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It Too Shall Pass

When this all ends, I would like to see these changes

  1. Polio, malaria, typhoid, ebola, the 1918 epidemic etc and now Covid19 are all products of poverty and/or poor education. We are learning too, that they  disproportionately affect and are transmitted by the poorest and marginalized the most. This time it was Wuhan, next time it could be Mississippi.  Our only and best protection is to raise basic standards for all.  It is ironic that the country that has bought hundreds of millions out of poverty in the last 20 years……is China.  It still has a way to go.

Of course, this would tackle the global problems of migration, climate change and other ills too.

Government & Taxes

​2.  Many moan about ‘government and taxes’. Yet what do we turn to and expect to bail us out in times of crisis?  We have to invest in responsible, (not celebrity, quick fix and populist), democracy.  We have to invest in good government and good infrastructure, that means physical stuff and people.

The Worker

3.  A one-off tax to give all, hitherto, undervalued health and emergency workers a Thank You bonus. Let us put money where our applause has been.  We have also just realized that the delivery man, garbage collector, cleaner, shelf stacker, mailman are all actually very important to us.  We need to renew our respect for the worker.


6.  Via contacts and data I see that we have the clearest, cleanest skies in Beijing, Seoul and across Europe, many can ever remember.  We know now, for sure, that we cause it.   Sooner or later this is going to be another global crisis.  Let us plan ahead this time.

 A New Social Contract

4.  There has to be a new Social Contract between government, the people, customers AND the big business which so affect our lives. Be it Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Microsoft, banks etc.  A new ‘Bretton Woods’ type of agreement covering things like, health surveillance via technology, security of information, information availability to government and business and of course countering fake and false information which challenges democracy.

5.  I am a bit tired of receiving ‘we are here for you’ emails from the CEO’s of Banks, Financial Institutions and the like. I don’t see much actual doing.   They have done well for a decade and should ‘give back’, just as many other small, pizza owners and other big companies have.

Cruising Along No More

7.  Finally, the cruise industry which seemingly played a big part in hiding and then distributing this epidemic. It has grown fast rapidly and has had various scares (pollution, disease, accidents) anyway.  It has largely been self regulated, it has ships registered in small and ‘cheap’ countries to so as to avoid taxes, rules and have cheap labor.  It is time to properly regulate the safety and processes, globally….. just as we do for airlines so well.

Written in Maplewood, NJ on 10 April 2020.  Easter, the weekend when the fatalities from Covid-19 reached their peak.   (We hope).

Tim Roebuck

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