No B.S Friday: Do you think maybe no one’s got any idea what’s going on?
Imagine you were some evil villain and you wanted to introduce Covid into a city and get it to spread far and wide. How would you do it?
Maybe you would give it to a taxi driver, and get them to spend ten days driving people round the city while infectious.
That should do it right?
Only thing is, that’s exactly what happened in Cairns. A cabbie spent ten days driving people around the city while infectious.
And you know how many people he gave it to?
What does that mean? What do we do with that?
I’ve got no idea. I’m not denying Covid is a thing. But one thing that does seem to be clear is that we still have very little idea about how Covid actually works and what we’re supposed to do with it.
Take lockdowns. Do they work? The answer to that seems to be probably, maybe.
There’s a thinker I follow – Mark Ford. He had this to say about lockdown in America:
Freedom is never free. There is always a cost. Sometimes it is paid in labor. Sometimes in risk. Sometimes in blood. I decided to check the data to see how my home state of Florida is doing compared to similarly large states that imposed (and still are imposing) severe sanctions.
Here are the scores so far:
Contracted COVID Cases (per 100,000)
- New York: 11,500
- New Jersey: 12,000
- California: 10,600
- Florida: 14,300
Deaths (per 100,000)
- New York: 278
- New Jersey: 300
- California: 165
- Florida: 190
What does that mean?
All three large-population states with the toughest lockdown requirements have done better than Florida, with about 30% fewer cases. But in terms of what really matters – deaths – New York and New Jersey did considerably worse than Florida with about 50% higher mortalities. California did somewhat better at 165/100,000 vs. 190/100,000 – about 16% less.
My prediction is that after all is said and done, including vaccinations, the difference in mortality between high-mandate and low-mandate states will be about the same.
That be my guess too. And it’s not to say that lockdowns don’t move the dial. It’s probably that they get trumped by other factors – like weather. (Any surprises that people aren’t catching a suped-up flu in sunny Cairns?)
But what can you do? We’re dealing with a complete unknown and so you’ve just got to do the best you can. Lockdowns, for now, are the best we can do.
I think it’s a bit like the way you have to tell kids that things are under control. When my kids where little, a 747 full of armed terrorists could have crashed through the bedroom window and I would have said, “It’s ok. I’ve got this. It’s under control.”
Because if I couldn’t project calm and confidence, they would have freaked out.
I think our governments face the same situation. People want to know that things are ok. That’s someone is in control. That someone has a handle on the situation.
That’s the role our governments are playing. “It’s ok. We’ve got this. Put a mask on. Don’t play on the play equipment.”
And I actually support that. That’s what society needs. Down the road, with the benefit of hindsight, we might learn that there might have been a better way to play things. But what can you do? You’ve got to do something.
That said, I do recognise that it’s easy for me from where I sit.
Covid and the lockdown has actually been very good for me. I’ve had one of my best years ever. Sure, it would be nice to be able to go to Europe and to be sunning my arse over there. It’d be nice to be playing on the play equipment.
But other than that, business is pretty good.
People can’t figure it out. They thought I was in the events space, and that I’d get slaughtered.
But I don’t sell events. I sell knowledge. Events are just the packaging. And I’ve found a new packaging provider.
But I know that I’m lucky. Covid has given us a three-speed economy.
Some businesses, like mine, are booming.
Some businesses are just kicking along like normal.
And some are getting hammered.
And so I can see that if I was in that last group – if my business was getting hammered – I might not be so philosophical about lockdowns and whether they do or don’t work.
But as always, wealth is freedom from the worst challenges of life.
So hang in there guys. And if you’re in your 200th-odd day of lockdown like me, maybe take the time to invest in your skills and invest in your wealth.
I promise you it’s worth it.