A Pandemic Is A Blemish, Not The End

There have been many epidemics and pandemics in history. Uncomfortable for growth but not the end of society as we know it. Except the effect of the Spanish involvement with the Aztecs in the 16th century. Without natural defences or treatment, few survived the diseases the Europeans brought.

There future was destroyed but I’ll bet a few made out okay. The ones that were lucky and took advantage of whatever they could.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

Planting seeds is future oriented. Planting seeds requires optimism and a belief in the ability to be better off in the future. Pessimists don’t plant seeds. Should you be planting just now? There is no harvest without planting.

The pandemic is a trigger

People have changed their behaviour.

  • Politicians have decided to use the pandemic to acquire more power for themselves.
  • People have looked around and decided to wait.
  • Some children have missed a year of school.
  • Many young adults have lost their normal social interactions
  • Some businesses were closed and many of those will not reopen.
  • Our familiar ideas about how the world works have been scrambled.

The outcome

Are there fewer people planting seeds just now?  Why not?

  • The pandemic triggered our reactions.. The pandemic is not the problem. How we react to it is the problem. The world has not changed so much. Our perception of it has.
  • We have discovered that some large businesses are driven by political factors rather than business issues. Raytheon and Coca-Cola spring to mind. Others have converted politics to their business advantage. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon among them.
  • We have discovered that free trade with people who do not respect their customers doesn’t work very well China has a bigger agenda than mere economic performance. Many overlook that other aspect of them.
  • We have come to mistrust anything the media tells us. For me, they could not tell me the sky is blue on a clear day and have me believe them. That is of course if I even noticed them say it. That is antithetical to success.
  • We no longer trust familiar institutions. Governmental agencies have suppressed information we need to know and they have overvalued models and “expert” opinion.
  • We have learned there are no experts when it comes to dealing with something new and fundamentally different. Experience with other similar things may harm the analysis because it tries to make the new familiar.
  • People get it right when they know and understand the important details.
  • Fear is not a fact and it is being used to motivate people to change their attitudes to governments and to each other. Fear is a powerful political tool and immensely overused just now.

Fear in context.

Fear can be influenced by knowledge. It is dealt with by exploring deeper than the first layer. Absent comparison, any statistic can be made to appear very different from it’s true meaning.

For context, let’s look at some available data and see if we can evaluate current conditions better.

  • The Spanish Flu 1918 – Infected 500 million people, about a third of the world’s  population, and killed between 4% and 10% of those who contracted it.
  • Smallpox was deemed eradicated in 1977. It once infected people in local outbreaks. The mortality rate within an outbreak was around 30%.
  • Ebola is a fierce disease and usually occurs in small, confined outbreaks. The mortality rate varies widely between 35% and 90% with the average around 50%
  •  Sars-Covid-2019. Not so easy to catch. In my province in Canada, Ontario, there are roughly 14,000,000 people and until July 2021, 16 months of presence, 545,000 cases. Roughly 4% have been infected. Of those 9,251 have died for a death rate of about 1.7% among those who have become infected. World wide there have been 182 million case and 4 million deaths. Fewer than 3% of the population have been infected and of those a little over 2% have died. The world wide numbers are likely not especially precise.
  • Over 40 years HIV/AIDS has killed roughly 35 million people.
  • Bubonic Plague. The plague created enormous change in the politics and society of 14th century Europe. It killed between 30% and 60% of the population of Europe. It was caused by a bacteria as opposed to a virus and there were no medical skills to be applied.

In Context

Sars-cov-2 or Covid-19 is a serious disease but a long way from catastrophic.

Smallpox and salmonella came to the Aztecs in the 16th century and killed at least two-thirds of them.

The seasonal flu in 2017-2018 killed almost 100,000 Americans.

Medical science is far different than it was in Europe around 1350 or in Mexico in the 1500s.

We don’t know that the counting protocol for Covi-19 deaths is the same as it was in previous years.

It is never smart to make decisions without assessing the context. The disease is serious, but is it as serious as the powers that be would have us believe? I don’t know and cannot tell. Suppression of information by governments, news media, and social media conspire against knowing. Instead you must guess. You cannot rely on them.

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts”  Abraham Lincoln

Lincolns wisdom is not in full bloom just now.

Make your own decisions, but first decide if the context is not so adverse that you cannot prepare for your future. Planning is how you influence the future for yourself. It is organized anticipating. It’s more difficult now than it was, but one of your planning conditions should always be how do you deal with unforeseen adverse differences. Risk management is a thing.

The pandemic is an example of a serious risk that will likely have small effect on you. Unless you get caught up in the whirlwind of rhetoric, posturing, and virtue signaling we are exposed to every hour, you can build a workable future for yourself.

The takeaway

Life is good and it is better if you work at achieving something.

Panic is poor tool to apply to life.

Governments have their own agenda and they are not especially interested in making your life, or even the lives of all the people, better. Think about whether they are operating too much to their own advantage and replace them if they are.

Make the most of what you can see and do.

Be an optimist. Plant some seeds.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com

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