NOTE: This week’s letter is going out a bit later than usual. There’s a good reason for that, though. Please read through to the end to see why.
Most of us “sprang ahead” recently. It’s easy to complain about, but there is plenty of data showing a rise in cardiac events the day after. Lack of sleep is a valid health threat (h/t tip to Nita Jain for the link).
Occasionally, someone mounts a campaign to end the switching of our clocks, but they never seem to get any traction. This family isn’t waiting and is just going for it. That’s my kind of rebellion.
So is this:
If you ever wondered what “peak Wisconsin” looks like, this is it.
You don’t get to Daylight Savings without first going through winter, and in much of the US, that means relying on salt. No salt-> no driving-> No work, no play, no goods & services.
Road salt doesn’t eliminate this problem entirely, but it comes close, reducing collisions by up to 88% and injuries by 85%. Studies show that deicing salt pays for itself within the first 25 minutes after it is spread.
That reliance can mean big bucks for some people. Matt Stoller wrote about how junk bond king Michael Milken bought 2 major suppliers recently. If you live somewhere warm, this move might not seem like a big deal, but the potential 2nd order effects are huge.
Salt isn’t used a whole lot in aviation (turns out planes hate it). The key theme last week was sweet (if guarded) optimism with Delta, United, and American all seeing signs of recovery. Speaking at a JP Morgan conference, Delta CEO Ed Bastain had this to say:
“We’ve seen some glimmers of hope over the course of the last year, but they’ve been false hope, I think, in most regards. But this seems like it’s real, it seems substantive,”
As a longtime employee in the industry, I have to hope he’s right. And anecdotally, there have been some green shoots here and there over the last month. The traffic graph is moving slowly up-and-to-the-right but hasn’t hit critical mass just yet.
I wrote a piece on here about what life at an airport has been like during COVID, and my friend Marisa Hoenig wrote a beautiful article about the parallel pandemic, and how tangential interactions took on a whole new meaning in a year of isolation.
There are a lot of people who are a sort of extra in the movie of our lives. The guy you see every day on your way to work, the woman at the convenience store you stop at for coffee, and so on.
We don’t always even know their names, but our lives look materially different in their absence. We really are all on this ride together.
Thanks for being here,
P.P.S. I’m late ’cause did a thing today. And yeah, I’m totally cheesin’. Never thought I’d be so excited to get a shot.
Originally published at https://thekevinalexander.substack.com.