Today we’re pondering the upcoming ‘hangover,’ society might be experiencing once the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic settles down as well as some of the amazing benefits that might be able to come of it.
Key Message: Now is the time to realign our priorities
How it’s affecting life in Canada and in the UK
Protecting the vulnerable and why that’s an important mind shift for society
Realigning our priorities
Self-isolating – key workers, nurses, the clap on Thursday night is nice but it isn’t enough. It’s tantamount to “thoughts and prayers” after a mass shooting in the US.
Essential workers aren’t who we thought they were, they need our continued support
Veganism/environment and the Coronavirus
This is our chance to re-evaluate our lives and how we might improve it when business as usual returns
Our new normal won’t be the same as it was before
Working from home (benefits and the new normal)
Capitalism and Coronavirus
Where we go from here
In A Bit More Detail
– Wall Street Journal Headline – “No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its economic health,” – talk about putting profit and money above people.
– Link back to BS Jobs episode 4 – The people doing the key work during this pandemic are the ones who are paid less in our society than those who contribute little (bankers, hedge fund managers etc etc.). And it isn’t about money – people like my mam will tell you that. But it is about money for me in the sense that money is unfortunately an inescapable part of life at the moment. It is sacrosanct. Our value systems are corrupt and backwards in our societies. And I hope that we don’t just “go back to normality afterwards”. I hope there is a sea change in this regard off the back of this hardship.
– For me, it is impossible for capitalism to return to normal. The Conservative government announcements are a form of socialism. They have effectively taken vast swathes of the economy into effective public ownership by paying wages and supporting business etc. – This is the norm for business – “too big too fail” bank bailouts etc.
* We could potentially go in a couple of different directions:
* 1. Authoritarianism – where these temporary restrictions on our freedom become permanent – we need to be very wary of this.
* 2. A kind of enlightenment – where we are more cognisant of the vulnerable in our societies, the environment, we change our value systems and hold our key workers and frontline NHS workers in high regard and remunerate them accordingly.
* The crisis reveals what is truly broken in our society. And we can fix these things. Health insecurity, food security etc are things that people have to deal with on a daily basis before the pandemic – so hopefully it allows people to empathise with these positions.
* The UK and US response was slow, head in the sand and trying as much as possible to carry on – business as usual – the profit motive was the overriding concern.
* What could be done? The introduction of universal basic income? We often find money when we need to militarise or bail out banks and there is great wastage in our systems as well! So there is the money around to do this.
* The measures brought in by the government to help pay people’s’ wages etc… let’s keep it beyond this crisis. This would help homeless people, those in in-work poverty using food banks, I think it would encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, I think it would mean that people could focus more on what they want to do and achieve and I think it would mean people could spend more time with loved ones, developing important relationships that often require work and commitment and communication etc.
* The fallback of leaders onto war metaphors is troubling as well – “fight this invisible enemy” it is used to cover up the failings that have happened previously. Creates a sort of atmosphere of nationalism of patriotism which normalises militarism. Because we are a global community (and this pandemic has shown this) security has to be about the protection of global citizens; not just the protection of one nation’s populace. This also has to extend to the reduction in inequality and poverty for me.
– Positives of the lockdown:
– Spending more time with loved ones – talk about Jay and he’s loving spending more time with kids. Getting house renovations done etc.
– More time for yourself – learn something new/try and start something you’ve been putting on the back burner. I saw something the other day that said this is the pause you’ve needed to push – in whatever that might have been.
– It has brought to the fore who are the key contributors in our society. It is the nurses, doctors, supermarket workers (who were previously referred to as “low-skilled”), garbage collectors