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The coronavirus lockdown could be an opportunity rather than just a challenge, the MP for Lichfield and Burntwood has claimed.
In a piece written for the Telegraph, Michael Fabricant said history had shown that “change need not herald disaster”.
His comments come as the country continues to face restricted movement and economic challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Conservative MP said the current crisis could turn out to be a decisive moment in history.
“Once in a generation or so, cataclysmic events transpire which shape the future in unimaginable ways. This pandemic is one such event.
“Just as we separate the periods of terrorism between pre- and post-9/11, history might well divide our society into pre- and post-coronavirus eras.
“But the cataclysm which saw the end of the dinosaurs and the birth of mankind shows that change need not herald disaster.
“COVID-19 may well spark a societal and political revolution which could ultimately improve many of our lives for the better.”Michael Fabricant MP
Mr Fabricant played down the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, arguing that the situation was “artificially-induced” to help save lives.
“Unlike in 2008/09, the fundamentals of the economy still remain strong.
“The pent-up demand from people being stuck in their homes with little to spend their money on will almost certainly see a splurge of retail spending once restrictions start to ease.
“There have already been cases of this. The retailer Next recently returned to selling clothes online after a two week absence, but became overwhelmed with so many orders it had to close again for a day.
“Similarly, other aspects of our daily lives will slowly return to normal.
“But some aspects of life may not go back to the way they were. And this will be a good thing.”Michael Fabricant MP
“The work from home revolution”
Many people have been forced to work from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
And it is a working method which Mr Fabricant says many organisations may now consider as a long term option.
“Conventional working practices will still endure of course, but one thing this pandemic has shown us is that a Zoom or Skype conference can be just as useful as a physical meeting, and that some workers can be equally as productive, if not a lot more productive, working from home.
“The work from home revolution will also have other positive effects.
“More remote working will mean less money spent on train season tickets for many employees, giving them an effective pay-rise.
“In a twist of fate, this pandemic could do more to redistribute jobs and opportunities around the country – and away from London – than any Government policy ever could.
“And if distance working is maintained, the already dubious business case for the ludicrously expensive HS2 project becomes even more doubtful.
“It’s hard to understate the potential of just how much this pandemic has to change our lives – for the better.
“Turn a challenge into an opportunity, I always believe.
“The challenge of COVID-19 could be the opportunity of a better future.”Michael Fabricant MP
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