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— Eye on Everett —

A cold rain is going to fall

By Josh Resnek

There are not too many things that matter more during this time of the pandemic coronavirus than to predict where we will be at this time next week.

No one can predict with any certainty where we will be tomorrow, let alone next week.

Things are moving quickly.

This virus has many moves.

First, it can make some of us sick, and then we make others sick, and then everyone around us gets sick and then the net widens and hundreds come down with it and then thousands and then come the deaths that are a natural part of the pandemic or epidemic or whatever one wishes to call it.

We are inching closer by the hour to a monumental shutdown here in Everett.

It is reasonable to expect this is going to happen when the first cases are reported here.

It is unreasonable to believe there will be no reported cases here.

How many will there be? How bad will this get? What are we all to do?

Stay inside our homes is part of the preventive routine. Don’t mix with people at every opportunity not to.

This means no travel or shopping in places where hundreds of people collide everyday.

How then will we shop at our favorite super markets and how will anyone be able to work as employees of those places when they have become possible death zones?

If we can’t shop, we can’t eat. If we can’t eat we can’t survive. If we can’t work our income dries up. In one way or another every business and even the city will go broke – temporarily if the worst comes to pass.

When Harvard University closed down its Cambridge campus Tuesday afternoon, this was a classic sign of trouble hovering on the horizon.

A friend from Cambridge told of the square – Harvard Square “as empty of people as I’ve ever seen it on a warm day in my life,” he said. If the square is empty of people, the stores in the square are empty of customers, and the employees are furloughed until business comes back and everything just about comes to a screeching, expensive, terrorizing halt.

This will leave most of us working on our computers and trying to carry on with our business lives.

We will be safe in our houses, we have been told to believe.

We will not be safe on cruise ships or airplanes or in airports on in railroad or bus stations or in large restaurants or small restaurants or at church or inside a CVS or a Walmart of Home Depot or at the casino or Costco.

Overnight, Everett can become a ghost town for commercial activity. The place as we know it will come to halt.

And then what happens if many of us come down with the virus while hanging out in our homes?

Then we’re really cooked.

Can you imagine what it will be like schlepping to a hospital or a clinic to be quarantined?

If you enjoy dystopian end of the world movies, the coming of the virus is like the possible end of the world.

We all won’t be turned into zombies but the virus might get a lot of us, ruin the economy, shatter the near term future and depress the price for everything expensive we own, including our homes and condos, our boats and automobiles, our finer watches and jewelry and on and on.

With all the trillions that have already been lost, many companies are on the ropes trying to survive this downturn long enough to get back on their feet.

Peoples’ IRA’s and 401 K’s and Fidelity accounts have all taken a nice plunge, about 20%.

Smaller investors – which means nearly all of us in this city living here or doing business here – tend to sell out sooner and lose more faster as the market heads downward.

The smarter and wealthier among us start buying on the downturn. It’s risky but the risk is worth it when your timing is right. Two-thousand can be turned into a million overnight if you play the market right but that’s a bit like playing the machines at Encore the right way and coming home with bags of money.

How do you play the slot machines the right way?

Only God knows such a thing and he doesn’t give out that information. You probably have a better chance of playing the slots and winning at Encore than betting on the market plunging or rising and trying to cash out on the upward or downward swing.

Mind you, I don’t want to put anyone un-at-ease.

As Tuesday turned to Wednesday, there is no coronavirus here – at least that we are aware of.

The danger, however is lurking.

It is a dark cloud ready to spread over the city and the region.

The only thing we can do is try to stay away from other people and keep away from crowds and social interaction. The rest, quite frankly, is the luck of the draw.

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