100 day check-up on a world gone just very slightly mad / Reflections from the Covid-19 bunker.

It finally happened. I think my dove is broken. It’s that or she really doesn’t want to fly out of the bunker’s window again to check if the land is dry yet. “I just need a quick aerial” I tell her. “We’ll keep whatever you see between us. C’mon, be brave now. You can have the rest of the day off when you return. Maybe rest in the jacuzzi. Put the sunglasses on. Roll a j. Listen to Snoop. Like how many doves do you know that get to do that eh?”

But nada. She just looks down. Coos a little quietly to herself. Refuses to eat. Heavily raises her legs up on the table, almost lethargically, one after the other. And just stares at the floor with both her wings just hanging there like they’re made of iron instead of feathers.

“This ain’t no way for a dove to behave” I try. “You gotta cheer up and fly out there for a quick one. Be a good dove, take a few snapshots, turn around, fly back, end of. It’s really not that hard. Doves have been doing this since the times of the flood and I really need to know if it’s safe to go outside already. Be thankful you have a job silly dove!“ But she doesn’t wanna listen. Not much you can do with a chronically depressed dove.

And you, world. You had one job! Leaders were to follow science and run mass tests. Crowds to keep calm, draw rainbows, clap hands at 8pm and wait till the dove had her aerials taken so we can all go out again. At which point did anyone, leader or follower, understand any of these simple instructions to mean a ‘new normal’ of setting our collective house on fire and taking a leek on its ashes?!

Hard to blame the dove for refusing to go out. When you are up there, it’s a bit hard to see things clearly for what they are through the smoke and flames of the burning buildings. Plagues, murder, racism, the scent of fascism, looters, shooters, mobs with pitchforks, none of it aiding the creeping of cheerfulness and calmness lost so swiftly in February back into our lives.

But social media infused depression aside, let’s take the pulse of this world gone mad together again shall we. Are things really as bad as they seem on the screen…?

Nowhere near!!!

Covid-19 Pandemic In The UK

The data doesn’t lie. The pandemic wave 1 is dying down. There have been ZERO new cases recorded in Scotland and Northern Ireland for the first time today, next to nothing elsewhere, and death rates nationwide are falling to early March pandemic outbreak levels. Not only the risks to public health are diminishing by the day, but perhaps in some cases were exaggerated in the first place. Scientists in universities in Oxford and Cambridge published statistics today stating that school age kids are more likely to be hit by lightning than die of Covid-19. They also suggested that the Swedish model should now be adopted to allow all kids back to school and adults back to work whilst efficiently shielding the old and more vulnerable. Other experts studied exposure in hair salons and found that your chances of contracting Covid-19 falls to next to nothing when you wear a mask.

10th June 2020


To conclude: 
– Our scientists are getting more sophisticated by the day with their research, suggested guidelines and quest for the cure.
– A strategy of total lock down is entirely exaggerated and unnecessary as is reckless neglect and so the golden middle path of a Swedish model 2.0 should be seriously considered(?)
– To swiftly go back to normal we know we should stick to a) washing our hands b) wearing a mask in the hair salon and similar establishments where we come in close contact c) send our kids to school without further delay and d) go to work, keep calm and carry on.

The State of The Economy

Another scary one, right? What about the Coronavirus Recession! The unemployment rates. How are we going to pick the bills and pay for all the economic havoc? That’s surely all doom and gloom right? Wrong again!!

What we’ve witnessed in the past few weeks is no less than the swiftest sharpest most incredible V shaped recovery of the Dow Jones industrial average from what the BOE described only weeks ago to become the fastest deepest recession in 300 years. The NASDAQ in the meantime has hit its all-time high today!! And albeit here in the UK the FTSE still has a way to climb, if this isn’t a traffic light going green on the world’s economy from the largest economic giant of all then I don’t know what is. We’re flying higher than pre Covid Ladies and Gents and really this one is ours to lose!

NASDAQ as of 10th June 2020

And that’s not all. It’s hard to imagine anything good coming out of the pandemic but check this one out: Many of us office workers are about to get a hell of a lot better than we ever were before. The pandemic has actually been shown to help companies who managed to quickly adopt online behaviours become far more efficient than previously thought possible.

According to Harvard University companies with strong online networks are now on average 7% more efficient than prior to the pandemic. Deloitte have published a study they’ve run on a large corporation showing managers saved nearly an hour every day by using improved digital tools. The company on which the study was conducted had 30,000 managers and so the savings amounted to no less than $12 Million.

The pandemic has in other words lead companies to urgently rid themselves of toxic company culture and inefficient work habits like excessive face to face meetings. Many employees are about to get more flexibility and a portion of their lives back as companies are learning how to maximise earnings by turning their destructive company culture upside down and going online.

You might still worry we will feel the inflation from the printed “free” trillions of $$$ in circulation? Of course we will. And so but what about the debt, will we and the future generations be asked to pay back the insane levels of debt that we somewhat recklessly withdrew from our and their future?? No doubt about it. That is indeed how debt steals a portion of our future away I’m afraid. And will it take time for the unemployed to return to work? Yes. Probably. Although stats are showing a swift return here too.

And so whatever happens next and however long it takes one thing is more clear than ever before:

Covid-19 is not nearly The Black Death which wiped out 2/3 of Europe and the Coronavirus Recession is certainly nowhere near the Great Depression which took a decade(!!) to crawl under.

A self-inflicted economic bump in the road designed to protect the healthcare organisations from being flooded with Covid-19 patients is all it ever was. And although a way to go – we are already winning hands down.

Would you like another fix of great news to keep you going??

Here goes: a) Summer is back! b) The UK went down from 40% of its electricity being produced by burning coal just 10 years ago to zero in the past 2 months c) Olof Palme’s murder has finally been solved (though the murderer committed suicide 20 years ago so he won’t be brought to justice) d) IBM abandoned racist facial recognition technologies placing pressure on MS and Google to do the same e) the endangered Pangolins are finally getting some protection by the Chinese government f) pubs are opening in July!! g) I might throw a garden party before that if restrictions are lifted in time h) I already got my self-brewed elderflower champagne ready in the cold just in case! i) you probably didn’t notice that c) appeared twice j) you checked to see if this was right k) maybe you didn’t I don’t know but just take it easy will you. You are going to be OK!

Diagnosis

Never trust a depressed dove. That, and when an earthquake shakes the surface of the earth the seismic waves that are created travel deep to the core and not just along the surface. These are also usually the most destructive. You don’t need to be a behavioural scientist to see how our ape like Homo Sapiens behaviour got fast out of control again somewhere between the toilet paper panic and the mass worldwide civil unrest. Not Covid-19 but rather it’s our incomprehensible and irrational ‘burn down the house’ reaction to it.

So, I hope you’ll forgive me if I’ll reserve my right to hold my bunker position here and watch the wheels go round a wee longer. Keeping my Zen here for now. Allowing the early summer sun to make her appearance through the embrasures every here and there reminding me of better times ahead. Letting cheerfulness itself keep creeping into my little prison cell to see what it missed out on whilst being on the outside. Might just stay here with me a little while for all I know. Might even get the dove back to herself soon. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Leonard Cohen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s