THE CURRENT SNAPSHOT –

Storming into an unsuspecting world in December, 2019 and January, 2020, this Novel Coronavirus has become a Global Pandemic in “COVID-19”, with more than 650,000 people dead from COVID-19 and now over 16,000,000 cases worldwide, to date.[1]  Although close to 9,000,000 people are said to have “recovered from COVID-19”,[2] this description does not always mean clear or comfortable days ahead as significant damage and impairments can occur and linger-on.[3]

 

Nations have taken many different approaches to battle COVID-19, and some have had more success than others.  In fact, many of my initial suggestions for national and sub-national measures have thankfully become routine, like travel restrictions and temperature checks.[4]

 

However, with national governments starting to face pushback over the staggering levels of COVID-19 spending,[5] subnational governments pleading for fiscal stimulus,[6] the Global Pandemic still very much in our faces,[7] and limited options to make a living for those stuck at home, even after considering many disparate or improbable combinations,[8] it is time for something new.

 

 

A NEW APPROACH: “MIS-AM-DITCH” ! –

Whether or not you agree, the COVID-19 is running-off in a way that is so rampant and out of control in many parts of the United States, that over 150 medical professionals called for a total and hard shutdown to stop its spread,[9] in an Open Letter that was publicized on July 24, 2020.[10]

 

I feel it is now glaringly obvious that the United States of America will absolutely find itself in a ditch, if the following 11-point program of a direct, unified, multi-focal attack on the COVID-19 Pandemic across the nation, is not immediately adopted.  Only with this can the nation “MIS-am-DITCH”, as anything less than this exact approach, risks precisely that calamity.  These steps are:

 

M-asks: their usage must be uniform, obeyed, assisted, and rigorously enforced, with constant and consistent reminders to the public in general and especially vulnerable communities and population segments in particular, encouraging (and demonstrating) proper usage.

I-solation: quarantine rules once cases are suspected or discovered, must also be uniform, obeyed, assisted, and rigorously enforced; and these may soon extend significantly beyond 15 days as the virus strengthens and mutates after being left to run rampant in the misguided hope of finding and enhancing some herd immunity.  Sadly, and at this point, that isolation may also and of necessity, include a nationwide shutdown with a Stay-at-Home order that must also be uniform, obeyed, assisted and rigorously enforced, this time around.

S-creening: all people entering indoor public spaces must be pre-screened for COVID-19 indicators through active surveillance.

A-lliances of Aptitudes: these 6 (“six”) interested stakeholder groups, must work and coordinate their work, in concert, being – Operators (medical) delivering care and treatments on the front lines; Leadership at the municipal, state, and national levels; Originators of personal protective equipment (PPE); Scientists who are both assisting with epidemiological investigations and searching for an effective vaccine; Laboratories that are both creating and processing tests; and, the Owners and purveyors of those critical enablers of food, academics, shelter, and technology (all being the “OLOSLO” collective).

M-oney: there should definitely and also be money to assist people who are out of work, out of unemployment and medical insurance, and in many cases also out of food, judging by the lines that have been seen at the nation’s outdoor food bank pickup and drive-through pantry locations.[11]  To deprive Citizens of a critical fiscal lifeline in order to cajole or even “force” them back to work, while COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising so precipitously nationwide, is not only unwise, but also dangerous and on multiple levels.

D-istancing: there should be clear rules, visible marking and warnings, and easy compliance on physical (social) distancing to hinder the further spread of COVID-19.

I-4: these are information, inclusion, and influence initiatives to make and move effective messages to the public regarding COVID-19, its progression, and the fight against it.

T-esting and Treatment: testing should be available and have results that are timely and therefore useful, and treatment should be available at massively surged, well- and professionally-staffed (into several shifts), and fully stocked and equipped facilities.

C-ontact tracing: this should be responsive, omni-available, accurate, robust, and sustained.

H-ygiene: there must be constant and consistent reminders to the public in general and especially vulnerable communities and population segments in particular, encouraging (and demonstrating) the proper use of gloves, hand sanitizer, and the washing of hands.

 

THE SUM OF IT –

Web meetings are now widely-available, as have long been the email, fax, text, and phonecalls, all curtailing the need for much business and social travel despite travel and aviation industry losses.  “Safe Travel Lists” for persons entering or leaving any nation, or any closely-knit collective of nations that has controlled or seeks to control its COVID-19 rates, should also be discouraged.[12]  The alternative risks creating a global Whack-a-Mole mess that may well never, EVER, end.

 

Speaking at the United States Capitol with Representative Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, July 23, 2020, Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer described the COVID-19 response of the Trump administration as being severely wanting, stating that “[e]ven after all this time, it appears the Republican legislative response to COVID is on unified, un-serious, unsatisfactory[13]  Senator Schumer also blamed much of the resulting illness, death, and health and economic hardship on a conclusion that “this administration has a no direction, no plan, no straight line of attack.”[14]  Be that as it may, I would say that the national response has also been “un-unified, un-serious and un-satisfactory”, and on this point, at least, there can and should be, no argument.  Hence, in order to avoid being stuck in a ditch with new daily COVID-19 cases of 50,000 or even 100,000 and more piling-in on top, which would add and include a daily death rate of 1,000 or even up to 5,000 and more, something definitely has to change, and REALLY fast, as that result is a ditch that any nation would be very hard pressed to escape, as new cases and deaths “super-cumulate.” If it would be such a hard task to get out of that ditch with no guarantee of ultimate success, then the most advisable course of action is to miss it, and not let oneself get into it, in the first place.

 

With the Executive branch fixated on conspiracies and Hydroxychloroquine,[15] and the Congress tied in a gordian partisan knot,[16] – which as I had said several months ago in early March, 2020, would hinder ANY effective, national-level, unified response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States,[17] the Governors need to completely wrest this COVID-19 battle out of federal hands.  Awaiting an election to (hopefully) change federal power and policies, risks waiting until COVID-19 deaths in the United States reach and surpass 250,000.  There is no guarantee that uniform and credible elections will even take place, or that the end result will be widely accepted if they do.  Similarly, judging by rapidly rising outside and in-person temperatures and casualties, and ever more brazen displays of ire, angst, and cabin fever, law and order is likely to break down long before that perilous mortality count is reached.  The danger that the United States could devolve into a nuclear failed state with its people balkanized into 5-8 largely autonomous regions, each in different configurations of law or disorder, all with their residents equally barred from travel to better governed jurisdictions, and with each region sharing ultimately similar COVID-19 incidence rates, is a clear and present one, and gains a stronger probability ratio by the day.

 

 

Hopefully ……….. someone with authority, somewhere in the nation, is paying close attention.

 

 

Good luck; Stay safe; Get serious !

 

****************************************************************

 

Author:

Ekundayo George is a lawyer and sociologist.  A keen student of organizational and micro-organizational behaviour, he has gained significant experience in programs, policy, regulatory compliance, litigation, and business law and counseling.  He has been licensed to practise law in the provinces of Ontario and Alberta, in Canada, as well as in the states of New York and New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., in the United States of America.  See, for example: https://www.ogalaws.com.  He has studied and worked as an Industrial Safety Officer for the Energy industry (oil, gas, and petrochemical plants), he is a published author on the national security aspects of Environmental Law, he has represented clients in state and federal courts across several jurisdictions and before a number of regulatory bodies in both Canada and the United States, and he enjoys complex systems analysis in legal, policy, technological, and societal millieux.

A writer, blogger, and avid reader, Mr. George has sector experience in Technology (Telecommunications, eCommerce, Outsourcing, Cloud), Financial Services, Energy, Healthcare, Entertainment, Real Estate and Zoning, International/cross-border trade, other services, and Environmental Law and Policy; working with equal ease and effectiveness in his transitions to and from the public and private sectors.

Trained in Legal Project Management (and having organized and managed several complex projects before practicing law), Mr. George is also an experienced negotiator, facilitator, team leader, and strategic consultant – sourcing, managing, and delivering on complex engagements with multiple stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams.  Team consulting competencies include program investigation, sub-contracted procurement of personnel and materials, and such diverse project deliverables as business process re-engineering, devising and delivering tailored training, crisis consulting, and targeted engagements through tapping a highly-credentialed resource pool of contract professionals with several hundred years of combined expertise, in: healthcare; education and training; law and regulation; policy and plans; statistics, economics, and evaluations including feasibility studies and business cases; infrastructure; and information technology/information systems (IT/IS) – also sometimes termed information communications technologies (ICT).  See, for example: https://www.simprime-ca.com.

Hyperlinks to external sites are provided to readers of this blog as a courtesy and convenience, only, and no warranty is made or responsibility assumed by either or both of George Law Offices and Strategic IMPRIME Consulting & Advisory, Inc. (“S’imprime-ça”) including employees, agents, directors, officers, successors & assigns, in whole or in part for their content, accuracy, or availability.

This article creates no lawyer-client relationship, and is not intended or deemed legal advice, business advice, the rendering of any professional service, or attorney advertising where restricted or barred.  The author and affiliated entities specifically disclaim and reject any and all loss claimed, no matter howsoever resulting as alleged, due to any action or inaction done in reliance on the contents herein.  Past results are no guarantee of future success, and specific legal advice should be sought for particular matters through counsel of your choosing, based on such factors as you deem appropriate.

 

 

[1] WORLDOMETER.  COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.  Visited July 27, 2020.  Online: >https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=homeAdvegas1?<

[2] Ibid.

[3] Stuart Ramsay.  Coronavirus warning from Italy: Effects of COVID-19 could be worse than first thought.  Posted on sky.com.  Visited July 18, 2020.  Online: >https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-warning-from-italy-effects-of-covid-19-could-be-worse-than-first-thought-12027348<

[4] Ekundayo George.  COVID-2019: Potential National & Subnational Measures.  Posted March 10, 2020, on ogalaws.wordpress.com.  Online: >https://ogalaws.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/covid-2019-potential-national-subnational-measures/<

[5] Ian McGugan.  Pandemic debt: Countries are spending trillions to save the economy from the coronavirus crisis. Can the world afford it?  Posted on theglobeandmail, April 3, 2020.  Online: >https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-can-the-world-afford-the-cost-of-fighting-covid-19/<

[6] Alex Boutilier and Robert Benzie.  Ottawa sending $19B to provinces for COVID-19 aid.  Posted on thestar.com, July 16, 2020.  Online: >https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2020/07/16/ottawa-sending-19b-to-provinces-for-covid-19-aid.html<

[7] The following several examples from around the United States, alone, show that the COVID-19 Pandemic is not ebbing anytime soon.  See e.g.  Tamara Lush and Terry Spencer.  Florida Shatters Daily Record With 15,300 New COVID-19 Cases.  Posted July 12, 2020 on nbcmiami.com and updated July 13, 2020.  Online:  >https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/florida-shatters-daily-record-with-over-15000-new-covid-19-cases/2261128/< ; KHOU.  CORONAVIRUS.  July 14 COVID-19 update: Texas sets new single-day record with 10,745 new cases.  Posted July 14, 2020 on khou.com.  Online: >https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/july-14-covid-19-case-reports/285-3ec438f0-3d7f-45c4-8c7b-5f65fd3a8652< ; Los Angeles Times.  California shatters record with more than 11,000 new coronavirus cases in 1 day.  Posted on ktla.com, July 15, 2020.  Online: >https://ktla.com/news/california/california-shatters-record-with-more-than-11000-new-coronavirus-cases-in-1-day/< ; Lisa Shumaker.  Coronavirus: U.S. breaks daily record with over 77,000 new cases.  Posted on globalnews.ca, July 16, 2020.  Online:  >https://globalnews.ca/news/7187712/coronavirus-us-daily-record/<

[8] Ekundayo Geoge.  FINDING AND CATCHING WIND TO SAIL IN A DEAD CALM DOWNTURN (Part 3, Covid-19). Posted July 6, 2020, on ogalaws.wordpress.com.  Online:   >https://ogalaws.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/finding-and-catching-wind-to-sail-in-a-dead-calm-downturn-part-3-covid-19/<

[9] Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder.  Over 150 Medical Experts Urge Trump, Congress and States to Shut U.S. Down Again Amid Virus Surge.  Posted July 24, 2020, on usnews.com.  Online: >https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-07-24/over-150-medical-experts-urge-trump-congress-and-states-to-shut-us-down-again-amid-coronavirus-surge<

[10] United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).  Shut it down, start over, do it right.  An open letter to America’s decision makers, on behalf of health professionals across the country.  Posted July 6, 2020 on, uspirg.org and last updated and visited July 26, 2020.  Online:  >https://uspirg.org/resources/usp/shut-it-down-start-over-do-it-right<

[11] Clay LePard.  Residents continue to rely on drive-thru food pantries months after being furloughed.  Posted July 23, 2020, on clickorlando.com.  Online:  > https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/07/23/residents-continue-to-rely-on-drive-thru-food-pantries-months-after-being-furloughed/<

[12] Philip Blenkinsop.  EU excludes United States from ‘safe’ travel list.  Posted June 30, 2020, on reuters.com.  Online: >https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-eu-travel/eu-excludes-united-states-from-safe-travel-list-idUSKBN2410WJ<

[13] MSNBC.  Joint Press Conference from the Capitol of The Honorable Senator (D-NY) Charles Ellis (Chuck) Schumer, and The Honorable Representative Nancy Patricia Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.  Viewed live, at 11:05 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at time stamp 3:14 [sic].  Transcript: >https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/speaker-nancy-pelosi-press-conference-transcript-july-23<

[14] Id. Chuck Schumer, at time stamp 11:45 [sic].

[15] Jacob Jarvis.  Trump Shares Conspiracy Theory About Hydroxychloroquine and 2020 Election.  Posted July 28, 2020, on newsweek.com.  Online: >https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-hydroxychloroquine-election-1520878<

[16] Pew Research Center.  Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns.  Posted June 25, 2020, on pewresearch.org.  Online: >https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/06/25/republicans-democrats-move-even-further-apart-in-coronavirus-concerns/<

[17] Ekundayo George.  COVID-2019: Potential National & Subnational Measures.  Posted March 10, 2020, on ogalaws.wordpress.com.  Online: >https://ogalaws.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/covid-2019-potential-national-subnational-measures/<

Which is worse – being free to roam without finding work in a great recession[1] or during sustained global economic stagnation,[2] or being on full or partial lockdown in a COVID-19 Global Pandemic situation (hereinafter “Covid”) ?

Each has its own challenges in terms of earning a living.  However, with Covid, things are that much tougher because getting too close to others to shake hands or even breath the same air in sequence, can be very bad for you, or for them, or for both of you together – and even deadly.  So, what can one do to make some meaningful income while the whole world stands apart for as long as they and we individually, all can, without going stir-crazy, getting precaution-lazy, or surviving, cashless, on dry beans and gravy?

 

WHAT IS IN THE ECONOMY, ANYWAY?

Well, as always, start with the basics ………… what is the economy at its barest bones?

We have often heard of the 3 factors of production, being Land, Labor and Capital/Kapital.

Then, we hear of the human condition’s 3 survival basics, being Food, Shelter, and Clothing.

Those are 6 key elements already, but the modern economy adds or splits-out, two more, which are Technology, and Consumables.  With these 8, then, we can start to break them down, further categorize, compartmentalize, and strategize.

 

HOW DO WE SORT THESE 8?

Put Land, Labor and Technology on one side; Food and Shelter in the middle; and the three Cs (Capital, Clothing, and Consumables) on the other side, then identify them with the rule of 3.

 

L + L + T

Land, including land with improvements such as a home, an industrial plant, or a commercial or rental property building, can be any of: (a) under water or fallow land; (b) in a steady state and barely drawing even or simply where you have your own business; or (c) it can be an income property that is actually cash flow positive and producing an income.

In terms of Labor nowadays, you can be: (a) jobless; (b) working from home; or (c) in an essential function or group, and working outside the home.  Some jurisdictions, of course, have remobilized their populations and restarted to various degrees, but with varying results, and so we won`t go there right now, and there are also many different definitions of essential, such as health and security workers, grocery store clerks, utility and transportation workers, office workers in a payroll and benefits function, an inventory rotation and maintenance function, or responsible for the care of live animals, so we won’t delve deeper into those terms, either.

Technology is an enabler that helps you with: (a) knowing (which includes communication, advice, entertainment, and basic information retrieval); (b) it can help you with acting on that information; and (c) it can help you with moving – whether as a result of information, to get information, or as a movement enabling technology in its own right through some form of transportation ranging from the scooter, through an Uber, to a plane, train, or simple bicycle.  You can also know, act, and move at the same time with Technology in the massive enabling of “telepresence”, through the current super-spike of online video meetings and web-based events, where by attending without moving you really “CAN” be in two places at once.

 

F + S

Food (and drink) you can: (a) produce and sell; (b) purchase to consume; or (c) stockpile it for re-sale or later personal use.

Shelter, you can: (a) own; (b) let-out; or (c) yourself rent, whether or not you actually live there; remembering that shelter can be anything from an actual house, through an apartment or hotel room or bed and breakfast arrangement, to a mobility property such as a boat or houseboat, a private aircraft, or a camper or recreational vehicle whether towed or self-propelled.

 

C + C + C

Capital can be identified as: (a) income (inflow); (b) expense (outflow); or (c) an investment (sideflow).

Clothing can be: (a) multi-purpose basic ear; (b) general workwear including suits and pantsuits and uniforms; or (c) it can be general- or specific-purpose Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Consumables, finally, can be: (a) a variety of services and content; (b) medications; or once again (c) PPE.

 

ANALYSIS

You will have noticed that PPE appears twice, which is not surprising, given its importance in the middle of a Global Pandemic.  So it is a high demand category that is evident in the initial shortages of things like face masks, gloves, and household cleaning wipes, and their ongoing high rates of usage and sporadic shortages as Covid rages-on.

Without passing judgement on the ethics, legality, or propriety of any of the following, I will give some examples of: (I) same category folding, (II) cross-category pairing, and (III) tri-category bridging, to make things happen.

I.   Same Category Folding, was already seen in technology, with teleconferencing that combines moving, with information. On a non-macro-level, it can also be seen with land, where you sublet that un-used portion of a commercial property that you own or let, or with shelter where you let out a portion of the home that you occupy.  Similarly with labor, if you are at home on furlough, then you may also be able to start a home based business and work from home to supplement unemployment insurance income or leverage and re-deploy any other funds made available to you during Covid.

II.   Cross-Category Pairing, can be seen where one uses a vehicle as technology that they own or control, and combines labor as an essential worker to now drive in a Ridesharing arrangement, or to deliver food, in either case as an essential worker. One can also work from home to produce clothing in the form of masks as PPE, or even another consumable in the form of advice and counseling services.

III.   Tri-Category Bridging, was in clear view when some people used their capital in sideflow, to buy and resell large amounts of PPE (clothing or consumables) or food and drink.  Knowledge workers can likewise work from home by investing (sideflow) in technology cloud power or production equipment as simple as a few camcorders, and then acting by creating consumables in services or content for larger providers, or even by themselves, such as with a short film, infomercial, or actual YouTube channel.

 

CONCLUSIONS

One would have factored-in the ability to liquidate personal goods to generate some quick cashflow.  However, the ability of Covid to linger on hard surfaces somewhat discourages those modern garage sales for all but the most hardy.  As the above shows, though, using a little ingenuity can help you find those hidden and glaring opportunities.

Most of us can look down and see five fingers or five toes, and those who cannot, have in many cases compensated and still been able to survive and even thrive despite those limitations.  So, just look to, and take an honest inventory of:

(i) your Possessions (across the original 8 factors), including what you occupy or control;

(ii) your Abilities (in terms of labour);

(iii) the “Rational” needs of the market (rational as in what “you” can manage to provide in line with the prevailing government medical advice or lockdown status, not what the people “feel” that they need, but that is totally unattainable or otherwise ill-advised for whatever reason or reasons at that time);

(iv) your own Tolerance of risk; and

(v) the many Synergies that you can create through Tri-category bridging, Cross-category pairing, and Same category folding …………… so, go on, take these “parts” and make them – and yourself, whole !

 

Good luck; Stay safe !

****************************************************************

 

Author:

Ekundayo George is a lawyer and sociologist.  He has also taken courses in organizational and micro-organizational behavior, and gained significant experience in programs, policy, regulatory compliance, litigation, and business law and counseling.  He has been licensed to practise law in Ontario and Alberta, Canada, as well as in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., in the United States of America.  See, for example: https://www.ogalaws.com.  A writer, blogger, and avid reader, Mr. George has sector experience in Technology (Telecommunications, eCommerce, Outsourcing, Cloud), Financial Services, Energy, Healthcare, Entertainment, Real Estate and Zoning, International/cross-border trade, other services, and Environmental Law and Policy; working with equal ease and effectiveness in his transitions to and from the public and private sectors.  He is a published author on the national security aspects of Environmental Law, has represented clients in courts and before regulatory bodies in both Canada and the United States, and he enjoys complex systems analysis in legal, technological, and societal millieux.

 

Trained in Legal Project Management (and having organized and managed several complex projects before practicing law), Mr. George is also an experienced negotiator, facilitator, team leader, and strategic consultant – sourcing, managing, and delivering on complex engagements with multiple stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams.  Team consulting competencies include program investigation, sub-contracted procurement of personnel and materials, and such diverse project deliverables as business process re-engineering, devising and delivering tailored training, crisis consulting, and targeted engagements through tapping a highly-credentialed resource pool of contract professionals with several hundred years of combined expertise, in: healthcare; education and training; law and regulation; policy and plans; statistics, economics, and evaluations including feasibility studies and business cases; infrastructure; and information technology/information systems (IT/IS) – also sometimes termed information communications technologies (ICT).  See, for example: https://www.simprime-ca.com.

 

Hyperlinks to external sites are provided to readers of this blog as a courtesy and convenience, only, and no warranty is made or responsibility assumed by either or both of George Law Offices and Strategic IMPRIME Consulting & Advisory, Inc. (“S’imprime-ça”) including employees, agents, directors, officers, successors & assigns, in whole or in part for their content, accuracy, or availability.

 

This article creates no lawyer-client relationship, and is not intended or deemed legal advice, business advice, the rendering of any professional service, or attorney advertising where restricted or barred.  The author and affiliated entities specifically disclaim and reject any and all loss claimed, no matter howsoever resulting as alleged, due to any action or inaction done in reliance on the contents herein.  Past results are no guarantee of future success, and specific legal advice should be sought for particular matters through counsel of your choosing, based on such factors as you deem appropriate.

 

[1] Ekundayo George.  FINDING AND CATCHING WIND TO SAIL IN A DEAD CALM DOWNTURN (Part 1, 2011).  Posted September 3, 2011, on ogalaws.wordpress.com.  Online: >https://ogalaws.wordpress.com/issues-counseling/<

[2] Ekundayo George.  FINDING AND CATCHING WIND TO SAIL IN A DEAD CALM DOWNTURN (Part 2, 2013).  Posted January 3, 2013, on ogalaws.wordpress.com.  Online: >https://ogalaws.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/finding-and-catching-wind-to-sail-in-a-dead-calm-downturn-part-2/<

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