From out of nowhere, this flu-like virus has upended the world’s financial ecosystem and Guernsey is certainly not immune. We have our own first case, apparently as a consequence of a trip to Tenerife, which has been highlighted as a risk for some time now. Whatever, it means that we now have to deal with the consequences. Despite the soothing words of spokespeople from the HSC about being as ready as we can be – it does not take a mathematician to realise that Guernsey does not have enough critical care facilities to cope with a serious outbreak. It is not a criticism – few places in the world have anything like what is potentially needed.
So, what can we realistically do? It would be a great help if we could at least screen the temperatures of arriving passengers – just as many other jurisdictions have been doing, just to give us a possible head start on containment. Furthermore, requiring all travellers to the Island to provide an account of their immediate travelling history might also serve to flag up possible candidates for self-isolation – before they are able to return to, or enter life in Guernsey. With off-island travelling already encountering a substantial drop-off, it is quite realistic to expect that there should be some spare resources to do this extra checking. Beyond that, pray.
Our financial services sector will not be immune to the current meltdown in the markets as investors flee to government bonds and other, safer securities. It brings home to us how much we are a part of a globalised economy. What may be different about this market upset is that nobody can guess how long it may take for people to stop dying, or a vaccine to be found, so that we can regain some sort of normality. There is no upside to this epidemic save that it might give pause to the Extinction Rebellion brigade screaming that reliance on fossil fuels is the end of the world. We may have found an alternative route.