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The progression of COVID-19 impacts continue

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Stage 2: Volatile trade, critical financial management and unintended consequences impact farms and the agriculture industry.

In the last column our discussion centered on Phase 1 of the black swan progression. The sudden impact, depth and breadth of the ongoing event brought record unemployment rates and a reduction of consumer demand with much of the global society coming to a standstill.

The dirty bird will change its personality and become the angry bird as the pandemic evolves and enters Phase 2. This period could range from six months to a year or more and is a natural response to a paradigm shift. For a frame of reference, this black swan progression was conceptualized in mid-March 2020, and the progression seems to be playing out in a similar fashion as I envisioned then.

Phase 2 is named the angry bird stage because numerous recovery plans will be unveiled, resulting in debate and unintended consequences. These debates will happen locally, statewide, nationally and globally.


The future will bring a period of realization for many individuals. Job loss may become permanent as business models change. For example, major league sports may limit the number of people in stadiums and arenas. A reduction in crowds may require fewer employees or the remaining employees may earn less disposable income.

Discussion in Phase 2 will focus on de-globalization, resulting in volatile trade agreements and negotiations. Of course, agriculture will be the point dog or the top of the spear during negotiations. Much of this volatility and uncertainty will be based on headlines and the drama of the day.

Business and personal financial problems will occur during this phase. Time tested management and financial practices will be critical for survival and overall success.

The development of preventative and proactive health systems for business and society will bring much debate. The increase in government surveillance utilizing technology will create new courses in business, society and ethics.

In this stage, revenge, blame, confusion and frustration will be quite prevalent. The U.S., Europe, Australia and other nations may question goods made in China and whether to purchase them. Other examples could include northern and southern Europe pitted against each other. There will be discussions surrounding which critical items should be produced in the mother country. The possibility of unraveling consolidated supply chains will be the center of debate.

Critical thinking

In Phase 2, critical thinking, collaboration and support will be needed. Care must be taken to think through unintended consequences of any action.

Stay tuned for the next column when the Phoenix rises in Phase 3!

TAGS: Coronavirus
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