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Week 15 lockdown: Lockdown forgotten?

This week we had some great summer weather, the beaches were packed and it was announced the bars/pubs will open; the daily COVID press briefing has now been cancelled and even Joe Wicks’ daily PE workout has scaled back… no more fancy dress Fridays…. Lockdown is in the process of being forgotten it seems – the virus, patently not gone away – so a time of change and caution. Observations for this week.

  • Are more people wearing glasses during lockdown? Noticed my eyesight for one has definitely got worse… maybe it is all the looking at the screen, although it could just be age…!
  • As the volume of work has gone up, so has my biscuit consumption (again)… we are all snacking more apparently… my pain au chocolat attempt turned out well – although with a pack of butter in each batch the word of the week will be moderation for sure
  • Workwise, I gave a presentation at a virtual conference this week. Fascinating how the format has changed, adapted and how well too. Global sessions, discussion and information access, all an enhanced capability from lockdown I think

Monday tomorrow and another week… have a good one everybody… @chris_w_tweet


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Too relaxed, too quickly?: Weekly Roundup 26 June 2020

The relaxation of lockdown has continued globally, and in the UK with hot summer weather this week, it has appeared to prompt a mass migration to the beach. There were so many people in some locations a major incident was declared. All of this is of course against, if not strict government pandemic guidelines, certainly common sense.

It is, however, the summer, we have all been couped up for over 3 months and with 8 million people on furlough, not working but being paid there are a lot of people with spare time. Not surprisingly it is hard to control.

The concern though is whether we have become too relaxed too quickly. There was an interesting article on the impact of early relaxation in Bloomberg, which has had consequences on Coronavirus in the USA (cases from worldometer shown). In the UK is not mentioned, but clearly whilst the situation is currently better here, the dangers are still evident.

COVID19 infection rates are, of course, not an opinion but a matter of science and maths. Just being optimistic, hoping for the best, whilst it may make you feel better, will not really make much positive difference. In actuality it could make things worse if we all let our guard down.

However, accelerated relaxation continues and with pubs due to open on the 4th July all of this will be a test for the economy. Consumers will need to return to keep these businesses afloat and pay wages. If they do not and there is no furlough support they will be in trouble.

With the Furlough scheme to more formally end in October, all of this is starting to crystalize the expected economic impacts.

It remains a tricky time, shares are rattled and we continue to see some fallout, even in fintech companies. Expect to see yet more economic impact in terms of unemployment and economic stress. It is already time for businesses to prepare, if not already.

Still life goes on, and a trip to the beach, sit in the sun or in the park may just be what we all need. Let’s just all be careful.

This is the week that was…. try to have a good weekend everyone…. @chris_w_tweet

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Week 14 lockdown: Activity ramping up

This week was busy, plenty to do at work. For most people, those I speak to, activity does seem to be ramping up…. indeed frenetic in some areas… I just hope these are green shoots (a micro-indicator) for a wider rebound rather than just stress in the economy… fingers crossed. The observations for this week.

  • It has been the longest day this weekend, so with the light, I have not been sleeping as well at night… why is it then the only place you can fall fast asleep is in broad daylight on the sofa… it just makes no sense.
  • With the prospects of visitors and being out in public again, thoughts are turning to dress shirts and ironing again. Not something I have missed – comfy clothes rule.
  • Work-wise; chatting with folks around the world it has been interesting how lockdown has been such a common experience everywhere – something we have all been through – albeit with slightly different outcomes… it did feel that we may continue to diverge more from this point on mind you.

The start of another week. Have a good one everyone… @chris_w_tweet

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