Thar’s Gold In That Thar Pandemic!
A few of the lesser-known beneficiaries of the ongoing plague
By Ed Goldman
Notable beneficiaries have included, as you might imagine, manufacturers of hand sanitizers, masks and, natch, the lifesaving vaccines themselves. Others who’ve profited include food delivery services (like DoorDash, which may have added to its speed by not leaving a space between its two-word name) and food takeout places (like almost every restaurant that wanted to stay in business).
Dome and Domer
But who and what else experienced fiscal gains during the pandemic? We ruminated and developed the following list:
1. ANTI-VAXXING HOUSES OF WORSHIP. One prominent Bitcoin-chasing “minister” has told current and potential congregants that he’ll provide them with a letter to excuse them from wearing masks at church. This is a bit like those helicopter-parent letters asking that Little Billie be excused from climbing the rope during gymnastics class or doing the high jump during the track unit because his fear of heights is so great he asks God every night to make him shorter.
In any event, some vaxx- and mask-defying saloons in the Sierra foothills did so well during the pandemic’s first round that I’m sure a few of them thought of becoming franchises. That might have worked if the owners took into account location, which is meant to suggest that a place whose entire physical plant smells like a cake-free horse urinal isn’t likely to thrive in certain zip codes, especially the ones so exclusive they aren’t listed—even with the United States Postal Service.
DeSantis has chosen a unique way to prevent gentrification, a problem for genuine earthly Edens like Idaho (where they filmed the classic movie “Northwest Passage,” which wasn’t actually located there—nor did they ever even travel there in the movie) or even Austin (which is pretty much Sacramento with a Stetson). He rejects science and common sense but still begs the federal government (though denies he did so) for ventilators. In short, he’s a one-man shill for the funeral industry.
4. PANDEMIC CONSPIRACY BUFFS. This probably goes without saying but a cottage industry—well, make that a cottage-cheesy industry—has sprung up on social media whose goals are to: (a) firmly fix blame on the Wuhan Lab where COVID-19 was allegedly first detected and officially denied by the government (the disease, not the existence of a lab, at least not yet); (b) discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci for daring to tell the American people the truth about the disease and ways to combat its spread; and (c) somehow bring Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Satan into the conversation. The wilier pandemic conspiracy buffs have found a way to monetize their operation by selling T-shirts, coffee mugs and defective masks that provide an equal lack of protection to wearers and their unsuspecting victims (including: everyone).
5. MAKERS OF THE PLASTIC RESTAURANT BUBBLE. This ingenious product, a spinoff of the useless Cone of Silence on “Get Smart,” allows eateries to encase outdoor dining areas in Saran Wrap walls, giving diners the hilarious impression that being trapped outdoors in an enormous plastic bag with other diners is safer than sitting with them in an airy indoor restaurant.