Issue 234: 2020 05 21: Social Distancing

21 May 2020

Social Distancing in Cumbria

Week 9

by Vic Leader


Things are returning to normal!  There’s disagreement about everything.

It was over a week ago that the BoE announced a 30% fall in consumer spending, a looming Recession (a surprise?), the worst fall since 1706 (part of the history lesson for teach-at-home students?).  These stats revolve around GDP, the fabled measure of wellbeing that treats drug deals as a positive, along with the sale of pollutants of all kinds, while clean, or even just fresher, air has no value.

Seriously, this should be the first candidate for review by…well by whom?  Economists (it could tie them up for years and maybe reduce the number of irrelevant projections they produce); politicians (it could be a re-run of Brexit); big business (justification of whatever liberties it is taking with Earth’s resources)?  Answers on £50 pound notes please.

Forget that last bit, there will be no inflation for the foreseeable future (BoE also).  Money doesn’t work without inflation.  Well not as a commodity, it reverts to its role as an exchange value for the rest of us.

A few more things that might be reviewed post-pandemic: “just in time”, both the practice and the mentality; rampant globalisation; excessive traffic; crisis preparation, there will be another; our usage of NHS A&E, that’s for all of us to think about; Man WITHIN Nature, plastic, packaging recycling, preferably re-purposing.  Just a few to be getting on with.  Create your own list.  I am thinking here of how we improve the environment we live in, not how we close our economy down.  More on this later.

To those who are asking the Government, or anyone else about guarantees as Lockdown is eased I would merely reiterate my earlier observation:  Nature manages the virus, Governments and all of us merely manage our response to it and THERE ARE NO GURANTEES in life, except that it ends in death.  I suppose I should add taxes to be amusing? Nah.

The big worry is unemployment. I get it, I have people close to me for whom it is a real concern.  I don’t have a magic wand either but here are a few growth or new industries to consider as we relinquish old certainties: clean energy, faster please; that info super highway for all promised long ago; local services, really local, not everything from the far east; proper teaching, not multi-choice answers and the like but the sort that encourages pupils to think (we were once the envy of the world in this); recycling for re-purposing, we are only tickling this massive subject; using humans for communication, machines are not good at resolving errors.  A few for starters….

I’m still OK.  Missing personal contact with family and friends but Zooming a lot!  I’m still in Lockdown, thinking about some easing even though I’m too old!  I haven’t mentioned my music in this series, but the worse thing is I’ve lost some focus.  Stay well, a future awaits, keep thinking about it.



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