Coronavirus Diaries 27 – This n’ That And GameStop, Oh My…!

As the saying goes… Thank God it’s Friday.

Seems like each week that passes, that’s what I look forward to most, getting to the weekend.

It’s not a healthy way to be!

Five days suck and then you’re all eager to get to the end of it for two days of… not doing all that much!

Seriously, as much as I look forward to the weekend, the reality in these times is that it just means taking it “easy” and, if I do go out, it’s just for the bare necessities and then its back to the house to chill.

In the news, it seems the big thing is GameStop and the Redditors who are investing in it, driving its price up, and the “short sellers” -the big hedge funds- who are taking a big bath because they have predicted the fall of GameStop.

Yesterday Robinhood, the Wall Street stock app, and a few others, restricted the “ordinary” wo/man from buying the stock while allowing those big hedge funds to continue buying it unaffected.

That, among other things, triggered lawsuits and general fury. Things got hot enough for the CEO of Robinhood to show up for an interview…

Now, I don’t pretend to be some Wall Street wizard, but I’ve been following this for a few weeks now, before it blew up in the media proper. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten into Robinhood and I do have some stocks -I got really lucky and bought a decent, though not terribly huge, amount of Tesla stock before it really blew up- and I’ve been curious about what to invest in and do frequent Reddit…


…I knew about the rising tide of GameStop “retards” (as the investors jokingly call themselves) who are determined to “hold the line” and keep GameStop’s stock up while inflicting pain to the Hedge Fund managers who are trying to short the stock.

I have no particular love for Hedge Fund managers and don’t feel betting on a company to fail is a particularly noble way of earning money.

Yet I’ll be very blunt to those who are inflating the price of GameStop: It will come down eventually. The fact is that the company, a so-called “Brick and Mortar” gaming store, is on the decline. Like many businesses which have also suffered (like bookstores, comic book stores, and music stores) the fact is that many people now download their games and the convenience of doing so, IMHO, will eventually lead to these stores’ end.

It’s inevitable, in time.

What will happen to all that money people on the “streets” have invested in those stocks?

I dunno.

Even today they still talk of “holding the line” and not selling what they’ve bought but, eventually, there will come a point when that will be done, no?

Then what?

Seems to me there’s a big problem going on with Wall Street and I really, really hope history isn’t repeating itself. Back in the 1920’s, there was a time of elation (interestingly enough, it followed the so-called “Spanish Flu” pandemic which hit around 1918) and Wall Street was riding a high… like it is now.

However, there came the crash and it was bad, leading to the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

I wonder if we can fix the problems we’re currently seeing in Wall Street before we reach that sort of critical point.

More anxiety in this age of anxiety, no?

Anyway, its Friday and I’m going to try to have a nice one.

Hope you guys out there do so, too!


As I was writing the above, Johnson & Johnson released the findings of its vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna ones, this vaccine requires only one dose versus two.

You can read about these findings in this article by Lauran Neergaard and Linda A. Johnson for the AP:

Johnson & Johnson 1-dose shot prevents COVID-19, but less than others

The key paragraphs:

J&J said Friday that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the single-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness, and much more protective — 85% — against the most serious symptoms.

There was some geographic variation. The vaccine worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 – compared to 57% in South Africa, where it was up against an easier-to-spread mutated virus.

Now, while it may seem like this is a bit of a disappointment, an 85% efficacy against the moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms is a pretty damn good result for a one-shot vaccine.

While many will likely still prefer the two shot vaccine, if this one is available and it only requires one shot, it makes for a very nice alternative.

We need to get people vaccinated and we need to get them vaccinated fast to get back to “normal”.

This should help!