I'm not going to take a 'side' here, I'm one of those people that contribute very little to the health of this platform, I pay my premium, I spend between 0-$80 a month, supporting creators products, sims, and performers in second life, and my tier fees, I will never own a full sim, a club, or be a creator of products, as I have not the skills, or the inclination to work hard and have a job, on a platform which any day Linden labs could pull the plug on and my hard work is effectively lost.
The bottom line, as I see it
Linden labs have three choices.
1. They can ignore people presenting things like Wendy.
If they do this the will lose revenue. They gamble on those people, finding it tight in normal times putting themselves in debt, for what plenty of people are calling a Luxury product.
So basically they are relying on people making foolish choices, putting Second life ahead of paying that electricity bill. Taking this course is going to cause places to close, estates to shut down, Linden labs finance projections will fall on their face, in an uncontrolled maner.
2 They can reduce every person with an estate by x amount.
X amount could be anything between suspending payments to a virtually useless token reduction.
clearly it can't be suspension or there would be trouble paying their own people ( I guess, as has anyone got the monthly gross profit of LL ?) a small amount would be pointless, as for those making lots of money they won't notice it, and for those that keep sims running for the love of it, the decrease would ultimately make no difference.
So while it's not going to be as bad as option one, there will be a fall off in linden labs profits, but it will still only be semi controlled.
3 They can look at each account that owns estates, they can see which runs at a profit needing none to virtually no help, to those that are making no profit, and those that will make a loss, and waive some tier fees to help the people really needing it.
This is the only choice where linden labs have some control of the loss of profits, this method also is the most likely, to have a positive impact on people keeping their estates open, and the grid enjoying some stability for better times.
This of course will cause those getting no help to be highly critical of Linden labs, and there will be those that will voice this should option 3 be taken.
Make no mistake, whatever Linden labs do, the companies profits are going to take a hit, people will either lose jobs or take salary reductions, this will impact every person on the grid, whether it be the grids performance, or losing a favourite place to go.
As people have pointed out, this is a luxury product, so it and other virtual place will get hit harder than a grocery store.
This is why Linden labs had better be having some serious meetings, and choosing a path that will have less impact on it's long term health.
Covid-19 is not going away, this year.
It's killing Lords, its killing the destitute, the homeless.
A practical vaccine for all people, will not happen until 2021, unless big corners are cut at the human testing stage, which could make things worse, and leave the people creating it open to legal action.
How many estate owners become casualties, cannot be projected.
I'll Repeat because it is important.
Linden labs have to make the right choice, to keep the grid as stable as possible for the next three, six, twelve months.
I really don't envy them