From our Swindon Correspondent:
I’m not going to blame the politicians for this, because how many people in 2016 cared? The press spent more time on The Bad Orange Man and how the USA was going to become a fascist state (which never happened). And the public tuned into that. People, (in general) ignore theoretical risks, panic like hell about new risks and then obsess over those risks long after they’ve gone. A few wonks considered the threat that came with 9/11. Then people cancelled flights for months after, even though it was unlikely to happen soon after. And we still have colossal levels of security theatre at airports, even though hijacking won’t work now because passengers will do what the people on United 93 did.
What I would do about future planning for possible risks is to spend absolutely nothing. Not a penny. What saved us during the pandemic was how advanced our private society had become. Companies switching to Zoom and WFH. Shoppers using Ocado and Amazon. Volunteer armies on Facebook groups helping little old ladies. Drug companies getting the hell on with creating vaccines. We want to leave as much money in people’s pockets to create this sort of innovation in everyday life so that we have more tools at our disposal for when a crisis hits. Spending money on departments of government starves future progress.