I wanted to write up a few events from the past 2 months of Covid-19 so below is a timeline with nearly one entry for every day. No deep thoughts or personal observations. I saved those for my journal. I also made no effort on prose or formatting. Putting together this timeline was instructive and helps put things in perspective for me.
Feb 20: Attended a meeting with about 150 people…
Feb 21: First mention of it in my Journal. I noted shortages expected since China factories were closed.
Feb 24: I noted a stock market drop of around 3%
Feb 25: I noted the CDC became more concerned and said the virus was coming to the US. Market down again. I decided to sell some of our assets and park the money in cash for now.
Feb 26: I created a list of emergency supplies. Some, like Advil and allergy meds, were long shelf life items. Others like milk and bread were items we wanted to keep an eye on to ensure we didn’t let ourselves get too low in case of panic buying or closures.
Mar 1: I used the end of Feb to assess the market’s crash on our Net Worth. Of course it wasn’t positive but neither was it large enough to be worrisome.
Mar 3: Made a trip to CVS for Kleenex, Advil etc as the outbreak in the US spread
Mar 5: Asked myself if we should get out during our spring break to go to an arcade or something and my answer at the time was ‘yes’.
Mar 9: Made note of the oil price war started by Saudi Arabia and Russia and it’s effect on investments
Mar 10: Our daughter went to the mall with her best friend as well as a movie to celebrate the friend’s birthday. We weren’t really concerned about it.
Mar 11: I went with my wife to the grocery store to do a bit of stocking up. No shortages and no one seemed worried.
Mar 12: School’s announce they will be closed. Thought about selling more assets to cash but it didn’t feel warranted. My wife and I had planned to go to our favorite BBQ place for dinner but she decided to cancel it due to the virus. She also decides no take out food until this is over.
Mar 13: Trump announces a national emergency.
Mar 14: My wife and I drive through the countryside. Folks weren’t changing any behaviors at this stage.
Mar 15: Contemplated how to react to nearly 0% interest rates. Came up with provisional budget cuts for this year and next.
Mar 16: The stock market opened limit down and closed down as well. Wished I had sold more in Feb of course but nevertheless comfortable with our allocation.
Mar 17: I went to the grocery store and picked up some routine items. Meat was running a bit low as well as certain fruit. My wife checked our freezer and decided with “shelter in place” orders looming we should pick up some more meat so we made another trip to the grocery store. By this time of day people were a bit frantic.
Mar 18: School closure announced the rest of this month and home learning announced in its place. I took my son to his dentist appointment and our dentist told me they were closing starting Friday.
Mar 20: Markets seemed to be stabilizing. Cases in our county and the area still very low
Mar 21: I implemented our budget cuts and updated our financial plan accordingly. With great reluctance we agreed our teenage daughter could have one of her best friends over in lieu of birthday activities we had to cancel due to the virus.
Mar 22: Sold some more assets in a taxable account. At least that brings a capital loss against taxes for the future.
Mar 25: Came up with a plan to re-invest in the markets as the worst was starting to feel over. Took the first tiny step in doing so. The market is changing faster than I’ve ever seen before.
Mar 26: Took note of the fact I expected the virus to pass long before its economic impact does.
Mar 27: Went to the grocery store when they opened. Much busier than normal and a lot of basics were gone.
Mar 29: We took another drive in the country. This time the little towns looked pretty deserted.
Mar 30: Bought a little more stock and sold bonds
Mar 31: I dug out my woodworking masks just in case… Government project 100K-240K deaths. Schools to stay closed for all of April.
Apr 1: Cases in our county have leapt up including hospitalizations. Of course nothing like NYC. Market has a bad day.
Apr 2: I went to the grocery store when they opened. There was a line of people waiting to get inside.
Apr 3: My wife starts making cloth face masks
Apr 5: I noted I had let my exercise fall away. But also that there was a hint of optimism in the air for the first time.
Apr 6: With some encouraging data from NY I bought equities again. I had a sore throat which worried me…
Apr 7: Sore throat gone.
Apr 8: Customers at grocery store nearly all wearing masks.
Apr 9: Finished plan for re-investing my cash and made more equity purchases
Apr 11: Our investments have recovered enough I could rollback some of our planned budget cuts.
Apr 12: Easter. It just didn’t feel like Easter for us.
Apr 14: Virus cases here have clearly leveled off. Hospital beds and ICUs are only about 50% occupied. Hospitals complain about all the lost revenue from treating heart patients, cancer and so on. My wife gives me permission to get a sandwich from my fave take out place.
Apr 15: Bought some bonds. Our portfolio allocation is make to it’s long term target. Never would have expected to get back so fast.
…More to come of course…