2020-04 View from the Bridge: Report from Camp Covid-Barracks #19

The View from the Bridge is an opinion piece that explores how societal changes can/will impact the future, especially as these changes apply to the Personalized Products industry and small businesses in general.

Introduction: The View from the Bridge

Think of the View from the Bridge as analysis for the captain of a battleship during conflict. YOU are the captain of your ship (life). We offer our analysis for your consideration.

As time progresses, there is a constant flow of new information coming in for evaluation. Our analysis is presented to help guide the captain’s (your) actions. Knowledge is power.

We will attempt to be brief and to the point. That said, we don’t know, what we don’t know. So, don’t take our conclusions as the only possible future. As the great sage Yoda once said – “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future…”

Report from Camp COVID-#19 – Camp Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring 2020, and Beyond

Wow, four months into the new year and according to CBS News, as of April 3rd, 2020, 90% of Americans are under STAY-IN-PLACE or STAY-AT-HOME orders. (source CBS News.com)

Assuming you are part of that 90%, the question, “How is COVID Camp going for you?” is commonly asked.

For Glenda and I preparing for COVID camp has been hectic. The pandemic totally upended our plans. As some of you may know, Judy, my first wife, passed in January of 2019. The Universe, through a series of events, brought Glenda and I together. We fell in love and married March 29th, 2020 during the last small gathering at our church. We then spent our honeymoon month March 30th to April 30th packing and moving to COVID camp.

As part of our move we needed to end our occupancy of an apartment we had leased. If any of you are facing the same issues, here is what we wrote.

Our letter to the apartment complex to get out of the lease and back to our house is available at the end of this article. It shows how we had to adapt due to the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 – The Challenge

What makes COVID-19 somewhat different is that it is highly contagious. Estimates are that 80 to 90 percent of the US population will contract the disease.

Most will recover. Those with compromised immune systems or other underlying medical issues are at the greatest risk.

Medical professionals are attempting to slow the spread of the disease through social distancing; the use of gloves and masks; recommending we stay home; and sanitizing surfaces we touch when outside our homes.

The hope is that “flattening the curve” will give us time to develop a vaccine and not overwhelm the healthcare system. However, flattening the curve will extend the time we are dealing with this pandemic. It will also change behaviors permanently for many.

COVID-19 – Daily Life – People vs. Dollars.

We are now facing several decisions as a species. “Do we value money over people?” “Do we take care of people’s health or company profits?” “Do we take care that the Earth remains habitable for humans or do we consume ourselves into extinction?”

Warning to the USA and World. May 2020 Oil futures were trading a $-37.00 a barrel on April 20-21. The petroleum-dollar based world-wide economy is collapsing. Demand for oil and gasoline is way down. Companies are losing money big time. Is it any wonder we are being told to get back to work and consume? To some of our leaders, money in more important than your life. Oh, and “Keep those slaughterhouses going, my Big Mac is more important than your health!”

In Short

Working from home may become the norm. Commuting to an office, not so much or so often. (great for reducing air pollution, not so great for oil producers and gas stations.)    

The economic transformations COVID-19 has initiated will last long after the dis-ease is brought into balance (i.e. suppressed).

These changes will favor small businesses that work from home.

Next time we’ll look at more changes we anticipate.

Our Recommendations

  1. Be at Peace
    1. NO amount of worry ever changed anything in my life.
    1. I can only control my actions!
  2. Calmly follow healthcare advice whenever possible.
    1. Don’t worry if it’s not possible. (refer to rule 1a)
    1. Don’t take unnecessary risks. (Please, no more partying at the beach.)
    1. Don’t panic – according to some healthcare professionals 80 to 90% of all USA residents will contract the disease.
  3. We are all in this together.
    1. Support workers in any way you can.
    1. Let elected officials know we want a NONE OF THE ABOVE option on the ballot for all public offices. I believe NONE OF THE ABOVE would have won the 2016 election.
  4. More recommendations – Next time.

Our Letter to the Apartment Complex

To:          The Apartment (Isn’t that a movie?}
                Sun City, AZ 85351

From:    John and Glenda McDaniel
                Buckeye, AZ 85396

Date:     May 4th, 2020

Subject: Covid-19 Pandemic

For both economic and health reasons we can no longer live at The Apartment in Sun City. We have cleaned and vacated apartment #XXX.

Economic Reasons

October 2019 – John decides to sell his house in Buckeye, move to an apartment, travel, and write. John has been writing how-to articles since 1992. John lists the house; the realtor erects a coming-soon sign.

November 2019 – Apartment hunting begins. John discovers your apartment complex and makes an application. John has (1) Social Security Income, (2) Business cashflow, and (3) a house he is preparing for the market. Application approved.

January 2020 – John moves into apartment #XXX. John orders new bedroom furniture for the apartment. He also installs a new kitchen faucet and reverse osmosis water filter system in the kitchen.

February 2020 – John has some furniture moved from the Buckeye house to the apartment. He also orders a new TV, window coverings, and outdoor carpet for the apartment balcony.

March 2020 – the house in Buckeye becomes vacant and available to prepare to release to the multi-list.

April 2020 – CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC comes to the USA. John begins losing sponsors for his writing, and he is told by his realtor it would be better to wait. John moves all his household goods back to the house in Buckeye.

As you can see by his investment, John planned to live at the apartment for several years.

Pre-Coronavirus Pandemic John was told his house would sell and close quickly at a price that would allow him to pay all debts and live in a beautiful adult apartment community with lots of activities for seniors.

Post-Coronavirus Pandemic, John’s income is shrinking, and his major asset is no longer liquid. It could take a year or more to liquidate the Buckeye house.

Health Reasons

In September of 2018 John was diagnosed with an enlarged ascending aorta, i.e. heart disease. Immediate surgery was recommended. Because Judy, John’s first wife, was in the final stages of cancer, John did not proceed with the surgery. Judy passed in January 2019.

In short, John has an untreated heart condition and John’s new wife Glenda also has health challenges. John is 76 and Glenda is 72. They both are in the high-risk age group with preexisting conditions.

Responsible authorities tell us that prevention through social distancing, staying at home, and self-isolation are the practices recommended for COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed. Reliable sources indicate finding a vaccine will take somewhere between 18 months and 2 years at best.

Therefore, living in a three-story senior apartment complex, in the middle of a senior city, in the middle of a Coronavirus hotspot (Maricopa county, Arizona) is not as safe for our health as living in self-isolation in a single-story, single-family home in a mixed-age community that is isolated in the desert.


Health, limiting contact, i.e. self-isolation for two people is easy in a single-story, single-family home, in a mixed age residential community located in the desert.

Economically, the Coronavirus Pandemic has eliminated our ability to pay for the apartment.

All of that said, we are grateful for the experience of living at the apartment complex. The staff is outstanding. Patty and Russ have been extremely helpful and understanding. Alex went out of his way to replace a defective water heater for us on our wedding eve, March 28th, 2020. Dana has always been friendly and helpful. (Dana and John may be related through the Shubert family.)

We are sad to have to leave. We were so looking forward to making use of the pool, spa, exercise facilities, relaxing in the clubhouse, and all the social events in your facility and community. All of that is now canceled.

We have returned the apartment to you so that you might find someone who can make use of it. Thank you for your consideration in these disruptive times.

Please heed the warnings and stay safe. This too will pass.


John and Glenda McDaniel

News and Resources for CorelDRAW Users