Broker Check

Corona Fatigue

August 24, 2020

Aren’t you getting tired of this little bug that is too tiny to see but has nevertheless turned the whole world upside down? Aren’t you tired of being cooped up, scared and careful all the time?

Corona Fatigue has made us all emotionally vulnerable and exhausted. Throw on top of all that an election where the parties unabashedly exploit our vulnerabilities brought on by a global tragedy to drive a wedge between us. At our expense they play political brinksmanship, holding our livelihoods hostage. Each side hoping that we, the people, will blame the other side for our suffering.

People cope in different ways. Some are tired of being careful and say that they would rather just take the risk of getting infected rather than stop living carefully. Others lost complete faith in our scientific and political leadership and stopped listening. As individuals we cannot control this viral threat, so we point fingers.

In the midst of the Global Influenza Pandemic a hundred years ago we also experience a period of great social unrest. The great war had just ended and the world was struggling to build a new order. American women ably filled in the labor vacuum that enabled our soldiers to have the tools to win. Women insisted on having an equal voice. This month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning their right to vote in America.

What great things are we going to make happen as a result of the social turmoil that we are experiencing in the midst of this Global Coronavirus Pandemic? I’d love to know what you think!

COVID-19 continues to take its toll. We are making progress. It used to be (2-4 months ago) that once you got very sick and needed to go into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) your chances of recovering were dismal (maybe 15-25%). Today your chances of coming out alive are probably doubled. There is still a long way to go.

Russia has approved the first vaccine for COVID-19, though they skipped the part of running the appropriate clinical trials to make sure that it works, and is safe. The rest of the world is advancing quickly and several vaccine candidates have entered the last phase of clinical trials to see which are effective and safe. We are all waiting with bated breath.

The economy continues to recover, although very unevenly. Those industries and individual companies, large and small, that cannot adapt are withering. Others are booming.

Overall, the stock market indexes in the U.S. are hitting new highs, even as we struggle through social, political, and economic uncertainties. The industry of predicting what markets are going to do in the future is alive and well. As you may imagine I get calls all the time either telling me what the markets are going to do, or asking me.

It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, or that you shouldn’t have one. However, I wouldn’t bet your money, nor mine, on my abilities to predict market movements, just as you should not bet your future on your powers of prediction. I believe that it is your responsibility to ensure that you secure your own future regardless of the finicky behavior of the markets. And my job is to show you how, and to help you do it.

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."
-Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics

Now more than ever, we need to remind ourselves to concentrate on things that we can control, as we deal with the realities of the things we can’t control. It is each individual’s responsibility to recognize your own personal influence on your own emotions. Being positive or being negative is often a choice. COVID-19 may be with us for a while. You may need to adapt to stay lively. Some things that can help:

Exercise: Your body was designed to move. in order to maintain positive health, mind and body, you need to exercise every day. Even if it’s just going for a walk.

Engage: You need to reach out and talk to people consistently. Physical isolation does not have to mean social isolation. Find a way to reach out, and to be available to those who may reach out to you.

Gratitude: Be in the moment. Take inventory of the blessings around you. Don’t waste all your thoughts and feelings ruminating about the past or projecting a dire future. Create your moments now.

Be well,

Daniel Ruben, MD, MPH, MBA

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.