"A riot is the language of the unheard."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Why?

As the more loyal of my readers will be aware, the last five Absolute Return Letters were dedicated to Morgan Housel’s Five Lessons from History. Let me remind you of those five lessons again:

  1. People suffering from sudden, unexpected hardship are likely to adopt views they previously thought unthinkable.
  2. Reversion to the mean occurs because people persuasive enough to make something grow don’t have the kind of personalities that allow them to stop before pushing too far.
  3. Unsustainable things can last longer than you anticipate.
  4. Progress happens too slowly for people to notice; setbacks happen too fast for people to ignore.
  5. Wounds heal, scars last.

Now, think of the rather dramatic incidents of the past few months, and it wouldn’t be farfetched to argue that the world is not quite the same any longer. The mayhem started when an unsuspecting public was introduced to a weird little bug called SARS-CoV-2 (subsequently nicknamed the new Coronavirus). As if that was not enough, only weeks later, two American (now ex.) police officers decided to end the lives of two American civilians, both of whom were black.

The first incident in particular caused a massive uproar as it quickly became apparent that George Floyd was an entirely innocent man. The result? Major demonstrations worldwide under the banner “Black Lives Matter” which, although long overdue, was the last thing we needed in the middle of a major health crisis where social distancing is critical. Particularly in the US, at times, it has been akin to civil war in places. With many demonstrators not observing social distancing rules, no wonder COVID-19 is still not under control over there.