back to article Apple was the only Fortune 50 company to foresee COVID-19 pandemic risk and properly insure against it – Forrester

Apple was alone among corporate giants in foreseeing the pandemic risk in the run-up to the global COVID-19 outbreak, according to analysis by research firm Forrester. As part of a report that predicts the continuing rise of blockchain, robotic process automation and Kubernetes among the technology responses to the pandemic, …

  1. Phones Sheridan
    Mushroom

    I remember an interview with Eddie Izzard where he said mankind was incapable of processing calamitous tragedy. His quote went something like "100 thousand people died, er...... well done". Basically if something is so high on the scale of tragedy, we can't process or plan for it, or even believe it will happen, because it's so bad.

    I remember for the last decade reading about doctors saying there is going to be a respiratory epidemic or flu soon that will kill hundreds of thousands, to millions. And now here it is.

    I also remember for the past decade hearing how Yellowstone Park is over due for it's every-600,000-years-like-clockwork eruption which will kill millions, or that Tenerife is overdue with it's every-10,000-years landslide, which causes a tidal wave travelling at supersonic speeds washing over most of europe with a 1000 foot deep wave.

    We're just going to keep ignoring warnings, because we'd probably turn into quivering wrecks if we realise just how fragile society and life actually is.

    Or maybe Michael Gove was correct, "I think the people of this country have had enough of experts"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Or maybe Michael Gove was correct,"

      Maybe all that doom 'n' gloom is why he was always ripped on toot?

    2. SotarrTheWizard

      . . .and yet people are freaking over COVID. . .

      . . . with an infected death rate of ~0.6%, simply because the overall numbers, while horrible, are constantly being reinforced by personal examples in the media. Yet, compared to the Spanish flu, those are small numbers, and while slightly more deadly than the 1968 Flu Pandemic (H3N2), yet significantly less deadly than the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic.

      I suspect that the now ubiquity of the Net and Social media is a big part of that driver . . .

  2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Things we can prevent and things we can't

    PS» I also remember for the past decade hearing how Yellowstone Park is over due for it's every-600,000-years-like-clockwork eruption which will kill millions, or that Tenerife is overdue with it's every-10,000-years landslide, which causes a tidal wave travelling at supersonic speeds washing over most of europe with a 1000 foot deep wave.

    Well, if that happens, then we are comprehensively fucked. And these are not preventable. We could move away, but to where? Where is safe when are looking out for disasters with such small odds. Where on Earth is safe from 10km asteroids? I suppose I could found a global empire and buy up half of New Zealand.

    At least the Mexicans have/will have the Great Wall to protect themselves from American Immigrants when Yellowstone erupts. They'll probably all be rapists too.

    Diseases like Covid-19 are expected within a medium-term timeframe (we've already had 3 warnings in the last 20 years). Governments have had time to make contingency plans in the event of one.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

      Yes, but governements tend to prefer big problems that require big solutions, because they make for much better photo ops.

      The West's obsession with COVID-19 had handily pushed a couple of other catastrophes off the radar: famine in east Africa, measles and ebola in Congo, floods in Asia…

    2. Dom 3

      Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

      Megatsunami debunked here:

      https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2013/12/13/canary-islands-tsunami/

      An article here explaining that the lack of recent pandemics does *not* increase the likelihood of a new one:

      https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2007/02/severe-pandemic-not-overdue-its-not-when-if

      Yes, governments and large employers should have (had) contingency plans in place.

      1. Michael Hoffmann
        Thumb Up

        Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

        Thanks for that megatsunami debunk link.

        I speed read through the article, because the comments were where the fun really began and the author's replies to many of those was a hoot. Some of those commenters would qualify as science advisors for the Trump administration.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

        I think that there's meant to be a detectable benefit of having had e.g. a recent influenza pandemic, you have some established resistance when another one comes (if you didn't die in the first one).

    3. Oh Matron! Silver badge

      Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

      a UK impacting tsunami has already happened in the UK in the last 8,500 years

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storegga_Slide

      Impacted pretty much the entire eastern seaboard, and probably destroyed doggerland.

      1. ovation1357 Bronze badge
        Joke

        Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

        "and probably destroyed doggerland"

        That was surely an act of God to smite the people of doggerland who insisted on meeting up in car parks after dark for anonymous sexual gratification.

    4. Blank Reg

      Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

      The problem is that most governments don't like spending money on things that don't make them look good. Spending money to prepare for a pandemic that doesn't happen looks like a waste of money. Or worse, spending money preparing for a pandemic that happens while the next government is in office only helps make them look good.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

        A previous governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, spent millions on stockpiling medical supplies and mobile hospitals - with wildfires and earthquakes in mind. His successor considered it a waste of money and got rid of the programme.

        The economist and broadcaster Tim Hartford makes the point that voters approved of this 'cost saving' action at the time.

    5. SotarrTheWizard
      Mushroom

      Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

      Long before I did IT, I was a Geologist, at least by training. The Yellowstone Caldera "clock" is an average, as I recall, one of the intervals was ~960K years.

      The interesting one is the Continental Glacial Advances, we're still in an Ice Age, and geologically speaking, the next one is due Real Soon Now. Admittedly, that's in a Geologic time frame, which translates to "any time in the next 5-10K years, beginning yesterday. . . "

      Which makes the current Solar Minimum of special interest: do we get another "Little Ice Age". . . or a big one. . .

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will any of this affect house prices

    in my area?

    1. TimMaher Bronze badge

      Re: Will any of this affect house prices

      Might do if you live in Tenerife or Yellowstone. Or Leicester for that matter.

    2. Sammy Smalls

      Re: Will any of this affect house prices

      I suspect the Daily Fail will answer this for you, although you may have different answers on different pages and on different days.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will any of this affect house prices

      Yes...

      Especially yes if you live within 20 miles of the South or Western coasts of the UK. If Tenerife goes then you can say goodbye to Swansea, Cardiff and a lot more. The Severn Estuary could well act as a funnel and bang goes Gloucester. Parts of Brizzle will escape but there won't be much left. Glastonbury Tor will be an island again.

      The funnel effect will mean that the straights of dover will no longer exist. Much of the Pas de Calais will go.

      What price BREXIT then eh? Millions will die.

      If Yellostone blows then it is game over for the northern hemisphere.

      Now where's the key to my nuclear fallout shelter?

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Will any of this affect house prices

        If Tenerife goes then you can say goodbye to Swansea, Cardiff and a lot more.

        You make that sound like a bad thing...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will any of this affect house prices

        >>and bang goes Gloucester.

        Cup half full, eh?

      3. jtaylor

        Re: Will any of this affect house prices

        The funnel effect will mean that the straights of dover will no longer exist.

        And Dover will become famous for its theatres, clothing design, and fabulous drag shows.

  4. HildyJ Silver badge
    Stop

    10-K warnings vs. contingency plans

    Forrester is being a bit disingenuous. A 10-K is designed to warn investors about things that might affect profits. Apple listed possibilities while other companies just lumped it together as an Act of God (because Act of Randomness doesn't carry the same weight).

    Nowhere does Apple describe contingency plans because those depend on the governments' response which differs depending on the pandemic (e.g. SARS vs. COVID-19).

    That said, governments have no excuse not to have contingency plans in place. Ideally these plans would be published and they would be consistent from administration to administration.

    Like that's going to happen.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: 10-K warnings vs. contingency plans

      It's stated that Apple specifically did, in fact, insure against a pandemic. Literally, I'm assuming.

      Which I mention because many UK businesses with "business interruption" insurance were told that they did, in fact, not insure against a pandemic. But they thought they did.

      Apparently they tend to have one contract clause that says "You're insured against a disease outbreak" and another clause some way off that says "not if it's a really big one".

      This is it going to court:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53465972

  5. ovation1357 Bronze badge
    Angel

    Finally there's an explanation for Apple's crazy, inflated prices. Their kit isn't just a shiny, over-priced fashion accessory after all: The consumers are actually picking up the cost of this pandemic insurance.

    I'm sure this knowledge will be of great comfort to some of the fans :-D

  6. DS999

    A new conspiracy theory will be born

    Once the QAnon nutters learn about this, Apple will take a central role in whatever bizarre conspiracy theories about COVID-19 they are cooking up.

  7. Anal Leakage

    Once great, now in decline.

    Reg, this piece contains no insults, or unrelated-to-the-subject-at-hand previous incidents dropped in to bolster the hatred-first approach that comprises your Apple coverage.

    You’re slipping.

    1. RM Myers Bronze badge
      WTF?

      Re: Once great, now in decline.

      Good point - I didn't even notice. Once I read the third mention of bullshit blockchain my mind just completely shut down, probably as a self protection mechanism.

  8. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Immediately ater the floods that led to shortages of hard disks a few years back, all the vendors claimed shock at the fragility of their supply chain and vowed to build more resiliency into their operations. A few years after the floods, they were asked what measures they had put in place and they said they hadn't, because it was too expensive.

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