Last night I posed this question to both of my parents:

If, on January 21 (the day the news broke of the first coronavirus case in the US) you’d somehow been able to see the future all the way forward until today (April 4), what would you have done differently in the last two and a half months?

I’ll be honest, I expected poignant answers. “I would have spent more time with my grandchild, whom I can’t see now” or “I might have gone ahead and taken that trip we’d always talked about.” But that wasn’t where this went.

Without even a second of hesitation my dad responded that he would have sold all of his stocks, then he would have shorted the market. Then he would have cashed out with “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and bought a private jet and a private island with a landing strip. He would have invited his friends and “some” family to the island to ride this out. I asked if my dog Winston would be invited to the island, and he said that he would have bought a separate island for Winston.

When I asked my mom, she got this far-off wistful look in her eyes and said that she would have spent more time at TJ Maxx. And Marshalls. And Target. And Costco. And she proceeded to list about fourteen other bargain shopping destinations. And when she stopped talking about the places, she started talking about all the things she wanted to shop for at them. It was truly touching.

Anyway, if you’re like us and growing weary of talking about the sad news of the world (and Carol Baskin), it’s a fun question to contemplate.

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