Now that we are really ‘into’ coronavirus (I’ve been self isolating for 4 weeks now), even more benefits have become apparent. Here are 4 more major benefits.
- Science is trumping Politics
For years now, those of us who believe in evidence, particularly around climate change issues, have been frustrated, as politicians choose political ideology or expediency and avoid the evidence in decisionmaking.
Suddenly, in less than a month, virtually the whole world has accepted the science of coronavirus and every country and city is applying the same science-based recommendations. Science stands next to, or even in front of, Prime Ministers and Presidents each night to explain the CV situation and what we have to do…and the politicians largely accept it and make their rules and laws based on it. When this is over, let’s hope this same evidence based approach will be applied to even more important issues, such as climate change, our health system, social welfare, education…
2. Global Political Agreement is occurring on Government Style and Solutions
Gone are widely differing political ideologies. From China to the EU to Australia and even, though in the increasingly usual position of laggard, to the US, governments are agreeing to centralised government with socialistic solutions.
For China this was easy…and look how successful they have been! For Australia, the neoliberal business-focussed, surplus-oriented, central government has completely changed philosophy, doubling unemployment benefits, offering free childcare, paying employers huge job subsidies to keep people employed and running up the biggest budget deficit in Australia’s history.
While the US still struggles to get a national position, all other countries have adopted centralised government to get alignment and coordination across states, provinces and counties. Oppositions are agreeing with governments! For federally-oriented systems, this is amazing! But it enables quick and decisive solutions to be made and implemented without major debate – crucial to combatting such a fast-moving enemy.
3. Less Personal Spending is Happening
Since we are unable to go out, although online spending has surged, overall spending is way down. We are discovering that a large amount of our spending is really discretionary. We can live life without it. This will serve us well once the main crisis nas passed, as many people will have less to live on through losing their jobs, having less work, being paid less. We’ve already cut back on our outflows.
4. Airbnb will Decline in Importance
While many of us have enjoyed Airbnb as customers, Airbnb is a nightmare for short-term rental markets (pricing local renters out of the market), for apartment block management, for local tax receipts, for over-tourism and the property market generally (encouraging multi-property rental investors at the expense of long-term owners and local renters).
Airbnb was great for single property owners when it began, but its morphing into larger scale multi-property ownership and tourism rental has been a disaster in large apartment blocks and dense central cities. Returning Airbnb to its roots, and hopefully getting local tax receipts and local property controls in place, will be a blessing from CV.
While none of us really like the restrictions on our personal freedom and there are many costs, if we can hang on to some of these many benefits from CV when it is under control, our society might actually be better off…. Who would have thought…