As states begin what will be a long and zig-zagging reopening, consumers will emerge to a new retail landscape. Of course, that landscape was already littered with boarded up storefronts before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. Derek Thompson: The Pandemic Will Change American Retail Forever. “We are entering a new evolutionary stage of retail, in which big companies will get bigger, many mom-and-pop dreams will burst, chains will proliferate and flatten the idiosyncrasies of many neighborhoods, more economic activity will flow into e-commerce, and restaurants will undergo a transformation unlike anything the industry has experienced since Prohibition.” This is the most popular kind of article (and topic of conversation) I’m finding these days: What aspects of our lives will never be the same after the pandemic? We might be putting the shopping cart before the horse, and I often wonder, how much will really change, but I understand the drive for this type of content. Whether we change or not, the analysis provides something of a salve, because all of it imagines a world where the pandemic is over. In the meantime, few are willing to shop til they drop.

+ The Pretenders: I went back to Ohio / But my city was gone / There was no train station / There was no downtown.