Returning to Work in a Covid 19 World

Yesterday, at the time of writing, was May 13th 2020. This could be a day that could go down in history in England or maybe not. But if it does then it will be remembered as the day England began its economic recovery from the Covid 19 Pandemic’s impact.

I had expected, in my mind’s eye, that returning to work would be a surreal experience. Consider that, if the increase in London Underground traffic is a reliable benchmark, only 8% of workers have joined those who commuted during the lockdown. This would mean that the roads and streets would be empty and that alone would be a surreal experience. But, to be honest, it’s what I’d come to expect anyway. As everything has been so quiet, I think it being busy again would be the surreal part having grown accustomed in recent weeks.

Business Development

Trying to develop business now is tougher than Chuck Norris in full body armour. Not only is nobody hiring and buying but because potential customers don’t know when or how things will change and in what way everyone is holding back. But this isn’t a surprise.

What is a surprise is that some people are offended that I dare try to develop business at a time like this. I understand that many have died and many more will be facing the fear of death from this horrific disease, but how does someone trying to tout for legitimate business be to blame? I could understand if I were being insensitive like trying to push discounted headstones to families incase they need them soon. But trying to sell recruitment services shouldn’t offend anyone.

Putting Clarity into the Economic Situation

Take the economic situation as an example. We are all but, for the official line, in a recession. Hundreds of Thousands or possibly millions are facing redundancy and many businesses could go to the wall. However, this is not a traditional recession.

A traditional recession is caused by debt outstripping available credit and the scales tipping until the balance is realigned. In essence, investors don’t have or are unwilling to finance anymore debt. But this is different. The investors still have money. This market is still active. Orders are pending. We have simply put the brakes on a moving train full of cargo rather than not being able to fill the train because not enough cargo was available.

Covid Secure Working Policies

Many businesses are not able to operate from home. Sure, some staff in admin or IT can, but most jobs cannot be done remotely. And so, the government have implemented Covid Secure working instructions for employers to follow. But there is a problem.

Common sense tells you that standing 2 metres away from someone for 8 hours a day who unbeknown to you has Coronavirus means that you’ll probably get it. Unless of course you’re dressed up like a CDC Level 4 Biolab researcher that is.

Benefit vs Taking Advantage

The government in my mind have done the best job they can in very difficult circumstances. Sure, it hasn’t been perfect, mistakes have been made and at time of writing we have officially the 2nd highest death rate in the world, but I’d argue in favour of the government. And I’ll explain why.

Firstly, countries like India, China, Bangladesh, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia all have larger populations than the UK. The UK has 66 million people living in it. Between just China and India there are nearly 3 billion people. Our statistics say 30,000 have died in the UK from Covid 19. Just a question. Do you believe that China and India genuinely have had less than 30,000 deaths from this? Or could they be way off or potentially lying about their true numbers?

Furthermore, the power of hindsight is a wonderful thing. In March we locked down the country. But in January most people didn’t even know what Covid 19 was. The information and experience the government had to make decisions with was virtually non-existent.

Finger Pointers and Bandwagon Jumpers

It’s all very well pointing the finger after the horse has bolted. You could say well 30,000 people have died and that’s a tragedy. And it is. But had measures not have been taken then 500,000 could have died. But the government could have moved quicker, right? Yes, in hindsight. However, nobody knew the right move at the time.

We all stand outside each Thursday clapping for the NHS and clapping for carers. The NHS is paid for by the taxpayer. The care workers are paid for by people who are taxpayers. If you close an economy there is no money coming in to provide those services. And the government has to balance that. It’s a rock and a hard place decision making process. And I dislike the bandwagon jumpers and finger pointers who sit in their ivory towers pointing their boney fingers at people who have to balance the cost of losing lives now or in future. It’s impossible decisions that nobody wants to be responsible for, but someone has to do the job. And they can’t even do the job with experience, knowledge or hindsight to assist. The government have had to make decisions with very little info for a new threat that no one has ever faced in our lifetimes.

Sum Up

I personally want to return to work. And whilst I understand the risks I also understand that there is no easy way out of it. This is the new normal that we face.

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