening.

          Everyone had rolls and rolls of toilet paper as if it was going out of style. If you are so worried, install a bidet.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Wife works in a local ”Natural Food” grocery store that also has the best wine prices in town, yay!
          Other than a few ”dry goods” items, they had all the usual quantity and quality of fresh and frozen food when i went there yesterday morning. She says it has been busy but typical of ”spring break” when all the kids are apparently eating at home a lot more.
          Please do not worry about food availability, there is certainly enough to worry about for those in any kind of marginal financial situation.
          And don’t forget there are literally gazillions of tons of ”surplus” foods in warehouses throughout USA.

        • Gold is just..gold says:

          Wolf you read a little dark(ish) humour as fear mongering. Noticed you seem to be getting a little nervous. Lighten up.
          (Ill put ‘shit’ here so it goes to moderation :)

      • Unamused says:

        The hoarders really annoy me.

        I hoard, therefore I am.

        We hoarded for a rainy day. It’s pouring outside, with mixed snow and sleet, so we’re going to stay indoors today and take turns reading aloud from forgotten French existentialists, secure in the knowledge that while much of our hoard has a shelf life none of it will depreciate through inflation.

        When did you Yanks get addicted to toilet paper? The kids are very curious about that.

        • joe says:

          Ha! You must be from a bidet country. Actually that works better than TP.
          It really boils down to a question of trust. Do you trust others to supply your needs?
          Clearly you understand inflation, but trust?

        • Gordian knot says:

          When the Fed became the main producer and supplier of toilet paper.

      • X-Pat DE says:

        “Hoarder” is the derogatory MSM term for a prepper. Those people bought waaay before this particular S HTF.
        The “panic buyers”, to which you refer, are those who’ve been captivated by big sport, “celeb” lives and other mindless junk and suddenly torn out of their normalcy bias to realise the fact that the circuses which consumed their lives were a perfect distraction and the world in which they live suddenly has pressing matters to which they weren’t “warned about”.

    • Paulo says:

      I mentioned this in another post, yesterday. You will be forever changed.

      I’ll give you two simple examples that aren’t about my parents lives in the Great Depression or my struggles as a 20 something laid off with a mortgage and family.

      I was talking about this stuff with my wife, yesterday. Years ago I worked in the north flying bush planes. In those days dollars, I made a fortune compared to ‘down south’, although I was away for 3 months at a time….(when I was laid off with the family at home etc.) Anyway, the company brought in a trailer for me and it was up to me to renovate it when I had time…as I saw fit. They would supply everything. For a couple of months the only shower I had was the lake, and it was freaking cold. Jump in naked then out, lather up, then quick rinse off. I washed clothes at the same time in a bucket, then rinsed them in the lake. Had a clothes line outside (24 hour daylight). I did this when the bugs wern’t too bad. To this day, and this is 35 years later, I never cease to marvel at the joy and comfort of a simple hot shower and running hot water. It gives me great delight every day when I shower. And not having to use an outhouse in a bug land, with a glance at the hundreds of mossies circling around down below before a morning _______? Let me tell you, you don’t linger…plus I had to run back and forth to escape the bugs. I laugh when I see today’s RE shows on tv. How assinine the buyers ‘needs’ and wants.

      My mother was an army nurse in WW2. For the 70 + years after the war she never had a shower, only a bath. Why? For two years she had cold showers in a tent, standing on a pallet. God, how she reveled in her baths. She escaped the Depression by joining the Canadian army and becoming a wartime nurse.

      You will forever remember the empty streets. I also predict you will forever worry about germs and human contact and change personal behaviours and hygiene. I believe people will never take a job for granted and will modify their expectations. And depending on how this turns out? We may all be a lot poorer for the rest of our lives. The country, USA most likely, may end up being full on authoritarian. Someone may wish to call out the army or cancel an election. There could be unrest. Never, say never.

      Funny the comparison. Except for the fact I will delay seeing my grown kids for awhile, our own daily lives remain unchanged. My wife and I live in the country, by a river. We grow much of our food, 99.9% cook our own meals, and don’t really go anywhere beyond a daily walk when I’m not too busy building something. I was sad to hear our rural library closed down today, and we don’t do E readers so I’ll go back through our bookshelves for evening books. We do have the internet and sirius radio, so life is good, but pretty much the same; other than the worry and concern. :-)

      I will be thinking about, and imagining all of you going forward.

      • Paulo says:

        Forgot to add, my Ham radio set up. I’ve been too busy finishing a new greenhouse build these days to listen much, but HF radio is a wonderful community. Even the 2M band has a few daily nets. I would expect it is very very busy these days. Tomorrow I’ll go check out some west coast nets. Two weeks ago the right winger types were talking about the ‘hoax’ with their friends. I expect that has changed by now, even for the idiots.

        • No Expert says:

          Paulo, thank you for your post. I really enjoy and find useful personal anecdotes of ”older” people and even more so stories of their parents/grandparents – this way we can see into the past 100yrs or more. We have not escaped history just cashed in the future to pretend we have.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          144Mhz is pretty iffy for distance. Hope you have 20 and 40 meter too. At least to listen internationally.

        • Unamused says:

          Forgot to add, my Ham radio set up.

          We’ll be in touch, ionosphere willing. Call letters can also be spoofed, so you have to be careful.

      • Double D says:

        My kids thought we were crazy when we bought 3 acres in a small community in Western KY in 2008. Not so crazy now. I envision a life down the road where we’ll need to live similar to how you do. Resourceful & dependent on survival skills.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        One of the really great advantages of reaching ”elder” status is being able to read the same book every two or three years, and not remembering much if any of it, sometimes until the end. I have heard this gets even better when reaching ”elderly”, eh.
        Books in general, IMO much better ROI than any electronics, so far.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          VVNV, redux-gotta love that inexhaustible battery inextricably linked to a book-that which lies therein waits patiently for you, and does not disappear via one’s inadvertent (or an unknown editor’s advertent) keystroke…

          May we all find a better day.

  14. raxadian says:

    Guys, things will get better, it won’t be today or tomorrow or even weeks from now, but it will get better.

  15. Nobody says:

    Well at least ur gov is more open and resourceful… here in indo, i believe things are a lot worse than those has been reported by the media… actually… indo’s largest newspaper report that hospital cannot handle the flood of patient already… and we are only at the beginning of this pandemic

    • Les Francis says:

      INDONESIA!!! – saya benci “Indo”
      Kuring Ajar.

      Indonesian government is keeping a lid on the situation.
      They are trying to prevent panic and discriminatory riots.
      We don’t want a repeat of 1998.

  16. TownNorth says:

    First LA City (that excludes small cities like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood Culver City and Santa Monica) closed all restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theaters and health clubs at midnight last night. Some were still open in non-LA cities today, but virtually empty. This afternoon LA County followed suit, so that takes care of all the small cities. Passed by Trader Joe’s on La Brea today, which had a big line out into the parking lot, most people in masks.

  17. Wisoot says:

    So this is interesting. Web.archive.org. Type Wolfstreet.com. It shows registered in 2004, thought about in 2006/7, tinkered with during the crash. Once wolf of wallstreet film released 2013, traffic builds. You can view each year by month to see which days were busiest. There is a story there . . .

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Ha, thanks for the ancient history. I acquired the domain wolfstreet.com in June 2014, and paid for it with fiat via our fractional reserve banking system and an escrow arrangement (because no one trusts anyone on the internet). Over July 4, 2014, I switched from testosteronepit.com (my old site) to my new site, wolfstreet.com

  18. David Hall says:

    200 nurses in NY and Connecticut are suspended from duty waiting for coronavirus test kits.

    Johns Hopkins U. is working on a protocol to use blood plasma from people who recovered from the virus to infuse sick patients. This method was used to reduce the recovery time of coronavirus patients in China.

    According to a report from China 5% of people who get the virus become critically ill and in need of intensive care.

  19. otishertz says:

    If 40% of people in the US don’t have $400 to cover an emergency then what happens after they are out of work for a month or get sick?

    Without money from the sky there will be riots. Otherwise shelter in place means starve in place.

  20. Gold is just..gold says:

    ‘What it means’ is…this is the big one, the game is over, finally.

    The puppet masters have pulled the plug on the debt bubble at the very apex, using a totally ‘unexpected’ black swan event (who manufactured it, who released it?)

    Chaos will now ensue, more freedoms willingly-in most cases- curtailed or given up completely and we peasants will descend into even more slavery though it will be given a more acceptable name.

    And the virus will be to blame. And the Bankers & those who are their Masters will smile softly . Here is the truth.

    • Les Francis says:

      At the end of the day…..If the chaos becomes too much, the bankerds and their masters better look out – the lamp poles might be decorated

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Gold is just..gold,

      There is actually no chaos here on the ground. Very quiet and orderly. People are trying to get through this together.

      The chaos is in the financial markets.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        No chaos here in TPA Bay area either Wolf, except a lot more folks that usual out walking or biking this Tuesday morning, more like Sunday in this working class area,,, kinda like what you were saying re your walk around SF yesterday.

      • Gold is just..gold says:

        Give it a couple of weeks. Where I am people are already in the courts for assaults in supermarkets
        (but I accept that I inhabit a pretty uncivilised space. That’s why it appeals.)

  21. Tom Pfotzer says:

    If it actually does happen that “things change”…

    What are they going to change to?

    Do we double-down on the selfish, short-sighted, indulgent, frenetic, planet-wrecking, future-mortgaging trendline, or is it time to put the pants (back) on and start building something – e.g. an economy and a society – that will actually work?

    The system is really creaking now. It might tumble down in parts and places. We’ve all known this was coming, and it might, sort of, actually be moving fast enough to see, to notice. Fast enough for us to believe it’s really happening.

    That shock, after a few days of getting used to it, opens up some emotional space. We could make good use of this space. To wit:

    “If you were to design an economy that would last for a 1000 years, what would it look like? What would a day in the life of that economy/society’s citizen entail?”

    What would the ethics, values, and skills of a person in such an economy and society be?

    Mr. Richter and several of the posters on this blog have already crafted lives which are entirely inner-directed, and very nearly insulated from the vagaries of the mass-hysteria which characterizes our recent economic behavior. These people have organized their lives on solid foundations.

    What they do may not be replicable by / accessible to most of us. But their lifestyles offer clues and possibilities.

    • No Expert says:

      Abolish money, abolish capitalism, abolish the state… sorry i’m getting ahead of myself, i meant – start a nuclear war and end life on earth.

    • Les Francis says:

      You can always read Kunstlers latest piece.
      He thinks we are going back to horse and carts.

      • panatomic says:

        kunstler has been predicting that since y2k. he’s a great writer but i take him with more than a dash of salt.

    • Unamused says:

      If it actually does happen that “things change” . . . What are they going to change to?

      I can’t wait until tomorrow, because I get better-looking every day.

      We only keep a few horses, mostly as friends, and have no need to revert to a horse-drawn economy. Aristotle was right, they’re almost as salacious as people.

      The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls. The horses never read them.

      • Unamused says:

        In case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t:

        I can’t wait until tomorrow, because I get better-looking every day.

        Joe Namath’s autobiography.

        We only keep a few horses, mostly as friends, and have no need to revert to a horse-drawn economy.

        William Shatner to Barbara Walters, slightly paraphrased.

        they’re almost as salacious as people.

        Aristotle’s Biology.

        The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.

        Simon and Garfunkel.

        The horses never read them.

        Karl Unzelmann, to a sponsor complaining about his going off-script.

        Paulo is right, by the way. The world is changing, in ways the survivors are going to find disconcerting in the extreme.

        And this time it’s not going to do it behind your back.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          While I enjoy your posts, including this one, I think you are absolutely wrong about the ”it’s not going to do it behind your back.” part; while We the People can hope and pray and do what we can to make the guv mint more and more ”transparent” at each and every opportunity, those opportunities will be limited by the financial strength of the oligarchy at least for the recent future.
          After that, if the current trend of increased availability of information continues as has been the case the last few decades, IMO it will take only a century or so for the very very old families still owning and/or controlling stupendous percentages of world to realize that it is actually in their best long term interest to invest heavily in ”constitutional” democracy and especially in ”individual” capitalism.
          Unfortunately, I am not likely to see this, no matter what the personal outcome of the current event.

  22. Aether says:

    Wolf, a sincere thank you for doing what you do. You are one of the good guys. Best wishes.

  23. Iamafan says:

    It’s 2008 all over again. Stress in the Commercial Paper (different than toilet paper) is showing up again. Cry babies asking for Fed facility. 2 kinds this time. One for primary dealers and one for issuers. Here we go again. Alphabet soup dejavus.

  24. Mike J Randall says:

    The mayor of SF gave orders for 6 counties? Does the mayor have that extensive authority?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      No, each county did its own communications, but this was a joint decision — which is necessary, given how interwoven the counties are with people living in one county and working in another — and I cited the Mayor of SF’s office because that’s where I live and that’s who I listened to at noon when it was announced.

    • mike says:

      I would not quibble over authority. Martial law can and should be declared in all infected states.

      Italy’s much higher death rate per number of infected is much more likely to reflect America’s experience. Unlike Chinese communists, the US government will not likely just let people die in their homes or in quarantine centers (quasi-prisons for those with high body temperatures, regardless of what illness they actually have) and then just not report their deaths among coronavirus death fatalities. USA’s open internet means that the US government cannot craft clever lies to try to shift responsibility for their incompetence to other countries, like the Chinese communists craft.

      That is why Bill Ackman’s idea (reported in news) to do a nationwide 30 day shutdown (with essential services maintained) to stop new coronavirus infections is so good. I predict that the delay in the worsening of symptoms will mean that many US county’s health care systems will still be overwhelmed, even if that lockdown were implemented.

      However, a 30 day, mandatory lock down of all non-essential services offers the best possibility of slowing down the exponentially growing rate of infections. Without it, I predict that we will soon have millions of Americans infected and, ultimately, tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of deaths in the USA.

  25. Iamafan says:

    Another $40 billion in QE coming up folks.

    Schedule for Tuesday, March 17, 2020 (all times ET)

    10:15 – 10:30 am: Treasury Coupons 7 to 20 year sector, for around $3 billion
    11:00 – 11:15 am: Treasury Coupons 4.5 to 7 year sector, for around $5 billion
    11:45 am – 12:00 pm: Treasury Coupons 2.25 to 4.5 year sector, for around $10 billion
    12:30 – 12:45 pm: Treasury Coupons 0 to 2.25 year sector, for around $15 billion
    1:15 – 1:30 pm: TIPS 1 to 7.5 year sector, for around $3 billion
    2:00 – 2:15 pm: Treasury Coupons 20 to 30 year sector, for around $4 billion

    Santa Claus in March.

    • Old-school says:

      Buffet and Munger are smart. I heard him say that they don’t understand how things work in a zero interest rate environment, but they try to figure it out. He does know the basic system and he has said the following that helps us know how to think about things:

      1. US debt will never be paid off. It’s just going to be rolled over.
      2. Fixed income investments are always going to be paid back in depreciated dollars.
      3. Stock market going be higher in 20 years and the dollars going to buy a whole lot less.

      • Iamafan says:

        Did he also mention he’ll be dead?

        • otishertz says:

          That gave me a chuckle. Puts it all in perspective.

          So many federal reserve notes are being created during this viral shutdown, with rates approaching negative nominal, that I might see how Butffet could not understand it. His livelihood depends on him not understanding it or at least saying so.

          My theory is we are, for whatever reason, moving rapidly from a system of money being a supposed store of value to one where people pay banks to store their value.

          ie Nirp, which means you pay to play in a monetary system where you don’t receive interest for the use of your funds but pay a fee for access to funding of your transactions and to store the credits given for your work..

        • BaritoneWoman says:

          Hey, that’s how we all are in the long run.

      • Gordian knot says:

        It is simple. In a world where everything is a negative unit of account you just turn all the charts upside down ??

        • Dave Chapman says:

          Gordo! I like it!

          Most of those charts look a lot better, when you turn them upside-down (or maybe inside-out).

  26. Kent says:


    Since all of my posts go to your spam filter, there’s a chance you will read this. I read an email from a San Francisco physician who said that hospitals in the “South Bay” area of San Francisco are inundated with Covid-19 patients, Italian style. I don’t know much about San Francisco or if there even is a South Bay, but that sound ominous. Stay safe and keep up the good work.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      I’m not sure why your posts get flagged as possible spam. I have noticed that too. There is nothing on my side that should do that. This happened to other people too, including MC01 a while back. Be patient. I see all your posts when I deal with the comments. And then I release them.

      There is a South Bay. It’s the southern area around and south of the Bay and includes Santa Clara county (including the city of San Jose).

      Our healthcare provider (Kaiser) sent us instructions on how to deal with this. If we have symptoms, we need to call a special number for an over-the-phone discussion with medical staff, which could include a doctor. We may be asked to arrange for drive-through testing. The rule has always been: stay at home if you have symptoms. And seek medical help when the symptoms are starting to get serious.

      The instructions for all other things that are not serious are: call and discuss it with a doctor (we’ve long had over-the-phone free doctor’s appointments). The instructions are clear: don’t go to a medical facility unless you really need to. They’re trying to clear the system for the flood of coronavirus patients they’re going to get, or already have. And they’re trying to keep their medical staff from getting infected and their facilities from getting contaminated.

  27. Mark says:

    Barry Goldwater time again …..

    “More gold for the rich,
    More water for the poor”

    Choose wisely the billionaire you vote for.

  28. otishertz says:

    Biden repeatedly stated he’d use the military to deal with Coronapanic.

  29. Xypher2000 says:

    One good lesson from this will be, save money for at least 3-6 months of life expenses. I am guilty of being caught off guard like multi-millions will be. Fortunately I am a little bit of a prepper with emergency food for my family, 3 meals a day for a month that can be stretched out longer.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      @Xpher2000: Yes. Not only individuals but corporations need rainy-day fund as opposed to “just in time” financing.

      To those who don’t have a rainy day fund yet: cut every nonessential expense to zero, NOW. Now look at your “essential” expenses and figure out how to cut back on those too.

      For instance, we only heat house to 65 daytime, 60 evenings. Saves $200/year. Ditto for AC, only on at 80. $300/year. Total $500/year. We are 15 years into that plan. The $7500 saved is a big chunk of rainy day fund. Less a couple hundred for hoodies so it doesn’t feel cold.

      It all adds up, and if you get serious it can add up fast. Then in times like this, the panic hits everyone but you.

      • Gordian knot says:

        That works great unless you have a wife like mine who thinks every dollar I save through discipline is a dollar for her to donate to Amazon.

  30. Iamafan says:

    $45 billion in 14 day repo done. Next …

    It will be a busy day.

  31. breamrod says:

    We need a debt jubilee. It’s time people realize we are all connected. Maybe this virus will do that I hope.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      You must remember: there are always TWO sides to debt: one entity’s debt is another entity’s asset. If you wipe out debt, you wipe out assets, and you wipe out our economy. Forget your pension fund, or retirement of any kind, forget receiving a paycheck or buying groceries or even having a job. This is a credit-based economy (credit=debt), like it or not. If you wipe out one side, you also wipe out the other side, and the whole thing goes back to neolithic times.

      • cb says:

        Debt and credit can be the devil’s work. Some credit extended was a creditors savings, acquired through labor expended. Other credit extended was done so by digitizing new money.

        The good book says – neither a lender nor a borrower be. Though not particularly devout, I see wisdom in those words. The larger portion of the population might be better off with less debt, and more equity.

        As for Blankfein and the Bankers. Let them eat paper.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      Those in debt often don’t seem to realize that in a jubilee assets will in all likelihood become owned by the creditors. The debt may be wiped out, but debtors end up free and clear with no asset.

  32. Petunia says:


    Thank you for giving all of us a place to express what we think about the financial issues of the time. This entire fiasco has a scripted feel to it I don’t trust. I’m going along with the narrative for now.

    The divide you talk about happened to us in 2008, when we were unceremoniously pushed out of the middle class. We lost the home we lived in for 10 years, the home “we couldn’t afford.” Losing the house wasn’t as hard as dealing with all the criticism and total lack of understanding of those who manage to be luckier than us.

    During this evolution of the GFC, my retort to the unlucky will be, you bought a house, portfolio, or pension you couldn’t afford.

    • Old-school says:

      I try to be very supportive of people grinding it out and trying to make it. I am retired and those days are behind me. To take a new job or to purchase a house is a risk and sometimes it doesn’t work out.

      A good saying is to judge a decision by the quality of thought put into it and not by the outcome as outcomes are not totally within our control.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      Petunia, I detect from your posts here that you’ve come through hard times psychologically strengthened. Many don’t have your intestinal fortitude. Congratulations.

    • Xabier says:

      Lack of understanding is something I get all too well.

      When I literally lost ALL of my hard-won customers for several years after 2008 -some went bust, killed themselves, fell into despair, and others eventually came back – some people observed ‘maybe it was your fault’.

      Yep, a global financial crisis suddenly sweeping away all my business was my fault, how silly of me not to see that…..

      I feel deeply for those who have had the rug pulled from under their feet over the last week or so, many of whom will have been sensible and careful people, not consumerism-crazed property-flipping morons.

    • Gordian knot says:

      I 2nd your comment. It feels like it’s scripted.

    • Linda says:

      How would you opt out of a pension you can’t afford? Its mandatory and vested.

      • Petunia says:

        Retirement planning is a specialty, find an advisor and pay a few hundred for advice. It may be the best investment you ever make. The good ones will only advise you on your options, they won’t try to sell you another plan.

        All pensions are different, but remember that money now is worth more than money later. And money in your estate is better than money in your pension plan.

  33. Yancey Ward says:


    I have been a regular reader of yours almost from the time you started this blog- certainly sometime before Obama’s reelection. Just wanted to thank you for it before the world ends. :-)

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      Me too!

      One time when Wolf was averaging less than twenty comments per article, he emailed me to see if I was OK after I hadn’t posted for several days.

  34. Lisa_Hooker says:

    One of the effects of this will be a race to the bottom in the gig economy as the layoffs begin. Contract rates ratchet downwards as more and more new “consultants” keep bidding lower to get work.

    • Tim says:

      I’m sure you’re right. But if this pans out as I think it will, the whole “gig economy” concept will become loathed by the public. That means it’s not a business model I’d put much faith in.

    • Beardawg says:

      LISA – You are correct. As a PT / FT Musician with all my gigs cancelled, I can’t even work for food, because there is no place where more than 2 can gather anymore. :-(

      Maybe when we come out of this, the “Wolf Gang” can hire the BearDawg’s Band for the beginning of the Great Recovery celebration. :-)

      • sierra7 says:

        Have a grandson who has been working in Chicago for several years heavily involved with “shows” and state engineering…ALL his shows have been shut down; abruptly laid off and flying home to the Bay Area…..future???? Good luck to you.

      • Wolf Richter says:


        It’s terrible what this is doing to musicians and artists all around.

        You guys are being missed. We need some music and art to prop up our spirits.

        Hang in there and be safe.

  35. Iamafan says:

    Overnight repo: $142.65 billion.

    • Anmol says:

      This time they are providing a backstop for the CP market. Markets have rallied. Not sure how long this will last

  36. Greg Franks says:

    The entire province of Ontario has done what the Bay area is doing as of 8:30 EDT (although we can still ride our bikes, assuming it isn’t snowing or worse (freezing rain)). I suspect the rest of Canada will be following suit shortly.

    • Paulo says:

      Hey Greg,

      I was just reviewing Vancouver Island closures and it sure looks like it. All rec centres and halls are now shut down + libraries, etc. I don’t like Ford but I certainly admit I liked his last speech and what he is doing. He is showing leadership whether you agree with him or not. We have a great public health officer here in BC, and the provincial health minister is also on top of things. We have drive through testing now, but by referral from the 811 number or from a GP. Results in by next day for those tested.

  37. panatomic says:

    my boss emailed me two letters from the dhs yesterday. one will get me through lockdown checkpoints and the other gives me priority in the advent of gas lines.

    that shocked me more than the empty shelves at the store. do they really expect it to get that bad?

  38. RD Blakeslee says:

    Really? All of us?

  39. VeryAmused says:

    Feel free to elaborate on your comment if you have the capacity to do so.

    This may be one of the most honest websites in the world.

  40. Whatsthepoint says:

    While the sheep fight over toilet paper and hand sanitizer, the flock gets fleeced for trillions. Personally I’m angry at this blatant manipulation. No one I’ve queried , except for one, actually knows or has heard of anyone actually having this virus. People spread bad flu every year from which some sadly die. Why this, why now? Hmmm…I wonder. Screw the virus, I’m more worried about the small businesses shutting, possibly for good, and the damage to our social fabric. Where are the ropes and pitchforks?

    • joe says:

      You are correct. The current version of the “bill” will either require small businesses to fire workers or go out of business. Only a procedure that a stone dumb bureaucrat could love.

      • sierra7 says:

        Joe (and others):
        The “6 county declaration” has a long list of “exceptions” to the closures/shelter in place work places and businesses.
        How do I know?
        By having children and grandchildren owning businesses and working in the Bay Area. We have gone over this two days ago when the proclamation occurred.
        This doesn’t mean that all businesses/individuals are exempt it just means that read the fine print that is not always put out by neither the politicians or the local/major media.
        Please read the “exceptions”……it will allow many to survive this mess.

  41. SocalJim says:

    Once the evidence shows that the warm weather will tame this virus, we will see a violent V shaped recovery. This will be the shortest recession in history.

    • Bobber says:

      That doesn’t pass the smell test. 99% of the virus is transferred to other people while indoors, where it is warm. How does warm weather outside help?

    • MarkinSF says:

      That’s the spirit! Hope you are right

  42. polecat says:

    In light of ongoing events, having made the space to grow at least some of our food, however minimal that may be, means that perhaps our family will be better albe to withstand the privation to come. Getting some needed exercise working the soil, planting seeds/starts, composting that future chicken garden gold, tending the bees .. should I be lucky to obtain a bee package, or have a swarm or two find our empty hives to their liking, is important to my sanity in this time of stress. I can only hope that others will take heed, and do what they can in this regard. My wakeup started back in ’08 !

  43. joe says:

    Damn Wolf. We need more comment levels. Get modern. You are half-way to being equal to ZH.

  44. RD Blakeslee says:

    News reports this morning describe younger people’s widespread disregard for the CDC’s recommendations.

    So, it’s likely that the goal of lengthening and flattening the infection graph will not be met. If so, The infections will peak dramatically in a short time.

    There will not be enough ICU resources available to try and save all of us.

    Best hope for us, IMO (as in so much of life): Self-reliance. Isolate yourself and stay that way, until the pandemic runs its course.

    • Gordian knot says:

      My wife is a nurse In ICU, my son works in rad. Imaging, my other son in medical transport. Tell me again why am I isolating myself?

    • Ethan in NoVA says:

      I don’t get it. Things like these ventilators… just make an open source design that could be 3d printed or cut on a laser cutter. Use common parts be it radio control vehicle servos or something.

      They already have open source PCR machine designs you can download for DNA sequencing.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Good post Ethan,,, please keep posting on this site, the best this old guy has found so far in terms of folks reporting in from all over the world, but also folks commenting with detail from all over the financial and ”real” economy.

        Thank you.

      • Happy1 says:

        It’s not just the machinery, but the personnel, and they will be in even shorter supply because so many of them will have COVID-19

      • JustNoise says:

        I hear what you’re saying, but things aren’t so simple. Even for the example you provided, PCR machines *can’t* sequence DNA and the parts need to withstand constant temperature cycling from 4C up to 105C (these instruments are more appropriately called thermocyclers).

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        May I assume that you have no hands-on practical experience with actual engineering and manufacturing and supply chain? But thank you for your positive thoughts.

    • TXRancher says:

      Logical that if you close down businesses the displaced workers will head to the nearest bar/liquor store to party? When we are young we are invincible.

      • sierra7 says:

        Uh…..want to let you know that bars, nightclubs are now the closure list. In my county in the Sierra foothills they are now offering to deliver drinks to homes (!) and those that served food to have curb pickup….but no congregating for relief of misery!

  45. mtnwoman says:

    Social Democratic nation of Norway will not give emergency financial assistance to companies that pay dividends and bonuses.

    “…anyone receiving emergency loans or guarantees from the state must sign that they will not withdraw money from the companies until the debt to the community is repaid”..


    • Paulo says:


      Apparently airline unions are saying they will not accept companies taking the cash for themselves, and not helping out employees. They did it in 08 and employees said “never again”.

      It will be interesting to see the direction of things in 2-3 years. It could be full Adolf, pitchforks, or a socially just reset. I would hazard a guess.

  46. GSW says:


    If you look up the hill, you might see me in my apt with two kids under the age of 3. I may just bring a six pack to a laundromat to get out of here (and we have laundry in our building). I get the rationale for it, it sucks but it is what it is. I mean you can go for walks, but no one wants to go to a playground. You want to get fresh air, but all meals have to be eaten at home. You have kids asking why they cant go to school, its a weird time. Grocery stores are open, which means we dont have to go clean out a Costco like some of the lunatics we see, but youre right, its an odd vibe all over the city.

    My prediction: All the economic damage aside (if you thought pre-IPO unicorns and cash flow negative companies around here were toast a month ago, they will have rigor mortis coming out of this), there is going to be a concurrent baby boom and a spike in divorces/mental health meds from this.

    We have all seen The Shining. All work and no play….April 7 is an eternity from now.

    Stay safe.

  47. DanS86 says:

    What’s wrong with Trumpster? “Going Big”? No, “Going Biggggly!”

  48. Confused says:

    Today another rally over the Fed providing a bunch of money trying to solve a credit issue that was created since the financial crisis. Dumb money buying into this market thinking they are getting in at the bottom floor. The virus is the fuse that will light the bomb that has been waiting to explode.. Time to start putting on shorts into this rally?

  49. Michael Engel says:

    The white house media is spaced out, at a safe distance from each other. The screamers have been filtered. There is room only for the elite.
    Its the first respectful press conference in 3.5 years.

  50. KPL says:

    How come it is not easy to understand that if you close down everything depression becomes inevitable? How come the fatality rate is not being considered? How come one cannot understand that locking down cities when the fatality is low (ok more people may die since it is highly infectious but then so be it) is akin to creating hara-kiri as the economy will get pounded. Before these guys get a handle on the virus the economy would be gutted.

    How long do you think governments can keep mailing cheques (tax-payers money mind you that could be put to better use) to individuals and companies whom you have bankrupted with your lockdown? Who is the master-mind behind such idiocy? That said I am glad that such a loony idea has been given wings as it has provided a much needed pin for the everything bubble. My niggling worry is what other nefarious idea is behind all this and how is the elite going to benefit from this (I am naturally suspicious of the intentions behind any action by the Fed and the government)?

    • Gordian knot says:

      Because you have to flatten the growth curve so the hospital system can manage the cases. It not high math.

  51. ft says:

    A relatively few people get sick, a few of them die, government response is to make a bad situation worse by strangling everyone.

    My stepson borrowed money to buy the beauty shop where his mom works. He also runs an online business, selling mostly on Amazon, that he just recently borrowed money to expand. With both business now shut down, paying the rent, let alone paying down the debt, becomes impossible.

    Fear will turn to anger pretty quick.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      Did he ever consider growing more slowly and providing the funding for his stable businesses with cash flow? Or, I want it and I want it now?

      • ft says:

        He has the security of a free roof over his, his wife’s and their two kids heads. The payback for that is taking care of his mom after I’m gone. This makes it perhaps too easy for him to live on the edge with his business dealings. Factored in there somewhere is the happiness my wife gets from being near her grandchildren.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Good for him, tell him to hang in there, these days will pass. And good for you for raising him to take care of family

  52. Rcohn says:

    Notice that (so far)neither Sonona nor Napa counties are on the shelter in place order.Does this suggest that SF bay residents should go for some wine tasting while their friends are going stir crazy back home

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      Rcohn-as of 0000hrs 18march20 Sonoma and Mendocino Counties are now under shelter in place orders.

      May we all find a better day.

  53. Michael Engel says:

    1) There is hope for decent relief rally soon. How long it will last nobody
    2) US yield curve : on the left, its anchored to zero. On the right,
    its free to flow where ever it can go.
    3) Europe in deep water NR.
    4) On the left rates are hooked to minus 0.60-0.50. On the right investors in the collapsed DAX, CAC.. have margin calls. They will sell liquid assets.
    5) Bonds notes, gold… are very liquid. The German 10Y will be sold to cover margin calls.
    6) Gravity with US + European bonds selloff will send the long duration up.
    7) US NR, not now.

  54. Breta says:

    Before this “Meathead Virus” is over we need to maybe address the cause – Cultural Meatheadism. If this one doesn’t teach us a really hard lesson the next one (which may already be in the works) might.
    Many of us will now get just as sick as the meat animals that we concentrated, tortured and slaughtered.
    Will meatheads still stay meatheads during and after this outbreak?
    I have faith that cultural meatheadism will persist and nothing will be leaned. So it goes…

  55. kitten lopez says:

    Unamused… come back to us. you are wise and smart but your momentary bout of irritation and insensitivity show that you, too, cannot isolate yourself from THIS.

    your heart, stength and long wisdom is so needed here. even i came here like when i went to friends meeting after 9/11 then ended up getting up furious when the popcorn meeting of fear terror and rage wasn’t a regular calm white people friends meeting.

    same thing.

    Wolf doesn’t realize what he’s GOT here and Wolf, that “i survived this” —you really SHOULD make a tshirt with Aaron “RIPP” to convey the magic and solidarity HERE. Wolf you are like my family, so GERMAN, and you’re stuck in your numbers and STATS and don’t realize what you’ve GOT HERE. a community which is actually pretty amazingly necessary NOW when the internet seemed like ALL b.s. like EVERYTHING.

    it’s EXISTENTIAL, for REAL.

    so i hope for you to come back with heart, Unamused. you’re scared, too, otherwise you wouldn’t be like that. (smile)

    who the fuck wants to come out of any bunker and be the last smug one alive?

    watch TWILIGHT ZONES, you all. the OLD ones. i watch those when i feel alone in my assessment of the world.

    PETUNIA… i wrote about you in my daily site prayers. it’s public but not for mass consumption. i’m saying things aloud so’s i don’t waste the TIME the three weeks of TIME for me to plot and scheme and prepare for what is next.

    i hated to see you and Unamused arguing. and then RD came in! NO! youse guys are on the same side.

    Unamused is just going through this in his own way. really smart people are different but not THAT different. we’re all inter dependent.

    this is actually an exciting time. when the mold hits the sun. we’ve gotta keep PUSHING. this is an opportunity.

    people like me are who you want around when the family goes haywire and teh cops are called.

    the FIRST time i got beat up out front for dancing, i had blood running down my face from the couple and the pit bull that’d attacked me while people with phones MEN with magic phones, filmed it like they were LUCKY to catch such ACTION.

    i’m the one who calmed down the crying neighbors who were freaked out jittery and yelling in confusion, “why’d they do that to you? you’re one of US!”

    and when the cop came to interview me, i was swollen up and blood is still running down my face and she was freaked out and had to leave the scene because she couldn’t understand why i was laughing and okay.

    i’ve been thought his before.

    this is a beautiful “re-set” opportunity. do it YOUR way.

    women like me fxck shit up and try and push for change in the weak off-balance moment. it’s how i …what’s the word? …it’s how i break players hustlers and see who’s for real.

    who laughs at being off balance and doesn’t get tense from the surprise.

    this is that MOMENT. they are golden when they last THREE weeks and the whole world is also in stasis…

    this is a GIFT…

    that’s also what artists do. / we take rancid nasty rot and find and grow flowers food pretty things or make mud castles or purify our faces…


    and come back Unamused.

    don’t alienate everyone. you’re too good, too important.

    good luck and blessings to each of you out there.

    Idaho Potato… man.. .that was mad powerful how you called out that poor migrant shmuck ish. well done and BEAUTIFUL.

    i still love this place. Wolf… i told you it’s SPECIAL.

    okay, much work to do. MUCH work. not online much from now on out. that’s the point. back to LIFE… like the SONG.

    real life awaits!



    • VintageVNvet says:

      thank you kitten!!!
      please do your best to ”keep on keeping on” as so many of my older, now apparently ”elder” VN buds have done and are doing
      but, to be clear, most of us are not yet ”elderly” and, as such, we do our best to continue to help, as you have done with your post

      thanks again,

    • Tom Pfotzer says:

      Whoa, Ms. Kitten Lopez.

      You just paid your societal dues for next year with that one.

      No wonder Wolf likes you.

    • Petunia says:


      Don’t take the squabbles on WS to heart. I am unamused and unimpressed by master of the universe types who think I don’t get the references. Let him think that, if it makes him feel superior. The truth is I read a lot more history than fiction, because “unlike fiction, truth doesn’t have to make sense.”

      Thanks for making me famous on your blog, I feel truly honored.

      • kitten lopez says:

        “master of the universe type”–

        you make me laugh because yes, i have always had a weakness of the odder, highly arrogant, loner types that make everyone else mad or insane with frustration.

        i find they’re often arrogant for very good reasons, and they’re frustrated at the WORLD too, so i just hush and laugh and listen.

        i don’t find you less smart at all; on the contrary, you’ve had your head your family’s heads all flushed in the toilet and you’re more aligned with “the common man.”

        Unamused dances with art poetry and writing, but has not yet clung to it to return. he senses the majesty of answers questions and answerless questions but has managed to keep his feet clean enough so far.

        that’s why i laugh and enjoy the almost “innocence” of such irritated arrogance. it is his softer spot, his IDEALISM and romantic side i see in plain site in public.

        (and this is why i unnerve some people)


        p.s. i also don’t post much because my computer crashed twice just writing back all i have this morning already. but one more response to Wolf coming…

    • Unamused says:

      you’re scared, too, otherwise you wouldn’t be like that.

      I’d have to admit I’m slightly concerned that somebody’s going try to barter away our stack of dusty, unused packages of old toilet paper, mostly because it’s right next to a couple of cases of Rouge Duret calvados. I don’t want to miss my percentage of the take this time.

      who the fuck wants to come out of any bunker and be the last smug one alive?

      The last time I came out of a bunker none of us were smug. Shell-shocked, yes. Out of penicillin, yes. Smug, no. Took years to get my smugness gland back in shape, with a little help from the calvados.

    • Unamused says:

      The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.

    • Susan K says:

      Nice too see you, Kitten! I’m a little late to reading this, but it was just what I needed this morning. Far from home, locked down, and starting to going a bit stir crazy while thinking of all the projects I could be working on if I were home right now. Sending you big hugs!

      • kitten lopez says:

        nah, girl. this is Road Trip Mind time. go into the madness and fantasies. you have my email; write me if you’re stuck.


  56. Michael Engel says:

    Call centers have dispersed, can’t talk to banks.
    NYC retail stores are closed.
    Some blocks in prime areas have no retail stores for years.
    NY media blame China.

  57. kitten lopez says:

    wait, i wasn’t mad that friends meeting was popcorn– i went on writing too soon. this other woman got up and criticized the speakers’ fears, wanting them to hush, and i was enraged at HER hushing them up, criticizing during the HOLY SILENCE, that you only got up when moved by the spirit–which to her should be nice quiet and white.

    but we were all crowded in there and scared.

    i’m ALL ABOUT SCREAMING MOVING AND DANCING AS THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU… and when stuff goes tits up by all means POPCORN indeed.

    sorry to add that. i just needed to set THAT straight before i start work…




    • Gordian knot says:

      I just had the gentleman I sold a business to tell me he can’t make this months payment. I think I felt a ripple.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      got ya Kitten,,, SO relevant today,,, and was just today sharing with spouse my experience in remote area of Bahamas, ca 1960, where dad and I were only white folks, as clearly shown by /from young kids who had never seen white folks, screaming and going into house because they thought, perhaps correctly, we were ghosts, and then dad took me to local church where the Great Spirits were SO clearly all around us and SO available I, ”non churched” before, felt the love of those Great Spirits that was so openly shared in that small ”settlement” church…

      Please continue to share here, THE best site and moderator I have found so far…

  58. ewmayer says:

    “Among the prohibited forms of travel are walking, biking, driving, or using public transit.” — I moved to Marin from Silicon Valley back in 2018, yesterday pinged several former colleagues about the mood down south, where the case count is so far the highest in the Bay Area, no doubt thanks to all those SiVal folks busily globe-trotting between there and tech/manufacturing hubs in E Asia. One replied and specifically mentioned his daily bike ride being kiboshed:

    I’m ticked off that I can’t legally go for a bike ride. I don’t know how that would infect anyone. I have an old set of indoor rollers that I haven’t used for years that will allow me to get my bike fix. I haven’t crossed over to the dark side with the new fad of indoor cycling on Peleton or Zwift.

    My reply:

    I still plan on doing my daily exercise loop around the ‘hood – just no more deep-tongue-kissing-by-way-of-greeting of the neighbors :) – at least until the fuzz start stopping & frisking me for violating some provision of the shelter-in-place order. But perhaps it’s easier for me to plausibly say “I’m on my way to CVS/Whole-Foods/Whatever” than for you on your bike. OTOH there are surely SiVal residents lacking motor transport for whom biking to the store is a necessity – maybe you could carry a shopping bag tucked into your seat or handlebars by way of plausible deniability. Worth a shot, at least on Day 1 just by way of test. (Said the guy unlikely to get arrested by virtue of his trademarked “innocent face”.

    Looking out at the busy intersection near my apartment right now, plenty of vehicle traffic, though perhaps at 50-60% of normal levels for a weekday late morning. Virtually none of the usual foot traffic.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      SO funny that it just became more likely that I will die from laughing so hard!!
      Thank you,,, and, please, keep on keeping on, including posting on this wonderful site Wolf has built and maintains SO well


    • Unamused says:

      “Among the prohibited forms of travel are walking, biking, driving, or using public transit.”

      Astral projection and bungee cords: still okay.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      It’s funny, the way it’s written, but I think your friend didn’t read the directive carefully all the way down. It was a little confusing, and I tried to clarify it.

      You can walk, jog, hike, ride your bike for exercise, no problem. But you cannot “travel” — go from point A to point B (from home to work) — that way because you’re not allowed to go to work, unless your job is exempt, and then it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you’re 6 feet away from the nearest person.

  59. kitten lopez says:

    glossary: POPCORN MEETING (not about passively eating and watching! hell no! i realized this could be badly mistaken. it’s the OPPOSITE. it’s about caring too damn much)…

    in Quaker meetings you sit in silence for an hour. people get up if moved by the spirit to speak. then sit down and people contemplate on that. a “popcorn” meeting is when people are so moved to get up constantly. it’s mad rare. but some folks don’t have time to take in what was said if everyone’s popcorning up. / and some ramble.

    but Quakers OLD quakers are mad cool. the ones who put their asses on teh line. i when i got to SF a young black man was rambling on and some white cat hushed him, and the 90-something old white lady was so angry, she got up with her frail little body and got on her knees in teh middle of the room and put her head down on her folding chair seat in PROTEST. to let the man speak! he is WELCOME!

    so yeah.. .i’ve seen the most amazing acts of resistance and protest in SILENCE.

    she shamed that guy who also wanted a messless calm safe unmeandering white people’s friends meeting.

    • Unamused says:

      it’s about caring too damn much

      You have to pace yourself. Empathy gland transplants aren’t covered by insurance and there’s a severe shortage because most of them don’t work.

      You’re probably wondering how I know this.

      • kitten lopez says:

        Unamused, i love the mystery that you are. i don’t wonder anymore. i enjoy the magic.

        a few years ago, when i was dancing out at Carnaval here in the mission, all by myself before this DJ guy playing for me, some guy in a full on body Joker costume and a mask magically showed up and danced with me and this little boy whose mind was also blown by his amazing moves all afternoon, then later he tried to disappear into the crowd.

        i ran after him but i wasn’t going to ask him his name or anything… it would’ve killed the magic spell he brough. so i just smiled thank you to him, bowed and he came up and hugged me tight without saying a word then slipped away into the crowd and i have never seen him again and have no idea who he was.

        i love it that way.

        you’re like THAT.


  60. kitten lopez says:

    like a sneeze i must also add before i go:

    Wolf take some of that “free money” you got in the short and put it toward wolfstreet “i survived tshirts” with Aaron. / it’s watering the bouquet of what you already have amazingly got here: some odd kinda community where Paolo can even stand someone like me. (barely. in real life he’s the type to wanna punch me.)

    i TOLD you this was an important place. the kindness here just makes me swoon.

    LOOK AWAY FROM THE NUMBERS for a moment, Business Man! these are flowers love and diamonds in the cracks moments….

    trust me on this one, Brother.


    • Paulo says:

      Hey Kitten,

      “some odd kinda community where Paolo can even stand someone like me. (barely. in real life he’s the type to wanna punch me.)”

      I hope that wasn’t directed to me? I don’t punch people, I avoid those who irritate me like all polite Canadians do, right after I hold the door and say, “Excuse me”.

      Relax. Life is short and getting shorter. Apparently.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Welcome again, kitten! like a tundra flower, warmth from the cold, appearing for a little while…

        Please write again on your blog, soon?

        • kitten lopez says:

          RD! good morning, Daddy. nah, i’m quitting writing again. it just doesn’t do it for me anymore. it’s a waste of time. so i’ve decided i’m going for all art photos and VISUALS. / i just don’t CARE enough to write well and edit anymore. it took me almost two weeks to write/edit that last weinstein post and as you see here… things just gonna go how they gonna go. and not enough TIME for good writing. writing is the scratchy notes plots and plans now.

          how do i organize something NEW (but ancient) during this disparate gig economy world?

          NOW is the time because independent contractors were getting pay cuts before all this and now they’re not even sure if they get unemployment. / i don’t know. i only know that now is the time to try something new or at least start the conversations.

          so i’m making art in the background and photographing and planning new special secret photo shoots with the trainer girls that’re more like Secret Queen Goddess Trainings with me. /

          i loved that when we did photo shoots before, my girl had NO IDEA she could be step up to the audacity we brought of her on camera. i’m trying to avoid the selfie/insecurity trap and pole vault to the part where women see a more vulnerable playful daring version of their female side.

          it’s all love affair stuff hyper focused and it’s mad powerful bringing out secret powerful amazing sides of another and saying, “look! this is how i see you!”

          speaking of which:

          I’ve got YOURsilver quarter right HERE and just now moved it to my Ganesha alter Basul made and gave me.

          when i have more interesting stories and lessons to share, after actually DOING SOMETHING instead of just fantasizing, plotting and scheming, i’ll write for real.

          stay tight, Daddy. we need you.


    • Wolf Richter says:

      Are you reading this, Ripp: “i survived tshirts” … other people have suggested this too. Noted.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        When I suggested “I survived the pandemic of 2020” tee shirts to Ripp several days ago in the original comment I also suggested “We survived…” I think it would be nice to do his & hers shirts too. A reminder that we’re all in this together.

      • kitten lopez says:

        YOU have to do a cool “i survived virus with WOLFSTREET” version because it’ll clean your short money of bad juju, and this is in lieu of a meet up this summer, BUT people will be so excited to see OTHERS who survived this pandemic with WOLFSTREET.

        it’s deeper and says more than i can/should write here. / it’d make it cheap and ugly.

        but it’s you doing what you did with ME in supporting me as an artist and getting ME going with that shot to our finances.

        it’s INSPIRING as hell, this place. (and listen to Lisa Hooker. that girl has magic ideas and is hella funny.)

        besos, other Daddio!

        on to some ink lettering work for me…


  61. Michael Engel says:

    Ski masks protect from the cold. Ski mask protect from Wuhan 19. Ski masks can replace face masks. Wash every day.
    Dogs socializing can transmit the disease. Dogs can produce corona puppies.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Here’s what I told my late 30s high sierra son yesterday, based on my use of wet hankys against the tear gas in berzerkely in the 60s..
      Go ahead and use the N95 dust masks that are standard in our construction industry today but only, very clearly, specified for dust; and then, over that, just put alcohol, any alcohol, on a hanky and drape over the N95…and just hope you don’t need to use your supply of vodka, etc., but do so if needed for this pest
      Pretty sure that will do the job needed,,, but, as per Wolf’s warning a couple days ago re his ”longs” don’t follow blindly, study thoroughly and make up your own mind

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Yes, N95 masks won’t filter out all the virus particles. However they will reduce the number of particles. Fewer on the inside than the outside. This pandemic is after all a statistics game.

        And please, if you decide to use the hanky trick, don’t use isopropyl or methanol or anything other than ethanol (vodka). No point in poisoning your lungs. I suspect that might result in a bit of a buzz.

  62. Iamafan says:

    Wow. This is 2008 +++++

    The second overnight repo was very funny; only $10.100 billion of the rumored $500b.

    We had the second batch of QE today. Purchase $40.006 billion today only.

    Waiting for the toilet paper facility operational details.

    This week’s h.4.1 repo balance will be sky high, I think we will be pushing around $400b.

    The sky has really fallen. This looks more like a collapse that follows crisis.

  63. Mortadell says:

    Good day Wolf

    Just wanted to add my sincere appreciation for all your good work and insight over the years.
    I noticed that since your face was on Marketwatch recently you’ve picked up quite a few vindictive petty minded individuals here.
    Alas, this is what the world has come down to.
    It’s too bad because
    I’ve always enjoyed the first class commentary and the wide range of erudite articulate people here.
    It’s been a real joy to me.
    You and your long time followers always knew that we all needed each other and your efforts have certainly helped the cause.
    May you live long and prosper.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Agree, and encourage Wolf to continue to use his editing and deleting power to keep this site polite and, at least mostly to the point, as he has done so far, including deleting some of my comments when I get too far off point, with which, after some sober contemplation, I have had no problems.

  64. timbers says:

    The internets say we have to bailout the airlines that spent 96% of their profits on stock buy backs, so the stocks can be happy again and cure the flu.

    I wonder if 96% is correct.

  65. Jeff Relf says:

    Viruses are not the -sole- factor;
    getting high wears down your immune system,
    making you susceptible to deadly viruses.

    • Unamused says:

      It can also make you do things you normally wouldn’t do, like hold down your dinner when you’re on chemotherapy. It can also make you a criminal, simply because it’s still illegal most places.

      While we’re on the subject of money, did you know that Ireland is the richest country in the world because its capital is always Dublin?

      In the interests of our collective health we’ve decided to lock down the world, so please don’t go jiggling the lock on the front gate.

  66. John in a far country says:

    Lots of interesting observations here, I’ve enjoyed the read from all of you as usual. I could put some of the fear that even I’ve been feeling in perspective by telling you about growing up in Alameda during WWII. My dad was exempt because he worked in the fuel industry, but he was a block warden and loaded supplies at night at Encinal Terminal for the troops.
    There was plenty of deprivation then, everything was sent overseas for the war effort, you couldn’t buy any essentials until you had the RATION STAMPS, which the gov’t mailed out, never mind having the money. Food, gasoline and clothing all required those stamps so the troops overseas could be cared for. Alameda was just a little island with a seawall, we had our own little pier and I could sit out there with my dog and watch the seagulls. Now all that is gone, filled with houses built upon bay-fill costing a million $ up. San Francisco was always quiet in those days, it was still the Barbary Coast and unsavory things went on, like shanghaiing, two of my dad’s uncles who disappeared that way when he was a boy. Never heard from again. I was never allowed to run
    loose in the city as a boy, had to stick with an adult at all times. Then there were the black-outs and air-raid drills when everyone was off the streets and block wardens pounded on your door if any lights at all shown on the street. People were scared to death of a follow-up attack upon us by Japan after Pearl Harbor, we were wide open on the bay. And traffic was always light on the bay bridge, because all trucks, buses and trains ran on the lower level leaving the upper level open for cars. Plus there was an extra lane because cars were narrower then. It was a different world.
    But this quarantine and virus will definitely have an impact on the lives
    of those now experiencing it, depending upon how much worse this gets…or better. It’s still unbelievable to me that this is happening, but I woke up in a sweat last night from nightmares I could still remember, and this NEVER happens to me. I pulled the plug on a monitor which watches my heart, thinking that might have caused it. My
    cardiologist will have a fit.
    So Wolf, keep on keeping on, this too shall pass, someday it will be just another memory. Meanwhile, my stawks keep sinking, esp. my Ford stawk! Best to all of you in the Bay Area from South Carolina.
    John in a far country

  67. tommy runner says:

    set up rag and spray bottle water/bleach at home. ball cap, pen, bags, grocery list, hand lotion, mask/gloves in pocket.. for now. at store smile. back home unload on table, wash hands. ​fresh fruit/veg gets wash/ clean bags EVERYTHING else gets solution then table. wash rag/ hands. clothes, shoes, bags, hat patio to air out/ launder till next trip, wash hands. pour a cup, hit the fa’tay, made it thru another day. ‘history shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man.’ ​

  68. fozzie says:

    Yet the Tesla factory in Fremont is still running. Essential?


    • Wolf Richter says:

      Hey, that’s the only automaker California has, and it’s special, as you might have figured out. It gets what it wants in the State and elsewhere.

      • MCH says:

        Not according to the Alameda County Sheriff… it isn’t essential.

        Ouch. First China factory, now Fremont factory, is the Gigafactory next?

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Apparently you are correct, at least per news early this Weds morn, though i will admit i have not looked since approx 330 PT.
        Please let us know how you knew this???
        And, while you’re at it, please tell us to whom the musker thinks he is going to sell the vehicles made during this challenging time?

        thank you, ,, and thanks again for your work!!

    • closed says:

      Tesla ruled ‘not essential’


  69. JimmyQ2u says:

    Good God Wolf your comments have exploded! I should take a survey of bullish and bearish comments here. It would be interesting. Reminds me of the market chaos. I took your suggestion to plow into the TQQQ today;), Just yolking about your advice that is. Sequoia put out a interesting letter recently. One quote stands out and it goes like this… Darwin surmised that it wasn’t the smartest, strongest,but the flexible that survived.

  70. Shawn says:

    I’ve been preparing for nuclear war over the last year or so I’ve been able to stockpile a lot of stuff for the C19 pandemic.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      hey Shawn,
      IMO, nuke war is now at least unlikely due to long term poisons preventing re-use of facilities, etc., by any perp…
      Much more likely, especially in light of this present situation, is that one of the actors, and i really don’t think any nation or group should be excluded from consideration, will come up with something similar to this ”boomer remover” to get rid of all the non working or non workable/controllable population.
      Maybe this is it, but accidentally ”got out” too early.
      Nobody really knows at this point; some folks who likely did know are apparently already dead, from what some Asia news outlets have reported so far.

  71. MCH says:

    So, I hear on the news, that our illustrious governor, the wonderful Gavin, that Newsom is starting to consider not opening schools until Fall.

    Hey jerk off, way to pander to the teacher’s union, and way to dumb down kids. As if our education system wasn’t bad enough already, let’s put in people’s heads that the schools be shut now, before there is proper time to evaluate the situation. Let’s make our kids dumb and keep them dumb. All in the name of “safety.” You know, in places like China, they would just mandate that the missing school time be made up for in the summer. Because in China, people actually value education, where as in California, we apparently just pay it lip service.

    But that’s ok, we need our kids dumb and stupid, so that they can make good servants for their Amazon robot managers. Screw him.


  72. Harvey Cotton says:

    Your media empire may yet overtake CBSViacom’s in total market cap…

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