February 2020 Wrap-Up
The February 2020 wrap-up has been difficult to start. Perhaps a bit of writer’s block. Certainly not from a lack of things to share. Both personal life and world news have been difficult to process. So at times like these, I keep busy.
The Peanut Experiment
Regular readers know of my latest garden experiment; starting peanut plants. Others can click here to read about it. The sprouting has begun-with a bit of a surprise. The first to pop out was from an un-soaked good seed. I certainly was excited even though it is a bit straggly. Then the second start, which was from a good soaked seed, put it to shame. Lots of tender green leafy parts. Much healthier looking.
I am anxious for more to sprout. In the meantime, I put out the first two rows of onion sets, two weeks apart. I have also planted a variety of cold hardy greens.
Hobby Room Update
The baby quilt is coming along. The first side is almost complete. But the borders have not even been cut out. A tune-up to my decades old machine has allowed me to embroider the birth information on various blocks.
So far no new painting has been started. Perhaps in March. While quilting soothes my soul, I am best at painting when things are calm. February events called for soothing and nurturing.
Economic Impact of COVID-19
In February 2020, the stock market finally took notice of the corona virus, now officially named COVID-19. The last week in February brought back memories of the 2008 financial meltdown. But the causes are so disparate, I am not expecting a similar V shaped curve. I hope I am wrong.
These are my thoughts-my opinions. The supply shock we see in various parts of the world is not equal to the cleansing of the derivatives market. February 2020 saw a complete halt to manufacturing in parts of China. Toward the end of the month, the disruption to production extended to other countries.
Even those countries which may somehow escape similar lost productivity from the virus will be impacted. We live in an interconnected world. The vast majority of the world’s population has access to goods originating in foreign countries. At the very least, the supply lines will hiccup.
But a supply shock is just one half of the equation.
Delayed Consumption or Lost Forever?
There are two parts to the break in the consumption chain. First, consider delayed purchases. For example, if I want to buy a specific item only made by one of the countries already hit hard– so hard the goods aren’t shipping out—I would just need patience. Sometime down the road shipments will re-start. Then I would buy, a delay but not a loss.
Another key part of the transportation component is tied up in the shipping itself. Shipping containers need product in them to make money. Thus companies don’t want containers to move empty. This holds true whether cargo is on a ship, plane, train or truck. If the containers are stuck on one side of the ocean (or continent) goods sit idle on the opposite shore. The end result is chaotic. Eventually the delivery of goods will occur.
But some consumption will be lost forever. For example, if I usually travel to Kentucky twice a year and I stay home this spring, the consumption will not likely be recouped. The potential earnings to motels, airlines and restaurants are lost forever. This applies to major sporting events as well as concerts, business meetings and once in a lifetime vacations.
Human Cost of Covid-19
The human cost from the virus cannot be equated to a price tag. Death cannot be undone. Life is precious.
Since my country is just now experiencing the virus, I do not have first- hand knowledge of any significant health concerns of those who survive. There has been limited information about the recovered patients. Can they go back to work right away? Are there lasting complications? Are the reports of second infections correct? Just a few of my many concerns
I worry about my family members that fall into the high risk categories. Naturally, my hope is that we all come through unscathed. Time will tell.
R.I.P. Uncle Rick
February 2020 marked the loss of my Dad’s older brother. I am grateful my Dad finished his radiation treatment for male breast cancer in mid-February. As told in a previous post, he drove up to see his brother the following day. I was fortunate to talk with Uncle Rick at that time. I cherish the memories.
Both brothers played college ball. While my Dad excelled at football, Uncle Rick was a stellar basketball player. He set many records at his state university. It helps to be tall. And quick.
I have a black and white photo of my oldest playing basketball. The resemblance to my uncle is uncanny. My kids loved their “Great” Uncle Rick. We miss him. Rest in Peace.