There was a story in the Guardian the other week about a real-life ‘Lord of the Flies’ adventure: six boys, hoping to escape life in Tonga, ended up cast away on a desert island for 18 months in 1966-67. They survived: and they did not become animals. On the contrary, they maintained the values and … More Can humans go feral?
As the pandemic rolls on globally I expect the next few months will provoke a kind of public ‘blame game’ in which the lockdowns – and those who ordered them – are held responsible for a world economic crash. What worries me is that the debate has been reduced to two positions: either there’s a … More Who’s to blame for Covid-19
One of the problems with lockdowns is that they carry a direct economic hit. Here in New Zealand, it’s been calculated this week at 37 percent for the complete ‘Level 4’ lock-down, and forecast at about 9 percent for the ‘nearly back to normal’ Level 2 into which the country is expected to go. I … More Economic pain and the ethics of lockdowns
The growing backlash worldwide against lockdowns to restrict Covid-19 worries me. Especially because, until a vaccine is available, lockdown is the only effective tool to keep people safe from a virus that continues to surprise us with its potential to harm. I’m a Kiwi where, this week, the Prime Minister – whose leadership during this … More Lockdown backlash – and why it’s not good
A few weeks ago, before Covid-19 had really hit, my Facebook feed began filling up with Useful Advice on How To Avoid It. Almost all of it was rubbish: urban myths, given credence because they were repeated to the point where they had become ubiquitous. My favourite was the one about keeping the mouth and … More Social media and Covid-19 – what it tells us about human nature
What worries me about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak isn’t so much the virus itself. It’s the economic effects of the way people – and societies – have been reacting to it since the outbreak began. Because of the way western economics has gone in the past forty-odd years, what economists call a ‘shock’ can have … More The coronavirus outbreak – the economic impact
As I write this the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has many unknowns, including the actual death rate. I have no doubt that many of those unknowns will be discovered; the fact that the genome has been sequenced (and shared) is a huge step up. What intrigues me is the way that this outbreak has also acted … More The coronavirus outbreak – the human cost