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Monday, 23 March 2020

Covid-19 actions all seem to be implemented a week too late

A week after I started working from home (indefinitely) and told DS2 to stay home from school (he had a bit of a 'sniffle' anyway, so I decided to keep him at home even though there's no known case of Covid-19 at his school) the NSW Premier has today announced that although the state's schools remain open (for the moment) children should stay at home 'if possible'. And the Australian Prime Minister announced that all 'non-essential' businesses should shut (their physical offices). And two weeks after I stopped going to the gym (at a time the 'experts' were saying it was still OK to go to the gym, as long as you wiped equipment down and washed hands afterwards) the PM has also shut-down all indoor sports activities and gyms (for six months!). So, many actions previously thought to bve 'too cautious' has morphed into mandatory precautions, but a week or two after it should they should have been implemented (to have a significant impact on 'the curve').

Aside from the trivial annoyance of having recently changed my gym membership from month-to-month to an annual paid-in-advance membership (oh well, my contribution to keeping businesses going I suppose), and the relatively small investment I still have in the stock markets (down another 8% on opening this morning, to an 8-year low), my biggest concern is that DW still had to go to work today (I'm expecting they'll decide to either ask employees to WFH (work from home) or take leave (annual, sick or unpaid) from tomorrow. It would have been better if DW could have avoided going to work and catching public transport for the past week, but hopefully the probability of exposure to Covid-19 is still quite low at the moment.

In the longer term the question will be whether or not DW and I keep our jobs - even large, healthy companies are likely to suffer extreme financial stress during 2020, and there will be a massive increase in unemployment during the course of 2020. If we're "lucky" we may receive a redundancy payment and be in a position to take an 'early retirement' if we need to. DS1 will be graduating at the end of this year and still seems to have an optimistic outlook regarding his chances of getting a well-paid IT job -- personally I won't be surprised if he ends up living at home rent-free and doing a post-grad degree for a couple more years...


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