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“I am going to wait for the crash before buying my first stocks.” How to get your shot. Long covid’s ugliness

     “I’m 100% invested in real estate. I am going to wait for the stockmarket crash before buying stocks — crash coming soon,” he emailed me.

The market opened way down this morning. A mini-crash. He had his wish. My “losses” were in the six figures.

My brilliant friend, Ed, snagged UBER at 50, SQ at 213, CRWD at 209, BA at 200. They’re now $53.67, $216, $216.53 and $202. In other words, he’s up on all four purchases. Brilliant Ed.

Here’s the chart showing today’s crash and mini-recovery.

Other than Ed’s a genius, what’s the point?

+ You can’t time the market.

+ Some guru is always predicting a market crash.

+ They’re always right. It always crashes.

+ But so far, it’s always come back and then gone higher. Even after the Great Depression and Black Monday.

The best way to start is with an index fund. I like Vanguard’s VGT (tech) and VTI (total market). Then you can buy stocks in companies you buy from or deal with — like Amazon, Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Tesla, Google, PayPal, etc.

My friend Matt, who manages a real business (insurance), does dollar cost averaging. He puts a fixed amount into the market every month –he says it’s like paying the rent. This way he doesn’t freak when he’s “losing” money.

I’ve come back from a six figure “loss” this morning to a tiny “profit” this afternoon. But I didn’t buy on the dip. I was playing tennis. My partner marveled at my new down-the-line backhand.

Lessons learned this weekend

+ Waze can be 100% unreliable, especially in rural areas. It will take you the wrong way, to the wrong place. If in doubt, check it against maps.google.com before you leave.

+ If you get a reaction against the virus — your arm hurts — know that’s good. It means the virus is working.

+ If  “Amazon” calls you and says “your Amazon account has been compromised.” It hasn’t. It’s another phone fraud.

+ He walked on to the tennis court. “You were right.”  I was right? I thought I was right about something significant. Something brilliant? No way. He sheepishly said, “I fell on the last step  and busted up my knee.”

Covid update

The covid lung (pictured here) does not happen to everyone who gets covid. But it happens to old people and to young people. My favorite radiologist, Dr. Jonathon Mishkin, says he’s seen the covid lung in old people and erstwhile healthy 20-year olds. You never can tell who’s going to suffer that bad.

Meantime, there’s something really. really awful called “long covid.” From the New York Times, a long article:

My ‘Long Covid’ Nightmare: Still Sick After 6 Months

…Almost 23.5 million people in the United States have come down with Covid-19 as of mid-January, according to Johns Hopkins University, and the number of deaths is a staggering 391,081. What has been discussed less is that for some of us, months of lingering symptoms make you wonder if you will ever be OK again. Among those with the virus, doctors estimated early on that tens of thousands of people experienced Covid’s wrath long after the virus left their bodies. Fever. Fatigue. Heart palpitations and “brain fog.” These are some of the common long-term symptoms. For other people, the experience is much worse, including inflammation of the heart, stroke, kidney damage, an inability to focus and depression.

Despite those early estimates, no one really knows how many people suffer from “long Covid.” Researchers are just beginning to dig into the science, guided by the legions of sick who were hospitalized early on or mobilized in online forums to share stories and offer support. A new study of 1,733 Covid-19 patients who were discharged from a hospital in Wuhan, China, the original epicenter of the pandemic, suggests that three-​quarters of those patients had at least one symptom, like fatigue, muscle weakness or diminished lung function, after six months. And it is not just the severely ill who suffer. A U.S. study showed that symptoms even persisted among some people with mild cases, including young adults.

The coronavirus affects each person differently, and what I’ve learned these past nine months is that my recovery is singularly my own. I live alone and, after lockdown began, worked from my home at my job as a visual editor at The New York Times. I left my apartment only a few times before I got sick to go to the grocery store and to the Post Office. Five days after my trip to the Post Office (where I was wearing a mask but few others were), I had a fever, and my body shook with chills.

Initially, my doctor expected I would have a quick recovery given that I was in my 50s and in good health and had no pre-existing conditions. I regularly walked four miles a day and swam laps at the gym. But few people truly grasped the invasiveness of Covid last spring. It would be seven weeks before I returned to work, and when I did, I still didn’t feel right. I assumed the fatigue, cough and chest pain that lingered would fade. I just needed time to mend. Medical tests showed that the markers of inflammation in my body were elevated, which meant I was still fighting leftover remnants of the virus. And my D-dimer level, which measured the possibility of a blood clot, was elevated, too. Some people have inflammation after a virus, which can present itself as fatigue, chills, memory issues and headaches. But Covid has other unique attributes. Recently, a study by the National Institutes of Health linked Covid and the body’s inflammatory response to microvascular blood-vessel damage in the brain. This idea — that Covid affects small blood vessels — could explain why many parts of the body are impacted by the virus.

You can read the full article here.

There is a shortage of vaccine and a shortage of appointments. Constant checking web sites seems to be the key. That’s how Susan and I got our appointments and got our vaccines — last Friday.

If you volunteer for three days at a vaccination center, you could be entitled to be vaccinated — no matter your age.

Dermatology update

They burned off the bad skin stuff and found one problem — on my nose, which they’re biopsying.

The sun is not your friend. My biggest skin problems are — my face, my ears and the backs of my hands. I don’t layer these enough with sunblock. I will in future. Susan wears gloves when she drives. Excellent idea.

Should I move to Austin, TX?

In a word, No.

Sad story in Business Insider:

I moved my family from California to Austin, Texas, and regretted it. Here are 10 key points every person should consider before relocating.

Click here.

Watch this series

It’s really good and she’s brilliant.

Contents revealed

The letter Trump left for Biden

See you tomorrow — Harry Newton