Corona Virus is everywhere, at least reports on this illness are everywhere in the media.
However, are the stories asymptomatic of the society that we live in? We now live in a society that has little to no bearing upon truth. Politicians can say, in the one breath, that they will never serve in someone’s cabinet or opposition. Then when offered a prime position they are then gladly stepping straight into a front bench position.
Politicians can say that they will oppose a new rail development, or a new runway at Heathrow committing to lying down in front of the bulldozers, then, when in power they can suddenly have a change of heart and go back on their word.
Politicians, across the world, have reached a realisation that they will never be held accountable to anything that they say. Truth apparently no longer matters.
Truth and facts within our society are lost behind soundbite headlines. What we see and read is utterly unreliable reporting, whether it be regarding the snow that is coming in the coming winter with glacial cold and snow that will bring the nation to a standstill being forecast, or, rumours regarding royalty or celebrities that feed our salacious appetite for gossip.
This malaise of a lack of truth is now, I believe, affecting the manner in which the outbreak of the Corona-Virus is being reported on across the world.
For example, as far as all reports have stated, and this is all that we can use at present, only the youngest, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions will end up pushing up daises as a result of contracting the Corona Virus.
Please, hear this, it is an absolute tragedy that folk have died from this strain of the cold, and I sincerely pray that none of my young grand-children are affected by this, or my family and close friends, but, I believe there is more behind this story than is being reported.
For example, let’s take a look at some figures regarding fatalities in road traffic accidents. In Great Britain during the year 2018, 1,784 people were killed in reported traffic accidents.
In 2019, this figure rises to 1,870 fatalities, which is a 4% increase. Whack in serious injuries arising from road traffic accidents, by June 2019 the figure is a total of 27,820!
If we look at stats for road traffic accidents that occur worldwide, an estimated 3,700 people are killed in road traffic accidents every single day.
The statistics for Corona-Virus, thus far, with the adjusted figures included from overnight, is around 1,300 people.
If we assume that the Corona-Virus has been around for about 60 days, 222,000 people have been killed, worldwide, in road accidents during this same period of time.
If we narrow this down to China, in 2016 (the year for which the latest stats are available), there were 2,261,126 reported traffic accidents. If we break this figure down it includes 648,678 fatalities with 2,528,225 injuries.
As we look at these figures, here is a question for you. Are you going to drive or be driven today, because of the risk of dying or being injured?
As I have clearly stated, any premature death is an absolute tragedy that affects many, but, I think that the media need to put things in a little bit of perspective and bring some science into this instead of sensationalist soundbite headlines.
I was prompted to write this article as a result of this sensationalism that has caused the largest tech show on the planet, MWC Barcelona, to be cancelled.
Firstly I need to point out that the organisers, GSMA, eventually had no option but to cancel this event due to the big names pulling out one after another. I would have done the same in their shoes. I question the big companies pulling out. But, in turn, these companies may have been scared of being sued by an employee attending the show who then contracted the Corona-Virus. Such is the age in which we live.
This trade show is worth billions worldwide as it creates business. A stand for the big tech companies might be around £8 – £10 million plus. These firms can afford to write this off and move on. The smaller companies who have forked out £1.5 – £5 million for their stand, they cannot afford this cost and simply write it off. Many will not survive or find it hard to move forwards, unless their insurance pays out.
This show also creates 14,000 temporary jobs in Barcelona for two to three weeks before the show, during the build, during the show, and for a few days afterwards when the Fira venue is cleared. This year all of these jobs have been curtailed or gone. The knock on effect of a boost to tourism and hospitality, this is all gone, overnight!
Why need you, and I, as a business owner be concerned at the cancellation of this event? Firstly, it is being reported that 25 events worldwide have been cancelled since the outbreak of the Corona-Virus.
Regarding MWC Barcelona, just from this event, smaller companies such as that owned by a colleague of mine who supplies the show, they are watching thousands of squids gone from his business this year.
The fear is that this is setting a precedent. What else will be cancelled?
All of these decisions is where trickle down economics has a decimating effect upon everyone, business owner or not. Delivery companies already have had orders cancelled, they are left with suppliers stock. They have to return it at their own expense to their clients. The manufacturing companies and their orders for components, display items, all orders are cancelled. When I was working at Gamescom, the gaming company responsible for fortnite built an entire set from the game. This type of manufacture and supply chain is being devastated by the cancellation of MWC.
Imagine what goes into all of these trade stand builds? From the supply of bubble wrap, to packing workers, to paint suppliers, to every single nail, screw, piece of wood and banner, all that is now gone.
The SME’s working in this supply chain, they will be affected, on top of the hospitality, air travel, accommodation, taxis and car hire all being affected, this then affects the level of disposable income within the nation as bonuses and salaries are affected and often cut.
Obviously I am disappointed that I will not be there, covering MWC show, but, the effect is larger than just me. It is affects all of us.
This cancellation has been carried out when in Spain they have 2 confirmed cases of Corona-Virus, just 2 people, and both of these folks are in quarantine.
Obviously there is a need for caution and sensible precautions, but then, there is sheer sensationalism that can lead to stupidity.
I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to which realm that I believe we are living in at present!
If it is the latter, then you’d better stop driving, at least if you are in China!