Pandemic aftermath

"Keep yourself busy."



It seems government has virtually lifted lockdown. Many stores and malls are open, even if partially.

Still, the rule is don’t go out unless necessary. You can send your driver to do errands: buy grocery, cooked food, medicines, hardware items. Or send him to LBC. If you need to send something urgent, like cooked food or a gift or a greeting, even cash, to a friend or relative, Grab and similar services are readily available. Their rates are reasonable considering the messengers are literally risking their life to serve you.

1. So don’t go out. Believe me you save your life and you save a lot of money. Usually, if you dine out your partner tends to stray into shops like Uniqlo, Zara, Gucci, and worst, Hermes. Zara has made this marketing innovation where one must buy the latest dress or clothing every two weeks because after two weeks it will disappear.

2. Wash hands every time you feel you should wash your hands. 

3. Wear a mask because that is now the common courtesy.

4. If you see more than two people, keep your distance.

5. Drink a lot of water and fluids. Not Coke.

6. Take your vitamins and maintenance medicines.

7. Keep yourself busy. Write. Read books and magazines. In print and online. Educate yourself.  Clean up your computer disks, your clothes cabinet, your bookcases, your files.

8. Do a little maintenance work like minor carpentry (I finished a book shelf and a wall), electrical and plumbing work. I fixed a small garden. Subscribe to the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, Wall Street Journal. Their COVID articles are all free. Plus read medical papers and journals.  

9. Create a hobby.  I am learning oil painting. In high school, every summer, I used to draw for komiks magazines.  But if you want to draw or paint, don’t do carpentry or things like drilling holes. You need a steady pulse and hand in art.

10. Irony of ironies, I want Duterte to extend the lockdown. I want to finish two long delayed books.

Meanwhile, the famous marketing guru, Philip Kotler, writing for the Sarasota Institute on April 13, 2020, has identified possible changes in consumer behavior as a result of the global pandemic.

He says:

When the COVID-19 crisis is over, capitalism will have moved to a new stage.  Consumers will be more thoughtful about what they consume and how much they need to consume.

Some weaker companies and brands will vanish. Consumers will have to find reliable and satisfying replacement brands.

The coronavirus makes us aware of how fragile our health is. We can catch colds easily in crowds. We must stop shaking hands when we meet and greet.  We need to eat more healthy food to have a greater resistance to germs and flus.

We are shocked by the inadequacy of our health system and its great cost. We need to stay out of the hospital and play safe.

The sudden loss of jobs will remain a trauma even after workers get jobs back. They will spend and save their money more carefully.

Staying home has led many consumers to become producers of their own food needs. More home cooking, more gardening to grow vegetables and herbs. Less eating out.

We place more value on the needs of our family, friends and community. We will use social media to urge our families and friends to choose good and healthy foods and buy more sensible clothing and other goods.

We will want brands will spell out their greater purpose and how each is serving the common good.

People will become more conscious of the fragility of the planet, of air and water pollution, of water shortages, and other problems.

More people will seek to achieve a better balance between work, family and leisure.  Many will move from an addiction to materialism to sensing other paths to a good life.  They will move to post-consumerism.

Capitalism remains the best engine for efficient economic growth.  It also can be the best engine for equitable economic growth.  It doesn’t change to socialism when we raise taxes on the rich.  We have given up on the false economic doctrine that the poor win when the rich get richer.  Actually the rich will get richer mainly by leaving more money in the hands of working class families to spend.

 As the coronavirus crisis shows us, a robust public health system is in the best interest of all – rich and poor alike.  It is time to rethink and rewire Capitalism and transform it into a more equitable form – based on democracy and social justice. Either we will learn to share more like Scandinavian countries, or we will become a banana republic.  We are all in this together.

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Topics: Tony Lopez , coronavirus disease 2019 , COVID-19
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