Chances are good I’ll be out of work by the end of the day.
The Missoula County Health Department has admitted that new restrictions will be put in place sometime this week, and I suspect that’ll be today.
If not, it’ll be tomorrow or the next day.
Either way, I’m positive I won’t be going to work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights like I have been since I was allowed to return to work near the end of June.
I was laid-off for 101 days, and now I’ve been back for about 125 days. I have no idea how long the county’s new restrictions will be in place, or even what they’ll look like.
But this is I what I expect:
- Gyms will close
- Hair salons will close
- Massage places and spas will close
- Restaurants will be forced to have around 25 people or so
- Bars will be forced to 25 or so people, with just table service and likely reduced hours
Sometime this week, those regulations will go into effect.
Our Health Department is scared. They’re at their wits end, and they’re feeling overwhelmed, understaffed, and quite ineffective.
Despite that, every person working there will keep their taxpayer-funded job with full benefits, and likely overtime with all their contact tracing.
Meanwhile I’ll lose my job, and chances are good it won’t be coming back this time. On top of this, there’s no $600 a week from the feds anymore like we had months ago. I’ll be making $150 a week in state unemployment, for $600 a month. That’ll cover half the rent.
I don’t know how long the new restrictions will be in place, but I suspect until the end of the year.
As I’ve already mentioned, even when Gianforte gets into office in January, it’s the counties that set the health rules, and our county will try to spite Gianforte for winning. Science doesn’t have anything to do with it.
The only silver lining to this all is how much the city and county are shooting themselves in the foot, and how this’ll lead to substantive change in the future.
Finances are the big one. You wouldn’t have the university and the city talking about joining resources if either was in good shape financially.
They were in bad shape before the pandemic; now they’re in terrible shape.
In two months, the legislature will start, but also around that time we’ll begin to speculate on who’ll be running for mayor and city council next year.
I really do not think it’ll be Engen. He knows what’s coming, and anyone in the mayor’s office over the next few years will be blamed for everything. That’s not the parting legacy that Engen wants (though it is the one he deserves).
I don’t think Missoula will become any more conservative over the next municipal election, but I do suspect the next mayor will only serve one term.
The city’s debt load is too high, and taxes are going to go down, and the city is going to be in a helluva bind. The county isn’t much different.
Missoula might see some real change by the time the 2025 election rolls around. It’s gonna be four incredibly rough years before that, however.
And then we have the coming shit-show that’ll last for weeks.
This post from mid-October gives 7 predictions about what’s going to happen after election day.
Here’s a good graphic of the post-election timeline:
As you can see...there’s a lot for people to get ‘up in arms’ about for weeks on end until we get to the inauguration.
There’s likely to be lawsuits, and of course we’ll have the rioting and looting and burning of cities begin again, probably right around the time the polls close.
16 million Americans don’t want to live in those cities anymore.
That’s how many have moved since the pandemic, with most leaving New York and heading to Texas.
It’s the largest diaspora since Reconstruction.
Despite the upcoming shutdowns here in Missoula, much of the rest of the country is actually in worse shape. Most are blue states. Go figure.