The current lockdown has seemed like an out-of-life experience for many. We have been awestruck by the sweeping changes to our lifestyles that we’ve freely undertaken. It’s almost as if we’ve been subject to mass hypnotisation or we’ve swallowed a magic pill that has seen the many carrying out the will of the few. This is a throwback to earlier times in history; the patricians and the plebeians.

The absolute enormity of what has happened to us can never be understated. History teaches that major crises are overcome but it tends not to dwell on the details of the events. It’s only years later, when emotions are less raw, that we come to realise the true nature of the calamity and the personal suffering endured. The current horror of mass graves to cater for endless bodies had previously been confined to war zones. The trauma of funerals with no mourners is eerily tragic. The pointed targeting of the elderly is harrowing. The usurping of power (seemingly temporarily) and the upheaval of long-held liberties is worrying. Remember, power is not normally redeemed without a struggle!

It is remarkable how interconnected everything is! A quick check in a standard domestic larder shows bananas from Ecuador, blueberries from Morocco, cashew nuts from Vietnam and chia seeds from Guatemala. The enormous output of energy required to get this produce to table is not justifiable. But when it is hidden from view it doesn’t offend sensitivities.

History will show that a tiny, tiny microbe with an elementary strip of RNA and a flimsy mask of protein has succeeded in getting us to examine the sanity of our current world order. Many naysayers have been harping on about this for years, but it has tended to descend into a controversy about climate change. We’ll now be forced to re-evaluate our universal approach to global trade and the beloved just-in-time supply chains.

The natural resources of our planet are finite. We cannot keep on extricating stuff from the ground. Someday there will be no more! Our wanton waste just sits somewhere but, mischievously, not in view. Our synthetic plastic has seeped its way into every crevice of our soil and deep into our oceans. It is not beyond the ingenuity of science to tackle these issues, but commerce always seems to take precedence. Ensuring the supply chains are well stocked and consumer demand satisfied, keeps the profits rolling in. And that’s a priority because future profits are what drive the higher price of shares that investors crave.

Great leadership is on a higher plane than simply great management. It requires bold decision-making that alas has been absent in recent decades. MMPI does not have the clout to change the narrative but we’ll continue to express our view that debt levels are unsustainable; that a more empathetic approach is required; that profits are not the meaning of life; that investor expectations must be tempered. Incredibly, it’s possible that a strip of RNA will now direct this dialogue.

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