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When is it safe to stop staying in?

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Sitting at home, as usual, and thinking about life, I realised that my blogs were becoming far more personal and revealing than usual. I don’t post a lot of them, as I think they are too personal and revealing, but it made me realise that this crisis and lockdown has made me far more introspective than I’ve ever been.

I’m a guy who goes out, connects with people, enjoys socialising and drinking and eating. That’s my job; that’s my world; that’s how I live. Take that away and what have you got? Well, a guy. A man. A bloke. A chap. A guy stuck at home.

Someone emailed me the other day and their comment made me laugh. They said:

“I had dinner in a restaurant for the first time in more than 3 months on Sunday night (attended by a waiter wearing a Zorro mask, and eaten with disposable cutlery) -- it was like being out on parole.”

So true. I went out for lunch this week, for the first time in three months, and my wife made me wear a mask. Even so, it was like being liberated as, for the first time in three months, I had a decent meal (no reflection on my wife’s cooking).

Nevertheless, it does make you realise how the world is so different when stuck at home. It’s not a hardship – being at home every day is easy – but it is weird.

Someone wrote the other day that this pandemic is like a world war. It’s not. A world war was worrying if a bomb would drop on your house tomorrow. This war is much more around economics ...

... unless you have a family member who has the virus.*

However, in an economic war, we are challenged fundamentally about how to overcome it. Do we wait to open up the economy? Of course. But how long do we wait?

This is the big issue for governments. They want everything to return to normal as soon as possible, but when is it safe to get back to normal? If they wait too long, the economy worsens to the point of collapse; if they don’t wait long enough, the virus comes back and creates a lockdown that has to last twice as long.

When is it safe to stop staying in?

This is the critical question. It’s a question I ask myself every day, and I’m sure you do to.

When is it safe to stop staying in?

This is the question that divides societies; divides the world; divides governments; divides everyone.

When is it safe to stop staying in?

Some people feel it’s finished. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a cold.

Some people believe it’s a huge threat. It’s a killer. It affects everyone.

When is it safe to stop staying in?

This is the question. Do you have the answer?

 

* POSTNOTE

Someone felt this comment was insensitive as there are many lives being lost in this pandemic. My response:

Apologies, but you may have misinterpreted my comment. Governments are battling when to lockdown and when to unlockdown as an economic issue. I was not making any view about deaths and those who lost loved ones

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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