My mother is my barometer for technological adoption--if my Mom asks me to help her figure something out on her phone or tablet, it is safe to assume it’s going from mostly mainstream to fundamental fact of life. So when Mom hit me up a few days ago asking about GooglePay, I had two thoughts in succession: 1) Ugh, Lord give me strength as I guide her through this, and, 2) It might be time to blog about mobile payments again.
It’s a set of personal questions that have enormous economic implications, one asked on family Zoom calls and in market research surveys alike: Have you received your stimulus check yet? How have/will you spend it? I’ve saved mine thus far, my best friend just bought a Yamaha keyboard with his. My mother paid down some debt, and a dear friend who has been out of work since the lockdowns began put his directly toward rent.
I’ve always known we were going to get out of this phase of the pandemic, but this week was the first time I actually could see it playing out. Indeed, what has been a distant promise is slowly becoming a tangible future as concrete plans are being laid across the nation for a gradual relaxing of social distancing standards and a reopening of shuttered businesses. While logistics and timetables are going to vary from state-to-state, county-to-county, and even city-to-city, examining California’s recently announced, four-stage reopening plan offers our first real glimpse at what our new normal will look like and how we will get there.
As we close out another week, my man and I will do what we do every Friday night these days: We convert our house from office back to home, often in silence, shutting off the news and the work week, allowing the kitchen to temporarily reclaim the counter it loses each week to my standing desk. We wind down with our drink of choice, fade into the weekend, and then sometime Sunday evening, we do the whole thing in reverse. The weekend has to be different, we say. We’ll tune back in on Monday.
Yesterday at about 11:30 AM, for no particular reason other than that we could, my man and I ordered 70 (yes, s-e-v-e-n-t-y) pieces of KFC popcorn chicken for $10, with free delivery to boot. Having recently abandoned any hopes that our Coachella/summer beach bodies will be of any use to us during a lockdown, we are determined to eat whatever the heck we want, whenever the heck we want it. It’s the form our grief takes.