Quarantine Silver Linings

May 14, 2021

Quarantine Silver Linings

I’m typically a glass half full kind of guy, so let’s take that approach to the pandemic & lockdowns now that they appear to be winding down.  Here’s my “Top Ten Positives of the Quarantine”:

10.  I’m throwing this in at number 10 because we are all tired of zoom calls at this point, but I can honestly say I saw some of my friends more often than I would have otherwise, albeit virtually. That was a win.

9.    This could probably be viewed as a negative by some but it became pretty clear pretty quick which end of the political spectrum people were on! As someone in a service industry I try to help folks see all sides of an issue and the not-so-subtle cues made it easier to navigate conversations both with clients and friends.

8.    I think this is an overlooked one right now, but I think people will be less likely to go to work/school when sick. We as Americans have had the mindset that we need to tough it out and be productive and many times being ill at work has actually decreased productivity both individually and at a company level.  I also think employers will also be more lenient towards sick time moving forward.

7.    Finding new hobbies/interests. For me this is related to #10 - in late 2019 I came across something that I didn’t know would be so much fun (or that I’d still be playing it) – an app called MarioKart Tour.  Yep, MarioKart on my phone.  Once they enabled a multiplayer option it didn’t take long until I had organized a league.  We raced Monday and Thursday evenings, complete with corresponding zoom meetings to enable virtual trash talking.  I think we had 14 racers at one point and it was fun to see friends a couple times per week through that.  We completed 3 “seasons” over the past year or so and the three time champion is currently writing this blog post.  I’m kind of a big deal.

6.    I sure do appreciate a good old fashioned hug more these days! On the flip side, handshakes may be a thing of the past.  When you think about it they make no sense in a world where a virus can shut down daily life.  Looking forward to more hugs in the coming months!

5.    Doing what I do for a living I feel I’d be remiss to let this list go without mentioning market performance. After a scary quick drop in Q1 2020, markets have rebounded enthusiastically in an expectation of returning to “normal” at some point. I’d say I expected the market to recover its losses from Q1 pretty quickly, but not that quickly and I certainly did not expect them to go so far past the Feb 2020 peaks.  So hooray for that for anyone fortunate enough to own investments and have the mindset to ride it out!

4.    This is more of a specific one to my family, but we moved in Q3 last year and got lucky on our timing. The real estate market was heating up and we’re not sure why we were the only bidders on our house, I guess we were just lucky.  We couldn’t be happier in the new home – and actually we’re probably equally as happy to be out of the old home, having twins made our townhouse very small very quick and we had to move up the “new house timeline”.

3.    For those of us that continued to go to work throughout, or maybe only took a short break to work from home, the annoyance of sitting in traffic was pretty much gone! Just this last week I’ve really started to notice that traffic is back, particularly on Friday’s.  Dang.

2.    I originally had this one at number 7, but as I was writing it I thought “Nope! Higher”. We have definitely taken this for granted but those with kids in daycare prior to the pandemic can attest that the number of doctor’s visits for sick kids dramatically reduced, in fact I don’t think our girls have been to the doc for any other reason than their scheduled checkups and vaccines since last March.  Healthy babies = huge win.  This is a reminder we got just last weekend when they both had upset tummies.  Lesley took the brunt of that one, getting spit up on twice in less than an hour, once by each girl!

1.    For me, easily #1 was the extra time I got to spend with my family. Not having to drop the girls off to daycare when they were under 1 year old was nice in retrospect, even if it made both my wife and I less productive. We got to see quite a few milestones in person that we may have missed had the quarantine not hit us.  I also heard stories that many couples found the pandemic tough (spending all that time together) but I think we managed quite well and we certainly have come out no worse for the wear.  A bit cliché I know, but looking back that was nice.

 

So there ya go – positive vibes to you and yours!

 

Market comments are based on the S&P 500 index, represent an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. The information presented does not constitute a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security and is not a recommendation of any kind. Please consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions. The S&P 500 index is unmanaged and you cannot directly invest into an index. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. (05/21)