We scheduled a webinar yesterday to showcase some coronavirus data we’re tracking. But our video conference service limits the number of people we can connect, and it capped out in a couple hours.
So, we scheduled another one. Then that one sold out. We scheduled another one and that sold out. Finally, Amie bit the bullet and upgraded our subscription.
I talked about the coronavirus all day yesterday. And not just in webinars.
It literally comes up in every conversation I have, professional or personal. Of the 50 emails on the first page of my inbox, 42 have some reference to the coronavirus in the subject line.
Maybe we’re overreacting. How the hell do I know? But I’d rather be wrong on the side of overreacting than wrong on the side of underreacting. My kids have 80+ years ahead of them. I can stand working at home while they’re sitting next to me on the couch doing schoolwork for a month or two, if that keeps them a little safer.
By the way, what if all these huge companies who’ve sent their employees home don’t see any drop-off in productivity? Or, better yet, what if they see an increase? You can start shorting commercial real estate investments asap. Then, put your money into Lowe’s or Home Depot stock before people remodel their homes to make them work-friendly.
Baby hospitals better be prepared for a motherlode of new arrivals next January. And good luck finding diapers next spring.
I don’t mean to make light of the situation. People are sick and dying. Kids are being deprived of their high school musicals, their league championships, their proms, their commencements. That sucks, bad.
And we all have to step way the f**k up to help our local restaurants and bars and gym trainers and anyone else who may not see a paycheck when they need a paycheck.
Order more takeout. Then stop at the bar and throw back a shot. Tip generously. Then wash your hands and go home. Then wash your hands again.
I believe we’ve already crossed the worst bridge on the journey. Ripping off the Band-Aid and cancelling all of these things, shutting down the schools. That sting will wear off and we’ll heal. We’ll adapt for a few weeks or months or whatever it takes to get through. We’ll bond over it.
Because life is good.
Here’s what we’re seeing:
In case you were worried everything was changing, rest assured that tribalism is alive and well in the middle of the coronavirus crisis. First of all, can we all just start referring to it as CV for short? Okay, good. Anyway, there’s basically only one thing that is more predictive of whether someone is concerned about CV than their political party – it’s the cable news network they watch the most. A close second is how they feel about climate change and science in general. I’ll share this little chart below without further commentary or judgment and you can read a bunch more about it here if you’re a sadist.
In somewhat related news but not really, the effect Donald Trump has had on the political composition of Twitter users is pretty remarkable. Since 2016, the percentage of Conservatives who use Twitter daily jumped by 3X. They now outnumber Liberals among daily users of the platform – in 2016, Liberals doubled the number of Conservatives. It’s an astonishing shift all because of one prominent user.
A lot of Americans plan to use their tax refund to pay off debt but that could change depending on how this whole CV thing unfolds. Although the majority of Americans support the President’s suggestion that we push back the tax filing deadline, many are still hoping for their annual tax refund to cover some bills. One-third will use their cash from Uncle Sam to pay down debt, while 1 in 4 will save it, and another 11% will invest it. About 19% plan to spend it. We’ll check this again in a month.
Another group that’s super-screwed thanks to CV are the sports betting companies. But it’s probably just a short-term problem because sports gambling is about to blow up as legalization spans further and further across the country. Today only about 6% of U.S. adults bet on sports but that number jumps to over 20% in places where it’s kosher. Millennials and Gen Zs are way bigger bettors than their elders, which also bodes well as gambling becomes more and more app-based. So yeah, I’m not crying for the bookies – legit or non-legit – while sports are shut down for the foreseeable future. They’ll be just fine.
I don’t use TikTok because I’m too old apparently. Look, I have plenty of other digital toys and vices, so I don’t need another thing on my phone to distract me at stoplights. But I guess this whole TikTok thing my kids talk about incessantly is for real. Usage of TikTok among Americans under the age of 35 has grown 42% since January. Yes, since January. That’s crazy.
The picture for the airlines is ugly and I can’t say it any simpler than that. We started this airline tracker, coincidentally, a few weeks before the whole CV thing was even on anyone’s radar. And now it’s like watching the first episode of Lost over and over again – if you don’t get that reference, don’t waste your time trying to figure it out. Intent to fly, intent to fly by airline, you name it, it’s all unpleasant to look at. Just trust me.
Incidentally, a couple of our analysts spent a bunch of time studying interesting factoids about March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day partiers. Only to have them rendered completely moot in the last 48 hours. But if you’re feeling generous, read about them anyway given how they went to all that trouble to write them.
And to take your mind off all the suck going on right now, here are your most popular questions this week:
- Do you find it difficult to avoid touching your face?
- Have you cleaned the outside of your phone / phone case recently?
- By which method do you make coffee most mornings?
- What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
- What do you do with your socks?
Hoping you’re well.
(And wash your hands.)