On Tuesday, I drank like it was Friday. On Wednesday, I drank like it was Saturday. Last night, I went to bed at 10 o’clock like it was Monday. I used to tell the days by which activity I trekked my kids to. Now, I’m rudderless.
Although our business is doing well and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t conflicted about it.
Millions of people are struggling. One of my best friends runs three restaurants and his wife tends bar to fill in the gaps. Pray for them. Help however you can.
We’re urging our team to order delivery or takeout from local restaurants and we’re reimbursing them 100% when they do. We’re not big enough to make a dent but maybe we can get others to do the same. Mark Cuban did.
We’re also upping our charitable giving and contracting more freelance work. Small, but it’s something.
Because it’s a good time to be in real-time information. Things are changing by the minute and we’re built for that. We just never imagined it would be like this.
Some asshole on Facebook – you know the guy, the one who thinks we’re overblowing this whole thing – wanted to bet me that coronavirus fatalities would be far less than the deaths from H1N1. I wanted to take that bet. And then lose it.
The naysayers make my blood boil. Still, we want them to be right. Right?
It’s like having your product fly off the shelves, while wishing your clients didn’t need it. It’s saving tons of money on travel and conferences and parking, while wishing you weren’t.
It’s a black swan cross-breeding with Chicken Little. And if you can decipher that metaphor, we definitely need to party together sometime.
Believe me, we’re not celebrating the silver linings. They’re fleeting. I started this company in ’07 and I know how quickly a recession can jump up and crush you. But I’m still here. Scarred and diluted, but here.
So, all we can do is take it an hour at a time, even if we don’t know what hour – or day – it is. Otherwise we’re doing what we’re told. Working remotely, social distancing, and managing our finances responsibly.
And looking for silver linings.
At least Tom Brady left the Patriots.
Here’s what we’re seeing right now:
In the least surprising news of all time, consumer confidence is plummeting. Our Economic Sentiment Index hit its lowest point in well over a year for obvious reasons. Confidence in the job market and overall personal finances are falling by the second. Honestly, the numbers would look even worse if we removed our metrics around the housing market (seems like a good time to buy a house if you could afford it) and the six-month view of the economy (it will eventually get better, right?). Buckle up.
And nearly everyone is concerned about their job. In just one week, the number of working adults who are at least somewhat worried about their job due to the coronavirus jumped 35%. People in service jobs are the most concerned, obviously, while those in technical jobs are the least concerned. Anyway, that’s enough bad economic news for now.
On a more positive note, subscriptions for streaming video and gaming platforms are seeing a quarantine boost. Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. adults have signed up for a new streaming video service in the past two weeks, as a direct result of coronavirus stay-at-home limitations. Another 5% are planning to. Amazon Prime Video and Hulu have seen particular bumps. Online video game systems have enjoyed nearly as big of an increase, with 7% of gamers claiming to have signed up for a new service recently. Some parts of the economy are doing just fine.
As more people hunker down, they’re getting an increasing amount of their news from the internet. Perhaps because everyone is just glued to their laptops all day, TV news viewership has fallen a bit over the past week, while online news sources are now the preferred source for 58% of Americans. Somehow 6% of people aren’t following coronavirus news at all.
Food delivery usage is a mixed bag for reasons I hadn’t thought about before. I expected to see a big increase in the use of food delivery services with everyone barricaded in their homes but there are a number of conflicting forces weighing on the category. About 1 in 5 delivery service users are using them more during the COVID-19 outbreak. But 1 in 4 are using them less. The downturn is heaviest among 18 to 24-year-olds, presumably college kids who are now locked down at home with their parents. The biggest increases are actually among the 55+ crowd. Overall, it pretty much breaks even.
There is a ton of fake coronavirus news on social media. An alarming number of social media users – 64% in fact – say that they have seen misinformation about the coronavirus in their social media feeds. The number jumps to 69% among Millennials – and it peaks among users of Twitter. Keep your guard up folks.
But here’s some non-fake CV news. We published an infographic on a few miscellaneous CV-related questions about toilet paper, hangouts, and other lighter topics. Check it out.
And just to keep everyone from losing their minds, we did a fun little study about the coming of spring. Seventy-three percent of Americans are already seeing signs of spring where they live. Thirty-eight percent are planning to plant a garden this year. Sixty-eight percent are planning to do some household spring cleaning. That and a few other things NOT about COVID-19 can be enjoyed here.
And if you’re really looking to kill some time while social distancing, here are our most popular questions of the week:
- Who is more stylish: you or your romantic partner?
- In general, did you get along with your sibling(s) growing up?
- Which kind of taco is the best?
- Have you had any “virtual hangouts” with your friends or family members via webcam / video- calling during the coronavirus outbreak?
- In general, do you prefer plays or musicals?
Hoping you’re well.