The economy and the financial repercussions of the coronavirus and lockdown are sending shudders throughout the world — the International Monetary Fund has predicted a recession like The Great Depression (except more sudden and deeper). Many are saying it will be much worse and last longer.
We are hearing a lot of news from the top down, with economists and experts giving their opinions, and that’s important. It’s vital we hear from people who spend their lives analysing the way markets and economies work, and how changes reverberate. They can help us and the government anticipate consequences not immediately apparent.
But what’s missing is the voice of the people most affected by the lockdown.
Where are the people whom lockdown affects most?
There isn’t a freelancer or contract worker I know who doesn’t foresee the dire consequences of weeks or even months of an economy that in some ways has seized up or at least slowed dramatically. No longer making money? There goes our ability to pay rent or mortgage, electricity, gas and water, food and toiletries. A loan to tide us over? That’s more interest and another payment we could struggle to meet.
Need to find a new way to earn money? If the entire country is out of work, where will we find a new job or commission?
Just leaving school or university? It makes for a dire picture for finding and forging a future career.
Kids home from nursery or school? Even if we have a salaried job, working ‘full-time from home’ while providing full-time childcare is a puzzle whose pieces don’t fit together.
Telling us what we already know
The UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility tells us that the longer this goes on, the more permanent the damage to the economy and the public finances becomes. I’m not sure that that constitutes news.
We don’t need an economist to tell us those things — we see the consequences immediately. We know what will happen tomorrow if we or someone in our circle of family or friends doesn’t have any money and we know what it will mean if that goes on for weeks. I’m not advocating of lifting of lockdown just to see a second wave of infection. But in this discussion about the future of our country we need to hear more from these people about what the fixes will be for us, when we are not able to simple wait out lockdown in expansive back gardens, dipping into savings.
What’s happening with influencers
Among the bloggers, influencers and creators of the BritMums network, we’ve had members tell us that a lot of work has dried up or been delayed. That’s not to say that there aren’t things we can do.
Some companies — managing their own employees and costs — are simply being more cautious. Some folks are getting commissions. And there are some strategic steps you can take now that mean you’re poised to take advantage when the economy picks up and be better in a better position to actually earn and earn more from the blogging and social media work you do.
So what’s your situation? Are you simply riding things out? Digging in? Digging deep for your creativity and best strategies?
Let’s add our voices to the those in government about what’s happening now and what needs to happen.