Just a month ago markets were at record highs and unemployment at record lows.
In the space of weeks…well, you know already.
Shop fronts shut, millions out of work, healthcare systems at breaking point, and we can’t gather socially anymore.
Governments are launching historic stimulus packages. It’s hard to even grasp because the numbers are so high.
My head is spinning from the speed at which events are happening.
We’re now living in a lockdown world.
Get used to it. It’s likely to be our reality in the months ahead.
But I’m looking beyond the next six months.
What happens on the other side of this pandemic?
What will our world look like years from now?
Will it be a return to normal? Just business as usual?
I’m not sure, but a colleague of mine, Vern Gowdie, has one or two things to say about this.
We’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetime.
I’m commonly seeing the message, ‘we’re all in this together’.
And so we are.
In times of crisis, there is often a coming together. Could some of that stick in the year beyond?
Looking out for each other, rather than dog-eat-dog economics, it’s a chance to build a more humane economy.
Will it go down a different path, a darker path. With borders staying closed, nationalism and xenophobia. It could easily happen.
In the last month, governments have taken on unprecedented powers to curb the spread of the virus. Some countries in Europe are willingly accepting curbs not seen since Nazi occupation.
People may come out of all this more willing to accept state control.
And notably, countries with more state control have done better in controlling the pandemic. Singapore and China are some examples, among others.
We’ll see how this all plays out in the year ahead.
Society will emerge different from all this.
We’re in the midst of a once in a lifetime shift in how we work and play.
And the longer the lockdown goes on, the harder it will be to return to the same old normal.
And the more these ways will stick, in the years beyond…
People are more likely to work remotely from home. From a market perspective that might have an impact on road toll operators, as well as office REITs.
We might see more acceptance of home schooling and the use of distance learning and such.
The more this goes on some parents might find they prefer home schooling, with homework online. Then listed online learning operators could be another space to watch.
Again, the longer this goes on, the more you could study listed telemedicine stocks.
They’ll be more trends to watch, too.
But we’re already getting a glimpse of something else…
The pandemic side effect
Something about this pandemic is being picked up by the satellites in space.
There’s a huge drop in pollution levels.
In the months ahead, we may get an unprecedented glimpse of what a greener future might look like.
And see in sharp relief the undoing of some of the damage done to the planet.
For the first time in anyone’s memory, Venice canals are running clear and people can see fish in the water…
Source: Global news Canada
But this good news, this glimpse of a greener future, comes at an enormous cost…
As I write this e-letter (Wednesday), Spain has just recorded it deadliest day, with 849 deaths. Over 20,000 have died in Spain and Italy alone.
And the global death count has pushed past 42,000.
This is a figure one wouldn’t have imagined a month ago.
Confirmed cases of people afflicted with the virus will soon smash through a million.
And that death toll/case count is most likely higher. As some non-western countries aren’t so diligent on the record keeping.
This virus is proving to be far more infectious and deadly than I first thought.
But I’m not the only one who underestimated the virus…
It was just a few months ago US health officials were downplaying the virus.
They told Americans they were not in any danger. No need to worry was the message. ‘It’s a very, very low risk to the United States,’ said their top health official.
Yet as I write, President Trump has just told Americans to brace for a brutal couple of weeks.
And it will be. It’s horrific.
The US now has more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world. That’s a number one ranking you don’t want. New York has become the new epicentre for the outbreak.
The magnitude of the crisis is starting to dawn on us all.
But it’s exactly in these times of crisis when the status quo is shattered that progressive ideals develop.
Because until people are shaken up a little, it’s always just business as usual.
But this crisis has shaken everyone.
It also might be a catalyst for change. A crisis like this gives us a glimpse of other possibilities. Other ways of doing things.
This crisis has stopped us from going on with our everyday habits. It forces a re-think.
The time for change is ripening.
Ideas that seemed left field just a month ago are now becoming more acceptable. They’re not sitting on the fringe anymore.
And people are picking up on them.
There is a moment in time now where people are thinking how to re-create society. A society that enriches all citizens and protects them from future crises like this.
And in tomorrow’s update, I reveal one of those left field ideas. It could see you getting thousands paid into your bank account, not only this year, but each and every year…
I also explain why the recent government measures should not really be termed stimulus packages…
Until then, continue reading to hear from Vern Gowdie.
All for now,
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