My hope is that that there is a clue in ‘Corona’ as a reference to this horribly nasty virus. With some jest, I wonder if it was referred to as Coronavirus because Corona the beer typically has a little slice of lemon, and you know that saying – ‘when life gives you lemons make lemonade’ – is a subtle way of telling us to find the slice of opportunity in all of this bitterness.
Yet, this is beyond jest, it is not a joke, nor a meme.
As the Talking Heads once tuned …
“This Ain’t No Party… This Ain’t No Disco… This Ain’t No Foolin’ Around”Talking Heads, Life During Wartime, Album: Stop Making Sense 1979
It is all going on too long. It just does not make sense. But in time it will. This too shall pass. It is critical, we ultimately make sense of it, learn from it and make ourselves stronger economically, culturally and individually. I feel optimistic about the positive that will come, once we make sense of it all, and solve the humongous challenges we are facing.
It is critical we do not give up hope. Fundamental change comes with a burning deck.
Over recent weeks, it has made most sad. Our old norms of busy, often doing fundamentally nothing, and businesses focused on growth and global, have been replaced with travel, holidays, office meetings, cafes et cetera all in lockdown, and businesses just seeking survival. The current new norm is cocooning at home and online schools without playgrounds.
“You know that time when it took too long for the cafe to make your coffee, so you got a bit frustrated? It really didn’t matter did it?”
When we all get through this, there will be the time before and after, a clear line in time. Things will be different. We will be different, economically, culturally and likely individually.
In World War II from 1939 to 1945 there was a death toll of an estimate 60 Million. It was devastating globally, yet it ultimately changed the world. Positive progress was made.
The unprecedented war was followed by unprecedented economic growth globally in the post war era for the decades following. US Gross Domestic Product increased from $228 US billion in 1945 to just under $1.7 US trillion in 1975. With the economic boom, came the Baby Boomer generation, as birth rates increased and as this generation became teenages our music and media evolved, rock and roll, television and consumerism grew.
Savvy marketers in the mid-1940’s onwards identified this generation as worth targeting for new products and services in a buoyant world. The generation of popular culture, such as movies and television, sought to be entertained, while reinforcing values such as religious faith, patriotism, and conformity to societal norms. World War II changed our global economies, culture and innovation.
How will COVID-19 shape our future?
Commentators are noting the fundamental impact the virus is having on the sustainability of our economies, societies and health. The economic and psychological damage globally has been devastating, in only a few months. Our leaders have responded swiftly and strongly, even with some consternation. We are observing somewhat unprecedented levels of bipartisan politics. This is not a time for party politics. Critical is managing and trying to flatten the curve of new cases, and minimise the economic meltdown in the virus’ path.
Unprecedented economic stimulus packages from governments that illustrate how serious an issue it is to minimise quickly escalating job losses and coming failings. In these times, when the end is not possible to reliably predict, it is hard for the entire community.
Chaos theory reigns at this time …
“A small difference in initial conditions will result in widely different outcomes for such dynamical systems, making prediction of future behaviour and outcomes near impossible. Even though these systems are deterministic, i.e. their future is determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. Deterministic chaos means that these systems cannot be predicted, as instability of the system changes the future.”FROM CHAOS THEORY AND HOW TO PREDICT THE FUTURE ON SQUREHOLES.COM
Media and experts are communicating at best we are three to six months away, and pessimistically this may be longer. A trialled, tested and approved vaccine is not anticipated to be available not available until mid-2021. Shortages of hospital beds, masks, respirators, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, flour, rice, seedlings, and some technology are making it hard for some. Boarders are being closed, people not able to cross from one State in Australia to another without good reason, and even regional travel is being discouraged – STAY AT HOME!
It is difficult to say at this point in time how Covid 19 will shape our future, and how we can shape a better future for our business, community, governments et cetera. It is likely not possible to make sense of it all. We will hopefully make sense of it all, as we seek to observe and research patterns of attitudes and behaviours, what new norms stay, and which go? And, with this a global pandemic we will be able to ultimately make sense of the patterns globally.
Businesses will change, with some fading and others prospering. Those likely to emerge and prosper will have adjusted to the new world, monitoring and evolving with the new norms, and implementing business models fit for our times and the future.
It will be exciting to see how our economy evolves in the coming decade! Once we get through the hard times for many ahead.