Level-5 Restrictions

We all have our own views of the merits and demerits of the level-5 lockdown currently in force. MMPI accepts that it is intended for the general good; but we do have huge sympathy for those who are suffering – under whatever guise.

MMPI is a small, vibrant business and our activities in the provision of financial advice are considered essential services. While our Donnybrook office remains closed to the public, we are continuing to provide a full service offering remotely. Our staff are doing a wonderful job under really difficult circumstances.

It is a strange experience for all of us, but humans are remarkably adaptable; and our clients are taking the new arrangements in their stride. In fact, most people seem to be readjusting to the new reality of working from home and conducting their activities online to an extent they never dreamed possible a few short months ago. As always change is difficult to take but the collective hardship has certainly engendered a collective response. The positivity in the face of the harsh adversity is truly remarkable.

A key issue around any forced constraints is how people will react when the limitations are lifted. For example, some countries in Europe have imposed a curfew on movement after dark – others a curtailment of pub opening hours – others have placed limits on gatherings. The responses are all rather confusing. The uniform message should surely be, “Stop meeting other people unnecessarily.” Instead, we hear about no more than 1 household or 5 people at funerals or 15 people at weddings or is the other way around. Who cares? Stop meeting people unnecessarily!

It is likely the reaction to the lifting of restrictions will be a populous surge for retail outlets in time for Christmas. That doesn’t seem sensible; although it’s a pragmatic response. The authorities should surely be massaging their communication to the public now to continue to exercise restraint and not rush to meet others without due cause.

At some point, a tough reality will have to be faced. The principle of looking out for the general good of all will have to be replaced with looking out for the common good of many. Medical authorities must adopt the former approach because of their Hippocratic responsibilities. Realists will prefer the latter approach. Hapless politicians will juggle between the two. But without decisive action jobs will suffer!

The economy is held up as some kind of frivolous, academic, financial term but it simply describes the interconnectedness of buying and selling products and services. During these unprecedented times consumers continue to purchase essentials but little else. They are mostly saving; a natural reaction – but jobs will suffer!

In order to dissolve the uncertainty, we all need clear guidance now on what to expect after the current restrictions are lifted. Is it too much to ask that our leaders provide some leadership? History shows that leaders don’t need to get it right – they simply need to lead; or jobs will suffer!

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