Who pays when it is all over?
Here is a debate you can have over your coffee for the coming weeks.
Now that we are well into our lockdowns, although there are some countries that didn’t bother due to proximity like perhaps the Cook Islands, the question for the majority is how do we as a nation economy pay for what has been a humanitarian and economic disaster. Within probably a week of the UK Government Chancellor of the Exchequer giving what was roundly seen as one of the best budgets to take the UK forward in years, his figures, forecasts and future spending plans have been decimated. Rishi Sunak within minutes being touted as a future leader of the Tory party must literally be thinking how do I sort this out when the dust settles? He won’t be alone.
There are some major economies now thinking exactly that, not least most EU nations who have probably got even more problems but that’s another blog. Not only were they in recession but very quickly they drew up the drawbridge on each other in an attempt to minimise the spread of destruction. Italy was in flames economically and has been for some time. Now with the devastation from Covid19 they are in severe trouble and already making angry noises toward the EU Parliament. In Spain another country in financial turmoil, the virus has probably brought their economy into that area normally reserved for South American regimes. Spain is still heading upwards in terms of their infection/death rate and difficult decisions need to be made by their fairly new Socialist Government. It is now generally accepted that the mass exodus of ‘Madridstas’ spread the virus rather
more quickly than it should have which in turn gave the country less time to prepare. It says a lot about their mentality as a capital when you compare it to London where the reverse has happened and London remains an epicentre of infection in the UK. Spain is heading towards Italy on the Coronavirus stat tables in numbers but who knows who will come of worse and the statisticians will have a field day analysing the data for many years to come.
Finally a report this morning from Australia lit a bulb in my head. Lots of businesses are owned by the Chinese back in February several of these companies were told to put their businesses on hold and to source supplies for medical equipment, great idea maybe? Well the company called Greenland whose employees are mainly chinese sourced surgical masks, thermometers, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitisers, gloves and panadol ALL for shipping to Whuhan. Doctors in Sydney were being told there were only 30 N95 masks for all operating theatres, forcing people to buy from the black market. At this time Jan to feb Greenland sourced 3 million masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of protective gloves from several countries including Australia. Going back to the story this morning it was reported a plane flew from Sydney to Wuhan with 90 tons of medical supplies including 100,000 most needed protective coveralls and 900,000 pairs of gloves on the 24th Feb. The company is insisting they did this while the virus was still contained in China in early February, “weeks before the Australian Government activiated it’s emergency response to Covid19.”
So the question is given this happened in more than one country we need to know the real date this virus broke and not China’s given date, when and how many shipments were there and did that contribute to not just the shortage of equipment BUT the cost of equipment further along. If China is culpable then will they be expected to recompense the world for yet another virus outbreak?