For the last few days we’ve been preparing internal reports twice a day for staff. We’ve decided to release these publicly to help you plan.

You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else.

Wintston Churchill

US cases are up to 32,400 from about 26,900 this AM and 24,100 yesterday PM. While I need to jump data sources for comparison, it looks like New York makes up nearly all of those cases. (10,400 yesterday, 15,200 now).

Tennessee is up to 505 cases from 371 yesterday. Knox county officially moved up to 5. We expect that the real number is a lot more.

I’m sure that most of you have seen that Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order prohibiting more than 10 people from meeting, restricting restaurants to takeout/delivery and shut down bars, salons, etc. So what? Keep watching how states with more cases are handling COVID-19 to understand how Tennessee (or whatever state you are in) is likely to.

At the same time, just as testing is ramping up on the coasts the healthcare strategy is changing to “test less” because there aren’t enough workers and PPE to test everyone. We’re not sure how that will change the response more broadly.

[Edit, 8:39 PM] Delaware, Lousianna and Ohio join CA, NY, IL and PA in issuing mandated shutdowns.

The Problem with the Models

We’re starting to see a lot of headlines about the millions that are going to die or that global depression that’s coming. We don’t want to minimize that it is going to be rough, really rough, for awhile. However, most of the doom and gloom scenarios ignore something really important: people adapt.

When cases are low government is reticent to make big, bold, sweeping changes. As cases shoot through the roof these actions happen swiftly. Similarly, if the economy starts to tank in a way that it looks like it can’t rebound from you can expect government to react to prevent that.

The headlines that show “we all die” or “we are all jobless” present a false dichotomy.

Two Sunday Reads

The Hammer and the Dance” does an amazing job mapping out our different options on how to react to COVID-19. A completely separate effort from academia, highlighted in the NYT, reaches the same conclusion,

How We Are Adjusting

So far, we haven’t made major changes to our response at JM Addington since Monday. We’re working on the SBA loan because it’s just good sense.

Tomorrow our president intends to take a lot of time calling customers and other small businesses to see how they are doing, and where help is needed.

Can Tennessee Force Businesses to Close?

I asked Dustin Landry from LA Law this question, and here was his response:

It is possible that a mandated shutdown would be upheld. The U.S. Supreme Court imposes various tests in evaluating restrictions related to equal protection and freedom of speech, assembly, etc. If challenged under equal protection, the courts would likely apply a rational basis test to the policy, i.e., if the regulation is reasonably related to an important public policy and is the least restrictive manner upon which to meet that need, it will likely be upheld. If a mandated shutdown is challenged as a violation of freedom of speech or assembly, a strict scrutiny test will be applied, and the court would again have to determine if the time, place and manner restrictions are reasonably related to the underlying public need and whether or not there are less restrictive options available. Unless and until someone were to challenge a regulation legally in the courts and prevail, the state can certainly enact these measures and enforce them.

In reality, a challenge to any government imposed shut down in the courts may actually take longer than any of these temporary shutdowns would be in place, so we may simply be at the government’s mercy for the time being.

If these updates are helpful to you do us a favor and like the post where you saw this. Also, if you have a question feel free to put that up, we’ll answer it if we feel we have enough internal expertise.

Family Life

My wife put out a vlog on what’s changed and what’s different at the Addington household, you can see her video below.