Corona Diary 18 March 2020

2020-03-18 07.03.33

Corona highlight: my abs made Bella’s list of Everyday Rectangles. I must not be popping because she put them in horizontally. In my defense, I’ve lost a lot of cardio with the ski hills closing…


Home School

It is absolutely essential to separate ourselves so we get a break from each other. The ONLY time we are completely overlapping is at dinner.

Today Bella set the schedule

2020-03-18 08.18.29

Art proving very popular with kids and parents. It always runs long! We use youtube videos of “how to draw” with iPads and headphones. Yesterday was leprechauns, today was a safari collage (each kid did an animal and a piece of vegetation). Monica did the monkey!

2020-03-18 13.25.51

Spelling quiz – eight words at each kids’ grade level (24 total) then write a short story using the words, share the story with the group, teacher floats and helps one-on-one. Very light editing with the Grade One kid as its more about writing, than spelling for her. I gave Bella a feather for achievement as she did a great job (photo below). Lexi managed to use every word in her story.

FaceTime calls to end the school day for our youngest and her pals. VERY popular for the kids in the family who are social. Consider for the adults that are social as well!

Cali Governor says schools might not open again this year. Local scuttlebutt from our education contacts is 8-week closure. By that stage, they will probably flag the year (we end third-week May).

Winter storm coming tomorrow, after a beautiful day today. Our plan:

  1. Two movies
  2. Clean the house
  3. Hero shoveling for our elderly neighbors
  4. Father-son gym work, Axel going to tagalong for my program

2020-03-18 11.04.09

Read aloud with all three went well – we used “Report Card Trouble” from Berenstain Bears’ => game was…

  • Youngest picks the book, at her level
  • Rotate reading
  • Oldest has to read upside down while showing pages
  • Kinda high stakes to read in front of your siblings

30-minutes was plenty of time for all, including an 11-year old and the teacher!

2020-03-18 11.06.03

Writer’s workshop was starting a letter to other kids about what it’s like to be locked down, what they are enjoying and ideas for kids/parents around the world.

Outside lunch before the storm!

2020-03-18 11.55.50

Virus Updates

Positives in a longterm care facility announced yesterday – a resident and an employee – not good. It’s in Loveland, just north of Boulder County.

Best advice I’ve heard about limiting spread is to simply stay the heck away from known hotspots (States, Counties, Cities, Zip codes).

Boulder County up to 11 confirmed and community transfer was documented on March 17th, remember that means the virus arrived some time prior.

Six-day growth rate of positives at 33% in Colorado (183 cases). Cases seem low and likely reflect a lack of testing. I expect we explode by the weekend, unfortunately (NYC popped today).

Here’s a helpful article about the “why” of the recommendations concerning social distance, washing hands and cleaning surfaces. It’s all about reducing the probability of infection.

State gradually shutting down – wish it was faster – wish they were locking down hot spot counties and the high-country. The mountains, particularly, are simple to lockdown and limit to essential travel only. We are far, far from the successful example in South Korea.

Stealth Transmission in the news => this will be essential to understand in highsight

  • Thinking back across the month
  • Three of us had brief unexplained fevers in last 28 days
  • Girls currently have dry coughs (3/17) after we started self-isolation on 3/13
  • Every symptom, every cough (!), gets our attention

NOTE: If stealth transmission is for real then we each need to assume we are asymptomatic carriers every single time we leave our houses.

We need to expand testing but still lack capacity, or a consistent message.

I have not read a single report about contact tracking and asymptomatic transmission in Colorado.

Bill Gates did an AMA: says 6-10 week shutdown. We need more realistic messaging from the Feds.


Markets & Finance

Limit down open after an up-day yesterday. I’m waiting for the SP500 to approach 2,200 before I rebalance again. Yo-yo market getting close, circuit breakers tripping, Ackman speaking of the endtimes on TV.

I am telling myself:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (as we sail off the cliff)
  • Look for ways to help those who have helped you
  • Look for ways to help community => it’s why I’m sharing every good idea I come across.

People that never talk about money are starting to talk about money. Other friends rolling along shopping, socializing, thinking about travel (that will change).

30% market down, high personal cash burn rate, service businesses stopped dead, what happened in 4 months in 2008 has happened in four WEEKS in 2020.

High personal cash needs, and an overallocation towards equities, forces you to sell stocks into a down market. It’s a big reason why a strategy with bonds/treasuries makes sense => even when bond yields don’t “make sense.”

Treasury secretary talking about 20% unemployment – impact from stopping the US/EU economies are unknowable. What is certain: a massive sudden deflationary shock.

When everything moves down in price (equities, bonds, gold, oil) => people wonder why => I think it indicates a global deleveraging (sell it all!) hugely deflationary. Kinda explains the hedge fund guys panicking, as a class.

Correlations that were nice while they lasted, and leveraged to the hilt with all-time low interest rates, have broken down. LTCM for many, I guess.



Moa, our aupair, made it back to Sweden! Yay! One of the last planes into Frankfurt and, then, Stockholm.

Internal flights closing in EU countries – how long for USA?

Washington State is “ahead” in terms of virus spread, with Seattle/Amazon/Microsoft being impacted, I expect we will see a lot of community activism from the Pacific NW => Gates did an AMA today. These people are smart, educated, connected and wealthy. They are not the sort to sit around.

I have an essay on “being spoiled” in my drafts – written before the crisis. Turns out there was no need to make my life harder in order to generate humility & gratitude. Life did it for me.

The central premise of the spoiled essay is…

Being spoiled is when I think my life is hard but it really isn’t.