The eclipse is going to cost the U.S. a whole lotta money

Today’s the day the total solar eclipse distracts America from, well, everything.

The better-enjoy-it-now spectacle will cost the United States almost $700 million in lost productivity during the “roughly 20 minutes that outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates workers will take out of their workday on Monday to stretch their legs, head outside the office and gaze at the nearly two-and-a-half minute eclipse,” according to Reuters.

And that’s a conservative estimate. Because let’s be real: How many people do you know who will only take a 20-minute break? We all know Ellen is going to take an extra 10 to grab a cup of coffee. Meanwhile, Tom is going to need an extra 30 to make sure his telescope is in working order. And then there’s Jim, who’s just going to call it a day when the the big show starts. The prime time for viewing in Minnesota will likely last from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., which means plenty of offices are going to look pretty thin after lunch.

Still, this is nothing in comparison to the lost productivity during March Madness, Cyber Monday and the day after the Super Bowl.

Anyway, the show’s about to start soon so please excuse me. I’ve got an eclipse viewing party I need to head to.

Related:  How to enjoy the eclipse, and not burn out your eyes