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It turns out that Coronavirus didn’t magically disappear during 3-months of lockdown, in fact, it seems to be back with a vengeance. And while treatment has improved, those already hit with the nasty virus may have permanent heart damage according to experts who now say that 2/3rds of all COVID-19 survivors suffer from decreased heart function.
Yes, the miracle drug (hopefully!) Remdesivir may turn COVID-19 from a killer disease into a week or two of self-isolation and flu-like symptoms (which is bad enough, but it beats dying from the Novel Coronavirus) however it doesn’t stop people from catching it. Remdesivir helps patients recover more quickly from the disease — especially the very ill — but nowhere in the literature that accompanies the medicine does it say that it prevents COVID-19.
And (you’ll hate this part) the present Coronavirus strain is merely one version of the larger Coronavirus family with newer versions appearing at irregular intervals. So my bet is that there will be another COVID crisis — perhaps with a more serious variant than the present SARS-CoV-2 (which most people know by the name COVID-19, or the Novel Coronavirus)
And now, cats, dogs and ferrets are dying from Coronavirus. Which is not great, as they roam everywhere and like to lick their friends and family to greet them — making pets potential carriers of the disease to unsuspecting humans and to other pets.
So, it looks like Coronavirus is going to be around for a long time; Yes, the treatment is improving, but it’s still a serious disease even with presently available treatments. And a vaccine seems like it will be ‘only a year or two away’ for the next five years — if you take my meaning.
With the “R Rate” Increasing and School Openings Looming, Now’s the Time to Rethink the UK Education System
According to Cambridge University, the R-rate (the rate at which a virus is retransmitted to others) is over 1 to 1, and may be as high as 1 to 1.04 in some parts of the UK.
And that means the UK is (temporarily) losing the battle against COVID-19 — no doubt due to the recently relaxed lockdown and with thousands of people visiting beaches, packed pubs, and other public spaces without the dual disciplines of mask-wearing and regular handwashing.
So, people, let’s get real. Coronavirus is here to stay. Which means it’s time to make some decisions. These aren’t the kinds of decisions that we can chew on for months;
These are ‘August decisions’ — which means these decisions must be made in August 2020. And these may well turn out to be life and death decisions so don’t shirk your responsibilities to your family and community.
In the Quest for Efficiency, Schools Have Been Getting Larger Every Decade (which is great for efficiency!) But it’s Also Great for Virus Retransmission
Maybe now is the time to reverse the economic efficiency mandate and do what’s best for children’s health, for family health, and for pet health as it may turn out that pets are major retransmitters of Coronavirus.
Think of a school system where all children in Grade I and Grade II attend their classes in one building, while Grades III and IV attend their school in a different location (maybe only blocks away for the convenience of parents who drop-off and pick-up their different-aged kids from school) and Grades V and VI in a different school — again, not too far apart; just let’s have them not breathing the same air.
- None of those proposed schools should have more than 100 pupils per location.
- Grades I and II (for example) plus teachers and vice-principal shouldn’t total more than 120 people.
- That keeps the cohort of potential COVID-19 infections to a small number of people.
- And similar applies for other grades; III and IV in another school, V and VI in another location, and grades VII and VIII in another building, etc.,
- Gymnasiums could be in a 5th (nearby) location, and employ a reservation system.
YES! Schools would become more numerous, much smaller and more quickly built!
If China can build two Coronavirus hospitals in one week, the UK should be able to build two 100-pupil schools per county, per week, in the UK.
All that needs doing is to source the land and plunk some fast-build structures in place designed to hold 120-people.
If you know anything about construction challenges — that’s about the smallest challenge ever offered to large construction firms! — especially if they decide to use ‘modular’ design, and much of the construction could be done in factories that already produce construction-site oriented buildings or other temporary buildings.
Companies all over the UK could be building these structures during August and deliver them in time for the beginning of the school year. ‘On-time and On-budget’ please!
High School kids might need to wait a few weeks for their buildings to be delivered, but nothing that would stop them from completing their studies by June 2021.
Parents, School Districts and Various Levels of Government: Now is NOT the Time to be Timid; Now is the Time to Leap Forward to a Decentralized School Buildings Model!
There are some great school buildings in the UK — some with a brilliant history. Sir Isaac Newton was schooled in the UK, for example.
And there’s no doubt that special buildings should be preserved as an entire generation switches over to small cohort school buildings. Such valuable buildings could become museums, City Hall office spaces, office space for MP’s and doctors/dentists, etc., or be carefully preserved and listed — but leased to companies for office space.
But for now, keeping kids safe should be the main concern.
Decentralizing the present school buildings/location model might be the way to dramatically lower the R-rate and simultaneously prevent the UK economy from failing during future waves of Coronavirus (or other virus) infections throughout the country.
And we can do that by keeping cohort sizes small among school-aged children by educating them in small, relatively inexpensive, modular school buildings, in handy locations for parents and kids in each and every neighbourhood throughout the UK.
As COVID-19 appears to be with us indefinitely, it’s time to build new and smaller schools and thereby reduce future retransmission of infectious diseases.
The End of Bricks and Mortar Stores is Nigh as Online Shopping Enters a New Era in The Coronavirus Economy
Those who fail to change with the times become obsolete. Just ask the dinosaurs.
Some dinosaur groups morphed into new species that allowed them to continue to live and procreate in a changed environment and we see examples of them today in our world; Today’s birds are descended from Pterodactyls, today’s crocodiles from Stegosaurus, and today’s kimono lizards are descended from Squamata (Megachirella wachtleri) which is the father of all lizards and snakes on the planet today.
The species that didn’t adapt quickly to the then-changing conditions on the Earth, died. And the ones that did change, changed slowly, consequently they exist on the Earth in smallish populations unlike their ancestors which had until then, enjoyed total dominance on this world.
If science isn’t your thing, you might look to anthropology (the study of human societies and cultures and their development) for some examples of this rule and you’ll see those that couldn’t adapt got left behind.
One example of this is the Indus Valley civilization which flourished from 7000 to 1900 BC. Although we see traces of their existence in archaeological sites, they are no more. Another example would be the Mongol civilization (1206 to 1294 AD) Seen any lately? More recently, we witnessed the end of the German Nazi Party circa 1945.
Prediction: Businesses that Don’t Learn to Sell Online (Successfully) Will Fail within 24-Months – Everywhere on Earth
Any retail store — including grocery stores — that don’t evolve quickly enough to meet the demands of the new ‘Coronavirus economy’ are sure to fail. And I have no sympathy for them. None whatsoever. ‘Change with the times or die’ is the nature of all commerce.
There’s no excuse good enough to not have a robust internet e-commerce site and multiple redundant delivery systems for your business, as every business owner knows about the internet, everyone knows how e-commerce websites work, and they’re not that expensive to create.
Indeed, you may have purchased something online, whether it was a hat, golf balls, or enough furnishings to equip your new office tower. (The link points to STAPLES.UK which has a sophisticated website that makes it easy to order any business related product or service quickly and efficiently. With STAPLES.UK shipping is free on orders over £36 and in most cases you receive your order within a couple of days of ordering) That’s the kind of commitment required to meet customer expectations in the new Coronavirus economy thereby allowing those businesses to thrive and prosper well into the 21st-century.
It isn’t difficult to create and maintain an online e-commerce presence. Yes, it takes a little work, but nothing too onerous. And yes, it does cost a little money to set up and operate, but again, those costs should be considered as part of the normal cost of doing business in the 21st-century.
It’s nothing but utter laziness if your company isn’t selling at least fifty per cent of its goods or services online in the 21st-century. It’s so easy to do. But it needs true leadership — which isn’t about nice-sounding speeches in shareholder meetings or at the company Christmas Party — it’s about the kind of leadership that gets it done by the end of the year, not by the end of the company, if you take my meaning.
If you think things haven’t changed profoundly, you’re not looking hard enough.
Many businesses want to get you into their store so you’ll be tempted to purchase so-called ‘impulse buy’ items — things you wouldn’t normally buy, but because you walked past an appealing display you were tempted to purchase. If your business model depends on that you’re already halfway to insolvency, because whether you like it or not, the old ways of doing business are already gone. Not next month, not next year, but now.
The old days of people milling around at the weekend and walking into your store by chance and buying things are over. The Coronavirus economy is here, and it isn’t going away. Ever.
Many people will catch the Coronavirus bug over the coming months and the ones that don’t die of it will become immune to that strain of the virus. We’re presently at COVID-19 (SARS Coronavirus 2019 variant) and there will no doubt be a COVID-20 (Coronavirus 2020 variant) and a COVID-21, and a COVID-22, etc., until the end of time.
“There are three to five emerging diseases every year, and only by luck and the grace of God that they don’t turn into pandemics each time.” — William Karesh, Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance
At the moment, COVID-19 is killing one to two per cent of those who contract the virus. But that’s a temporary situation until the virus mutates (and all viruses mutate) whereupon it will become more deadly — and those who’ve contracted COVID-19 may, I repeat may, have some immunity to a newer version of the virus. Fifty per cent immunity is typical among SARS virus survivors when a new version comes along, but you still get ill, and you still ‘go down’ for a few days, and you can still pass the new variant to others who breathe the same air as you. And the same holds true among MERS survivors.
In fact, I suggest that perhaps later this year, there will be people who haven’t yet caught the COVID-19 variant (and therefore have no immunity to subsequent COVID versions) and may contract a (likely more serious) COVID-20 version (which has yet to appear) and die within days or hours of contracting that new and more robust virus.
There will be people who contract both COVID versions at the same time, sorry to say.
There will be people who haven’t caught either variant and they will be ‘sitting ducks’ by simply walking into a store or subway landing with hundreds of other people, and thereby catch one or both viruses in the same week. And there will be people who catch the normal flu and while their immune system is barely coping with that, they’ll catch one or more SARS or MERS respiratory illnesses. They won’t last long and they’ll know it from Day One.
And that’s why most people will choose to dramatically and permanently alter their shopping habits, gravitating towards online shopping — instead of them playing Russian Roulette with their life every time they walk into a store or onto a train platform. Once people comprehend the enormity of the Coronavirus economy and the implications thereof, the ‘bricks & mortar store’ model will be dead.
Now, if you’re a serious fly fisherman or fly fisherwoman (for example) you’ll need to visit a bricks & mortar store at some point to do a few casts with a selection of rods and reels before you decide which one to purchase. Other situations may apply, as not everything can be easily purchased online.
In the near-future, well-managed stores will sell MORE goods and services online than they do now from all sources combined — and their staff will deal elusively with the Fed Ex driver and perhaps one in-store customer per day who needs to try out that rod and reel combination, or who needs to try-on that dress before purchasing.
Some stores will prosper as never before — and the ones that don’t accept a new business model will fail. Just as it should be.
Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way!
If you’re a business owner presently without a robust online e-commerce site, it’s time to pick up that phone today and get a new e-commerce website built. Otherwise, you’re gone by the end of the year, IMHO.
The retail world is about to change more profoundly than at any time since the first electrical grids appeared, when grid-powered heat and light in stores suddenly allowed workers the opportunity to shop at the end of their workday.
Some of you already and clearly see this new paradigm, some will realize it in the coming weeks, and some will cling to their horse and buggy thinking until the day they reach the Pearly Gates.
Regardless of when you see it, or whether you like it or not, change is coming to the retail world. Better get ready, as it’s going to get rough for businesses that don’t evolve to meet the demands of the new Coronavirus economy.