Probably a little pre-emptive but I would like to try and move your focus to six months from now…

The news cycle is doing what we expect at the moment and every five minutes there is a Minister, Premier of ‘expert’ giving their view on what will or won’t happen.  Remember they want you to ‘tune into the next episode’ so the language will always be dire and urgent.

The saying ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ very aptly describes the situation we are in at the moment. We don’t like uncertainty and when there is no new information, someone will try fill up the void with ‘their’ take on the unknown.

As usual, ‘unprecedented’ is getting a great run.  The only unprecedented part of the Coronavirus is the impact social media is having on the speed of information.  Even toilet roll hysteria is not unprecedented – who could forget ‘The Great Toilet Paper Scare of 1973’ – yes it was a thing, google it.

We have had pandemics before, as recently as 2009 but remember:

  • The first Apple smart phone was brought to market in 2007 and Facebook (really a university site in 2004) really only started to get traction in 2008. 2010 was when it really scaled up;
  • Instagram only launched in 2010;
  • Youtube started in 2005 but without smart phones really only escalated in 2009/10.

So now the vast majority of us carry a world wide access medium all the time!  Can I suggest the best place to get information is via the government website https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert – it is updated every day.

The below infographic is a great summary of pandemics.  The worst being:

  • The Bubonic Plague (1347 – 1351) killed over 200 million people and yes, medical resources and antibiotics have improved a little since then!

Where are we today?

We have a long history of pandemics and our little island nation has one of the best and most accessible health systems in the world.

Currently at 6.00am, 17 March, over 30,000 Australians have been tested and there are 375 identified cases.

  • We have had five deaths.

In the Western Pacific region, we have had 91,773 identified cases but China has had 81,116 of those and South Korea 8,320 which gives a combined total of 89,436.  The balance of the countries in the region make up 2,337. 

  • The most impacted countries after China, are Italy (27,980) cases and Iran (14,991 cases).  The US only has 3,503.

There is a big difference between cases identified and actual deaths and now doctors know what they are dealing with, the treatment is improving.

As well as the human tragedy, all of these pandemics impacted supply chains and the economies they occurred in. 

Most ran for a number of years before they were brought back under control.

Where will be in six months’ time? (I know we shouldn’t crystal ball but I am pretty comfortable in the below)

We will have had a lot more cases identified and tragically a lot more deaths.

We will most probably have an anti-vaccine.  The US is starting human testing as I write this: https://www.dw.com/en/us-researchers-start-human-trials-for-coronavirus-vaccine/a-52801697.  It may not be available in the quantities needed but we will know it exists.

We probably also have a cure https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-queensland-researchers-find-cure-want-drug-trial/news-story/93e7656da0cff4fc4d2c5e51706accb5.  The cure will not stop the spread of the virus but cases that are diagnosed will have a medical solution.  The solution described here may not work but you can assume someone will create an answer.

Earnings for a whole range of companies and businesses will have been badly hurt.  Profits will be down and for companies/businesses with thin margins and high debt, it may mean they have collapsed.

  • Governments around the world will have poured money into the system to prop up essential services and the industries most impacted.  They want consumers to spend so there will be ‘helicopter’ money;
  • Companies and businesses with good balance sheets will already be recovering as consumers regain confidence that the world will be okay;
  • Share markets will recover (maybe sooner as markets react to future earnings) because of these companies but also because of the realisation that this was a temporary issue, not a structural issue; 
  • China and the US will be arguing about trade again;
  • Disappointed extremists will bemoan the survival of capitalism;
  • Fuel prices will be up;
  • Apple will probably have a new phone; and
  • The Europeans will still dislike the British.

This next two to three months is going to be very challenging but we will get through it.

We will all do our bit to reduce the spread of the virus and the new normal may be video conferencing, no international travel, very clean hands and fist pumps rather than handshakes but this too shall pass.

As always we are here to help and yes we are working very hard to get the best result we can for you.

If you have concerns at all please do not hesitate to contact us.