November 2020

During September and October the world got to grips – or failed to get to grips -- with Covid-19. The difference in performance of different countries was striking. New Zealand went in early and hard with a severe crackdown which basically stopped the pandemic in its tracks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was rewarded with a stunning election victory. Mainland China, after a brief stumble at the start, also went the draconian route and quickly brought the situation under control. As a consequence the economy was able to re-open, and recover, strongly. China may be the only major economy to achieve economic growth in 2020. The Taiwan administration also did well.

The developed countries of western Europe and the United States by contrast handled the situation much less well. America in particular was poor, around 10 million cases by the time of the presidential election in early November, and almost a quarter of a million deaths, both global highs. Not surprisingly incumbent Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election, though in the rest of the world the surprise was he did so well – over 70 million votes.

Tiffany went back to LA in late September, Alex stayed in Hong Kong as his Coventry University course went entirely online. In early November I had yet another eye operation – my fifth in two years – and early indications were we may finally have fixed the problem. Next step, back to the gym and the pool in search of that elusive fitness!