It’s been a weird old time recently. I expect we will look back on this time with vague memories of how it felt. Some, like me, will remember being given back my commute time and being more efficient despite a tiny bit of network-slowness.
Some have experienced the ‘Covid-19 experience’ popularized by the media:
- hundreds of exhausting Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams meetings
- having their children climb over their shoulder during a meeting, and
- feeling stir-crazy.
Others, like supermarket workers, doctors, nurses and other hospital workers, public health workers, construction workers, delivery people, florists, and those in so many other careers, will have had a change in their daily schedules – in some cases massive changes – but they will also have a nagging feeling that they may be missing out.
For many, their lives have been turned upside down by the premature death of a loved one. And it is for millions of people who have not experienced this, that the above hardships and changes are being undertaken.
Some have lost their jobs, and have an uncertain future with the economy likely to be in tatters for a reasonable time to come.
In the United States, that appears to be the main focus. I have been lucky enough to live in three countries with very different cultures. And in America, it is clear that almost everything is focused on the economy; The economy is more important than:
- vacation time [even though research suggests that vacation makes people more productive overall]
- more important than healthcare [in the USA it costs a fortune, has worse outcomes than Europe, and no-one like the system except shareholders].
The economy matters more than most other things.
I would argue that the military exists to ensure that the economy looks productive, even when it consumes vast sums of money that in other economies is used for unemployment, Social Housing, paternity leave, statutory sick pay etc.
America is a Christian country – and proudly so – but the compassion that should be being shown, has been surrendered to an infatuation with the economy. That even Christians seem to believe the economy is the most important thing, despite the camel and the eye of the needle, is fascinating to an outside observer.
I hope the lesson of Covid-19, aside from the medical lessons, is that the economy is less important than caring for others, staying at home to protect others and the healthcare system. Surely we can agree that caring for others is more important? Can’t we?