Wednesday, May 6, 2020

And Out again...

The light at the tunnel seems to be appearing- slowly. Although I am still concerned that we will be hit with another peak of corona cases.

Whilst locked down at home I have been very thankful that I live in a house with a decent sized yard, as I love gardening and that has kept me busy, often to the detriment of housework. I have also been thankful that my children are all good ages that they can do their schoolwork online without heavy supervision and can also easily entertain themselves, unlike the baby and toddler days when they were very labour intensive.

On the retail front one of the things that I have most loved seeing is the rise of click and collect. My first experience was with Bunnings and within half an hour after placing my order I had an email to say it was ready to be collected and to book my time for pickup. I wish this service was around back when I was struggling with a baby, toddler and young child and overall finding life very difficult.

We live in a great country that the government has been able to put financial steps in place to help with the huge amounts of people unemployed. However the 6-7-week delay from announcing this to people starting to receive their money has been sad to watch as I drive past Centrelink and see the ques lengthening. I’m very sure many of those people are walking in pleading to get some money urgently as they have not had any payments and are struggling to feed their families.

I think one of the main things we’ll see into the future is a see-sawing economy. Any industry that works on long lead times will be affected. My own industry is a perfect example of this. At the moment I have builders who have been very busy since the start of the year doing jobs that I designed as far back as September last year. These builds are almost finished now and after that I can’t offer them any more work to quote. The lull that hit designers and architects a while ago is about to hit the builders. Whilst there are many government and council building projects being initiated to keep the work rolling, not all builders are licenced to tender for this type of work.

The clothing industry is another that I think may be affected by the long lead times. Often orders for a clothing season are placed several months in advance and the drop in sales from shops being closed and some retailers cancelling orders will have an effect on this supply chain also. It will be interesting to see if there will be provisions for extended stimulus packages for these types of industries.

Some of the nice changes we’ve seen may stick, such as people getting out exercising more. People are keen to be able to hit the shops and once cafes and restaurants open, they will be full again (as much as the new restrictions will allow for). There have been lots of posts on social media with people proclaiming their lives will become simpler without all the material possessions. I think the truth is that we’re creatures of habit and want to resume our previous lives, with modification where needed.

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