Coronavirus - the good news
We are faced with a big challenge to humanity right now as the world deals with a pandemic, and while that's nothing new in itself, this one is different. A lot of people respond by saying it's fake news or using out of context references to the flu, and ignoring the facts.
However, this virus has the potential to kill more than 80 million people in the first year. That's much more than the flu kills. So, this is why it's a big deal and it's important to accept that up front and adjust our behaviour now to avoid getting the virus. Mind you, in a world of 7.5 billion people, it's not a threat to the general existence of humanity, but the impact also reaches far beyond the health aspect alone.
Many businesses will go bankrupt and I can't even guess how many will lose their jobs. People will not be able to pay their mortgages and their bills. The world economy will suffer greatly turning many countries into temporary social states in order to look after all those affected.
Right now, the goal is to mitigate the threat and slow the spread, in order to avoid hospitals from filling up too fast and to buy time while the vaccine is developed. It's important for everyone to be involved and work to prevent the spread.
That said, don't panic.
Be afraid, but not too afraid, and have hope, because there is good reason to.
Just be afraid enough that you remember to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing, and disenfecting your home/work area, and stay home if you are sick. Hope, because humans are really, really smart and great at solving problems. It's what we do. When we come together to solve problems and face challenges, amazing things happen
Also, think about this - what good can come from this?
Well, here's what I think.
First, there have been many warnings over the past decade, that we must prepare for an inevitable pandemic, and a lot of countries did not heed the warning. As a result, health care facilities can be overwhelmed and unable to meet demand. It's an important lesson to learn and moving forward after this is over, we will have adapted and there will be better attention/consideration towards creating a health infrastructure for dealing with future pandemics.
We will also, I believe, develop a vaccine in record time and the actual number of people killed could be much, much, much lower. Many countries are working together to fastrack a vaccine, pushing our technological limits. We are incorporating science in new ways every day, such as using artificial intelligence and quantum computing to find solutions, and that will extend to threats from pathogens. Countries will learn more about the value of working together for the benefit of humanity and we will develop new responses and protocols to mitigate future pandemics.
This event will spur new automation in the supply chain so that goods can be sourced and delivered with minimal human interaction. This will boost development in robotics and supply chain logistics, opening up new opportunities and new businesses. Shopping and delivery service jobs will grow in the short during the pandemic as people will want to avoid going to the stores themselves. So if you lose your job you can make money shopping and delivering for others.
Many companies will move away from the old school office space to embrace telecomuting alternatives, allowing more people to work for home. It may drive a surge in higher education as people look to retrain in skills that can be applied in less public facing contexts. The 5G technology is positioned well to facilitate this and much social interaction, and appointments, meetings, will move to your computer screen rather than in person.
As for the markets and economy, new strategies and fail-safes will undoubtedly be implemented to prevent huge market hits due to panic.
I'm sure a lot more good will come from this ultimately.
For now though, stay safe and stay clean.