Two weeks into an economic disaster to change our lives

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A Broadway store stocking up. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Everett very quiet; streets still busy

By Josh Resnek


For the second Tuesday in a row, I rode around the city checking out its temperature during this, a not so pleasant journey down a rocky road to a new place in our lives.

Everett was quiet, closed down, really Tuesday – the tenth day of the state of emergency and uncertainty we are all living through.

The city was not deserted. Not at all.

Streets crowded with automobile traffic here and there in the morning. A few people crossed the streets leading into the city’s squares. Inside or outside, there were no crowds to be found. It was a bit overcast, about 50.

But for the near complete closure of the American economy during the past ten days, it might have been just another day in paradise, American Paradise, club America, club Everett or whatever name you might give as an assignation to our self-indulgent, rather easy lives.

Nothing like an epidemic to shake up how we think and to change our shorter term views about the future.

Many people are walking around. Kids riding bicycles weave in and out from the street to the sidewalk. Cars line Broadway but not like slow moving traffic. They move along nicely. People are moving about, going into and out of stores of all kinds considered essential.

Is this how we are to treat an epidemic?

I’m not sure that’s a good idea. The more everyone mixes it up, the worse the epidemic will be.

The governor’s new emergency order goes into effect as I am driving down Broadway and cruising through Everett Square.

Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open and personal errands for food and medicine are allowed.

I cruise Broadway in my car.

I stop in front of Everett City Hall on Tuesday shortly before noon. All the spaces in front of city hall are available.

Getting around the city hasn’t been this easy or convenient in years.

City hall is closed. It is locked up. Plenty of public notices and announcements are taped to the door windows.

Will city hall open next week or will it remain closed another two weeks?

Will the public schools re-open or are they closed for the year? Hard to say, isn’t it?

The casino is closed.

Mike’s Roast Beef is open. Definitely an essential industry.

McDonalds is open but only for take-out.

From the Santilli Circle end of Broadway to the Dunkin Donuts in North Everett, nearly every corner store and variety on both sides of the street are operating with people walking in and out.

Need a Scratch Ticket or two? There are plenty of stores to choose from.

Perhaps a dozen food serving venues remain open as well but only for takeout.

Construction sites are active. Construction workers cram the various sites.

People are coming and going all over the city.

I think about that: “Isn’t this supposed to be an epidemic?”

How can so many people be so cavalier coming out of their homes and mixing it up with one another?

Don’t they know they can catch the virus or give it to someone else?

I wonder about the news clips from Florida showing the beaches packed with kids partying. I’ve been hiding out inside my home trying not to have anyone breath on me or me on them for days. California videos are the same showing thousands at the beach as though the epidemic doesn’t exist.

I turn right at Glendale Square.

Walgreens is busy. The parking lot is crowded.

Dunkin Donuts is open the bank is closed.

The liquor store is open. All liquor stores in the city are open. Glendale Park is empty. All the parks have been closed.

At Everett High School, four Everett police officers watch over a half dozen cafeteria employees passing out lunches. A steady stream of cars drive up. Drivers roll down their passenger side windows. The cafeteria employees hand premade lunches to them for their children.

They drive off into the day.

I drive down Ferry Street to Chelsea Street down to the red light where it intersects with the highway.

Ho Win Palace and Kentucky Fried Chicken have been reduced to take-out only.

Anyone buying a car last week or this week or next week.

Forget it.

Even our local banks have closed their doors.

Driving by the new Pioneer apartment complex with hundreds of units, I wonder: how are all those younger people going to pay their rent if they’ve ben laid off?

The I rethink that – will anyone living there be able to pay their rent?

It is impossible to know what history has in store for us before it happens.

Throughout the annals of time, events of a similar nature take place over and over again.

Some historians believe all of history, every event big or small is idiosyncratic, that means each event when it happens and what it is about is always different from any event that might resemble it that happened before.

Other historians tend to righteously believe that all of history is a repeat of what came before, that history repeats itself over and over, all the time.

A rare thing indeed is the collision of the coronavirus with the social and economic shutdown of the city, the state and the nation.

The intersection of these two places has put us close to financial catastrophe in less than ten days.

Has this happened before?


The Great Depression took a good three years to develop. Can a Great Depression happen again?


Is it going to happen?


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