Trying To Understand ‘Exactly What’s Happening’

From The Guardian:  With his deserted cityscapes and isolated figures, Edward Hopper captured the loneliness and alienation of modern life. But the pandemic has given his work a terrifying new significance. “We are all Edward Hopper paintings now,” according to a WhatsApp compilation of Hopper scenes: a woman alone in a deserted cinema, a man bereft in his modern apartment, a lonely shop worker and people sitting far apart at tables for one in a diner. As is the way with memes, it’s har
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4 thoughts on “Trying To Understand ‘Exactly What’s Happening’

  1. One thing Hopper could never be accused of is joyful. I always took Hopper as looking at America and seeing its “Individualism” as a form of loneliness. Many thought it was a comment on Modernity. Hopper viewed the USA as
    “a chaos of ugliness” .

  2. Nice to hear from you again, Jane.

    This is not a good time to be alone in the world- that is for sure. In addition to everything you pointed out, I am reading more about covid and learning that this virus might enter the body through the lungs, but primarily be damaging the blood vessels. Damage to blood vessels is causing large quantities of blood clots (this is being discovered through autopsy), organ damage and also pneumonia.

    It will be hard to go out and live a life of going out to eat, large gatherings, travel, etc. with covid in our lives. We are in the very early phase of this virus and in my opinion, there is no way we see meaningful economic recovery this year- and probably into 2021 ( I would say 2022, but you will call me “crazy”).

    It is one thing for a group of younger people to pick up some beer and wine coolers and hit the beach or a park. Quite another thing to spend thousands going on a summer trip to Europe, renting a home for a family gathering or a golf trip, etc.

  3. Median age of the new surge of Covid infections in the US is just 33 y/o, 15 years lower than median age at the height of the NYC crisis. We’re also seeing death rates much lower than in NYC. Key states have ceased reporting hospitalization data, but in general I think hospitalization rates are somewhat lower as well.

    I think this is young people who believe themselves invulnerable, going out to bars and getting exposed. Meanwhile older people are, I think, tending to remain sheltered and cautious. That’s a generalization, and exceptions abound of course.

    Young people of the bar hopping variety don’t drive most of US consumer spending, especially as their employment situation is likely to be increasingly fragile.

    It feels to me like the fundamental economic recovery will indeed stall out while economic data points bounce around. Meanwhile there’s the underlying bid for all the reasons often discussed here, and the government will have a couple major opportunities to make things worse or better ((no/yes on more pandemic relief, etc). So maybe a choppy summer, and then in fall we either start getting approved vaccines/therapeutics and the Sunbelt states get a handle on their virus so we can see light at the end of the tunnel – or not.

    I’m betting on seeing the light in 4Q but it sure is frustrating getting slapped around by a manic-depressive market in the meantime.

  4. This market surge looks very fragile to me. I’m thinking that the virus is winning and as all the hospitals get swamped people are going to be put on a call list when an opening for an ICU bed becomes available. If they live that long. I’m thinking that will put a minor dip in the market.

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