By the time the Wuhan flu, coronavirus (COVID-19) has run its course, what can we expect from the fall-out? Hopefully, we will learn from this episode and make changes to address future epidemics, and believe me, this will not be the end of it as the media has discovered such disasters are bigger business than mere politics. What can we expect though from this episode and what awaits us in the months ahead?
First, this will be on everyone’s mind as we head to the voting booths in November. As of now, President Trump has been getting favorable poll ratings for his handling of the problem, so this shouldn’t effect him in a negative way. However, the key will be to see how the economy bounces back. It will undoubtedly take a dip in the Spring, but when the panic is over and life begins to return to normal, will another bull market emerge? If not, this could present a serious problem for the Republicans. As of now, the American public doesn’t blame President Trump for the declining stock markets, but when this is over, they will want to see it come roaring back.
Now that stocks are down, shrewd investors will be picking up some bargain stocks and making a killing. Transportations may be slow to rebound, but others should come back faster, such as electronics and food related companies. One of the biggest surprises during the panic was our attachment to paper products. Who would have thought toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues would be so much in demand? Companies such as Scott Paper, Kimberly-Clark, and Procter & Gamble should be sitting pretty following the panic.
Likewise, pharmacies have taken a noticeable upturn and will continue to grow.
Supply chains will need to be re-evaluated and improved in order to prevent another product shortage in the future. Freight truck sales are booming and will continue to do so to help in this regard. Freight trains should also do well.
People have learned the need for maintaining emergency supplies on hand. Look for increased sales in refrigerators and freezers to accommodate this. Shelving, storage and security items should also do well.
The service industry should prosper substantially; “Sit down” restaurants will eventually recover but there will be an explosion in “To Go” ordering, something people have become used to during the panic and has altered our eating habits. Look for a revolution in home delivery. Walmart, Amazon, and the major Supermarkets have been moving in this direction for a long time, but the panic clearly demonstrated its viability.
The tobacco industry will take a hit as we were once again reminded of the ill-effects of tobacco. Not surprising, liquor sales held strong as people got together in impromptu groups and enjoyed libations to pass the time of day.
As much as we hate the politically correct expression, “Social Distancing,” it will become a part of life from now on as it has become a habit. There will be fewer handshakes and hugs, people will keep their distance, and there will still be fewer group activities, including nonprofits and church meetings. Also watch for surgical masks to become more commonplace, as well as the re-introduction of gloves at group events.
Perhaps the most noticeable coming attraction will be a baby boom in December. As people went into hibernation during the panic, as requested by government, they had to find ways to entertain themselves. Hence, we are on the verge of a major baby boom, the likes of which will make the old New York blackouts seem pale by comparison. Inevitably, even more paper products will be needed to accommodate the influx of infants.
Should there be another virus like this, it is hoped we will be better prepared. Personally, I would like to see someone take the news media to task, but this will likely never happen. And I certainly hope a panic such as this never happens again during an election year. This was too much of a coincidence for my liking.
By the way, Rod Serling couldn’t have written a better script than what the coronavirus politicians and media did.
Keep the Faith!
P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!
EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.