We Cannot “Reopen” America

Ran across this thoughtful article in The Bulwark.  Always interested in where these things are coming from, I looked at the masthead.  Claims to be “reporting free from the constraints of partisan loyalties or tribal prejudices”.  Don’t recognize any of the names, but there is one photo without an associated biography:. William Kristol.  I remember him as a right wing taking head who was an early supporter of the war in Iraq.  Wiki says he is a Democrat as of 2020, after a lifetime of what can only be called right wing, partisan Republican politics.  Interesting times.

As far as the article, it makes the case that places like Vegas and movie theaters will never reopen, in their current form.  For at least a year, maybe much, much longer, nobody is going to want to spend time in large places full of strangers. Fine with me.  I never really did like crowds, with the possible exception of Mardi Gras.

So are there alternatives?  For some reason I thought of the karaoke bars in Japan, which are really a collection of small rooms rented out by groups of friends for food, drink and singing.  Instead of one huge movie theater, how about lots of very small ones, with food and drink service?  You could pick the movie and the time that is convenient.  Maybe pick any movie, they way you would at home.  I know I have thought about having friends over to watch a movie, but there aren’t enough seats, etc. in my house.

These mini-theaters could also be great for watching sports, or even, uh, karaoke.  Same could happen in Vegas.  I suppose there is some appeal to that vast room full of clanging machines.  But maybe a smaller room for friends could be fun too.

I’m not sure how it is all going to change, but I am pretty sure it is all going to change.

Oh, air travel.  More than ever there is a case for high speed rail which can provide more room and separation than feasible on an airplane.  I have taken high speed rail in Europe and Asia and find it much better than air travel in just about every way.  I say lets get to it!

We Cannot “Reopen” America

No matter when government stay-at-home orders are revoked, the American economy will not reopen. Because the source of the economic shock is not government orders. It’s the pandemic.

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