The pandemic has produced an unemployment rate not seen since the great depression. Companies that we have known as rock stable for years, such as J.C. Penny’s, Hertz Rental and GNC have filed for bankruptcy, many retail center stores have stopped being able to pay their rents, restaurants are still seeing less than 50% of their pre-pandemic business, the travel industry has been ravaged and many small business closed during the pandemic may never reopen.
Despite what appears to be cataclysmic financial ramifications of the pandemic, the stock market has bounced back to levels almost seen before the virus first reared its’ ugly head. Investors have been buoyed by reports of a vaccine in the works, states “opening up”, the Fed keeping interest rates historically low and the government printing money and throwing it at the economy. There has never been a more disconnect between “Main street” and Wall Street.
Many experts believe that the stock market and valuations are in some crazed euphoric state with a wildly false sense of security. Their predictions are that we are in for huge stock market crash that will produce levels lower than were seen in March. With really no one able to accurately predict the stock market, who knows?…maybe this sense of “security” investors feel will prove not to be false.
Moving focus from the stock market to our bodies: As a physician practicing for almost 40 years (gulp!), I have seen my share of patients that do not take needed action because of a false sense of security. If the overweight/obese person has not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension or other weight-related co-morbidities, a false sense of security may stop her/him from acting on the weight issue. However, by the time a co-morbidity occurs, there is a chance that the damage has already been done and not reversible, such as a severe stroke, an advanced cancer or a serious Covid illness.
PLEASE do not be lulled by a false sense of security when it comes to your health. If the stock market crashes and we lose money, we can recover from this as long as we have our health. If our bodies crash, it matters little what the stock market is doing.