Paddling in a Pandemic


March 14th – As I paddle out towards Port Jefferson Bay the morning sun is blocked by a cloud bank. Soon the clouds will clear and the sky will become a cloudless blue. Not so, the Pandemic.

By Cecil Hoge

Chapter 1

March 14, 2020

On this Saturday, I took the opportunity to go for an early morning paddle. That is easy for me because I live by the water and have a dock about 100 feet from my back door. So all I have to do is walk out of my living room onto my back porch, walk down a few stairs and go another 100 feet. I am then on my dock where I have several inflatable boats at my disposal. On this day, the water on the bay is flat and glassy, the sky is still has a large bank of clouds off to the Northeast. The temperature is around 45 degrees Fahrenheit and the sky is still reflected in the shimmering tones on the glassy water.

Today, I choose to paddle my kayak. I have choice: on my dock I have a kayak and a rowing craft. I also have a solar powered electric motor craft I call the TriTiki. I use the TriTiki to cruise around our bays on warmer days. Today is not one of those days.

When I use my kayak on chilly days, I also use a kayak blanket that we sell for that occasion. I like to be warm when paddling a kayak and since my legs do not move when paddling that blanket comes in mighty handy for those who want to be toasty warm.

Out on the water in my kayak the air is clean and wonderful to breathe. Soon, I know, the winds will pick up out of the Northwest. Then the clouds will move out and the sky will be fully clear. And with the sun will come some extra warmth. No matter. I am well dressed for the occasion with gloves, a windproof fleece-lined nylon jacket and a warm wool hat with earmuffs. I am, as always, totally warm and comfortable.

I paddle out past the old stone bulwark that used to lead to a wood bridge that spanned my bay (Little Bay) and leads to Setauket Bay. The wood bridge is gone since 1898 when I assume it was washed away by a ferocious storm. On this tranquil morning I am wondering if I am paddling in an allusion – if this calm and beautiful scene is but a dream. Perhaps, in reality, I am paddling in an unseen and silent storm.

The broken down stone bulwark is still quite close to where I started, so do not feel that I have exerted much effort. It is the beginning of my paddle. I am in no hurry. A little further along a line of 7 Canada geese proceed out in front of me from the shore. I steer a little further out in order to give them space and time to figure what they want to do. I know either they will get all excited and start barking at me or they will change course and paddle their webbed feet back towards shore.

I am hoping they will not get excited because they make a terrible noise and the end is always foreseeable. They start barking, then their barking becomes louder and occurs faster and then they all fly away barking as they go. But on this day, they have wisely chosen to change course, stay silent and cruise back toward shore.

In what may be said to be the real world, other things are happening.

As I suggested in my last blog story, the Coronavirus has picked up steam and the stock market has gone, to use a technical term, kablooey. I cannot say where these events will lead. At the time I start to write this story, there are 91 cases of the Coronavirus on Long Island, 41 in Suffolk County (where I live), 50 in Nassau County. We shall see where that number is by the time I finish this story.

The Stock Market, another subject of my last blog story, has had its own set of blues, having gone down 20% since I posted “Into The 20s We Go”

Our President signed this stock chart on Friday, March 13th. It showed a 9% increase in stocks that day. It should be noted that the next week  the market down over 15%.

It is true that on Friday the 13th, President Trump declared a national emergency and talked the Stock Market up 9% that day. Mr. Trump happily signed the chart above showing the Stock Market’s gain for that day.

March 15th, 2020

Here is my prototype rowing craft, rigged with all the comforts of home, thermo-bag with seltzers, cushion for seat, mirror to have an idea of where I am rowing and a life jacket.

Incidentally, this day, the 15th, is the Ides of March. That was a big day in Rome in the time of Julius Ceasar.

On this day in old Setauket (it was first settled in 1665), the weather is clear and reasonably warm for the time of year. I choose to use my rowing craft this day. This happens to be a prototype of a new kind of inflatable boat that I am tentatively calling the GoSkiff. Originally, I designed it to accommodate a sail, which I tested at the end of last summer. It sailed quite well, but with the advent of colder weather and winter, I converted it to a rowing craft, using my friend’s Urs Wunderli’s sliding rigger arm. I have been using this sliding rigger arm for 5 years now. Urs calls it “Row Board” and sells it on his website: I consider “RowBoard” an uninspired name, but the product is truly great. I have told Urs to rename it the “Wunderli Rower”. So far, Urs has ignored my suggestion.

A sliding rigger arm is similar to a sliding seat, except instead of the seat going back and forth, the rigger arm holding the oars goes back and forth. In truth, a sliding rigger arm is actually more efficient. I won’t go into all the details. Both systems improve the ability to row. What I like about rowing is that it provides a total body exercise. That is because your arms, your legs, your hips, your stomach, your back are all in motion. Rowing provides another advantage over paddling in that you are naturally warmer because all parts of the body are moving…so no need for my trusty kayak blanket.

Rowing is different from paddling in that you see where you have been, rather than where you are going.  It also is a form of exercise that seems to feed on itself. Simply put, there is NOT a tendency to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Rowing seems to promote an exercise rhythm that becomes addictive. Once you start rowing you really do not feel like stopping. That does not mean you do not take in the sites…you do. The difference is that you usually row steadily for a long time, not wanting to slow down, but still seeing the sites as they pass into vision. And yes, after rowing steadily for two miles or so, I do stop and secure my oars. I then float silently on the water as the wind blows me where it wishes and I take in the sites while I chug down a selzer. The sparkling water is surprisingly refreshing after rowing 2 miles.

I characterize paddling as lolligagging whereas I characterize rowing as rowing. Paddling is lolligagging in the sense that there is always the temptation is to stop paddling, take a deep breath and take in the scenery that is always in front of you. And in fact, that is one of the most pleasurable aspects of paddling.

On my many paddling or rowing journeys, I see many interesting sites…loons diving for fish, hawks circling high in the sky, seagulls clustering over a school of minnows, elegant white swans cruising nearby with young brown tinted smaller and younger swans in tow, a seal popping his or her head out the water to check you out. Now these sites occur at different times of the year and some are far more often than others. I see seals only a couple of times in the year, always in the dead of winter, although two years ago a baby seal took up residence on my dock – see below:

Here is an overnight guest that came one winter day. I did not charge this youngster a residence fee for the night.

On this Sunday I take my rowing craft, tentatively called the GoSkiff 14. It is at this point I should tell you there is an obvious difference between paddling and rowing. With paddling you see where you are going, with rowing you see where you have been. Now I have to confess that I cheat. I have installed a mirror on my rowing craft. That allows me to see most of where I am going – my mirror does not have Xray vision through my body so I have to be careful. That still does not prevent me from occasionally running into a buoy or a boat. At this time of year all buoys and boats have been removed from the harbor except for one rather large fishing vessel named the “Lisa Jean” that floats by itself in Setauket Harbor as reminder of the fishing fleet that once was moored there.

So, off I go, rowing as I wish through the different bays. Paddling or rowing these days is practicing social distancing in the extreme. There are no other paddlers, rowers or boaters on this day or, for that matter, on most of the days during the late fall or winter. So, I usually have all the bays to myself. When I go rowing in the winter, I wear fleece-lined pants which keep my legs toasty as they push back and forth. As I have mentioned, I like to be warm and, if you dress properly, you always are. I would mention here for those concerned about my safety and boating regulations I always wear or carry a life jacket, so worry not, I am safety ready for my journeys on the sea.

It is another wondrous day on the water even though there is a chilly breeze. I carry other equipment with me that I consider vital. If it is an early morning, I carry hot coffee  in a Yeti mug. If it is later in the day, I carry a couple of selzers in a thermo-lined bag. At this time of year, the thermo-lining is not required, but the bag makes it convenient to carry the seltzers. So, on this sunny and clear March day I row out past Little Bay, past Setauket Bay and into Port Jefferson Bay, the largest of our four bays. Here I can take a break, pull out a seltzer and take in the view. It is a good day to be alive.

Social Distancing at its Best

March 16th, 2020

On this day, the stock market was on the way back down in a big way, despite the fact that Fed Chairman Powell reduced Fed funds rate one full percent. The Dow Jones ended up going down 11% for day. I am not sure the President will want to sign that chart. New Coronavirus cases were also surging that day, adding to the panic into the market. Things are progressing rapidly with different states announcing the closure of theaters, hotels, bars, restaurants, stadiums, museums and all places where people tend to gather.

It is an ongoing question on how to deal with this sad and tragic story which seems to affect every person in America in one way or another. I go for a paddle or a row, but many do not have this option. The fact that I can go for a paddle or a row seems like a rare privilege, but for me it is also a way to find some meaning and peace mind.

And so, while America deals with closing schools, bars and restaurants, I intend to take my woes onto the waterways of America. From my dock, I can paddle into a small bay appropriately called Little Bay. From Little Bay I can paddle to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Of course, paddling from my house to the Atlantic Ocean is something of a jaunt. Long Island Sound is about 5 miles from my house, but the Atlantic Ocean is another 60 miles to the East or the West. One has choice when coming out through the inlet into Long Island Sound to go West towards New York City through the East River into the Hudson River into the Atlantic Ocean with New Jersey just on your right. That’s a good choice if you want to paddle on to Miami. If you decide to go East, all you have do is paddle 60 miles East and pass Montauk Point and then you can head to Block Island or further north to Maine, if that is your fancy.

Needless to say, I restrict my paddling to the 4 bays that are most directly accessible from my dock. I failed to mention the fourth bay which is called Conscience Bay. It is off to the right as I come out into Port Jefferson Bay. Anyway, I think you get the idea that I have a lot of options, even if I don’t take them all. But paddling or rowing are the main options that I choose to ward off the sad events of the Coronavirus in America.

What seems to be disturbing the market is the ever worse news on the Coronavirus. The number of cases and subsequent deaths are growing rapidly and many States are announcing different kinds of shutdowns. Many businesses are being forced to close in an effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus. The Fed and the Government are doing their part to help mitigate the terrible news…lowering interest rates to almost zero, passing different bills designed to help workers, small businesses and large businesses.

March 18th, 2020 – I go for a very early morning row. It is mostly dark when I leave at 5:45 am. The water on the bay is a flat black glass. The moon is still out and it sports an unusual halo this early morning. I do not know what the halo is portends. It seems strange. In the distance, there are lights from the surrounding houses that circle my different bays. In the dark, I hear garbage trucks making dinosaur screeches as they stop and pick up cans. Today is plastic day. The town of Brookhaven (our township) has announced that it can longer recycle the plastic they are picking up. I wonder where the plastics will go.

Here is what I see on the bay:

The darkness before the dawn is fading. Soon the sun will erase the moon and spread its light over all.

I row out of Little Bay into Setauket Bay and then into Port Jefferson Bay. The dim light of the day gives way to a clear blue expansive sky and soon I can feel the first warmth from the sun. The wind is out of the Northwest about 10 mph and as come out of Setauket Bay, it pushes against my back as I row forward. When I get to the mouth of Port Jefferson Bay, I take a break, put up my oars, sip my still hot coffee and ponder the new day.

After a few minutes of contemplation, I pick up my oars and resume my journey. It is easier to row back since the wind is now pushing me in that direction. As I come around the bend in Setauket Bay, I row along the Strong’s Neck shoreline. I am now protected from the wind because I am in the “Lee of the Land”. And while I always dress warmly, the extra warmth that comes from the rising sun in area protected from the wind is much appreciated.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. After my row I head into my office. A little later in the day, the Governor of New York announces a large increase in Coronavirus cases and deaths in New York City, Long Island and New York State. The Governor goes on to announce that all business must reduce their workforce by 50%. By this time “social distance” has become very popular concept at our business. All of our people, in our office and factory, are kept 6’ apart. We have 26 people working for us, 3 are already working remotely…one in New Delhi, India, two in South Carolina. So that afternoon we make plans to have only 13 people in the office and warehouse.

March 19th, 2020

The next day is rainy, windy and cold. I forego the idea of a paddle or a row. I head into the office to review our plans. By one that afternoon, our plans are thrown into confusion when the Governor announces another spike in virus cases and deaths. A new edict is laid down. Now only 25% of your work force can come in. Hastily, we make plans for different shifts to insure that there are never more than 6 people are in our building. We have 24,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, so even in normal times, our people are well-spaced part. With the 25% announcement, social distancing is getting truly easy.

March 20th, 2020 

This day is sunny and warm, with temperatures making into the 60s. I take the opportunity to go for a morning paddle before heading into the office to review our plans for having 25% of the people working in our building. By 12 noon that plan becomes moot. The Governor of New York announces that all non-essential businesses must close by Monday the 23rd. A new plan must be developed.

I have the unpleasant and sad duty to inform our 26 employees that we do not know how long we can maintain salaries or keep people employed. It will be contingent, I tell them, on what support we can get from the government. One thing is true, I tell them, we cannot pay people for long if we cannot ship goods and receive monies for that. It is a sad and shocking day for me, my brother and partner, John Hoge, and for all of the employees. Many of our employees have worked for us for 10 or 20 years and some a lot longer. We are, after all, a family business that has continually operated for the last 62 years.

We contact UPS and Fedex to advise that them we will not be open for our regular shipments and pickups. We advise different trucking companies that will not be open for pick-ups or drop-offs. We advise our freight forwarder to have any incoming shipments sent on to the logistic company we use to hold additional inventory. That is because the logistic company can still operate. They are considered an essential business because they also distribute food and prescription drugs. So we schedule various fishing lure and inflatable boat shipments to go to Elm Logistics.

Personally, I consider fishing lures and inflatable boats pretty essential. The fishing lures catch fish – the inflatable boats let people get to where they can catch fish. I am thinking in this strange and troubling time, catching fish may be important in feeding people who perhaps have no money because they are unemployed.

March 21, 2020

On Saturday, we get some very surprising and very good news. My brother, who is very diligent in reading all government documents and reports about this, has discovered that the Governor of New York has issued new guidance on what is considered an essential business and what is not. Because we have a warehousing and distribution business we are considered an essential business. Immediately, we call back all our our employees and tell all our warehouse workers to come in Monday morning. It is a happy day. We still tell our office workers to work from remotely from home. That is pretty easy for us since before all this started we already had three remote workers. Adding more people to work remotely is actual pretty easy and simple, although it does require some instruction from our IT guy.

Since the weather is sunny and a pretty comfortable 52 degrees, I head out for a celebratory paddle on the bay. I encounter no other paddlers. It is still early for most kayakers to get out on the water. I take my trusty kayak blanket to keep legs warm and dry. The dry part is an especially handy feature because of “paddle drip”. This is something that most kayakers never mention, but water tends to make its way down the shaft of a paddle blade and drip into the cockpit of the kayak. But no worries for me, my trusty, toasty waterproof kayak blanket keeps me both warm and dry. It is a good day for a paddle and I come back feeling refreshed and happy at the news that we can continue operating.

March 23, 2020

On Monday I stay home because now I am a new remote worker. I spend most of my first day getting my Chromebook up and running. It is not easy, but, after several false starts, several Skype calls to our IT guy, who, by the way, is one our first remote workers and is located in South Carolina, I get it working. Now I can see daily sales reports, review email, review what is in our warehouses for shipping and make Skype calls far and wide.

On this day, I take the opportunity to call our biggest fishing lure customers to tell them the one basic message. We are open, for now, I tell them, but I do not know how long. One customer says sorry, our best account, is Dick’s Sporting Goods, and they have closed all their stores. Things are looking grim, they tell me. Another customer, quite a famous one, tells me that 6 of their 156 destination stores are closed, but for the moment the remaining 150 destination stores are open, but they are seeing a lot less foot traffic. They are nervous and do not want to buy much until they see the lay of the land. They promise to review their inventory and place orders, if needed. A day later, a nice stocking order comes in, but it is not bigger then usual. It is nice to see anyway.

The last customer is more enthusiastic. They service Walmart and they will review their needs and order out to cover the next 60 days of their needs. A day later a really big stocking order comes from them and we have scramble to gather everything we can to ship them and then we have to order more goods to replace what we have just sold.

My father told me many years ago, “You can’t ship from an empty wagon.”

I also know that many others have said the same thing and it is a kind of conventional wisdom among manufacturers and distributors. I have always taken that advice to something of an extreme…keeping more inventory on hand than most companies would. Simply put, we never want to be out of anything because we hate backorders…it is costly and it reduces what you can bill and get paid for.

Now, we have two suppliers for fishing lures, one is an American company in Florida. They buy American parts for our fishing lures and assemble and paint those parts in the Dominican Republic. Then they send back the finished fishing lures to us. The other supplier is a Hong Kong company. They make lures for us, doing their painting, plating and assembly in Shenzhen, China. Of the two suppliers, the American one is the slower and less reliable, sad to say. The quality of both suppliers is truly excellent, but the production abilities of Hong Kong company is better. For that reason, we give the new order to the Hong Kong company. We need goods fast.

Should you think cost is the reason we chose to use the Hong Kong company, it is not. Because of duties, tariffs and newly higher airfreight costs, the lures made by the Hong Kong company cost more. So, the main reason we placed our orders with the Hong Kong is that we know we can get the lures faster.

Strange to say, the Hong Kong company was shut down for an extended period after Chinese New Year, but now they are up and running. They have to comply to the strict regulations of the Chinese government still has in place regarding the Coronavirus. That means everyone in their factory has to wear masks each day. They must replace their masks every 6 hours. They have to have their temperatures taken twice a day – in the morning before being admitted to the factory and they then again after lunch. Anyone exhibiting an above normal temperature is sent home. And if they exhibit any symptoms of the virus, they are sent off to quarantine.

So we place an order with our Hong Kong supplier for all the products we are running low or running out of. I would mention that we have over 1,000 different sizes, colors and kinds of fishing lures, so there is a lot to keep in stock.

That proves to be a wise choice because three days later we find out Dominican Republic factory has been shut down for next four weeks. Apparently, the Coronavirus has reared it’s ugly head there.

We then set our employees to task of getting as much shipped as possible of the new order to our big customer. We are exceedingly lucky, I know, to have this kind of a problem. And so we set to work. In doing so, we implement many of the standards that the Chinese have put in place. We supply masks for all workers, we space out their work areas, we provide sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for everybody. And we go around every 3 hours wiping down doorknobs, keyboards, and other surfaces that might get touched.

We also order additional supplies of face masks, gloves, point & shoot thermometers and a special steam machine to disinfect desks, work stations, computers and work areas. Many of these items are not available presently in this country, so we ask our Hong Kong supplier to obtain face masks, surgical gloves, thermometers, and arrange for them to be sent by UPS Air.

The first 4 days of this week are fairly good for the stock market. It goes up substantially and erases some of its earlier losses from what I will call the Coronavirus Panic. Now, it is certain that there are good reasons to worry about the financial effects, as well as the health effects of the virus. Bars, restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise lines and many other forms of businesses are either shut down or greatly reduced. By Thursday, new unemployment claims are revealed. It is a shocker, over 3,000,000 people have filed claims for unemployment. 

Another shocker was announced the same day. On the 26th of March, the United States surpasses China in the total number of reported Coronavirus cases. Of course, the number of cases cited by China was questioned by many who think that the Middle Kingdom may have understated the real number of cases. I happen to be in the camp that does believe that China’s numbers are understated.

Despite the unemployment and Coronavirus news, the stock market takes this in stride and goes up one more day.

March 27, 2020

On Friday, the number of infected cases of the Coronavirus on Long Island surpasses South Korea. That is pretty amazing, considering that the population of South Korea is 51 million people and Long Island is 3 million. One might wonder how could Long Island surpass South Korea in the number of Coronavirus cases? I will leave that question to be asked after this is all over.

Below is a chart showing the rapid rise of Coronavirus cases on Long Island:

The number of Coronavirus cases on Long Island was rising rapidly by March 27th.

By Friday, stock markets get nervous and they take the opportunity to backtrack.

It is a new opportunity for investors to get some great buys, some stock pundits say that evening on the two business networks. 

The weather on Friday was clear and in the low 50s. I take the opportunity to go for a paddle and ponder the state the world with a wide expanse of blue water in front of me.

It was a beautiful day and a wonderful paddle. The air was fresh and clear and I saw no one during my paddle. It was just me, some seagulls twirling around in the sky, some swans cruising elegantly by me, some great blue herons looking on at me in disapproval. I can tell you from experience herons, especially great blue herons, don’t like humans. They consider us interlopers on this earth.

The weekend comes and with it some nasty, rainy, cold weather. I stay home and light a fire. It gives a cosy and toasty feeling for me and my family.

March 31st, 2020

This Tuesday morning I choose to go for a row. That is both practical and smart. It is a cloudy, cool morning with a heavy bank of clouds stretching above as far as the eye can see. The temperature is around 40. The wind is out of the Northeast blowing at steady, cold and unforgiving 10 to 15 mph. My decision to row rather than paddle is practical because my kayak has gathered about 3” of water since I last used it. When I go down the dock, the first thing that I do is undo one of the drain valves on my kayak and drain out the water. Then I close the drain valve and flip the kayak upside down so no more rain can come in and the kayak will dry out.

“The Fleet” at my dock – a water filled Sea Eagle RazorLite to the left, a prototype “GoSkiff 14” on the right, a prototype “TriTiki” on the far side of the dock. The “”TriTiki” is 16’ long, holds up 4 people and features 2 solar panels, 2 lithium batteries, 2 electric motors. The solar panels charge the batteries, the batteries power the electric motors. The Green Revolution is in place at my dock.

My decision to go for a row is also smart because the kayak seat, having rested in 3” of water, is not going to be either warm or dry. So I then get on the other floating dock holding my rowing craft, slide it off that dock and get on my “GoSkiff” after I place a dry seat cushion on it. Fully prepared now, I begin my row out of Turtle Cove (my name for my little cove) and ply my oars into Little Bay. As mentioned above the temperature is still pretty chilly, the wind right nippy coming out of the unforgiving Northeast. Someone forgot to tell this March that it was supposed to go out like a lamb. 

In Little Bay I hug the shoreline which means closely passing by the cemetery that is at the end of the road my house is on. Appropriately, my road is called Cemetery Lane. The cemetery houses many folks from the Revolutionary War. Strong’s Neck, where I live, was settled in 1655 by the Smith and Strong families. And many family members are now buried in this nearby cemetery. I stay close to the cemetery and the shoreline because it keeps me in the “Lee of the Land” and thus I am sheltered from the the nagging Northeast Wind.

I ply my way along the shoreline on this gray and cloudy day, happy almost instantly to be out in the clean refreshing air. I come around the stone embankment and pass into Setauket Bay & Harbor. Immediately, I run into the 10 to 15 mph Northeast wind. Now I can row quite easily through that. Because I am rowing directly into the wind and my back is facing the wind, I am quite shielded, thanks to my trusty Duluth Nylon fleece-lined jacket. I can plow through winds pretty efficiently up to 25 mph, but after that I prefer to let others try it. Rowing in 25+ mph winds is a younger man’s game.

I read that Teddy Roosevelt, when he was a boy, loved to row in Long Island Sound in high winds. Teddy was a sickly child and not strong, but as he got a little older he took up outdoor exercise with great relish, his theory being that outdoor exercise would help him overcome his early sickly disposition. It seemed to work. He went on to become a very energetic President of the United States. Teddy grew up in Oyster Bay about 21 miles west of here.

Here be the “Lisa Jean”. Maybe the last of her kind in Setauket Harbor. Two crows sit at the stern on this cloudy and chilly day. Here the wind is sheltered by the land on both sides of the bay. Just seconds before there was a seagull on the bow. He or she flew away, perhaps, afraid that I might digitally capture their soul.

I am not rowing in high winds on Long Island Sound today. Good thing too, because it would probably mean rowing against sizable whitecaps. I am rowing in brisk Northeast winds as I ply my way through Setauket Bay and Harbor. Pretty soon, as I row into the narrows of Setauket Bay, I come up to the one boat that is still moored in the harbor. It is the “Lisa Jean”. She stands as a lonely reminder this once was a working harbor, a place from which whalers set out into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in search of whales and whale oil, a place where fisherman and clammers and oystermen once made their living.

The “Lisa Jean” is moored about a half mile from Port Jefferson Bay, so this is about a one and half mile row from my house. I take a picture of the venerable fishing craft and row my way around it and head back home. It is not my longest row by any means, but it is enough of a row to get a full slug of fresh air and to be reminded that the real world is outside, not inside. I am hoping, like Theodore Roosevelt, that my paddling and rowing activities will bring me true peace of mind and strengthen my body. While I am it, I also hope that it will protect me against the Coronavirus.

Back on my dock, I walk up my dock gangplank and look back over my little cove and the bay beyond. I cannot help but think it is a beautiful morning.

The rest of day did not proceed as well as my morning row. The stocks markets had a rough day, going down for the second day in a row. The Dow ended the month with its worst first quarter ever. Later the evening the President presided over the Daily Coronavirus Update. The news was not good. And for the first time, the President gave a very somber and honest report of where they thought the Coronavirus was going from here. He announced that they expecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from this Pandemic.

I must say that I was very impressed with the up front and honest presentation that the President gave. And while I might still think that the new projections of where this virus might might go may still be understated, I think it was a good and honest presentation that should be heeded by all. Those of you who might have read my last blog story, “Into the 20s We Go”, might remember that I have been tracking the progress of the Coronavirus in China and that was a main element of that story. That was because I was convinced that it was an important story and what was happening in China would most likely happen here in some form or other. Sad to say, that has come to pass.

I hope, with the rest of America and all the world, that this Pandemic comes to a swift end. I suspect its effects will be us for a long time to come. I suspect long after the physical effects of the Coronavirus on humans has been resolved, the financial effects of this tragedy will be with us. I think we may see an altered world. I hope that no matter what comes, we will find meaning and joy in life on earth. 

Not all of us will get to see the final progress of this new disease. None of us knows where it will go. 

In the meantime, I will continue to paddle and row each day that it is possible and hope that we all survive and thrive.

I gave this story a subhead: Chapter 1. That is because I think there will be more chapters to write about.

I mentioned when I started writing this blog story that there were 41 cases of Coronavirus in Suffolk County (the county where I live) and 50 cases in Nassau County (the adjoining county) – those two counties encompass the main populations of Long Island, although I am not including Queens or Brooklyn, which are boroughs of New York City.

Today, as of April 2nd, as I finish this blog story, there are 8,746 Coronavirus cases in Suffolk County and 10,593 Coronavirus cases in Nassau County. Presently, there now over 92,000 Coronavirus cases in New York and over 234,000 Coronavirus cases in the United States. Worst of all, today, according John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the world has over 1,000,000 Coronavirus cases.

I do not take pleasure in citing these numbers. I can only hope that this disease will die out soon and America will return to the country it was.

Whether you read books, surf the web, stream movies, go for walks, eat chocolate, lift weights, make love or practice yoga, I hope we can all find a way to “Paddle On”.


About Cecil Hoge

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1 Response to Paddling in a Pandemic

  1. Jeff Stephens says:

    Very good Cecil! You and your family take care and be safe.

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