Rory Sutherland

My Covid risk assessment

My Covid risk assessment
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Classes of people at moderate risk from Covid-19. Addenda to current NHS guidelines. Those at risk from coronavirus now include people who:

• Are 70 or older.

• Have a lung condition that’s not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis).

• Have heart disease (such as heart failure).

• Have diabetes.

• Are a London property owner, or buy-to-let landlord.

• Are running a university as a highly lucrative property and real-estate business (with a small pedagogical business attached); i.e. 90 per cent of higher education. You’re now just the Open University with crenellations.

• Are married to a frequent business traveller. Not only is the miserable git going to be home much more than before, but they will soon turn the spare bedroom into a ‘home broadcast studio’: i.e. a replica of the bridge-deck on the Starship Enterprise.

• Are the kind of person who liked to discharge a year’s worth of social obligations by hosting a single overcrowded indoor drinks party where there is nothing but dismal red and white wine to drink and where no one over 50 can hear a word anyone is saying.

• Have used economic arguments to attack Brexit, as in ‘it would reduce annualised GDP growth by 0.7 per cent’. What you have there now, mate, is a rounding error.

• Are A.C. Grayling. Look, nobody’s interested any more.

• Are one of those tedious sinophiles who spent 20 years answering any business question with ‘Well, the future is all about China.’

• Are oil company executives, or are in the business travel sector. No, it ain’t coming back any time soon.

• Are engaged in a proper job, where you make things or move things about; your job will be almost certainly be downsized by someone in management working at home.

• Have weirdo American libertarian beliefs where it’s OK to draft people to fight in Vietnam, but you draw the line at wearing face coverings in Walmart.

• Have faith in the idea that averages convey useful information or have never heard of ergodicity.

• Are regularly served in pubs ahead of a portly advertising executive who’s been waiting at the bar for 20 minutes already because you have something called ‘bar presence’. Too bad, matey boy, it’s table service from now on.

• Are an epidemiologist.

• Are in an open marriage.

• Are an epidemiologist in an open marriage. This constitutes a particularly high-risk category, as both your professional and your private life are devoted to activities which work in theory but not in practice.

• Are resident in Wales. Proud as I am of the country of my birth, I would not trust my fellow countrymen with the definition of the word ‘essential’.

• Are resident outside the UK. Reasons to live in the UK include the National Health Service but also the oft-overlooked fact that for all our other failings, we are simply better at grocery retail logistics than any other country in the world.

• Are a member of that elevated caste of Oxford PPE graduates, consultants, procurement executives or economists who have made a good living confidently ‘optimising on the past’, and preaching about gains to scale and centralisation, while failing to consider basic resilience at all, despite the fact that nature gave you two kidneys, two lungs and two testicles for a reason.

Stay safe, everyone.