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Hope

A new blog post from DU Member Digital Business Coach.

Most of us must be tired of the news bulletins and the consistent and depressing message about COVID-19. I do not want to play down this reporting as maybe many people need to see/hear the news of how many have died and then invade the privacy of those who are grieving. My real concern is how little the news outlets cover anything optimistic, anything remotely positive – except perhaps on Thursday evenings when the nation rightly salutes those on the front line of this emergency, the NHS.
I often use this medium to report news you may not have seen on TV or read in your paper; for example the still, dire number of businesses who have successfully managed to obtain funding support, generously provided by Government but pathetically delivered by the banks. Since the IMF declared the new world recession, countries across the globe have tried to deal with the financial crisis I see as being far, far greater than the virus emergency we are currently dealing with.
Who could ever have imagined the price of oil being zero? Who could imagine the banks actually charging us for our deposits? With the cost of borrowing at 0.1% in the UK it is only a matter of time before we face what German bank customers now face. [source: Verifox]
In my family the subject of the “new normal” is often discussed; both my daughters worked in offices, expensive to run and now largely empty. Business seems to manage with their employees working from home. How long before those businesses which survive all of this and begin fire sales and cost cutting exercises like never before, recognise that the building they rent or pay a mortgage on, is no longer absolutely necessary? What are the implications to commercial real estate? Why does this matter? If you have investments [or any money left] in pension funds or ISAs, then some of your money will be invested in commercial property. The fall in value of this property could be similar to the disastrous falls in the value of stocks. The price of oil will recover but perhaps settle at a much lower level as people’s habits have changed, possibly forever. Retail – RIP.
Sorry – that’s the bad bit out of the way!
From now on, these postings will carry a message of HOPE.
For example, some 650 groups of medical researchers around the world are carrying out around 460 trials in a massive effort to find a vaccine for COVID-19. This incredible acceleration in medical science could leave a lasting legacy long after COVID-19 becomes a memory. [source: Sky News]
We humans are evolving. Some scientists believe we are becoming a hybrid species – a fusion of biology and technology. Over the next 30 years, those tools that are outside our bodies – smartphones, hearing aids, reading glasses, pharmaceuticals, credit cards, etc – will be incorporated into our bodies.
New technologies like cybernetics, synthetic intelligence, cryonics, molecular engineering and virtual reality will bring about huge changes.
Is this bad?
Technology will become so inexpensive that it will erase the gap between the haves and have nots. Robotics will free workers from mind numbingly repetitive jobs, freeing up time to pursue more rewarding fields as yet, beyond our imagination. Imagine a future in which breakthrough technologies creates an abundance of our critical resources meaning that going to war over them is no longer necessary!
So, in these challenging times, take a leaf out of Captain Tom’s book; the sun will come out tomorrow. As HM the Queen said recently, we will meet again! A new world will emerge from the past. Look at how clear the skies are now that air pollution is so dramatically reduced. Think about all your neighbours you barely glanced at a couple of months ago and who you now speak to at every opportunity. Who you clap with every Thursday night!
If we talk of hope rather than responding “I’m OK considering” it will become infectious. Yes, the future is uncertain but if you talk to Captain Tom, he will tell you about our country, coming out into a world after 6 years of war. Cities destroyed, infrastructure destroyed. Debt on a level impossible to quantify. The threat from the Soviet Union and the rise of communism. A world which had just used the atomic bomb in anger. What happened? Did we survive? Did we thrive? Did it take some time – YES. But look how technology has made this lockdown so much more bearable. Imagine no smartphones, no Face time, no Skype, no Zoom, no online shopping.
We really can be optimistic. We can certainly have hope.

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