Living through a pandemic
Coronavirus in 2021
Updated on 25 April 2021
Is it any coincidence that India, Brazil and the USA, the three countries suffering worst from coronavirus are/were led by the three of the World’s biggest Covid deniers? As the Guardian writes:
“On Friday India recorded 332,730 new Sars CoV 2 infections, the highest one-day increase in cases worldwide for the second day in a row (they have since broken that record two days running). More than 2,200 deaths were recorded in the previous 24 hours. Nations have either banned flights from India, suggested avoiding travelling there or insisted visitors quarantine on their return. Yet little more than six weeks ago, Mr Modi, with not even 1% of the population vaccinated, declared that the country was the “world’s pharmacy” and signalled that pre-pandemic life could resume. Superspreading took place when thousands filled cricket stadiums and millions of Hindus took a dip in the Ganges during the Kumbh Mela festival.
Like Donald Trump, Mr Modi would not give up campaigning while the pandemic raged. India went ahead with five state elections in April, and an unmasked Mr Modi held huge rallies. Mr Modi’s brand of Indian exceptionalism bred complacency. A presumption of national greatness has led to a lack of preparedness, most notably in vaccine production. The west had encouraged India to become a linchpin in global drug-making, but this week Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, suggested this might have been a mistake. China and the US are now manufacturing more Covid-19 vaccines than India, which has yet to convince Washington to ease export controls, forcing the country to import jabs from Russia.The Indian prime minister suffers from overconfidence in his own instincts and pooh-poohs expert advice. His ministers turned on a former Congress prime minister for daring to offer them counsel just before he was admitted to hospital with Covid this week. Last year, Mr Modi sprang a draconian sudden lockdown on India’s billion people. A shutdown without warning went against the advice of the country’s top epidemiologists, but suited his taste for dramatic gestures. With a younger population, the proportion of Indians who died from Covid-19 was going to be lower than other nations. While suspicions about undercounting the dead linger, an unfounded sense that Indians were somehow more immune to the virus has spread, unchallenged by Mr Modi.“
The UK and USA started vaccinations around the same time at the start of the year, but while cases in the UK are coming down by about 55 % every 4 weeks, over the last couple of months daily cases in the USA have remained unchanged. American deaths are, however, reducing by 28% every 4 weeks, while the UK reduction over the same period is currently over 65%. In the meantime, Germany is showing an increase in deaths of 38% every 4 weeks,
The UK has chosen a professional to rollout their vaccine program, while the EU opted for an incompetent. They defend their slow progress by criticising the UK rollout as too rushed and taking too many risks with the vaccines, advocating the EU method. Many thousands of EU citizens who have lost close ones unnecessarily because of this lack of progress may well disagree.
We hope 2021 should be a year of recovery for business and the economy, and people’s health and welfare,
The benefits of the vaccines will hopefully lead to a massive return to work, but don’t hold your breath. The banking and finance sector companies said they were offering choice and flexibility to those who wanted to return. Facebook has said it does not plan a return of employees until July 2021.
Every “expert” is stating the blinking obvious in saying Covid has simply accelerated the inevitable with people working from home, either totally or 60 to 80% of the week; the death of the high street (it won’t die, but it will need to reinvent itself and evolve), and the speeding up of both Chinese and Indian economies overtaking the USA.
A survey of 8,000 adults from eight countries found that UK and US workers showed the highest level of apathy towards going back to the office.
At ABC Computer Solutions, we are already offering clients support for staff working at home as well as in the office.
Many companies see this as a major restructuring opportunity to turn their backs on the huge costs associated with running an office in the financial centre of Europe, and are looking at turning around the ways their businesses operate.
There will always be organisations that need hundreds of thousands of square feet in London and in all major cities, but many more that can operate more profitably with a much smaller presence.
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