For the past year, it has seemed (to me, anyway) that the stream of bad news has mainly been interrupted by worse news.
Every week it seems we're confronted by death tolls, natural disasters, political shenanigans, business closures, viral variants, and more.
It's so easy to become fixated on doom scrolling and negative headlines. The media makes that easy.
But what if things are getting better?
How would your life change if things were getting back to normal?
Are you ready for that?
Because I think we're on the upswing.
Here's why I think things are going to get better rapidly in 2021.
Vaccines are proving to be effective against COVID-19 and we've got several of them.1
At least one (the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine) is effective against the vicious new variants that have popped up.2
By the way, I have had a lot of calls asking me if they should take the J&J (Johnson & Johnson) Vaccine given that the numbers that are widely reported and appear less impressive than those of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. These numbers are NOT apple to apple comparisons. The data actually shows that J & J vaccine is extraordinarily effective, with NONE of those receiving the vaccine getting sick enough to be hospitalized (or dying). If you still have questions or trepidations on this issue, call me.
Vaccine rollouts are going (kinda) well and are accelerating. Once a large proportion of our community is vaccinated we can expect to see community transmission rates plummet and (new) normal life resume.
Imagine what that will feel like.
Economists think a tidal wave of growth is coming and the economy will roar back this year.3
That's good news for businesses, workers, and markets.
The next round of stimulus looks like it's going to get passed in the next couple of weeks, getting money into the pockets of the folks struggling to pay bills and keep their businesses open.
That's a lot of good news.
What do you think, are you ready to start planning life after the pandemic?
What's the first thing you will do when it's safe?
Me? I really miss going to a movie theater. It's just not the same for me to see it on a TV screen. The family is looking forward to make good on the trips we cancelled to Alaska and Israel.
I can't wait.
Does that mean that everything's going to be just peachy?
I wish it would, but I don't think it will. We've lost too much and still have too much to do.
The 500,000+ folks we lost to the pandemic. Each one a vital member of a our society and a loved one.
The millions of jobs that probably aren't coming back.4 (Hopefully offset by the new ones that will be created)
The medical staff, essential workers, and teachers who are burning out under the strain of a pandemic.
The divisions in our society that still remain.
Markets are frothy and volatile and will likely remain so. A sell-off is quite possible.
But, I'm hopeful for 2021.
Daniel Ruben, MD, MPH, MBA