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Business continuity managers everywhere: THIS IS YOUR MOMENT. Every dog has its day, and lord knows, you’ve been waiting long enough for yours. Here it is! Enjoy it.

Legal eagles: for you, the news is not so good. This is the moment when that lovingly over-wrought risk taxonomy — you know, the one the whole department, globally, spent eight years perfecting, after the last market crash — falls apart before your very eyes.

For where in it, pray tell, does it cover the risks to airline solvency, or pasta distribution, of flu epidemics? What practical defence is there to the second-order calamities that follow in the wake of unholy mass-hyperventilation by an interconnected multitude?

Is the bigger issue here the sickness of crowds, or their madness?

From his bunker in the teddy bears’ woods, sustained on spam, dry macaroni and alcoholic hand-gel (it’s an acquired taste, but you do get used to it) the JC has been ruminating about possible second order impacts of the current stampede — all perfectly plausible, even if the worst anyone gets from the actual virus is a hacking cough and mandate from the boss to put a bag on your head.

But what about the market impacts of:

  • The secondary epidemic of dissentry because neurotic stockpilers in north London have cleaned the entire southeast out of lavatory paper and soap?
  • The unexpected collapse of Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturer of Lemsip, Nurofen and Strepsils, Durex and K-Y jelly, because people are washing their hands all the time, wearing gas-masks and hazchem suits to work and therefore just not catching colds anymore and definitely not shagging.
  • The sudden bankruptcy of the nation’s entire Italian restaurant sector, and consequent disruption to dependent industries, because:
  • they’re Italian and omg coronavirus!!!
  • the kitchen staff all insist on working from home (and/or went home for the weekend and are now quarantined in Genoa); and
  • they can’t get hold of any linguini because the neurotic stockpilers in north London have cleaned the entire southeast out of pasta;
  • Homicidal fights breaking out at the firm’s business continuity management site in Aldershot, which has just nine parking spaces (all occupied by premises management staff), one diminutive kebab joint within six miles (which is in imminent risk of shut down owing to non-COVID19 food standards breaches), it not having occurred to anyone that in an actual disaster, four thousand people would turn up in 4X4s and all want lunch at once.
  • Homicidal fights breaking out:
  • in the gents lavatories between threatened employees misconstruing each others intentions when singing happy birthday at the hand basins
  • between members of virtue-signalling neighbourhood support WhatsApp groups who didn’t realise, until now, how profound was the enmity between them
  • Marital discord from spouses “on business trips” being quarantined in Venetian knocking shops, and access to justice issues for said knocking shop-quarantined spouses who cannot find any family law experts to represent them in their divorce hearings.

Is there a coronavirus emoji yet? Why, yes there is. Well done, user:Rviverdale2.

See also