Excellent idea

  • The Cafe is a great idea--thanks MRA gurus. I'll take just a moment to be an early adopter.

    Considering that part of the motivation to start this is because of the new world distancing advice, I thought I'd share a bit of my day. Background: Although my formal training is in computer software design, I have been a health insurance agent for almost 30 years now. Primarily I work with individuals and with small businesses who wish to set up insurance plans for the their employees.

    Today has been spent mostly helping people strategize how they can stay in business while the government does not allow it. Restaurants can't have sit-down customers, but can at least offer delivery and carry-out services in most areas of the country. But what does a brewery do? At least around me, we do not have "take out beer". And with nonessential travel being thwarted in most of the US now, business volumes at all types of businesses are affected.

    This scourge has several major facets, and the US is only at the leading edge of the timeline: First there is the virus itself, and individuals needing to deal with the medical and quarantine survival issues. Then comes the individual financial issue of living without an income. But behind this is also the impact on their employers: How does a business survive without customers? And at the back end of the entire discussion is the devastating impact this has already had on the world's stock markets. (In the US the loss is about 1/3 of total invested wealth).

    For those of you in Europe or Asia--where on the time spectrum are your countries? How do you anticipate working through it? A wonderfully unique aspect of MRA is the representation of many different countries and regions. Some are weeks ahead of the curve I'm living on, some probably yet behind it. I'm interested in how you're dealing with this.

  • @Brian-Liechty

    Hai Brian,

    I live in Belgium, a small country (10 million people) in Europe, and we are also at the leading edge of the disease. Government has taken the drastic decision to more or less shut down the entire economy. Many factories are closed. I have an office job and am working from home since a week.

    We don't know where this virus will lead us. In Italy, it's devastating, and I hope our government has reacted fast enough and we don't end up with 3000+ deaths in Belgium as well, but we don't know, we can only follow the instructions of the government and hope for the best.

    We have one huge advantage here in Belgium that despite our political system being the laughing stock of the rest of Europe, we do have one of the best health care and social security systems of the planet. Survive without a job means that you fall back on a minimum monthly income guaranteed and paid by by the government.That unemployment beneftit won't make you rich, but is certainly enough to survive and a bit more than that. Health insurance organised by the government will cover 70-90% of all costs related to hospitalisation and medicine, and the government has today announced fairly massive measures such as 1 billion euro allocated to support the hospitals (on the scale of a 10 million people population, that is a lot), granting delays to companies for paying their taxes, give very cheap loans to companies ... whatever it takes to keep economy alive basically.

    Add to that the measures taken by the European Union and I think (hope) that economically speaking we are as safe as we can be under the given circumstances. Yes, companies will close, some poeple will lose thier job and the stock market is going down, and after the crisis it will go up again, as always.

    The big worry is whether we, and our family, will stay healthy, or get sick and maybe die.

    Compared to that, all the rest is fairly irrelevant. These days in Italy, where the disease is rampaging at full speed, people die simply becuse there are no beds free anymore in the hospitals, and no more oxigen masks, and the doctors are as ill as their patients. If I would be in a position to give advice to you and your customers: first take care of yourself and your loved ones, and then for your community. Stay home, stay alone, don't go to restaurants, or warehouses... forget about business... survive, and then pick up the pieces.

    Feel free to disagree, I wholeheartedly hope that I am totally wrong and in two weeks time all this will prove to be a massive hoax but today, it does not look like that.

    All the best.

  • @Drabslab that's a good moment to hold on and take a while to think about your described situation in your Country. Since last years of exploitation of humans and nature by capitalism, we have lost control over them. I came to conclusion, it's time to renewal our forms of governmemts.
    We need to find a midle way between Capitalism and Communism, between Anarchy and Dictatorship. In my eyes, gouvernment had to care for it's folkes. They need infrastructure, security, health, and education. And the Minimum of that mußt be available for all - also, if they don't have monetary income by a job. With job and money, people can have a bit more: luxury.
    So, your Country is on a good way.
    This epidemy can force us to think in that direction.

    On other side, if you ask experts, you will get 2 different answers: one said, we must do everything to reduce speed of infection and reduce our way of live. Otherwise, it will get dramatic.
    Some said, it's only Corona infection as we have every last years in Winter season. Only a new Virus type. In most cases it isn't lethal - this Virus is only very high infectious. And this Virus is not "stupid" it doesn't kill it's host.
    Yes, there is a risk for all, with reduced immunity. But they have this risk with or without especially Corona and may die in any way. Unfortunately, if those will die, statistics will count them as Corona victim. This causes panic.

    In same time, we have every year 20.000 people died by influenza - and no ones cares. Last year, my wife was in Hospital and get's just there RSA bacterium and MRGN3 bacterium. She was close to die. This infection can't be healed and now she has to live with that risk. No ones cares. She is may now a potential victim by Corona.

    For sure, we should take every chance to reduce spread of infection. But without panic. Nature has not privided, that everyone will be able be alive at any circumstances.
    I have to keep this in my mind - especially as Biker. Death can lurk behind next curve. Does this reduce my enjoyment of riding? Or does it panic me? No, it brings me only to respect live, other people an nature.

    Cheers and stay healthy

  • @Guzzist

    Hai Guzzist, I have to add something very important (at least in my book).

    We should not only think about our governments, that is too easy. For many people Governments are only there to be blamed for raising too many taxes when there is nothing else to complain about, for "not doing enough" or for "not being ready enough" when there is one or another crisis. I think we all together hold a very big and long term responsibility for the readiness of our country to cope with corona, or a financial crisis, or criminality or ... We only lost control of the government because we, as a copmmunity, did not bother to have control, and vote consciously for good people and long term solid ideas instead of ...

    Under corona times, and in Belgium, the biggest problem is not the government, or the health sector, its individual Belgians who think it is funny to organise shutdown parties, find all kinds of "clever" ways to go around the established emergency rules ... It is just flabbergasting: students organising parties at one's home instead of in the pub, footbal supporters mass gathering in front of the stadion because they are not allowed in ...

    I do know a nurse (54 year's old) who caught the desease, most likely from a 20 year old nobody who went to hospital with mild symptoms after a house party. She is wearing an oxigene mask now. You give above a few "no-one cares" examples. That is the whole problem. We tend to live in careless selfishness until something hits us, and then, of course it is all the fault of the government, or the immigrants, or the ....

    I can't say what I think about all that because we are supposed to stay polite on this forum and my opinion on this is definitively NOT polite. Maybe I can still safely quote Albert Einstein - Only Two Things are Infinite, The Universe and Human Stupidity, and I Do Not Know About The Former.

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