Are we lost…
or navigating in aimless waters?
We all knew somehow that 2020 was going to be different…
Just as 1919 was for sure as WW1 was just over with the Treaty of Versailles signed in June that year, and it was finally, the 1st year of blood-free peace humanity craved after. However, the world was not just devasted by war as the Spanish Flu pandemic that took 50 million lives between 1918 and 1920. This was followed by the great economic depression of 1929 and yet another world war as if The Great War had taught us nothing! The fight of superior egos taking cruel and monstrous proportions. Never again!
Eventually, war times were over. We did what we did best, peaceful times married with wars in the background but not in our backyards. This obsessive and paranoid war against the rise of communism, the Cold War, this imposing of Western democracies, then eventually the death of Western communism with Perestroika, the fall of the Berlin Wall, followed by the defragmented USSR, with a drunk at its head, creating the rise of greed and oligarchy. However, the ’90s was a peaceful era, with grunge, brit-pop, and 24 hour Rave Parties in open fields….until the War on Terror broke post 9/11. Once again the world changed back to old judgemental habits and became increasingly paranoid. Anyone donning a beard and carrying a rucksack was suspiciously stared at but it was also good times, jobs, possibilities, the rise of banking and commodities, and God forbid, the era of social media, free music, and low-interest rates!
Feed the Greed…
Debt and leverage were no longer forbidden sins, but the fodder to feed our economies. Our Chancellor of Exchequer, Finance Ministers, and Secretary of the Treasury if anything encouraged us to live on cheap debt as base interests were slashed, amidst the background of ‘No more Boom and Bust’. Spend out of recession pretty much became a mantra for many countries post the Asian financial meltdown. Then it came crashing again, the banking crisis with a background of living beyond one's means as most of us turned into private landlords and property gurus. Don't get me wrong, as I am all for investing in bricks and mortars and equity markets, but not with weak brakes on leverage and spiralling spending on the back of cheap debt.
Addicted to cheap goods, China became the world's factory and an economic force to reckon with. India was no longer looked down on for having a rising population as her strength was just that: her young and can-do population who could do your tech job at a fraction of the cost. And our leaders allowed all of this, in the name of cost-cutting, moving manufacturing from West to East but hey it did not matter as long as banking and commodities supported us all and a burgeoning industry of technopreneurs and hedge funds was on the rise. We looked East for all our financial and commodity solutions as she was increasingly cash-rich by becoming the World’s factory. She would eventually invest in vineyards, in properties in University towns, mines in Africa, attend prestigious universities and schools, invest in once dead-industrial towns and help fund the war in Iraq whilst making home purchasing a dream come true for many Americans. Bailouts from the ECB were literally ‘Monnaie-courante’, to boost and develop the old Iron Curtain states, travel became cheap, weekend breaks became the norm and who cared about the damage to the environment as long as we supported Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other honourable charities.
Economic & Mental Fracas in the name of Corona…
Of course, this all had to stop, as in September 2008, the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a domino effect across the financial sector and the world's economy took a massive hit. But we, humans, have this amazing way to fight back, adapt to change and we rose again, banking revamped itself with other similar financial products …and no one batted an eyelid. The War in Iraq and Terror was dead as the Dodo, triggering the rise of terrorism and once again, Western society lived in fear again. That group was eventually weakened and dismantled and we were happy and felt safe again. Sadly, short-lived as we partied into 2020. This time the enemy is invisible, it is airborne and it started from the same place that fuelled our addiction to cheap readily available products (or so we are lead to believe!).
Wet markets existed for decades, wild animals have been consumed for centuries (not advocating, just stating!) but we have a novel virus that needs us as hosts and apparently, it spreads like wildfire and the whole world needs to be in lockdown. Who cares about the economy as we will no longer have Boom and Bust. Instead, we have closed businesses, empty financial districts, glass panels, and mask-wearing commuters. We have people counting their blessings with the little they have whilst many are sleeping on park benches, staring into the oblivion. We have countries with closed borders with repatriation feeling like a lottery. We witness fear, we witness anxiety, and read about the rise in domestic violence as this once controlled ability to refrain from lashing out becomes marginalised and normalised.
We have school children forced in front of screens for schooling and socialising as they have no access to outdoor space, regressing grades amidst a background of mental breakdown. Rules are made up by our Heads of States, in the name of controlling transmission rates, but were they told that it is a VIRUS! How can anyone expect to control a virus for crying out loud and are they that foolish to make us believe that apps would control it, let alone a vaccine if it is ever made safe and readily available. Once lockdowns were lifted, one could feel life breathe again. Once children and young adults went back to schools and colleges, cases rose again. Seriously, what did our rulers expect? Now that it is established that older people can recover well with a particular one campaigning for the forthcoming elections and that no magic vaccine will be made available, what can we mere mortals expect? A Great Economic Reset in 2021 or A Great Reset for Humanity? One thing we can pretty much agree on is that the way we once functioned will no longer be functioning. Our children will possibly have some answers for us now if we pay close attention to their truths.
Here is my humble view: live with it, it is not the flu, but fairly similar, in some instances, there may be some unusual body reactions, recovery rates are good and prevalence is low. Sadly, this virus is deadly in far too many cases, but keep your immune system and mental well-being healthy, whilst shielding our vulnerable loved ones (just as one would with a common cold or flu). The use of ventilators have been questioned, so we are probably safer at home than at hospitals. I hope that I am not sounding like an oracle, but far too often we only hear about the doom and gloom.
To be fair, it is rather hard to find anything positive with our current state of affairs, but we can try to shine some light. I am not sugar coating the situation or marginalising any belief. But keeping ourselves in fear impairs us in multiple ways. The unknown is always scary, taking our first breath is, taking our first step or swim is. These are all life-changing experiences, and we need to be present throughout. Will the future be more certain if we maintain fear? Will the future be more reassuring if we are told that a magic remedy is readily available at our local chemist? Would we have more trust in our Governments and politicians if we believed in their actions? These are open-ended questions with no wrong or right answers.
But let us try to maintain our calm and put our focus on things that we can control. This virus is not under our control, but we can perhaps adopt certain healthy measures to manage the situation and get on with our lives. But to me, disease of any shape or form is not in our control.
Living with Love, Kindness & Compassion…
I feel that this pandemic has opened something in all of us as perhaps it has made us question ourselves. Are we heading towards The Great Awakening? Were these similar views in 1919? Have we learnt our lesson?
My thoughts and hopes are simple: let’s be kinder and more compassionate to ourselves and ripple this across. Let’s love a bit more and hate a bit less. Let us deeply connect more rather than accumulate ‘friends’ for the sake of a masked show. Let us look after each other, connect with the Divine within us, find our humility, speak our truths, and be ONE with each other.
To you my dear readers, I hold a space of love for you.