Broker Check

Corona Backstep

July 20, 2020
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After months of lockdowns, we the people, were finally given the okay to restart our lives and livelihoods. Many eased into the world carefully while others went all out and partied. So here we are taking a few steps backwards as our invisible foe reminds us of its persistent presence.

Contrary to the clean models that experts present to us, this is the usual way that the world progresses. If you would, allow me to display my artistic talents to make my point:

The decisions of our elected leaders should be questioned, scrutinized and challenged always. However, challenging the stealthy presence of the virus and its potential to randomly devastate lives is risky. While much of the daily barrage of data is imprecise, dirty, and inconclusive, there are things that we do know, and precautions that are wise to respect.

Doctors are getting better at treating seriously afflicted individuals and our loved and hated pharmaceutical companies are rapidly advancing in pursuit of a vaccine. Three separate companies/vaccines are entering the final phase of clinical testing within the next month.

The economy is likely in recession, though pushing hard to make a rapid comeback. Government has put fiscal caution aside and provided a great deal of stimulus to keep things going, and there may be more stimulus coming. The Federal Reserve Bank is also going to great efforts to support the economy by pouring tons of dollars into the system.

These efforts have been largely successful at keeping many, but not all, companies and households solvent and poised to resume without much delay.

Will it be enough? Or will we need more?

How much will the government and the Fed continue to do?

What are the longer-term consequences of the government and the Fed pouring money at the economy? Will our taxes go up to pay it back? Can we innovate our way out way out of this?

Hit “reply” and let me know what you think.

Does the (stock) market know that we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and economic recession?

The market indexes are largely approaching pre-COVID levels. However, the nature of the index itself is changing rapidly and may not reflect the fact that many companies are having difficulties. As you can see a very few companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google have had an overwhelming influence on the current market.

What about the children?

While the illness caused by Covid-19 and the economic fallout are constantly debated and discussed, the potentially harmful social and mental consequences are not. While many adults have the tools to cope, children often do not. Cumulative adversity, especially when experienced during critical and sensitive periods of a child’s development, is a root cause to some of the most harmful, persistent, and expensive health challenges facing our society.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a result of a world turned upside down should be more in the hearts and minds of those that have the power to commit our children to social adversity. See www.acesaware.org to learn more.

“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”
Yogi Berra

Be well,

Daniel Ruben, MD, MPH, MBA


*The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index comprised of 500 widely-held securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot directly invest in the S&P 500 index.