With the easing of lockdowns, a return to normality cannot come fast enough. But we are not there yet and the pandemic is still on my mind, in particular who is having a good one and who is having a bad one. I don’t mean this in a glib way, but rather I was thinking about who, through their actions or lack thereof, has seen their stock rise and who has seen it plummet. There are painfully obvious examples in politics, with Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro at one end of the spectrum and Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern and Moon Jae-in at the other. But politics is a quagmire, and not an amusing one. I’m thinking more of those who have experienced era-defining highs and lows, with meltdowns and supreme acts of grace. Let’s start with people having a bad pandemic, and my No 1 can only be Elon Musk. The billionaire Tesla and Space X chief is having a doozy of a 2020, even by his own bizarre standards. The coronavirus panic is dumb — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020 To recap, on March 7, as New York declared a state of emergency, Musk tweeted “the coronavirus panic is dumb” – his opening gambit in being wrong about everything Covid-19. In March alone, Musk tweeted that children were “essentially immune” and predicted cases in the United States would be down to zero by the end of April. He tried and failed to reopen Tesla’s California factory in defiance of a statewide lockdown. Then, in a stellar April and May, Musk described the lockdown as “fascist” and reopened Tesla’s factory in defiance of state rules, tweeting like a tech bro Mandela “[if] anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me”. Oh, and he named his newborn son X Æ A-12. Also suffering are the Karens, entitled women who melt down at the slightest inconvenience. And boy, have the hordes been unleashed, with Karens decrying the lockdown because they can’t visit the nail salon or the hairdresser and because their cleaners, nannies and gardeners can’t come over. Life for a Karen has become insufferable and we must all suffer hearing about it. But let’s turn to the good. First up is actor Nicolas Cage, who has had a superb pandemic by doing absolutely nothing. He has secured the coveted part of Joe Exotic in the television dramatisation of the Tiger King’s life, confirmed he will return in a third National Treasure movie and possibly the planned Disney+ TV show, on top of the upcoming film, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent , in which he plays an exaggerated version of himself. My other hero is Pangzai. Who? Well, Pangzai is the latest and purest Chinese social media phenomenon. The moniker of Liu Shichao, a vlogger from rural Hebei province, Pangzai posts videos of himself speed drinking obscene amounts of alcohol using his “tornado” technique and breaking bricks in half with his hand. Pangzai also tells his hundreds of thousands of followers in the West about his life as a peasant (his word). Without meaning to, Pangzai has provided more insight into Chinese life than the entire propaganda ministry. Soft power through hard drinking and I, for one, salute him. If you ever read this Pangzai, stay pure and stay true, king.