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Europe is the epicentre of Covid-19  – how did we get here? Answer – fairly quickly which is no surprise in the age of globalization.

The first European cases were identified in late January. For example, in France on January 24th, Germany the 27th, and on the 31st the UK, Spain and Italy.

In all, there was a connection to either Chinese tourists visiting those countries, or local people returning home from China from where the virus originates.

In February the spread accelerated – Belgium, the Netherlands Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Estonia, Iceland. The difference was that as well as the Chinese connection many cases were now of people who had recently been in Italy. Now, every European country has the virus – and the death rate is climbing.

Back in January, the images from Wuhan province seemed – so far away. Few ordinary people in Europe thought we’d see them here. The health specialists knew better, began sounding the alarm bells, and one by one the politicians began to understand the magnitude of what has about to hit – and that there will be a reckoning over who took what measures and when. Some were quicker than others.

Italy went into lockdown first…. Just a few towns on February 23rd even then some politicians were still saying we must NOT change our habits…  Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the governing Democratic party said, “Our economy is stronger than fear: let’s go out to eat pizza.”  Italy carried on with ‘La Dolce Vita until March 8th – then the death toll rocketed. Prime Minister Conte quarantined Lombardy and 14 other northern provinces. The national quarantine came two days later. Spain and others quickly followed suit and by the 23rd Boris Johnson, shocked by images of sections of the public ignoring advice – finally put the UK into lockdown. Alas, he was limited in his capacity to personal lockdown and is now in self-quarantine having tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday along with, albeit in different buildings, his Health Secretary Matt Hancock….

Next year we’ll have a clear idea of how many died – and a less clear argument about which measures cost or saved lives. This crisis will change many things – including perhaps some of our leaders.

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4 Comments on "After Covid – The Reckoning."

  1. Hello Tim

    My main reason for commenting, which I try not to do anymore, is to wish you and your family the very best and a speedy recovery. Will keep my fingers (and everything else) crossed for you.

    As I’m here.

    I think most people have no idea of how bad the economic consequences of the virus will be, or the potential for discord it will bring going forward. It will not be a case of simply picking up where we left off. I was watching Event 201 the other day. For those who don’t know, it was a pandemic exercise carried out by John Hopkins Centre with the WEF and Bill Gates Foundation last November. It predicted that within two years, global per capita GDP would have reduced by 25%. To be clear this was based on a fictional pandemic with a higher death toll than currently seems likely, but I see no reason given the shutdown we are implementing that this figure should be unrealistic. As we all know, depressions, with their mass unemployment and deflation are not exactly conducive to political stability.

    We are already seeing friction between the young and older people over how worthwhile the sacrifices involved in the shutdown are, this will grow proportionally to the duration of the lockdown and will be amplified when it is all over. There will surely be questions about supply chains and whether it is wise to rely on other nations for vital supplies such as medical equipment, when as has been amply shown, they are minded to hoard them for themselves in a crisis. Depending on how long the lockdowns last we may also see food security become an issue. UK supermarkets are for instance already switching to UK suppliers for goods such as dried pasta as Italy’s lockdown stops deliveries.

    All cheery stuff. Once again, all the best!

    Rob

  2. Hi David

    Yeah, we are fine, thanks for asking, Hope you and yours are well too.

    Took the view that there is enough hot air circulating around the internet without me adding to it, happier for it to be honest.

    Gaming tip for you. Return of the Obra Dinn. Unlike anything I’ve ever played, just be aware that it only takes about 8 hours to play through.

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