I would much rather be writing about something other than Covid-19, but this is clearly the only story in town. I use the word story purposely not to make light of the pandemic, but as a play on the word story.
Rudyard Kipling once wrote that if history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. In the best seller, Sapiens: A brief history of Humankind, author Yuval Harari attributes the success of humans over all other species in our ability to tell stories. This ability to tell stories, which we collectively believe-in, allows humans to work together in achieving a common goal.
This brings me back to my opening paragraph and the only story in town, which is Novel Coronavirus commonly known as Covid-19, although President Trump prefers Wuhan Virus. Covid-19 is a classic “spook” story, which elicits fear for good reason. This is a highly contagious illness for which there is no treatment or vaccine and being novel, we have no natural immunity against it. The scary part is how little we seem to know of this illness. Not that this has stopped the experts from claiming their moment in the sun as they team up with Government in selling the “spook” story.
The Covid-19 story is so good that it has managed to bring about a synchronised shut-down of the global economy as countries have collectively bought into the story and followed international guidelines in trying to “flatten the curve” by slowing down the rate of transmission for the purpose of saving lives. Of course, there is always two sides to a story and the other side of the story as told by the economists is of dire financial implications as global economy is forced into recession.
With so many experts writing and speaking on the Covid-19 topic I feel wholly unqualified to weigh-in suffice to say my area of expertise is investor behaviour, which is hardwired into our genes. Like the fondness for stories our behaviour is influenced by fear and greed as part of our DNA. Unfortunately, stories speak to our irrational brain, which is influenced by our emotions. Now is a time for rational thought and behaviour. Don’t do stupid things…………….
Mcomm, CFP®, HdipTax
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