Business As Usual

“lol imagine spending ur whole life exhausting urself in the rat race, only for an apocalypse to take it all away from you in a matter of minutes.

nothing is real. the bums were right all along. u shoulda just spent all ur time doing hoodrat shit with ur friends”Bobo Matjila

The fragility of our world has been exposed. The global economy, multinational corporations, whole industries, and public services, brought to their knees in a matter of months. It appears we have been a piece in the greatest high-wire balancing act since The Cold War.

The relatively recent, absolute inter-connectivity of the planet, reaches into every corner of existence. This is meant to be a strength of humanity; we can trade freely, supply resources where they’re needed most, offer aid (in theory), travel, and communicate. However it is this inter-connectivity that led to the downfall of the system. It is our most connected cities suffering the greatest number of cases, look at London, or New York.

I am uneducated and inexperienced in the field of pandemics, however everybody seems to be chipping in at the moment. What’s the saying? Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one but they think each others stink. Well here is my arsehole…

The institutions we live in function in the context that they were created. We’re seeing them bend under the stress of coronavirus, to the point where something is going to break. You can thank austerity for having a hand in that one. The Tories successfully ignored advice in 2017 to stockpile protective equipment in case of an influenza pandemic¹.

The NHS could barely cope with the load it had, because it relied too much on the goodwill of it’s employees, and not enough on support from the government. Now that isn’t enough, and soon they will be overwhelmed. Already operations are being cancelled, and cancer treatments put on hold. These people won’t disappear, and when the virus clears, they will still need help.

On the bright side, England isn’t in short supply of those willing to help. After putting out a call for 250,000 volunteers to deal with increased demand for their services, the NHS put a “temporary pause” on applications². This is to give them time to process the staggering 750,000 applications they received in the first few days.

What will the world look like after coronavirus? Will we step out of our houses in 3 months time to the same world we’ve all come to know and love? From people to businesses, who will be left standing? What will the political landscape look like? Will Boris have succumbed to corona? Some even think this is the end of capitalism. Don’t worry about that one though, as long as you’ve got companies like Virgin Atlantic asking employees to take 8 weeks of unpaid holiday, capitalism will thrive. Richard Branson couldn’t possibly share some of his $4 billion fortune with his employees.

Whatever the world looks like after, I can’t wait for that first day when the restrictions are relaxed. We can leave our houses en masse, breathe in that fresh corona-free air, and head on down to the pub. That first pint will be the sweetest tasting pint we’ll ever drink. We can all hug each other again, exchange stories of isolation, and relent about returning to work, while secretly looking forward to it because we desperately need to feel useful again, and this one day of going out and drinking again will probably shake us down to our last pennies.

For those who don’t live in hostile or disaster prone areas, this virus will be a wake up call. We all live in nature, and therefore we are at its mercy. You know how indigenous peoples are hyper aware of their environment, and have a great deal of respect for it? I think us English lot are the opposite of this. We’re a nation of people who don’t wear sun cream on hot days because fuck you that’s why.

Over hundreds of years we’ve adapted our environment to suit us, our generation has never had to adapt our behaviour to meet demands from the environment. This is why the police are having to politely ask gatherings of more than 2 people to “please disperse”. We can’t understand that going outside right now is like not wearing sun cream to the beach and someone else getting sunburnt.

  1. Independent article – Coronavirus: Government rejected advice on NHS protective equipment three years before epidemic
  2. Volunteering page, NHS website

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