We are under house arrest. We are all now at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Prisoners of the Pandemic. Criminals entering jail for the first time are advised to “know a bit of slang”, “share a cell with the right person” and to “brace yourself for re-entry”. Incarceration causes our minds to easily drift to fantasy: of daily allowable outdoor exercise, or perhaps an illicit tryst at a local speakeasy. We are now less active than a three-toed Sloth. This is a strange war: we are its inaction heroes.
This is a fight for our wealth as well as health and we must survive. Pilots shot down behind enemy lines are taught that their fate is “usually settled in the first few hours after ditching” and that “survival depends on two vitally important factors: morale and knowledge.” Commandoes are told to “know your enemy” and “decide a plan of action”. We must prevail in this extraordinary war of bat and bear.
Sun-Tzu wrote in The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”. This is also true of investing.