We are all getting bombarded with such negative and at times conflicting information around the coronavirus that it is seriously dangerous for the psyche. Take for example the Federal Government chief health expert who says it is okay for children to go to school while the Victorian health minister says that it is not and threatens to defund any school that does. Who will you believe? What is the real truth? And if these guys can’t get it right, well …..
Now at this time there are some real truths backed by data. Firstly, we have ground our economy to an absolute screeching halt. Secondly as of April 24, 2020, we have had, across Australia, 6,660 CV cases (not deaths but cases) and in a country with 24 million people that is 0.02% of our population have been infected with many recovered. Now it may be more if we do more testing, but the current stats are the stats. And with 76 confirmed deaths that is 0.0003% of our population have died from the coronavirus. Thirdly I know that our GDP for the March and June 2020 quarters will show a contraction equal to the Great Depression.
Fourthly the decision to shut the economy down has created a lot of mental health problems. A YouGov poll released in mid-April 2020 found that 48% of Australians surveyed are anxious about losing their house, job and not being able to put food on the table for their family – Covid19 mental health survey This sort of stuff can shape generations – I remember listening to my grandparents, who lived through the Depression and always, always kept very tight control of their spending, their budget and questioned whether they really needed something new. And I wonder will my children’s generation be forced to share these beliefs.
We are at the tip of the iceberg of a worldwide social experiment called ‘lock down’. Some countries such as Sweden did not lock down so they will be a test control on whether lockdowns are the best solution for the next pandemic. However Australia’s politicians, the people we elected, chose to lock down the country and once the horse is bolted as they say. Now the economic impact is going to be with us for decades as we try to right the governments balance sheet. In the meantime there is a ground swell of anger as the Australian way of life is curtailed. I ask myself will the MCG ever get a 100,000 person grand final again, will the state shows like the Sydney Royal Easter show be a thing of the past and movies? How will restaurants or coffee shops go if 50% of their seating must be removed for social distancing, likewise planes, trains and public transport? Will we ever allow tourists to come to our shores without being vaccinated and vice-versa. Australians are strong, free-spirited, generous and fun – what will we be on the other side of this?
But for me each day is a new day and we must deal with it the best we can. We are all hurting together. But it got me thinking there are some good things to come out of this:
- Technology has enabled us to be entertained, continue working and being part of a worldwide community at our home. We can zoom with friends across the world and talk with clients wherever they are. One of our users recently completed a Will for a client who was locked down in India with execution and witnesses all recorded via Zoom. So there is one huge difference from the Great Depression when advanced technology was the radio.
- The time that I used to spend going to a gym (which with our new found hygiene rules may have seen the end of days) I now go for walks with the family and meet people in our local community that I was too busy to ever engage with before. It is your local community that brings light into your day.
- I no longer buy a lot of cheap stuff to fill my home with and in cleaning up in the lockdown realise I never really needed in the first place.
- People and businesses are waking up, like I did in 2002 that, with technology, we can work from home and our commute is no more than 20 steps and if we want to write a blog, article or email to a client at 10pm or 3am in the morning we can.
- Plus like many people, I now have more time to do things we want to do whether it is watching an old season of Miami Vice or those videos that inspire us or show us how to carve out a new niche in life. I challenge you to watch, if you really want to take your career to the next level, the 40 or more strategy webinars I have been doing since July 2019. You can find them here, they cost nothing but are worth a mint in building your intellectual capital – the one thing that will be so important coming out of this. To access them, you just need to register for no cost (which enables us to tell you the next video coming out like next week’s mirror Wills and EPOA packages to build for your clients in less than 30 minutes) – Grant’s Succession, Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Trusts and SMSF Strategy Webinars
- My car has probably done 120kms in the past month and to tell you the truth I don’t miss the hustle and bustle of people running here there and everywhere.
- I now spend 30 minutes or more face timing my daughters and family every couple of days to connect, we are no longer too busy for the real things in life.
Look I can go on and on but as an eternal optimist and person who believes ‘everything happens for a reason’ and that ‘out of every crisis comes an opportunity’, I can guarantee that my team at LightYear Docs and also I Love SMSF are here for you. Real people happy to help and connect with. We use our technology to help you solve human problems not just for its own sake and we have all been down the path of trying to get in touch with a technology company to be treated like machines. Now is the time for all of us to express our humanity and that is the one thing that this virus has taught me, appreciation of each other and a warm smile or friendly voice on the other end of a phone or zoom, not as they say the fear porn that is blasted into our minds by the media.
– Stay Strategic!