Greater health disparities and more inequality coming now?

Only if we let it.

This was one of this morning’s headlines:

How are we going to address the gaps, people?

How are we going to make sure that this will not result in more of what our society so vulnerable to COVID-19, making us more vulnerable when the next pandemic or the next wave of COVID-19 rolls in?

We need a very different approach to overcome this. It will require a true paradigm shift.

Here in the UK, we have to deal with not only five more years or so of Tory government but also the dropping away of the EU’s protection. Unless we somehow mobilise and organise a massive effort to counter this, there may be a shift toward the worse pretty soon. But that does not have to be the case. Times of upheaval offer unique opportunities.

See it like this. When a house falls down during an earthquake, you can use the building blocks to rebuild the house in exactly the same way, you can build something really ugly or you can create something brilliant and beautiful. The choice is yours.

The solutions will NOT come from the politicians. The solutions will have to come from us. This includes wealthy entrepreneurs in the UK who actually live in the UK. But this also includes ordinary people like you and me.

If councils were to have to make a 20% cut, what would that result in? Look at what it would mean where you live and start to organise efforts to counter the effect of that. Now. Not after the fact. Be proactive.

One area that could be affected is the support we offer disabled people, I imagine. This could be transport to school. If councils can no longer do this, at all or in certain areas, we will have to do this ourselves.

What other areas could be impacted? School meals?

Women will be taking the brunt of this, one way or another. I can see that, but I don’t know yet what it will translate in. Job losses is the first thing that comes to mind. Childcare, too.

This might be a great time to start any kind of business from home that does not require a large investment. Ask around. What do people need most right now?

If you have a car, see if you could start a service that picks up kids from school at 3 that allows their mothers to come home from work at 6, for example. (You can probably tell that I have no kids.)

If you are a mother who has to choose between giving up her job because there is no more after-school child care or paying a local person a small amount to collect and look after her kids for a few hours (perhaps at the school so that the premises are already approved for that kind of situation)… It can translate into ten women being able to keep their jobs and you having an income again.

Get the certificate that says that you have no criminal record. Talk with your car insurance company. Talk with your bank. Talk with your council, also, and your local school.

This is just an off-the-cuff idea not based on any actual knowledge to do with this, but you can see where I am going with this, can’t you? When things fall apart, many opportunities open up too. See them.

Another rapidly developing need is the recycling of face shields, face masks and disposable gloves. Virus particles don’t stay alive on surfaces for longer than about 5 days so after 7 days, the material should be safe. (An exception might be the inside of gloves if there’s moisture on the inside.) I predict that there will soon be a shift that includes the wearing of many more transparent face shields. You could look into specialising in how to recycle them or maybe in how to repair them. (I have no experience with such face shields.)

Another idea. I saw that there was a demand to close an ASOS facility and do a deep clean. If you close a facility for 7 days, there is no need for a deep clean as far as I can see, provided no humans or animals access the facility in the meantime. If you spot such things happening around you, you could call the manager, ask how much a deep clean might cost and how long it would take and if they are planning on closing the facility for a week or longer, advise them that a deep clean might not be necessary (they can verify that) and ask them to pay you a percentage of the costs they may save.

What we also should do is turn some public green areas that normally have annual plants in them into fruit and vegetable gardens, managed by the people who live around the planters or plots. This has several benefits, not just in terms of food provision, but also in terms of the social and physical activity involved in it.

Let’s make sure we will be able to lift people up before they start sliding down in society. Let’s do our best to maintain a certain standard of living for everyone and see how we can make things better.

Me? Oh, I just waffle on this blog.

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