None of us wanted this, but it’s here.
Currently, people are making the best of it. I wonder how long that’ll last.
Thankfully here in Missoula, we’re still allowed to leave our homes. We still have our First Amendment rights, which have been stripped from the sorry people of California and New York.
No lawsuits have been filed over this taking of our rights; no righteous citizens have stood up to complain. The ACLU doesn’t give a shit.
So we have our new normal, living in a country that used to be America but which now resembles more of a fascist or autocratic state.
Friday rolled around on us yesterday, the weekend.
We made it through the first week of no school - just seven more to go, though here in Montana it’s supposed to be just one (yeah...right - who believes that BS?)
I decided to take my stir-crazy 8-year-old son to hike up to the M. The trail was packed with people. I saw a few fellow service industry workers that’d been laid-off. We chuckled that we couldn’t remember the last time we’d had a Friday off.
I mentioned, “Enjoy it. Hopefully it doesn’t last long.”
We gave a dry laugh, knowing it’d last a lot longer than any of us wanted, than any of us could manage.
Most chose to go up the front of the M, but my son and I chose the rockier side-path. Lots of parents out with kids. At the top, many small groups clustered together. There were definitely more than ten total people gathered together at the top.
I wonder what the CDC would think.
As we left the M, I headed downtown to the bar I work at. I wanted to pick up my paycheck.
I got there and the bar was open, mainly in an effort to sell bottles of wine, six-packs of beer, and some packaged liquor.
No one was in the place and everything five feet past the front door was blocked-off by bar stools.
There was absolutely no one parked on a whole city block of downtown in front of that business, whereas on a typical Friday you’d have trouble finding a spot.
The Missoula County Commissioners, together with the County Health Department, destroyed the city’s economy.
This was Ellen Leahy, Josh Slotnick, Dave Strohmaier, and Juanita Vero. Just four people destroyed countless small businesses while ruining who-knows-how-many lives.
Just four people.
And as if things weren’t bad enough for businesses like this, the City of Missoula is actually driving away what customers downtown restaurants can get by ticketing the few patrons that rush from their car inside and then back out to get take-out.
This shouldn’t surprise us - the City of Missoula has always been desperate for money, and they’re gonna get a lot more desperate.
The state’s income tax revenue is going to go way down this year, and I wonder if PILT funds might be affected as well. Who knows what’ll happen with property tax revenue, which the city and county rely on. Any talk of a sales tax is now dead, as people and businesses simply couldn’t absorb that additional shock to the economy.
The city is going to lose money and they’ll have to raise taxes and levy more bonds because of this. The city will go even deeper into debt. Housing prices will go up further, just as inflation kicks in due to the unbridled printing of money that the Fed is about to embark upon.
Yep...it was Friday yesterday, and for those still working, it was probably a day to kick the shoes off and relax once the ol’ 5 o’clock rolled around.
Alas...where are you supposed to do that?
The restaurants are closed. The bars are shuttered. The gyms will turn you away.
But you can always go to the store!
I headed to Walmart last night, to embark upon the new American pastime - hunting for toilet paper.
As usual, they were out. They did have a 3-pack of Puffs facial tissue for $5, however, so I picked that up.
I noticed a lot of younger people at the store, many picking up beer. I supposed house parties will become big again for the ‘over-21-crowd’ as they realize they can only drink at home or a friend's house. I suspect we’ll see many drinking parties exceed the 10-person CDC limit.
They sure exceed that limit at Walmart.
It’s interesting that we’re shutting down the schools and the restaurants to save people from this virus, but we’ll keep the stores open so people can catch it there.
Modern medicine at work.
The ‘beans’ aisle at Walmart was still wiped out. No canned food to speak of. There were at least three or four associates in the aisle with huge carts restocking it. As I left the store, a large truck was coming in to drop off new stock.
As I was heading home I decided to stop at McDonalds’ to get a hamburger for myself and son.
There were about six people ahead of me in the drive-thru. The KFC drive-thru next door had about ten people in line.
Fast food must be doing pretty well right now, as people that normally would have gone to a restaurant choose fast food instead, as it’s easy and quicker than restaurant carry-out.
We know that Dominoes Pizza is hiring a lot more workers, while Walmart is doing the same.
It was the first Friday night I hadn’t worked in over two years last night.
Thank God I have a lot of cheap-but-entertaining computer games to play to keep me busy and to keep me from spending money.
I suspect a lot more of my peers in the service industry are drinking more, smoking more pot than usual, and generally sitting around feeling sorry for themselves.
This idea that it’s a vacation will wear off pretty quickly, especially for the poor saps that didn’t have any money saved up.
Wish I could have worked. In six hours I would have made $100 in tips plus another $50 in wages.
Before work I would have picked up a bite to eat at one of our restaurants. I would have grabbed some beer and snacks at the gas station.
I did none of those things. Even the businesses that are open are going to see their revenue drop as people spend less in these uncertain times.
Coronavirus has changed this country and it has changed the way we live our lives.
None of us wanted this.
None of us.