More on the New America

How will the pandemic shape our country?

Yesterday I put forward some ideas.

Already mentioned is that big cities will change or lose population as close proximity breeds infection and small, cramped quarters means most cannot stockpile anything for more than a day. We already see how that turns out when our supply chain is disrupted.

The blog AccordingtoHoyt has a few more in an article entitled “The Shape of the Future.” One of them is that mayors and city councils, plus police chiefs will use a crisis like this for a power grab. Our own city is experiencing this with Mayor Strickland ordering shelter in place and now suggesting that services will be lagging. At least he hasn’t gone like San Francisco and Los Angeles where mayors threaten to turn off utilities and water to those who don’t comply.

Or like Cincinnati and Philadelphia police suspend response to burglary, theft and assault.

Kansas City residents have been told to snitch on any neighbors not complying with stay at home rules.
Michigan and Nevada governors have banned the prescribing of hydroxychloriquine for patients. In some states, governors have tried to shut down gun sales. That is achieving one of the Left’s most ardent wishes – ending the Second Amendment.
Most of these officials are Democrats and they are all too eager to take power.

Hoyt also points out that the press should be completely distrusted after this latest episode. How far can you fall when you’ve already hit rock bottom?

She also notes, “Things that will not come back, not even if you want them to: Comic bookshops, bookstores, recreational conventions and even to some extent business gatherings in other cities.
There will be some… I think it does something important. But who knows. Anyway, in the secondary effects from that, I think that paper books will basically go by the way side as a separate commodity. Those who want them CAN get them from Amazon. This means that traditional publishers just lost their advantage over indies.”

I concur.

Online shopping will increase. Who hasn’t relied on Amazon at least several times to get items to get through this shut down? Even though most of us detest Jeff Bezos, there is not yet an alternative.

The blogger feels that “Weirdly I really don’t think restaurants will be affected IN THE LONG RUN. Sure, you’re going to see a lot more pick up and delivery. They were already trending that way. But people eat together with friends and acquaintances. It’s a behavior as old as time.”

One plus I hope increases in this crisis is more restaurant home delivery. There are many restaurants that are too noisy, too loud for conversations. The times when food has been delivered to my door have been very satisfactory. You can provide your own drinks – alcoholic or not – which is always a big portion of a bill. There is no worry about driving home after dinner either, should the driver have over imbibed.

Movie theaters will have to adjust, too. Perhaps there will be fewer of them. Interestingly, Malco has announced they will deliver five pounds of their popcorn to your home. Maybe they sense home viewing parties are a wave of the future.

Photographers have adapted, too. In Memphis one of them has started taking pictures of families in their home. You get in your window, she comes by, snaps it and you have a memory of the times. In the slack time, this person has found a way to prosper.

The author points out that how we work will change. Many younger people are happily working from home. My daughter and son-in-law have been doing it for weeks. It saves her more than two hours a day in commute, plus the gas cost. Seems to be working out well.
As a corollary, Hoyt believes that more and more people who marry will be in the same kind of job interest. Makes sense.

Working from home in some instances can also mean moving away from expensive metropolitan areas. If you ever watch HGTV, you might have seen the show Home Town, in which two residents of Laurel, Mississippi, take houses and remake them all for about $100,000. That won’t buy you a closet in New York or D.C. Smart young people will decide they’d rather own a three bedroom house in a quiet neighborhood than never get beyond renting in an urban one.

The same change in work habits will hit education. It needs it. Traditional schools with their high cost of maintenance, outdated system of summer vacation and endless money requests is due for a kick. We are not seeing a return on investments. Surely some places will be open to teaching in small groups at home via the computer. Could it be worse than the results we have now?

Hoyt concludes:

There will be other things. Some of them trivial. I think wearing masks inn public is going to be as much a thing here as in Japan. Partly because of the remembered shock of this month. Partly because I’ll be honest my kids’ generation always thought they were cool, since they grew up with anime.
And there will be things we can’t even imagine (the bane of SF writers everywhere) which come from this month.
I expect the reverberations of it to work themselves through every aspect of our life, from trivial to profound for the rest of my life, even if we recover enough for me to have another 30 to 40 years ahead of me.
Keep in mind the shape of the future and work towards making it better and more individual.
On the way there, expect us to have serious challenges and an attempt to completely dismantle the republic (like we never had those before. I do however expect this one to come in the next couple of weeks and be in-your-face-blatant. I hope I’m wrong. If I’m right cross my palm with silver. Or send me $5.)

If we survive, though, there is a bright, beckoning future. For us, for America, for all we hold dear.

Go work.

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