27th of April, 2020
For many these are truly scary times. The uncertainty around personal health, the restrictions upon our living conditions and movement, limits upon our food and medical supplies as well as the impact to the economy, your job and the value of your investments. And that says nothing about the deaths of many people.
I certainly don’t want to understate or be dismissive of the current dire turn of events that we are facing, but I can assure you we will get through this.
Just like dawn follows the dark of night, so too will the market decline turn to boom.
As much as we are all focusing on the short-term pain that society is undergoing, there is much good that will come out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Much of this news will go unnoticed as instead we focus on our short term needs and fears that the news headlines are continually reinforcing.
This pandemic will force our increased adaptation of technology. It will also show just how adaptive we are as a species. Our economic system will change and adapt, as we demonstrate our ability to solve the current problems as we continue to navigate our way out of the crisis.
I am not trying to imply that there will be no hardships or downplay the health crisis we are facing, but rather have you start to think about all the positives that will flow from this crisis.
There is so much doom and death currently being played out as news outlets continue to scaremonger that I would just like you to take a few moments to consider another side of the story that just maybe provides you with a little hope.
Distilleries like Bundaberg rum, Brewers like Budweiser and even perfume-makers Givenchy and Christian Dior have joined the rush to produce and bottle hand sanitizers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other government agencies continue to tell us that if you can’t wash your hands for 30 seconds, then use hand sanitiser with a very high percentage of alcohol which has translated into panic buying reaching epic proportions.
Now harder to procure than the world’s rarest rubies, the flexibility in business models and human motivation is allowing the free markets to start to provide some solutions to the problems we face with a flood of sanitiser sure to hit our shelves soon.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put out the call to try and increase the stock of ventilators. The UK’s National Health Authority (NHA) currently has about 5,900 units but believes it might need in excess of 20,000.
Boris emailed the ventilator blueprints to 100’s of manufacturers including Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover and is expecting the packages to start arriving very soon.
But as we are continuing to see, technology is being pushed to the edge and this is where some significant gains will be made. For example, VW is testing the use of 3D printing to make hospital ventilators to combat the coronavirus.
VW is not the only car maker seeking to adopt technological improvements. Geely a Chinese brand has implemented a “contactless delivery system” for customers amide the current pandemic.
Drones are being used to deliver the keys right to new owner’s front doors, or balconies, having only ever been touched by the delivery driver, of course wearing disposable plastic gloves. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s drone service has completed more than 1,000 deliveries during the past couple of weeks.
According to a recent Reuters report, Hong Kong subway operator MTR (Mass Transit Railway) has recently employed a posse of mini-fridge-sized robots cleaners. These robots spray a hydrogen peroxide mist that they guarantee will kill ALL the germs. It is based upon technology used typically in hospitals as it will thoroughly disinfect the area helping keep train carriages free from the virus.
This says nothing about the millions of Australians, let alone the billions worldwide that are now experiencing working and learning from home for the first time.
This is a massive change for most people not only socially but also the further use and adaptation and acceptance of technology.
My boys are currently home from school and like any kid of their generation, technology isn’t something that they use but rather its an extension of their being. Even for them I notice things are changing as it’s interesting to note that even in the early stages of home schooling the focus seems to have shifted to more project work encouraging the use of research style skills, maybe something more adapt to our new society.
This further push to use and apply technology by way of drones, robots, 3D Printing etc will just help commercialise their use and as they continue to permeate our lives they will continue to become an accepted and expected addition to the way we live our lives.
The extreme events we are currently witnessing will speed the pace at which old technologies are put out of business and help usher in a new wave of innovation.
What we are witnessing is the bringing forward the use and application of technology to help solve human problems.
At the end of the day these technological advancements will help pave the way for the cycle to not only continue to perpetuate, give investors great investment opportunities and eventually once again push asset prices sky high.
However, until this health crisis passes please stay safe.