Things WILL get better
Most people reading this will, like me, be confined to their homes, terribly worried about the health crisis and the repercussions on the economy and their professional situation. This is certainly my case. We’re living through a perfect storm threatening both our lives and our livelihoods, compounded by the necessity to self-isolate or, in the case of health professionals and workers in certain other critical sectors, put their lives at risk for others.
Whilst not wishing to understate the gravity of the current crisis, I do think it’s useful to remain positive about the future. The pandemic WILL be put under control through the propagation of testing in the short-term and a vaccine probably within twelve months. For those of us lucky enough to remain well, we will perhaps appreciate our health and the value of a strong health service more. We WILL be able to leave our homes safely soon and rediscover the beauty of our natural world as illustrated in the photo above. Indeed the natural world will have been able to have a welcome break from pollution and lives might well have been saved. Financial markets WILL recover a significant part of their losses and indeed they were certainly overpriced before the pandemic. The economy WILL recover even if it may take a certain time.
I think it’s extremely useful to listen to the perspective of war correspondent Nick Paton Walsh on CNN ( https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/03/19/coronavirus-outbreak-pandemic-coping-tips-toilet-paper-social-distancing-npw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn) as he explains how life recovers after even the worst acts of war. People will of course lose their lives as a result of the current pandemic, but any comparisons with the “Spanish flu” of 1918 are both unhelpful and misleading. We are not in the midst of a world war with massive troop movements and our medical knowledge has made huge advances since that period. Similarly, comparisons with the Great Depression and the financial crisis of 2007 are exaggerated. Our economy was in a much stronger situation before this crisis and, even if the impact on debt levels and unemployment will be significant in the short-term, I’m convinced that we will recover more quickly than most people believe.