There are those, close to me, that would add the word muddled in front of Thinking. I refer, of course, to those amongst us who are confined to quarters. Therefore, I am going to use headings to try and be disciplined about Thinking . The following defines my interpretation of the above formula….
Lots of Time
I know it is only a few days into imposed social isolation and the weather has been wonderful (certainly in the UK). But the ‘lots of time bit’ has not dropped yet. So I get up a bit later, maybe 30 minutes. Take an hour plus to read newspaper, instead of 15 minutes. Then comes commercial houseekeeping , emails etc…. followed by coffee break 15 mins. If we are going to the supermarket , we walk (was that wrong?). So its a half an hour there, half hour back, 45 minutes queue , 20 minutes inside (now going by car 4 minute drive, but with the queuing,combined with doing some shopping for elderly neighbours round trip still takes best part of an hour and a half) . So now its Lunchtime -half an hour then exercise , takes between one hour and two, depending on whether it’s walk or bike. With other odds and sods its 4 pm plus, if I am lucky.
Pent up Energy
Err…, see above under exercise and supermarket visit. Oh yes, what is it about walkers. Who are these walkers? Most of whom , in a previous life, it would never have crossed their mind to go for a walk. I have 3 methods of spotting them.
1. When they approach the edge of the pavement there is a look of bewilderment in their eyes as they are not sure what to do.
2. When they have gone about 500 metres there is a look of fear as they are not sure how to get home
3. Those that venture into more open areas and you are at least 30 metres away from them, they do another 10 metre hip swerve, as they have no concept of space or distance.
Here’s a no 4. Invariably they are dressed as ninja daffy ducks. They have scarves around their faces and hoods up, with only their eyes showing and when they walk they actually waddle.
Are they victims of the toilet roll syndrome. ‘everyone seems to be doing this , so s’pose we should as well’
Too Much Thinking
Once again I am going to use headings to try and be a little more disciplined with my thinking. The headings I have selected are ones where I have had some clarity of thought, in addition to restricting it to a reasonable list.
Now there is an odd one . Why think about crime? Well, primarily, because I thought household burglaries would fall as would street muggings. However, my next train of thought was what would Jonnie Robber (always blokes ) do for cash . But more siginificanlty what would those who commited crime because of the need to pay for their addictions eg Drink or Drugs. They still have a driving need for to feed their addiction, are they just going to stop ? Or just as importantly where are they going to go for funding ? So to speak. An interesting juxtaposition ,is that in the Favelas of Rio the drug lords are enforcing self isolation to protect the population whilst the President derides Covid as just the ‘sniffles’.
“Whoever is caught on the street will learn how to respect the measure. We want the best for the population. If the government is unable to manage, organised crime resolves,” read one message sent to residents of a Rio de Janeiro slum. Financial Times 27 March 2020
Sociey has and is changing , perhaps mainly for the better. However, I am not convinced these changes will be long lasting after the pandemic is over. Many said Brexit changed UK society. Now Brexit is nothing like the situation were are in now . I am not convinced it changed much, it only exposed what was already there. With Covid, having a worlwide impact, in one way brings people together, but my concern is that once it is all over, this togetherness will be forgotten . And what is just as likely is an increasing fear of outsiders .
Perhaps not so far reaching , and maybe not so important, but it remains significant as it will be all about getting an economy back on its feet. There are a number of factors that come into play, working out how, what and when is a completely different matter. Consumers will have been locked out of their normal patterns of buying behaviour. To a degree, if they really want to buy something (non essentials) they will go online . Is this pushing the consumer further to online ? Not totally convinced as I believe over a period of time some will start to value the experience of going to a retailer and go back to them. The consumer is finding out now that they cant just pop into a local High Street to try a product out before buying online. Hopefully they will understand the function of a Shop.
As for the health of the High Street, it is not going to be good . The weak ones will go including the ‘biggies’. There is nothing to suggest otherwise . On the positive side, there will be opportunties for the good independents. The local consumer , on the whole, is trying to help the independent where it can . Currently, this relates to local grocery stores, restaurants offering take aways, pharmacists and newsagents. There will be many out there who have never actually been into their local shops, who may now understand their function.
Once we are let out of our homes , will we rush out to the High Street ? Simple answer, is ‘Yes’. I am quite sure there will be a very short Retail boom. However, will this last ? Here, I am not so sure. I suspect there will be those who were already questionning their ‘consuming activities’ and think I did without that for weeks/days/months on end. Do I really need it ? I feel that it will impact further, on the consumers demand for things.
I need someone to tell me how is that when the bank rate is virtually zero, and the government is covering 80% of commercial loans, that lending rates are going up . I don’t want to knock the banks as they are critical in the current climate and don’t need knocking down, but this has to be addressed.
There is so much more thinking to be done……and probably lots of time to do it.