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Someone posted a question to Facebook recently: Are we getting baseball soon? This instantly made me think of the scene in Endgame where director Joe Russo played a member of Steve Rogers’ support group. He was recalling a recent date. During the date, one of the topics of conversation was, “How much we miss the Mets.”
Side note: The Mets can rot. Go Nats!
My first thought was to write a lighthearted, very short post – a stub, really – about how many of us feel that way. However, the connections between the aftermath of Thanos’s snap and our quarantine have quite a few more similarities. (Don’t worry. This will still be short.) While the reasoning for our predicament, and some of its effects, are very different, there are some effects where I find strong similarities. With 50% of the population suddenly and unexpectedly wiped out, storefronts were emptied and services like professional sports ground to a halt. Everyone missed their friends and family, but for some that loss would be tragically permanent (e.g., whoever was riding in the helicopter that crashed when its pilot was dusted). Does any of this sound familiar?
When the Hulk’s snap was an attempt to return everything to normal, it took only one movie, Spiderman: Far from Home, before we realized that wasn’t entirely so. Then attorneys like me started pointing out all sorts of legal issues that would arise. (My observations, including sports contracts, are buried in my Facebook stream, so enjoy this example article instead.) My understanding is that a serious legal issue will be addressed in Black Panther 2: Is T’Challa still king?
In the real world, what are the long-term effects of COVID-19 besides, obviously, the permanent loss of life? What will we be facing when the stay-at-home orders are lifted? It won’t be that simple. The practice of hand-shaking is under assault. Some long-standing, extremely popular restaurants just won’t be able to reopen. They’ll be replaced eventually. In fact, for many aspiring entrepreneurs, this will be the opportunity of a lifetime – demand will be high – but it still sucks.
When journalist Joni Balter suggested that, when the state’s stay-at-home order is lifted, many may welcome him and other restaurants back in the Downtown area, Douglas pushed back. “I’m not sure you really get it, Joni,” he said. “You don’t just come back from this. This cost $3 million just to close my businesses down. We are broke … the reality is that it’s going to be tough for 50 percent of our restaurants to come back.”
Staying in the real world, we’re already contemplating (if not seeing) the legal battles that will ensue over missed payments and such. Some of it is being held off by, for example, government moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions, but without forgiveness of debt, we’re just delaying the inevitable.
The streets are empty, friends and family are missing, and things will never quite be the same despite eventually getting our own version of the Hulk Snap. Some of that may be good in ways that don’t synchronize with the Thanos Snap. For example, some people have learned that they can work from their homes, and their bosses will realize how much money that will save them in overhead. Less traffic and lower fuel costs will make the world more efficient and less costly. I’ll have more time to write blog posts. 🙂 But humans are social creatures, and we’re going to lose some of that permanently.
Art imitates life. Sometimes it predicts it.
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