The above cartoon which recently appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution drawn by Mike Luckovich really struck a chord with me. A modern day version of the famous Iwo Jima photo from World War II which depicted our heroes from that era raising the flag on the Pacific Island near the end of the war and was a symbol of victory over a foreign enemy.
This cartoon, however, replaces the iconic soldiers with those that are going to lead us to victory in the current war against the COVID-19 virus. It will be the scientists, doctors, nurses and first responders that help us win the battle against this pandemic that has thrown not only the markets and our portfolios, but also our lives into turmoil. These heroes will be putting their health and lives on the line for the foreseeable future to help us overcome this sinister foe. Be sure to give these people your thanks if you see them just as you would for our veterans that have come back from wars.
Obviously, this is a very dark time for the whole world, as the coronavirus rages on. We hope now that it is being taken seriously by most people and we all do our parts to help try to contain it, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But we are in for a tough few months, there really are no ways around that, as most of us are hunkered down probably getting the most incredible case of cabin fever we will ever get. A lot of people will be worried about their jobs, their families, their own well-being, but, we can make it through all this if we all step up to help each other.
If you have the resources and ability to help others please do so. If you can support your local, small businesses please do. If you can help your friend or neighbor in need, please do. If you can do something for the front line heroes, please do so. We do not yet know what kind of assistance will be provided by the government as we know that the bailouts have tended to favor the banks and large corporations in the past. Let’s hope the bailouts and assistance make it to the people that really need it. The employees of your favorite local bar or restaurant, your local hardware store, small manufacturers and all the small business owners that employ these hard workers. Take a look at this chart below of the year over year change in restaurant diners in certain cities and the U.S. as a whole, it is just mind-blowing:
I don’t really have a lot to add on the status of the markets other than until we get some positive clarity, things will likely continue to be very volatile for all types of assets. But once there is some positive news that starts trickling in, things could rebound mighty quickly. We all know how crazy it has been lately, so I won’t rehash more charts to show that, we are all living it.
Please continue to take care of yourselves, get enough sleep, take all the precautions you can against the virus, exercise, laugh, spend time with family and do things to get your mind off all the negative news out there. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to get reliable information about COVID-19, please go to this link from the CDC. Really good information without all the mis-information you may find on social media.
Stay Safe and Healthy.