I’ve been thinking about some positive impacts from coronavirus

Thursday, 19th March 2020

virus purple

• LET’S be British about coronavirus and the chaos it’s creating: Keep Calm and Carry On, but washing a lot for a change.

My very limited historical knowledge is that the Black Death of the 14th century had two sort-of positive impacts:

1. As even bishops and other high church officials were equally likely to die, it undermined the blind belief in religion, opening up the Renaissance when we realised there was no divine power controlling our world, and human creativity was unleashed;

2. As millions died, suddenly there was a shortage of labour, so bosses and landlords had to treat their servants better, in case they went somewhere else where they were given decent living conditions.

Wikipedia tells me that: “Due to climate change in Asia, rodents began to flee the dried-out grasslands to more populated areas, spreading the disease.” Which is certainly an apt message for today.

So here’s my initial list of positives from coronavirus:

1. Brexit will be stopped, possibly completely, as we realise all countries need to work together on such global issues, with global warming still the main problem facing humanity.

2. Workers at all levels will gain proper employment rights to sick pay, holidays as well as decent working hours and conditions and, perhaps, a share in the profits they create.

3. We will all realise that, first and foremost, we are people and can stop being labelled and treated as Black, Brown or White; Christian or Muslim, LGBTQ+ etc; and respect one another as human beings.

4. And if a few billionaires die from the virus, perhaps the others will realise money isn’t really worth so much and they might feel better if they shared some of their wealth with those who created it.

There may well be other benefits to come, but stiff upper lips everyone, we’re all going to need them.

Eton Avenue, NW3

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