Reaching First Base AFTER Shelter-In-Place
As we trend towards gaining back the freedoms we surrendered in the name of saving lives and flattening the curve, the slow unwind of sheltering-in-place is beginning:
We are continuing to witness the COVID-19 pandemic re-order virtually every industry in the world, and concurrently, many aspects of our formerly “normal” lifestyles. And as we have adapted to today’s slower lifestyle and “new normal,” we have been reminded of just how important our homes have become – as a safe haven, a de facto schoolhouse, an impromptu remote office, and a warm family nest. However, as much as we have learned (a bit forcibly) to love being at home, and as integral as home has been in this new normal, most of us would agree that being at home this much has gotten a little long-in-the-tooth.
There are many more chapters yet to be written about the COVID-19 crisis, and as much as we love our “warm family nests,” this next chapter in the story is one that we all have been anxiously awaiting – the safe and sturdy return to shared communal life, outside of our homes.
As the dawn of the decline of the shutdown approaches, we are all eager to regain the ability to step outside our homes and see friends and family again, to shop at our favorite stores, to eat at our favorite restaurants, and yes, to trade in our trusty sweat pants for our favorite work attire as we begin to head back to work. But make no mistake about it, what our lives will look like as summer approaches will be markedly different that the way we lived our life in February. A “new normal” is upon us, and being adaptable, and socially, economically, and physically aware, is paramount.
A summary of our views:
- We are all working more hours now than before the COVID-19 outbreak – expect it to continue
- Companies will begin bringing employees back to work over the next two to six weeks, with strategies for doing so being differentiated and customized based on geography and industry
- People are starving for connection, and content, and while we yearn for and need physical connection with each other, the transformation of digital communications and social media has been monumental
- We are optimistic that, as a country, we can and will find the right balance between a compassionate and pragmatic democracy
- Debt, both personal and governmental, will finally become a central economic and political theme
- Public confidence levels are quite low, but the condition will be temporary as we continue to learn about the virus and make irregular progress in defeating it
- Serious concerns surrounding public transportation will lead to a longer timeline for people getting back to work in larger cities
- We are not planning to see even the possibility for a COVID-19 vaccineuntil mid-2021, at the absolute earliest
- If there is a significant resurgence in COVID-19 cases this fall, the fatigue of the situation will be extremely painful and we could retest market lows
- The crisis has been devastating to lower income families, and could cause further longer-term disparity and danger to their well-being
- Expect taxes to increase, regardless of who wins the 2020 presidential election, as our massive stimulus programs need to be paid for
- Crises accelerate trends, and there will be larger moves in businesstowards technology, consolidation, and outsourcing, with less need for real estate
- A New Deal-like infrastructure program will be a central component in additional Federal stimulus borrowing and spending
On a much lighter note, and for anyone who is a fan of Billy Joel (who isn’t?), click HERE (or below) to spend four minutes listening to/watching a VERY entertaining “social distance-sing project” where the Phoenix Chamber Choir performs The Longest Time – the adapted lyrics and instruments are great!
Tragically, some have lost loved ones during this time, and we acknowledge that will change life for them even on the upside of this pandemic. But for most of us, these times of separation will pass and we will be back together, in person, with those we have been missing. And as always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have – the world continues to be an extremely complicated place, and we are here for you.