When faced with significant problems or an unprecedented crisis in your life, there is a tendency to run to look for the biggest rock that you can hide under. This is going on to some extent right now all over the world due to the Covid 19 pandemic. As we now know, the governments that delayed, procrastinated and fumbled in their response are the ones that are now having to deal with the highest number of cases and tragically, the biggest death tolls. Some national leaders, upon being warned about the critical dangers from a rampant coronavirus, publicly refused to believe that it could affect their country in that way or to that extent. They were deep in denial and in time they all had to row back from their defiant stances and acknowledge the seriousness and extent of the situation.
The same applies in our own lives right now. There is no escaping the fact that, due to the chaos and fear brought on by Covid 19 and the international lock down in society, there are some industries, sectors and businesses that may never be able to operate in the same way again. This is because the threat of the virus re-emerging is very real and we are all entering new territory now. It is hard to see a return to anything like normal until such time as a tested and safe vaccine is discovered. There will also be a perceived threat that new virus strains could emerge in the future that are potentially just as harmful and devastating, if not brought under control quickly. With that background in mind, there are many business and employment sectors that are highly vulnerable right now such as aviation, travel and tourism, hospitality and leisure, live sports and entertainment events etc. If you are involved in any of these areas either as a business owner or employee then you need to face the fact that these type of activities are highly likely to be postponed or severely restricted for the foreseeable future. The damage being done by viruses like Covid 19 is two fold. Firstly, there is the shock factor and the chaos caused when it arrives into our lives. While we may struggle to deal with this initially, we eventually tend to get organised and find a way through. Secondly, there is the psychological trauma on society of knowing that our lives can be turned upside down so abruptly and so comprehensively and the effect that this will have on the way we will live and function for the medium to longer term. Collectively we as a race need to face up to this new reality, work together to find global solutions, and to co-operate on the search for faster and more accurate testing methods and vaccines. We would be very foolish to think that similar scenarios could not arise again in the not too distant future.
For me personally, when all my business interests and investments came crashing down around me in 2008, I just did not want to think about my new reality. Within a very short time, properties that I had bought with 100% borrowed money were now valued at only 5% of what I had paid for them. Anyone, looking in from the outside could see that there was no hope of a financial recovery for me, but I found that very hard to accept for a good while. I spent probably two to three years, flapping around, treading water and hoping for a miracle to come and take away all my problems. Rather than facing the music, I remained in denial about the extent of my debts and I clung on to the unfounded belief that the economy would recover quickly, property prices would rise and that I would somehow wriggle my way out of the mess. Of course this was never going to happen and I had no logical reason for such optimism. The Irish economy was in the deepest and most prolonged recession in it’s history and there was carnage in the business and property sector everywhere you looked. Now I see those years, when I was stuck in denial, as lost time. I could have dealt with the reality of my situation more quickly, instead of delaying and deferring. Everything that I had been building up fell apart rapidly between 2008 and 2010 and it wasn’t until 2013 before I finally accepted where I was and I faced the music. As soon as I did that, the most painful part of the whole process began , but also everything started to turn around for me again.