From a business/market perspective it feels like we are entering the next phase. The government's actions, such as the furlough scheme, have helped to mitigate the short term impact and to provide (some) protection for household incomes. But, we are now seeing companies publicise their plans for how they will look post-Covid. And this seems to often mean having a significantly smaller workforce. Rolls Royce, EasyJet, Debenhams, McLaren etc. Most of the significant job cuts have so far been in sectors where the impact is clear and therefore cuts are to be expected, but it does remain to be seen how the wider economy is different (smaller?) into 2021. The stock market should have quantified and integrated the impact of this into share prices - time will tell if it has got that calculation correct.
On the plus side, there is growing discussion about how we want society to look in the future. Significant changes have been thrust upon us by Covid-19, many negative but also some positives. How do we deal with the negatives, and how do we keep and grow the positives? The think-tank Demos have written about this (blog) and launched a "national conversation" that seeks everyone's input (Renew Normal).
I asked my wife, Shona, what I should write about today and her suggestion was "coping with uncertainty". That led me to this article on this exact topic: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/dealing-with-uncertainty.htm. HelpGuide is a non-profit mental health and wellness group. The article lists the following 5 tips:
- Tip 1: Take action over the things you can control
- Tip 2: Challenge your need for certainty
- Tip 3: Learn to accept uncertainty
- Tip 4: Focus on the present
- Tip 5: Manage stress and anxiety
Tip 3 feels somewhat trite (if we could do that, then we wouldn't be searching for and reading articles like this!). But there are a lot of useful points in the article.
It also made me think of Morton Fraser's investment risk questionnaire that all clients complete, and to wonder what the relationship is between how we feel about "risk" and "uncertainty". Is it the case that those who have a low risk score (are more cautious) also find the uncertainty harder to cope with? Possibly? If that is the case, then sympathies to all of you who would be in one of the lower risk groups.
As for us, we have finished watching all the Star Wars films, and particularly enjoyed the last one, The Rise of Skywalker. With Malcolm not going back to school until 11th August, 10 weeks away, I think we need to find a new family boxset/franchise to explore. Suggestions welcome.