What To Expect Next Year


I don't need a crystal ball to see what's coming next year. Coronavirus will still be with us. That means more masks and less family get-togethers. 

I'm tired of seeing people in masks. I will immediately turn off any tv show that uses cornonavirus as an episode plot. 

Enough already. That's not entertainment.

Part of the problem with this virus is the media. There's a lot of junk science out there and the media devours every tiny sensational side effect to orchestrate a headline. I miss the old days when journalists were real investigators. I spend so much time researching the actual truth it makes me feel like I'm doing their jobs.

For myself, I stay home more. Not for safety's sake, but because I'm tired of being corralled and counted like a cow going to slaughter at every store and office. 

The good news besides (or despite) the new vaccine, coronavirus should be gone or greatly dissipated by winter 2021. 

I find it strangely ironic that the Spanish flu lasted about two years without a vaccine. How is it coronavirus will stick around for two years even with a vaccine?

There are only two major differences between these viruses. The Spanish flu was most fatal to young people as opposed to coronavirus which is more lethal for old people. The Spanish flu also killed far more people worldwide than coronavirus, despite people from both eras wearing masks. 

Since last I checked, coronavirus killed either directly or indirectly 1.76 million globally. Spanish flu is estimated to have killed 500 million. 

I stopped worrying about coronavirus many months ago. I don't care whether people wear masks or not. I wear one when I'm indoors around people. But more importantly, I wash (or sanitize) my hands constantly and disinfect any new object coming into my home unless I don't plan to touch it again for a few days. In the end, it's what YOU do to protect yourself.

Economy: In my crystal ball, I don't have a good feeling about the economy. How hard this is going to bite us has yet to be seen. There should definitely be a sharp stock market correction in 2021, which could mean another recession. 

I hope to God it won't be as bad as the 18 month recession we suffered during 2008-2009. That one set us back years, but luckily we were still working. We're retired now, so a long recession scares the bejeebers out of me. A 6 month recession is perfectly normal and expected. 18 months of continuous recession can wipe out years of savings. It took us 4 years to recover what we lost. That hurt.

Home Front: Since we'll still be in pandemic mode, I think more people will continue the trend to garden more. I am STILL having trouble finding the "good" seeds. 😭 

If you garden, don't wait. Buy your stash as soon as you see what you need is available. Trade seeds with neighbors. Seedlings were already sky high this year. I expect them to be ridiculously higher next year.

I don't foresee another run on consumables like toilet paper and alcohol in 2021. Most everyone should have a small stockpile by now. 

I'm hoping even after this virus finishes its run that stores and restaurants will continue to disinfect as thoroughly as they did during the outbreak. As my husband so sagely pointed out: Why weren't they being this sanitary all along especially at places where we eat?

Eating and Shopping: People will continue to cook more and order out. We've dined out a few times and I gotta say, it's uncomfortable. Eating out is no longer the escapist enjoyment it used to be. We eat out less, but we tip more when we do eat out. I feel sorry for the wait staff. Whenever possible we try to eat at local establishments rather than the big corporate restaurants.

Shopping is continuing its online life. It was headed that way anyway before the pandemic. Now it's fully hardwired into our shopping process. For the most part, I prefer it, but I draw the line at groceries. I'm very particular about thumping my own melons. 

Entertainment: Going to the movies is going bye-bye. Already a few film companies are saying they'll skip the theaters and stream directly. To be honest, I won't miss theaters much. We have a giant 4k tv, a Bose sound system, and no kids to make a racket. We do have moochie dogs though so popcorn does get pilfered occasionally. 

Travel: There's another industry that's hurting. Airlines should recover quickly because people still need to reach destinations within hours, but cruise ship lines will start to collapse. Only the largest will make it if they can hold out another year. 

In the end, it's all about lasting one more year. I expected it since the Spanish Flu lasted only two years. I was a little surprised that coronavirus is going to take just as long despite all our medical advances. I have my suspicions on why. 

But what's done is done and there's no going back. I am sick of government and sick of experts with political agendas. And don't kid yourself, they all have political agendas. Together they've made a mess of things. 

It's not just the US either, but all over the world. In an era when information is a click away, we were more disorganized than the poor schmoes who had to deal with the Spanish Flu.

So here's my advice for 2021. Suck it up for one more year. 

2021 won't be as hard as 2020 because more of our resources are in place as is infrastructure. Be responsible for yourself and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. 

We've been through the worst. Now we have to pick up the pieces.

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Maria Narkis said…
I'm terrified of a recession as well...we're heading toward retirement and to watch a big chunk of our investments disappear will be horrifying. The economy has been in SUCH a boom the past few years, so ... yeah. I agree with your crystal ball on that.

We had a mini-run on toilet paper here about a month ago. And I absolutely blame the media--who said people were stocking up on it. When they SAID it, there was plenty on the shelves, but within a few days of their "report" it was gone.

I also agree on the media and "truth" in reporting. Simple truth: everyone has an agenda. And IMHO the massive amount of drama about Covid-19 was largely political. But it is what it is. We have to live in whatever reality is created for us.

Me? I have zero fear. I'm very much a fatalist and when my time is up, it's up. I'm not stupid, but yanno, I washed my hands before it was cool. We still eat out regularly--I take my mom at least once a week. We go shopping IRL. Go to the movies (not that there is much out there, but we go see something as often as possible...today is Wonder Woman 84). I wear a mask because it's mandated, not because I actually think it helps. But I'm not fighting that fight in public, because it's the hapless business employees who take the brunt of it, and having seen my kid come home from work daily, in tears, from being yelled at... yeah, I'll do my part to help the sanity of the folks out there working.

I absolutely believe this has been a massive overreaction (and I know I'll get blowback for that). The lockdowns are absurd. Some precautions were sensible (and like Greg, I do hope the level of cleanliness in public spaces stays in place following this). I know people who've had Covid-19, some severely, some mildly, some completely asymptomatic. I know people who have died from (or with) it. I have high risk people in my family, including my 87 y.o. mother, who still goes out when she can. But I've seen her health (mental and physical) decline MASSIVELY this year. I've watched good, honest, hard-working people lose their businesses. I've had people near me commit suicide because they can't take the stress, isolation and general anger/hate that's around everywhere anymore.

I'm ready for a day when there's a return to normalcy--at least as much as can be. No more masks, or one way shopping aisles, or limited occupancy. I miss seeing smiling faces and happiness. I miss the basic joy in living that used to be. No one is happy anymore and that's heart-breaking.

I'll end my novel now, but here's to 2021...may it be a better year. I have my doubts it will be, but I have to also have hope. Because without that, there is only rock bottom.
Maria Zannini said…
Maria: Beautifully said.

I agree that coronavirus has been blown way out of proportion. All because people wanted to jockey for position and gain some little bit of power.

Common sense. That's all we needed. Instead all we got was hysteria.

Mike Keyton said…
‘Thumping my own melons’ ah, a good night in Texas, yee-haw�� seriously, I hope you don’t suffer too much economically, If your gloom is well founded, you can be thankful at least your not living in a city, where things might be uglier. One thing over here may be the death of
Inner city shopping with the acceleration of online. You wonder if a lot of these will be turned into rateable housing /apartments. Reminds you of the Chinese curse, ‘May you live in interesting times’
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: We have it good compared to those who live in the city. If push comes to shove we can last a lot longer with a lot less. I just don't want it to come to that. :o)

The housing boom is huge around us. There are developers building vast tracts of new housing. More people, more businesses. Methinks we might have to leave our country home if the suburbanites get too close. Fortunately, we're still at least 10 miles from them.
Unknown said…
Hi Maria :-) Mike K. said I might enjoy your blog--I do. I'm an Aussie, living in a small island state (Tasmania) which, believe it or not, often gets left off the map and sometimes is not mentioned in national weather updates. Live on 5 acres, semi-retired--we have an online business selling wholesale organic teas, and tea on Amazon. I write.
I garden, a lot. Pretty much self-sufficient when it comes to veggies at least most of the year. We have very spoiled steers, chickens, two lazy cats and a dog that is meant to be good at herding, but gets it really wrong sometimes... Getting a new pup in a few weeks. I've had goats...
Looking forward to reading on.
Unknown said…
Oh, 'good seeds'. Our state is very diverse. We're now looking at getting seeds from locals (very local--neighbours--farmers mostly, who sometimes think we're a bit odd, lol.) And I'm letting quite a few plants go to seed, because I've found the plants tend to adapt to the local conditions--soil, temperature, etc., and the next 'version' is stronger and better suited--even less attacks from our resident pest insects, etc. Still very much experimenting with that. And there's the problem with self-seeding, of not having a neat garden where everything is all laid out perfectly. They tend to travel. But, the plants are stronger and better suited to our particular climate.
Maria Zannini said…

I'm absolutely delighted to have met you! It's hard to find people like "us". We're definitely a breed apart.

I, too have a herding dog who's not very good at herding. One of the goats butted her badly, chipping a bone in her hip when she was young. She lost her desire to herd after that.

Good call letting your plants go to seed. I always have to make the hard decision on which squash and other melons to grow close to each other. If I can't grow them in different seasons, I can't save seed because they always cross pollinate. It's a pain, but I'll have to do it this year since some seed are getting hard to find.

Please drop in again (with your name) and a blog link if you have one. I'm thrilled to have met a kindred spirit.
Robyn Wescombe said…
Lol, Maria, IDK why I'm 'unknown'... Robyn Wescombe. On Facebook, Instagram and have a blog that is mainly about writing and seriously in need of updating.

I'll look into the unknown thing. Until then, it's probably me.

Cheers, Robyn

(OK, think I got the unknown thing figured.)
Maria Zannini said…
Nice to meet you, Robyn! I'm not on Instagram, but I'll go find you on FB.