We at Platt Wealth Management hope that you enjoyed a safe and sane Fourth of July weekend. The dog days of summer are indeed upon us, and we thought it might be a good time to address some of the uncertainty that many of our clients and others are experiencing.
Summer in the time of COVID-19
Hanging out inside bars is one of the worst things you can do if you want to stay healthy and avoid infection. The good news is that being outside, especially on a neighborhood walk, is relatively low risk. See more details on what’s safe here.
If you’re outside and keeping a distance of six feet between your family and other people, you’ll probably be fine. Feel free to enjoy your outside activities, unless they involve packing into a small area where you can’t maintain the distance.
What researchers have discovered about the novel coronavirus should guide your decisions about how you have fun this summer. The good news is that you don’t have to stay in lockdown! Being outside at a safe distance from others is healthy.
Enjoy your summer, stay healthy
- You don’t have to show symptoms to infect other people. You could inadvertently spread the virus to anyone because you’re unaware that you have it. You might have come into contact with another asymptomatic person and received it from them. Unknowingly, you could give it to someone who has an underlying condition.
That’s why it’s still important to take precautions, even if you’re healthy and not in a high-risk group. Not only are you protecting yourself and your family, but everyone around you.
- The virus is typically transmitted through droplets from an infected person within a radius of six feet.
When you stay farther away, the virus has less chance of spreading.
The droplets are why going to large venues is so dangerous, especially if you’re in a choir or cheering on a team. Singing increases the amount of virus that an infected person emits, as you’ve seen in all the news articles about people in choirs getting sick.
Large venues that don’t practice social distancing also accelerate the spread of the virus, because talking also increases the volume of droplets and the volume of contagion from someone infected. The person may not know it, but they could create a lot of sickness.
- Masks reduce transmission, and paper or fabric masks protect others from you.
These types of masks are breathable because air molecules are much smaller than the water droplets you emit while breathing and talking. You can breathe in air and still prevent the spreading of disease if you happen to be infected.
Some people are concerned about whether masks increase the amount of carbon dioxide that you breathe. Doctors and nurses wear masks for most of their working day, and they function just fine. You’ll wear the mask without any side effects when you need to go to the store.
- The US is still in its first wave of infections, and there are still hotspots with significant transmission.
It briefly appeared that the US was experiencing a decrease in transmission, but that was because New York City, which was one of the first places hit by the virus, get a handle on it, and their infection rate improved. However, the rest of the country is still getting sick, and rates of infection have increased in hotspots.
Most of these are places where no distancing or masking is practiced, or where the temporary closure of stores and offices was lifted too early. We are not out of the woods yet.
- Though some places are open, it may not be safe for you to go there.
The barbershop and hair salon requires people to be very close together, so think carefully about whether you can hold out for a little longer.
If you do go, make sure they sanitize surfaces often because the virus can survive on smooth surfaces for the duration of your visit (and longer).
Spend time together, take care of each other
- People with underlying health conditions are the ones who suffer the most.
COVID-19 appears to target the lungs, particularly, so anyone with lung issues needs to be careful. However, they’re not the only ones. Anyone with heart disease, immune system issues and diabetes, among others, needs to be careful.
- Younger people still spread the virus, are infected by it and can die from it.
Although most of the people who get sick and die from the coronavirus are elderly and/or have underlying health conditions, that doesn’t mean that younger people are immune. Please don’t assume that because you or your kids are in their twenties that it’s safe to go to packed events where everyone squeezes in like sardines.
- PWM continues to work remotely and offer virtual meetings to keep ourselves and our clients healthy.
Although we love to see and visit with our clients, we’re still careful to ensure that we keep everyone as safe as we can. Here at Platt we look forward to long-term relationships, and we don’t want anything to stand in the way of that!
Investing during this time
As you’ve no doubt noticed, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the economy, and the stock market is subject to rollercoaster rides right now. Unemployment remains high, and the Fed agrees with many economists that the first round of stimulus was not enough to keep everyone afloat.
However, nothing has fundamentally changed. Retail was already in decline, which has accelerated due to COVID-19. Although we don’t know when the infections will ease, we know that this is most likely a temporary situation.
The virus requires behavioral changes in how we live and work, but not in how we invest. Once the pandemic slows, we can expect an uptick in the economy and market. Staying invested in your designed allocation is the best way to weather the current uncertainty.
We know this is a difficult time because there is so much unknown. We’re happy to talk to our clients, review their current situation with them, and their investments.
If you need a refresher on why we chose the investments we did or feel nervous about the ups and downs in the market, please let us know.
We’re all in this thing together, and we want to help you pull through so you can sleep at night.
Give us a call at 619.255.9554 or email us if you’d like to set up an appointment.