Monday 13 April 2020

COVID – A Steep Hockey-stick Curve of Human Growth

COVID - "One of the best gifts, nature has granted to humankind in recent times." Before, you judge and label me insensitive, please allow me to elaborate on this.
Two days ago, an entrepreneur client opined that the lock-down measure was draconian. In this time of gloom and doom, industry captains are speculating about recovery curve being L, V or U shaped; in some quarters, the chorus for exit path from lock-down has appeared to take the center stage. 

I must own up to my bias for a wider lens (you may call it diffused) than the modern economist’s view of the human beings.  I must also share my long-held view that the GDP growth obsession has done more harm than good to humans. 

Having owned up to my biases, let me share a few existential experiences of past weeks.  Perhaps we wouldn’t have discovered the newfound resilience in my younger son, who is away and by himself. The culinary dexterity of my older son, who is with us during this lock-down, has been unraveled as also our frequent indulgences.   I have had his company for more drinks in past few weeks than perhaps the preceding decade.  The three-month young relationship with daughter-in-law is filled with micro-moments of joy.  There are similarly rich experiences for my friends, their families and scores of others.

I am celebrating what many a blogger has talked about -- a healing touch that earth is receiving through respite from ecological destruction or the animals roaming freely in the city (aka a human-zoo to them now) where we have caged ourselves in homes. Surely, not everyone may be a gig worker, like me.  Perhaps, we have varying means & amenities and of course, there are struggling billions around the world whose sustenance is engendered upon stopping of GDP churning mills.

Apparently, people at the BoP (Bottom of Pyramid) are displaying more patience and resilience than some of the industry captains.  Big businesses seem worried about drop in discretionary spending of consumers or erosion of market cap which will lower their creditworthiness (pun intended).

At a time when 1 in 5 cases of COVID has resulted in “Death” (pl refer charts below), no one has any idea of the penetration level which will help humankind cross the herd immunity threshold. However, the large picture as I see is a big upside hockey stick curve R when you keep 100-year perspective.  Those with 1 year or smaller horizon “L” curve has already become their reality.  Perhaps, those with a 3-year perspective are staring at a “U” curve and those with 5+ years perspective are hoping for the “V” shaped recovery.  The shape of the curve lies in the vantage point you hold. 

I would like to believe that I’ve another forty years of life ahead of me.  Therefore, I hold a two-generation perspective.  To me the human growth curve appears steep upward up with a hockey-stick shape.  You may call me foolish, but I would like to belong to a generation which stopped their GDP mills to allow healing for the earth and minimized the death & destruction faced by Humankind in 2020.

What’s the time horizon of your perspective? What’s your experience and worldview today? What are you committed to, besides the social distancing?

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