Covid-19 impacts billions!

The headline caught your eye didn’t it?!

This post is going to be one big rant and might raise heckles for many. It might also sound simplistic and shallow. But hey, this is my blog 🙂 you can choose not to read further.

It’s been said often enough that we tend to read anything that either matches with our thinking or a fatalistic headline that helps us form an opinion that we want to form.

The last six months, whether it’s the media or different governments that have fuelled this virus and made it infectious more than the virus itself. Whatever axe they all had to grind, it’s been done.

But what has happened in the bargain? The educated fools like us have gone totally over the top in keeping ourselves safe and have taken paranoia to a completely new levels. We, the ones with our childhood vaccination cards, our healthy diets, our obsession with fitness are behaving worse than Michael Jackson who supposedly used to live in a very sterile environment to keep himself safe.

Organisations who have been announcing WFH till end of year or next summer to show how much they care for their employees. These organisations can continue working from home. But what they don’t realise (or maybe they don’t want to since it is in their best interest) is the impact it is having on billion others.

Various sectors of the economy have shut down and may recover eventually or may never recover and people employed in these sectors are the collateral damage to the stupidity that was perpetuated. And of course it is a spiral because there would possibly be other sectors dependent on these sectors that will also collapse in a domino effect.

Everyday that we work from home, everyday that we say we love this work life balance, everyday that we calculate our supposed savings, we don’t realise that jobs are lost because of what we are doing.

How long do you think you will continue to have a job if this continues? Unless you are in a Sector which can totally work online, your job will be safe. But don’t get complacent. Eventually the domino effect will reach you too.

How does the economy roll? It rolls because people are moving, going places, doing things, buying things that keep them moving, doing stuff that involves being out of home on weekdays and the weekends too. And because people move around, the entire eco-system keeps moving in line with their movement. It generates revenue for many businesses and generates employment for many. Which in turn leads to more consumption and an ever revolving wheel keeps the economy moving. Because then the corporates spend money on marketing to these people and that spending fuels further demand and more employment…

But if this does not happen, there are job losses, pay cuts, reduced spending and the wheel stops moving.

So us educated fools who should realise the larger implication are secure in our homes and secure in the salary that we are getting so far and thinking that we will get through all of this. OUR lives are precious. Others be damned. But you know how karma is.

So we focus on the 70000 increase in cases yesterday number because it reaffirms our resolve to work from home. We focus on the number of deaths and tell each other “look how deadly the virus is!”

The other day I read an article about how people are moving out of New York. Deserted streets and shuttered shops. Rats deserting the ship. A city that perhaps gave them so much in life, is being abandoned for a sprawling villa in Florida.

In India we are not doing that yet simply because infrastructure beyond the cities will not support our lifestyle. Instead we are raising walls around us. Looking pitifully at those who have to work out there or talking very intelligently about job losses and blaming the government for not doing enough for those poor people.

Why?? Why should it be the responsibility of only the government to take financial measures?? And where will the government get the money from if we stay at home and no economic activity happens?

What’s it gonna be? Take risk now and step out with all safety measures in place? Or become unemployment statistic eventually.

Mask up and step out people. There are a billion who need you to do so. Get the wheels moving because the government needs those taxes coming in. Get out of the house for your own sake. Because if you don’t, you will wither away.

Utterly random thoughts

Just some thoughts that have been swirling in my head.

1. Reel is not real – how ironic that during this lockdown, a lot of OTT is full of movies and programs that show how US of A is at the forefront to fight any crisis, calamity, epidemic, or aliens invasion. Contagion, Outbreak, all Marvel movies… for last few decades, Hollywood has driven the narrative of US being the superpower in every respect. Playing the world police and what not. But right here and right now, they surely don’t look the superpower… do they? While what is happening in US or anywhere in the world is very unfortunate, successive governments are to be blamed for the near invincible feeling amongst the US population. The power shift had started after the financial meltdown of 2008. Now it is complete. US, Europe are definitely not the centres of power. Read the other day (can’t believe everything I read anymore though) that lot of Chinese firms are getting ready to buy out cash strapped and almost bankrupt companies in Europe. Rock bottom prices will prevail.

2. Optics? So three months moratorium on EMI AND CREDIT AND STUFF. The government had to be seen doing something for the middle class too after the big SOPS for the low income people. Wasn’t thought through. Tell me how does a 3-months moratorium starting from 1st March makes sense? People got salary for March, might get for April too. The shitstorm starts after that! Salary deductions, job losses etc. That’s when most people would want relief from paying EMIs. Oh but wait. They can’t get any relief. The moratorium will be over by then. Muddled thinking I say. The best would have been that there is an option of 3 months. People can choose the period when.

3. WFH images and stories and gyan – I want to throw up. Yeah you gotta work from home. So suck it up and do your work. Spare us the philosophy!

4. Petroleum companies will rake it in. Some utterly random calculation tells me that petrol and diesel prices should about 40% less than what they are right now, given the crash globally. Imagine the money these companies and government will make once the lockdown is over!

5. Continuing point 4, imagine what will happen when the lockdown is completely gone! Having lived in the north most of my life, I have been witness to the scenes at various restaurant serving non veg right after the navratras are over. My feeling is that post lockdown will be quite similar 🙂

More random thoughts in coming days.