C7: Ross Fitzsimmons: “We need a new approach”

What surprises you in the crisis?

How much each nation’s response to the crisis reflects its national psyche. I’d have hoped the medics and epidemiologists and engineers and manufacturers and techies and politicians would have all collaborated to best effect across both disciplinary and national boundaries, but in too many cases it’s not happening. I feel hope where it’s happening, but despair where it’s not.

What helps you not to go crazy in the lockdown?

Great content. And walks in the fresh air. And great food – but not too much. Little or no alcohol also helps.

Which series/ which book/ which film helps you through the crisis?

This week it’s Fauda, great Israeli series on Netflix, also their series on cycle team Movistar. Also reading a superb new book – an advance copy of The Island by my friend Ben McPherson. Ben lives in Oslo, and the book takes its lead on the horrific massacre of Norwegian youth in 2011. Ben reported on the subsequent trial, and has now written an exceptional novel which tells a fictional story with some similar parameters.

What scares you?

Nothing so far. I was very ill, but thankfully by the time I realised it was the virus, I was getting better.

What gives you hope?

The courage and dedication of all the medical personnel and their support staff on the front line, and the public service shown by all the people who keep us all going logistically, from field to table and all points in between, postal workers, refuse collectors, and even journalists and broadcasters and their support staff, and many other unseen people who keep the planet turning. I’m in awe of them all.

The world 2021

I hope it’s a very different place, a slower and kinder and more thoughtful place, and that it doesn’t just provide “opportunities” for culture funds and hedgies to pick up “distressed assets” on the cheap. Smart governments could make good use of windfall taxes on corporations which make inappropriate gains over the next 12-24 months, to fund the changes we all need to our economic system, and to pay for the necessary support to many which is being given now. We need a new approach, and perhaps without the Orange Covidiot we could have one.

What have you personally learned from this crisis?

I thought I had learned over the last few years to do with less, but this has taught me to do with even less again. Very helpful.

Ross, an Irishman in the UK, is Chelsea supporter, keen cyclist and a tai chi player. He has a history in consulting cinemas, Video-on-Demand enterprises and the European Union. He teaches strategic and business development and has an MBA by Imperial College Business School London and an MA from Trinity College Dublin.