Covid-19 Victim: I Miss Karaoke (Trivial Things Add Up)

Mish

In the grand scheme of things karaoke is trivial. But how many simple things will never be the same and what is the total impact?

Personally Trivial Things

For over two years, my wife an I did karaoke 2-3 times a week. Suddenly, that was gone and may never return.

In light of the fact we lost no lives or income, Covid-19 has so far been trivial on a personal level.

However, and in aggregate, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and even gym traffic will not bounce back to where things were before because of personally trivial things.

Reader Inspired Post

This post was inspired by reader "Wootendw" who commented on restaurant gift cards he has that may now be worthless. 

He added "I Don't know how much your gift cards cost but I renewed my YMCA membership for $240 on March 3." 

YMCA

Young Man
There's no need to feel down 
I said young man
Pick yourself off the ground  

That is one of the songs I do at karaoke  

Karaoke is economically trivial but I miss it. 

Restaurants, bars, air travel, car rentals, fingernail painting, etc., will have a very delayed recovery. 

Magnify all sorts of seemingly trivial things at the personal level and the total economic impact is not trivial. 

Deflationary Outcome Baked In

The summation of many small things collectively explain why the Covid-19 Recession Will Be Deeper Than the Great Financial Crisis.

Moreover, these collective responses are deflationary at a price level and very deflationary at the credit expansion level where it matters most. 

For further discussion, please see Hyperinflationists Come Out of the Woodwork.

The hyperinflationists are totally wrong once again.

Mish

Comments (49)
sangell
sangell

I can't sing so I won't miss Karaoke but it does seem as if the oppressive hand of government has found our necks and won't soon release its grip. I'm a 68 year old retired widower so I will get by, absent a hyperinflationary collapse but, with the Central Banks and governments making it up on the fly, I do fear for the young. I lived through a few recessions and even lost a job during one but they were short sharp events you came out of. I'm not so sure this is going to be the same.

WildBull
WildBull

We are living in a tourist area now, and restaurants, bars, entertainment, etc. are a major part of the economy. This will ruin a lot of lives here. There is nothing trivial about what is happening. If this keeps up the depression that will come will eclipse the Great Depression. There is loss of life in economic upheavals, too, not to mention the wars that arise from economic strife. I'm watching Sweden closely. Their daily new cases might be on the decline.

mrutkaus
mrutkaus

Didn't some economist say "In the Grand Scheme of Things, we are all dead!" ?

wootendw
wootendw

I did renew my YMCA membership for $240 but I was responding to @Greggg who had the restaurant gift cards.

wootendw
wootendw

I joined the Y because it is the only fitness center in Norman, Oklahoma with a swimming pool (probably won't use this for a long time now.)

Previously, I had a national membership with LA Fitness.

wootendw
wootendw

O/T.
1/2% handle approaching on the 30-year T-bond.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I had to upgrade my internet connection to 1Gbps. Chip companies for networking, cloud and communications are going to boom.

jcneall
jcneall

Not sure how you are defining deflation but credit expansion will continue with all the new government spending that has yet to come. As long as you’re big and influential they’ll write new bills, spend money and the FED will keep printing to pay for them. Lower prices on some things? Yes but we’ve had multiple deflationary events yet the FED balance sheet keeps going up. How can there ever be deflation anymore?

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

One thing few are mentioning is that Covid-19 is basically from the family of cold viruses which either come from coronaviruses or rhinoviruses. This means that the chances of any treatment or vaccine being effective are going to be low because these viruses will change from year to year just enough to keep getting stronger and not weaker. This isn't like the flu virus at all which doesn't mutate as quickly. If medicine and science could have there would already be a vaccine for the common cold but there isn't. Maybe antibodies will help some people for a year but not after that. Now that Covid-19 has made the jump from animals to humans it will mutate on its own schedule and cause problems around the world for years to come. This explains why some people who overcome Covid-19 are getting it a second time and showing positive tests after getting it again. Eventually everyone will get Covid-19 and many may get it repeatedly like the common cold. We call it a cold but it is always a coronavirus or rhinovirus.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I would say an inflationary outcome is baked in too. After deflation of course. This is the nature of the system.

tokidoki
tokidoki

Life is made up of mostly "trivial" things.

Outdoorsman
Outdoorsman

The recent studies from Stanford and USC are making it clear that COVID-19 is far more widespread than we were led to believe with fatality rates significantly lower than we were led to believe and much closer to typical fatality rates for the flu. I agree with Casual_Observer's comments above that this coronavirus is here to stay. The curve has been flattened; it's now time to end this ridiculous total lockdown before the American economy is permanently flattened. We all deserve to get back to those "trivial" things we were enjoying. I would rather take my chances doing that then take any more chances that the government and medical bureaucrats have our best interests at heart.

DBG8489
DBG8489

There may be even more problems than people think with getting things running again. There is a significant amount of fear out there among a large portion of the population and they are making themselves known to those of us who run small businesses.

Some of you may remember that I posted previously about the business started by my ex-wife and myself. We train elite athletes who compete on a national level and we lease a very large (30K+ sq feet) facility that we use for training.

Our state/local governments have recently announced their preparations to relax restrictions and allow fitness centers to start reopening - which covers us and would allow is to open as soon as Saturday.

The restrictions that will apply do not really help our overall business but it will allow is to begin offering small group and private lessons again. And to appear "open" - which I feel is a large psychological hurdle.

However, we are already receiving emails from a large number of our clients telling us that in their opinions, we would not be "socially responsible" were we to re-open our doors - even IF the restrictions are lifted. Some of them view this as a "make or break" issue that governs whether or not they will ever return.

Bear in mind that this is only private lesson traffic. Less than 10 people inside our huge facility at any time, hand washing, disinfecting daily...etc. This isn't the "club" or "academy" portion of the business where we require monthly fees - those remain suspended. There are still no mandatory team practices or workouts and no dues or fees are being collected. This means that anyone who does attend the lessons is choosing to do so - and choosing to assume the risk.

This is creating a stir among the partners and leadership team. What is the risk if we re-open? And I don't mean the risk from the virus, I mean the risk that we lose a significant portion of our customer base if we do. Do the ones emailing represent a larger silent majority or are they just the squeaky wheels?

I can't believe that we are the only business getting these emails. How will these things affect the decisions of other businesses to reopen?

thimk
thimk

Well doing grocery shopping is becoming restrictive. Was reprimanded in Winn Dixie ( service desk) for not standing on the dot marked on the floor. Just left publix , they are implementing traffic control floor markers . There you have to stand in a square marked on the floor at checkout; in front cashiers plexiglass sneeze barrier. They will pack your groceries and signal to you that you can pay and leave. Felt like i was in a board game (mother may I comes to mind). You know the cashier actually enjoyed her new found authority. Many new dictators/zealots will emerge from this debacle . The freedoms you enjoyed in the past with just be memories .

TimeToTest
TimeToTest

We all come from the same place and end up in the same place.

The part in the middle is what matters.

Happiness should not be measured in dollar bills but in thrills per dollar bill. Stripper I once knew.

michiganmoon
michiganmoon

I think there could be a delay in businesses rebounding not just because of people being cautious about disease when we reopen up, but also because people might start to awaken financially and want to cut down on frivolous things to build an emergency fund and balance their budgets.

GeorgeWP
GeorgeWP

Closures and stay at home restrictions have been effective in a number of countries, but only where they have gone hard early, shut down travel and gone big with testing and tracing. Most countries have not done all these things until the virus was already racking up the numbers and basically ''in the wild''.

In the US testing has been very slow to take off and still showing about 20% positive. Probably needs to be < 2% to start taking control and points to actual case numbers being maybe 10x higher. That is still on 2-3% of the population though. So if the US opens up there are a lot more people going to get sick.

At this point the US, Europe are stuck with years of managing the disease, so may as well move onto how they are going to re-open the economy and deal with the medical case load. The health workers can't go flat out for month after month.

Once countries like the US and the UK re-open they may as well resume travel between them as they will both have rampant COVID. But countries which have suppressed the virus have to consider when they will need to have quarantine on incoming visitors for years.

p.s. assuming no cheap wonder vaccine or treatment

hmk
hmk

Mish can't you post some Karaoke that you preformed? Cmon give us something to smile about

RayLopez
RayLopez

Don't count out the hyperinflationists just yet. As food supply chains break down...


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