The big story continues to be the coronavirus, the wild reactions to it by the sports, entertainment and business industries, or the lack thereof by the powers that be and many of their supporters.
Talk shows and sporting events in front of empty houses. The NBA suspending the league for the foreseeable future. Stores cleaned out of TP and supplies.
Obviously, the cancellation of sports is heartbreaking and disappointing, but the biggest effect (beyond the health implications, of course) is the volatility that has been introduced into the markets. We officially entered into a bear market Wednesday, when the market ended the day 20 percent down from its February high, and according to the Wall Street Journal, ended the longest-ever bull market in history. As I write this, trading is halted for the second time this week by an automatic safety valve.
Like crisis often do, we are united in our response. Riiiiiiight. Sadly, the days of working together toward a common enemy are in the past. Today’s responses are largely based on where you fall on the political spectrum.
Either the Administration is inept in its response or coronavirus is a scam developed to take down the president.
The enemy in the latter case? The media, of course.
OK, you got me. I have spent the last few weeks with my fellow journalists devising a false crisis to tear down civilization. The fact that you all can’t seem to stop buying toilet paper is the icing on the cake.
In all seriousness, the impact our nation is something we haven’t seen in a century, as far as a health crisis is concerned. The wide-ranging effects on business and the yet-to-be-seen health impact will likely make this the “make-or-break” moment of the Trump presidency. So far, the government has come out flat-footed in its response. With several weeks of lead time, little was done to prepare.
That’s water under the bridge. What is needed now is leadership. Clear, truthful information coming out of the government. If Mr. Trump can step up to the plate in such fashion, handle the crisis, let the experts lead and refrain from opportunism, it could well punch his ticket to a second term. Is he capable of doing that?
Meanwhile, life goes on, so far as campaign 2020 is concerned. Bernie’scampaign is on life-support after Joe Biden came out smiling at the end of “Not-so-Super” Tuesday, including a shellacking in Michigan, a state Bernie took in 2016. Bernie, however, reminded us he is not a Democrat, but rather an Independent using the Democratic apparatus, by not suspending his campaign and consolidating behind the presumptive nominee.
Instead, Joe will still get to “Feel the Bern” in a debate Sunday (not in front of a live studio audience). I’m guessing the President will be taking notes and Tweeting commentary. As we used to say on the playing field, there is no team in Bern.
How much easier it would be were this Russia, where Vlad basically was just assured power for life. Yes, folks, that’s right. Our “friend,” ex-KGB agent and anti-West authoritarian was granted two more terms by Russian parliament. That’s up for a nationwide vote, but I’m sure we all know how that will go. The opposition sees it as an internal coup. Regardless, the Russian constitution would be far more valuable here in the states — we need more TP.
Continuing on “UnAmerican” topics, the Wall Street Journal has a fascinating story about the resurgence of artificial turf on major league baseball. Turns out studies are showing it to be safer than trying to grow grass that dies in hot, dry climates. Now, artificial turf has come a long way from the plastic grass carpets we remember from the cookie-cutter multi-purpose stadiums we remember from our youth, but the purest in me died a little. Sorry, Crash Davis.
A lot of hard, disappointing news today, so let’s wrap up with something fun: Coronavirus? Phooey. That didn’t stop thousands in France from setting the world record for largest Smurf gathering.
I can’t add anything to that. Revel in its Smurfiness.
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