"And by the time we get back to where we are now, with luck and "optimism" on our side lots of small and medium size businesses would have folded up."
You can't possibly know that rickf - unless you have some sort of crystal ball that no one else has.
I've always taught my children, they can do anything they want to and for each in their own way, they've been pretty successful. Optimism is everything; pessimism is a road to disaster.
People (and countries) are successful because of a positive attitude, not a negative one.