Having lurked around these parts for a while quietly enjoying the conversation, I know that a lot of people on here worry about what sort of world our children will inherit. Although reports on the current outbreak of COVID-19 are alarming and the impact it is having on many people’s lives is heart-breaking, it seems to me that there are some reasons to be cheerful too. Here’s a list off the top of my head and feel free to add others.
- This has to be the end of globalism and the EU. That’s huge. The World Health Organisation has not covered itself in glory either so let’s see what happens there.
- If the UK national emergency keeps going until the end of June, we’ll be out on WTO rules, perhaps with some suitable side arrangements, and it won’t be anyone’s fault. J
- Hopefully by then the nation will be more united having faced a deadly common enemy (Teh virus!).
- We are getting a very small taste of what it’s like to live under communism what with empty supermarket shelves and loss of liberty. We’ll be glad when it’s over and I don’t think people will want to vote for it in the future.
- There’s a corresponding emphasis on the importance of freedom and democracy as we worry about our freedoms being taken away and whether we will get them back.
- Lockdown, especially of London, means fewer stabbings, the end of county lines, fewer drugs and, hopefully, the arrest of criminals as happened recently in Italy and the end of the black economy.
- More focus on controlling borders means less human trafficking.
- We’re unlikely to go with Huawei after all.
- The genuine problems of the NHS are starting to be exposed by the pandemic and perhaps we will be able to have a sensible conversation in the future about healthcare and social care; it cannot remain off limits after this.
- Boris’s news briefings have highlighted the MSM’s hysteria and bias. I think the shift from reporting facts to editorialising came about because of rolling 24-hour News. Now, after sensationalising everything for years, the MSM finally do have something sensational to report on so let’s see how they handle it. Personally, I think we could all do with a lot less propaganda masquerading as “news”. I believe we managed with just two 10 or 15-minute news broadcasts during WW2…
- More focus on the problem of pollution (hello China, India, Pakistan) and less on climate change extinction hysteria (goodbye Greta, XR) plus a bit more recognition of the impact nations have on each other in this regard.
- Public health will unquestionably improve. By the end of this we will all have become conditioned to wash our hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes and keep surfaces clean. Less illness means fewer antibiotics means less resistance to the ones we have.
- People won’t want to be at risk so we will become more responsible about our health. If those of us who need to address our excess weight, smoking or whatever actually do it, there will be less strain on the NHS which will allow it to focus its resources. Look at the way A&E departments are no longer over-run by people treating them as a GP substitute and are suddenly able to function as they should.
- More people will have to learn to cook from scratch and more will start to grow their own fruit and vegetables, which will help with the “obesity crisis”. So would regaining our fishing rights and exporting less of our catch. It would be nice to see a fishmonger back on the high street!
- Exercising at home or outdoors will become more popular – walking, gardening, playing tennis (exercise plus social distancing).
- The impact on television production means the audience will go off and do more interesting things, becoming less brainwashed in the process. Reading books, new hobbies and family games are coming back into fashion.
- Renewed focus on the importance of the family unit and the local community will hopefully lead to a more cohesive society; they are the building blocks.
- Charity donations are going to be made to a central body and directed to small local charities who know which people in their community are genuinely in need and can get support to them, instead of big organisations skimming off their inflated salaries and expenses first.
- If we’re spending more time at home, we’re likely to take more care of it.
- The requirement for ‘social distancing’ could have an effect on architecture and construction – no more tiny rabbit hutches, more space to move.
- COVID-19 makes ‘woke’ concerns seem irrelevant, even self-indulgent, in the current context.
- Manufacturing will return along with innovation (we’re awfully good at inventing things!).
- Farmers will grow more food because we need to become more self-sufficient.
- Businesses will develop shorter supply chains which should bring prices down.
- Small and micro-businesses will learn to keep a reserve of cash to get them through difficult times.
- Closing pubs and bars and restaurants means fewer people working illegally and fewer owners taking advantage of their staff. When they open again, the owners will have to pay proper wages and offer contracts.
- Home working will become more normal and less commuting means less pollution, less strain on transport and it’s better for families. That, in turn, would free up office buildings which could be converted into dwellings instead of building on green fields, not to mention flood plains.
- In the meantime, we’ll be able to see who the good businesses and bad businesses are by their actions and decide which ones we want to support.
- The high street could regenerate (fewer coffee shops, please) as we ‘shop local’ instead of driving to retail parks.
- Children will be less exposed to Marxist propaganda thinly disguised as education while schools are closed. Home schooling might increase in the future. Any parents who aren’t taking responsibility for their children will have to learn to do so.
- More young people will be looking for jobs and, importantly, they are out there – Farmers’ Weekly advertised 70,000 jobs the other day (including seasonal pickers) and supermarkets are offering thousands of jobs.
- Soft degree courses will become less popular while apprenticeships, trades and STEM subjects for those who do go to university will gain appeal.
- There’s nothing like the recognition of one’s mortality to focus the mind and, as people look for something to believe in, I think Christianity will come back. Maybe you don’t think that’s a particularly good thing but we all need a common moral framework if we are to get along peacefully and the Judeo-Christian religion provides it. Listen to Jordan Peterson on the Ten Commandments if you’re in any doubt.
- The idea of “service” is also important and it’s back. Archbishops Welby and Sentamu said recently: “Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead… Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.”
- It’s good that people can access the support they need but the amount of money the Government is unleashing is alarming. Perhaps everyone will finally wake up to the idea that it has to come from somewhere (i.e. us). That has to be a good thing. Simplifying the labyrinthine tax system would be helpful.
- Yes, this is a financial reset but if every economy is tanking because of COVID-19, we’re all in the same boat. The UK may go into a recession but will undoubtedly emerge from it in better shape. The stock market will recover even if it’s looking grim right now and there will be great investment opportunities coming up.
In the UK our lessons seem to be about taking responsibility, adapting to new circumstances, becoming more self-sufficient, getting ready to be an independent nation again and deciding what sort of nation we want to be. In the process, we have an extraordinary opportunity in peacetime to get rid of outdated structures that are holding us back, retain what is valuable and invent new ways of doing things.
Meanwhile, other countries are waking up to their own problems too, for example, the scandalous lack of access to clean water in Africa is rising up the agenda thanks to COVID-19. Awareness is growing about China’s involvement in Africa, the two-tier healthcare system in South Africa, the corruption of American politics and many more issues all around the globe. Indeed, some people might call it The Great Awakening…
If we seize the opportunity and get this right, we will leave a much better and more beautiful world for our children. That’s a very big reason to be cheerful!
© Twinkle 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file