Marc Cuniberti: Another COVID year
The year 2020 set an historical precedent as to the economic damage to the world economies due to the policies enacted in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This time last year we had high hopes that the year 2021 would be so much better than 2020. It was not to be. Slow on the uptake, once the vaccines were finally available, the virus had no such plans of going away quietly into the night. It adapted into multiple variants that are still raging to this day. In fact, the month of December 2021 witnessed the highest number of new COVID-19 cases ever recorded.
So much for the shutdowns, masks, social distancing, and all the other policies enacted in the attempt to stave off the spread. COVID is spreading faster than ever. We should consider, it being a microscopic virus that has one goal in its tiny life, which is to reproduce and survive on a molecular level, it will probably be with us forever to some extent, no matter what we do. My opinion, of course.
Since the beginning, this analyst has advocated against economic shutdowns because, quite simply, I have always maintained this virus couldn’t be stopped no matter what was done. Some might argue, looking back over the last 24 months or so, this claim may be correct.
Some would say that the reason the virus persists is the lack of mask wearing and vaccinations by the total population. However, to assume that everyone on the planet would mask up and accept vaccinations would be akin to claiming we could stop illegitimate births by asking everyone to stop having intimate relations. That certainly would be an unrealistic expectation and an impossible goal, and obviously, our policy responses to COVID may have been just as futile.
That said, 2021 saw both economic improvement and continuing damage as well. It can be safely said, we are nowhere near out of the woods, and a return to normalcy seems farther away now then it did last New Years Day. As we learn just how pernicious the COVID-19 virus is, it may not be going away anytime soon, if at all. It is in this analyst’s opinion that to inflict further economic damage by implementing more of the same policies that failed to curtail the spread of COVID since the beginning may be pushing the economy closer to a breaking point.
Fortunately, capitalistic economies are the most resilient of all when it comes to their ability to continue to operate despite the repeated blows to its mechanisms. Specifically, I am talking about shutdowns, crowd throttling, travel restrictions and all the other mandates and regulations implemented because of COVID-19.
At some point, some argue there is only so much damage a system can endure before it reaches critical mass (think the 2008/9 global banking implosion).
Others, including the powers at be, claim the economy just needs additional help, while implementing more methodologies to halt the spread of COVID once and for all, which will lead to a complete reopening of the world’s economies and subsequently a full recovery.
No one can predict just how much the systems of the world can take as it relates to more economic beat downs through egregious policy responses to the pandemic, but one thing is certain: I, for one, don’t want to find the limits, because that will mean we will have already exceeded them. If that day arrives, what happens next is anyone’s guess.
Marc Cuniberti holds a B.A in Economics with honors from San Diego State University and is the host of Money Matters carried on 66 stations nationwide. California Insurance LIc# 0L34249. Call him at 530-559-1214 or visit http://www.moneymanagementradio.com
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