Coronavirus is a digital issue

and is NOT the cause of recession in 2020.

Coronavirus is a digital issue /img/coronavirus-global-cases.jpg

Coronavirus is digital. Like everything else these days, of course. “Software is eating the world”, isn’t it?

One week ago week I wrote that “Coronavirus is making us behave much more as almost all scientists and doctors, and increasing numbers of economists, were already begging us to behave”.

But I felt there was something else, even though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I found that “something else” today, in a post published one month ago about the Six ways coronavirus will change our world:

“The pandemic virus, 2019-nCoV, is testing many of the assumptions of a highly interconnected, modern, globalised world. This 120nm virus… is shining a light on many of our ways of living. It is a clash between traditional lifestyles, civets and bats in a ‘wet market’, and a technocratic, intraconnected China of high-speed rail, WeChat, drones and more”.

That article goes on to discuss the six ways in which coronavirus maychange our world. They are:

  1. Reinforce the power of scientific collaboration and the open-sourcing of global threats.
  2. Digital quarantines through better information and social credit systems.
  3. Reinforce the importance of genomic technologies.
  4. Remote everything
  5. Encourage self-sufficiency especially around food, energy and products
  6. Lend support to the nativists, populists, statists and wall-builders

Do you see the thread here?

All those “ways” are possible, and can actually happen, only thanks to the existence, and massive adoption of, digital technologies. Even the fifth. No, especially the fifth.

At first sight, “Encourage self-sufficiency etc..,” may look a Luddite call for the whole world to go Amish, if not to revert to the Middle Ages.

But the truth is that self-sufficiency, or at least much less systemic fragility than today “especially around food, energy and products” is possible without any real reduction in real quality of life is possible today, exactly, and only, thanks to digital technologies. The hard part is to develop and deploy the right ones, not what passed for innovation these days. See here here, and in general this whole blog and my talks for concrete examples. While you’re here, allow me to finish with a

Public Service Announcement for EVERYBODY saying that #coronavirus will cause a recession:

If you thinks so, please read what I wrote in 2018 (2018!) about “A meltdown worse than 2008 will happen in NO MORE THAN TWO YEARS from now”, and think about it. A lot.

Then, when you’re done, go read this other post of mine, about the fact that “Coronavirus is making us behave much more as almost all scientists and doctors, and increasing numbers of economists, were already begging us to behave."

Coronavirus will likely make a 2020 recession WORSE; it will surely change the superficial LOOK of that recession, and alter the array of temporary patches that may (appear to) fix such a recession. That, yes. But cause a recession in 2020… forget it.