We have been tracking scientists, public health officials, and people who study pandemics like Bill Gates. We are also looking at the data, and learning as much as we can.
None of us can predict the future with great accuracy at this point – not even the WHO, CDC, or the greatest scientists in the world – but there are certain things we do know.
The Good News
- The "tough medicine", as Bill Gates describes it, that we are taking now – sheltering in place and social distancing – is critical to reducing the impact of the pandemic long-term. Both from the standpoint of saving lives, and an economic standpoint.
- The US Government is attempting to get us through this. We have the CARES act, which should help SMBs maintain operations and adjust in the short-term.
- People are adapting to the new normal, bringing in-person events and other social activities online.
- The effort to fight SARS-COV-2 (the novel coronavirus) and the COVID-19 disease it causes is truly a global effort, with a long list of vaccine and antiviral drug candidates. Luckily the world has research from deadly coronaviruses in the past (SARS and MERS) to give a head start.
The Bad News
- We will need wide-scale testing in order to monitor and control the virus. We are not even close to having that.
- The economics of the CARES act in the long-term, and any acts that follow, are a bit uncertain. We could see a recession domestically, and likely globally.
- It will likely take one year before a vaccine is ready. Clinical trials are beginning in April, but in order to assure the safety of the vaccine across a large population, we must wait.
- Many parts of the world with poorer populations or less-developed health systems will likely be hit hard from the disease in terms of deaths and disturbances to the economy, such as India and Africa. China has managed to mitigate deaths, but it is unclear how long its economy can handle the draconian measures required to keep the disease at bay.
- It is a matter of months – not weeks – that we might see this under control.
- Even if social-distancing mandates are lifted, people may not want to go out and patronize service industries as much, since there will still be a risk of infecting the elderly and other loved ones.
- Larger companies are doing well. Certain industries are doing well.
We will continue to grow and expand on this section as time progresses, and increase the number of cited sources. This is our current take, based on what we know thus far.