During the month of January 2020 I started to notice that the Covid-19 virus infections in China were doubling every two to three days. This was startling but it was contained within China, right?
The World Health Organization was very cautious about announcing what I now believe they suspected at the beginning of January, a potential pandemic.
It was not until late February, early March that North American governments increased their concern as they watched the virus march from country to country, overwhelming hospitals, with cities and communities shutting their doors, taking the lives of the elderly and those with compromised health. The reality set in – we were not immune to the spread.
We are now in full pandemic mode and although the loss of life here in Canada has been minimal as compared to Europe (so far), the economic impact during these early days of self -isolating and social distancing has been within a short couple of weeks devastating. Small and large businesses are closing and unemployment applications for financial assistance rising to over 2 million.
The seriousness came home to roost when the federal government announced that businesses would be given 75% of the wages that an employer would normally pay to employees in order keep them employed and prevent permanent layoffs. Banks are allowing deferred mortgage payments, car payments, evictions are not allowed and on it goes.
Absolutely extraordinary measures and necessary, otherwise we will sink into a major economic depression which no one is mentioning but is in the beginning stages. Will it be as the 1930’s? Not as prolonged nor as severe but I feel it will come close and that is why the extraordinary measures are being put in place by our government.
My impression, the worst impact will be on the younger generation – 30 to 40 year old’s. A generation who is accustom to having it all only to realize it may or will be stripped away.
In the 1930’s we were still a country that had forests to cut for lumber, oceans to fish, farmers that produced vegetables and large cattle ranches. As a country what do we actually produce on a large enough scale to sustain us? We are a convenience society – individually we buy everything. We do not grow home gardens, we do not fix things, we do not mend our clothing, we do not make our own meals, we just don’t DO. I have over the years developed into one of those people and yet I grew up on the stories from my parents of the extreme hardships they went through as children and as young adults.
Maybe it is time to reset the clock.
On a positive note: with all of the self-isolating, no job to go to each day, I think of the children that will be born this coming November and December with a good majority being of the Sagittarius sign.
This generation will be labeled the Covid Kids or Generation C but will be the most resilient, happy, flexible, creative, adventurous, determined and hardworking generation to be seen for some time. It would be nice to live long enough to see this generation in the year 2040 by which time they will be in their 20’s.
Arthur C. Clarke
March 28, 2020