A Covid World

  • 29 Oct 2020
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A Covid World

This virus has some unusual features that have unfortunately made it hard to control. Essentially, what makes it so difficult is the wide range of outcomes, from many people who have no or mild symptoms, to the rarer but very severe responses, including death. If everyone became sick, even to varying degrees, those people automatically isolate. They feel sick, so they stay home. The virus is easy to find.

It seems silly that we continue to have a policy of testing only those with symptoms when we know many people do not get symptoms. To have a proper understanding for what is out there you need large random testing.

In the share market there has also been a big impact. However due to policy responses from governments and the huge variation in the impact on different companies and sectors, if you just look at broad indices, the markets seem to be divorced from the economic reality. There have been big winners as well as big losers. We have seen significant losses in banks, property trusts, oil, as well as some industrial shares, and some disasters for companies exposed to travel or hospitality.

However, technology businesses have surged ahead, with the rapid uptake of their services, accelerating the move that would have happened over time.

We all know of the impact of age on virus health outcomes and the frustrations of home schooling.

However, it must also be very difficult for people aged 18 – 25 to be locked at home. For many this is a time of fun and freedom. The most fun things for that age group includes travel and nightlife, however larger social gatherings are banned.

At the same time, this age bracket is overrepresented in terms of employment in the sectors that have been hit hardest by Covid. That is why unemployment has hit this age bracket the worst.

It is not often you think about those poor 21-year-old kids, but we thought we would give them a mention, as they deserve a bit of support and sympathy right now.