It’s tough when you lose your heroes. Recently we’ve lost many to Covid-19, cancer, and other horrible ways. For millions of people, they may have just lost one with a Tweet.
Over the past 48 hours the eccentric billionaire and Tesla CEO has called for America to end its quarantine by tweeting “FREE AMERICA NOW”. He went on to say that this is facism. This morning he added a few more colorful tweets, just in case you were wondering if he got hacked or whether he truly believes what he is saying. First he quoted the star spangled banner, called for us to rage, then he proclaimed he is going on a Buddha-esque rebirth and plans to sell all his possessions including his home. He concluded this epic twitter meltdown by letting us know that his girlfriend Grimes is not happy with him.
Ok. Let’s break this down. Elon Musk stands to make $600 million in new stock from Tesla as a reward for how well the shares have been performing. This will be awarded as part of a compensation package that is tied to his performance. That package has 12 components and has a maximum value of $55 billion. The first component says that Musk is due 1.69 million shares as long as Tesla hits a certain stock value. Tesla is on track to hit these goals as long as the stock doesn’t take a major hit in early May. You know what might have an impact on Tesla’s stock? A global quarantine that stops workers from working in Tesla factories.
It seems as if we all have a price. Musk has built an empire on the vision that he is here to save the world. And you know what? He’s done more than most of us could in a hundred lifetimes. He has taken historic measures in saving our environment and has offered to personally and directly help with horrific catastrophes on several occasions. Many people liken him to a real life “Tony Stark” because of his bold visions and commitment to saving our planet.
Cut to the coronavirus. Social distancing is working. The curve is flattening. The top medical experts in the world have predicted this. They also predicted that these great strides will be met with many people saying that their projections were an exaggeration and a call to loosen the restrictions that are working so well. Musk calling these health measures “facism” might be a bit of a stretch. If Hitler said that for 3 months Jewish people were supposed to remain inside for their health and could only leave their home if they needed to or wanted some fresh air, gave them $1200 to help with bills, increased unemployment benefits and provided them $500 billion in forgivable small business loans…well let’s just say that storming Normandy would look a bit silly.
Make no mistake tens of millions of people are absolutely suffering. Elon makes an incredibly valid point. Unemployment is at a record high and the government is not helping nearly enough. A quarantine could have potentially devastating results on someone’s mental health, they could be stuck with someone who is abusive, they might not have hygienic living conditions. A call for the government and those with the power to help, to exponentially increase their efforts to aid those affected by this quarantine financially, physically and mentally is much needed. But undoing the sacrifice we have all made so far and risking hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of deaths, would overwhelm our hospitals and permanently devastate our world.
This virus has shown the true colors of many people and we hope that Musk willing to trade in human lives in exchange for a bump in his stocks is an aberration.