Coronavirus: No one can predict the unpredictable

Spare a thought for politicians dealing with the enormity of the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus: No one can predict the unpredictable Getty Images

So, gatherings of more than 500 people are likely to be put on hold from next Monday as the government moves to the next stage in battling coronavirus.

It will have fundamental implications for sport and entertainment venues, in particular, and represents a further step change in the response to the growing numbers of those infected.

When it all ends is anyone’s guess and that’s what worries legislators.

Spare a thought, just for once, for our politicians and just for once let’s appreciate the enormity of what they are grappling with.

Yesterday, we had a Budget that wasn’t a Budget, at least not in a conventional sense. We had a commitment to a huge financial injection of government cash to put health services on a sustainable footing as they prepare to be strained like never before.

With markets in freefall and the Bank of England slashing interest rates, the collective effort is to ensure the economy doesn’t collapse owing to a short-term contraction marked by falling GDP, higher unemployment as companies go bust and household budgets under strain as population paralysis works through into the real economy.

Politicians are frantically planning, directed by medical advice but all the while knowing rational decision making could be thrown off course by a vortex of uncertainty.  

In short, they plan for what they think might happen but stand ready to rethink strategy as events unfold.