Global Head, Citi Private Bank
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In times of darkness, celebrating progress is more vital than ever.
Over recent days, we have witnessed numerous encouraging signs in our collective struggle against COVID-19. In some of the worst affected nations, new cases and deaths have been declining. Most of those who contract the virus worldwide go on to make a full recovery. Remarkably, they have included several people born a hundred years ago or more. In Denmark this week, young children were joyfully reunited with their friends and teachers as elementary schools and kindergartens reopened their doors. Such progress is cause for celebration indeed.
Of course, we still have far to go. COVID-19 continues to inflict suffering and hardship on an enormous scale. Paradoxically, further signs of progress in our struggle will likely feed frustration and calls for the early easing of restrictions. Demands for governments to map out exit strategies are growing. However, these decisions are not easy. But although we face tough days ahead, we will see this through.
While exercising patience during the quarantine, we also need to consider the future. Reopening the global economy is ultimately critical for us all. David Bailin and Steven Wieting have this week explained some of what this unprecedented task will involve in their latest note. While many consumers and investors expect rapid headway, David and Steven caution that the “return to normal” may take rather longer. We are exploring the pandemic’s geopolitical implications, especially in relation to the backlash against globalization and multilateralism.
I was delighted to hear from some of you who enjoyed the inaugural musical interlude that I shared in last week’s communication. Citi is extremely proud to be partnering with the Philharmonia Orchestra to bring you these brief and inspirational interludes. Their players are true global citizens: hailing from many different countries and likewise providing thrilling performances for audiences the world over. This week’s episode comes from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. It begins with an incredible burst of energy and then evolves into a solemn and beautiful section, perhaps best known for its use as the music of a British Remembrance Day hymn. I hope this moving performance can bring comfort and peaceful contemplation during these difficult times. Although the words are not sung here, one line of the hymn perfectly embodies the compassion of those tending to the pandemic’s victims: “The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test.”
Please continue keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.