Many governments are racing towards the final furlongs of quarantine in an attempt to whip their economies back to life and stave off recession.
In Germany, small shops and car-dealers (obviously) are reopening. South Korean offices and shopping centres are gradually filling up again. Wuhan has been out of lockdown for a week and the wet markets are brimming with life. Chinese horseshoe bats have succeeded in their campaign and are now off the menu. Huzzah.
However, with the eruption of furloughs in the United Kingdom and likely unemployment tsunami that will follow, Britain is in for a spot of bother.
So far, 11 million people in the UK have been furloughed or let go, which equates to up a third of the workforce. Being unemployed has never been so in vogue. Even Condé Nast (Vogue’s parent company) is laying people off. No one is safe from being pleasured with a pay cut, furlough or redundancy. Unless, of course, you managed to make the bizarre career move of accepting a job at Andrex, the canine lavatory paper manufacturer. Then you’ll be rolling in it.
“This is a perfect time to plan your escape”
In all the redundancy panic, many people have forgotten that they never really liked their job in the first place. This is a perfect time to plan your escape. With the Chancellor of the Exchequer and certified hottie Rishi “Dishy Rishi” Sunak promising to prop up the UK economy with £330bn of business loans, now might be as good a time as any to go your own way. So, take the money and run. Start your app or start manufacturing lightsabre-themed condoms or start a business that designs doggles (sunglasses for hip Huskies) and sequined vejazzles for the cat.
The silver lining of corona is that people are slowing down and flexing their creative muscles. The exponential growth in online orders for trumpets, baking powder and Brown Ochre oil paint stands as testament to this. The actor Idris Elba (who tested positive with his newly-wed wife) even praised the unifying power of quarantine and suggests it should become an annual recurring event.
With many countries now taking their first tentative steps back towards the status quo, we could find ourselves racing towards the quarantine finish line sooner than we thought.
So, make the most of the best aspects of isolation (moments to reflect, reading that book you actually picked up and quality time with your loved ones) whilst you still have them. Whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, condemn your life’s work to the drudgery of manufacturing bog roll.
By Caspar Barnes