Sometimes You Hate to Be Right
In late February and early March, everyone was confused by COVID. Was it a flu? Was it limited to China? Would it be a short flash in the pan, limited to a nursing home in Washington State (this was before the New York outbreak)? Nobody knew.
Not true. Those of us in the medical field had a pretty good idea, especially those of us who do research in healthcare and who had epidemiologists in our contact lists. The truth is, the medical field knew that the virus was just gaining momentum back in March, that it would get worse in April, May and June, most likely taper somewhat in the summer months, and then it would get MUCH WORSE in the late Fall.
We knew there would be a Second Wave and that this Second Wave would be worse, no, it would be MUCH WORSE than what was to come in April, May and June. So some would ask – why didn’t you warn us?
We did. Over and over and over. We said minimize social contact, wear a mask, wash your hands, and Aararat Consulting specifically reached out to young adults, knowing they would not be concerned about at virus that targeted “old people” and in our online communication we warned them about avoiding the 3 C’s (clubbing, concerts, congregations)..
So what happened in the Spring and Summer months? Outbreaks galore, all predicted, all fulfilled. We especially saw outbreaks from nightclubs where social distancing was non-existent. We saw outbreaks from outdoor concerts, most especially the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota that became a nationwide outbreak impossible to track therefore impossible to contain. We saw outbreaks from church congregations.
Sometimes you hate to be right.
But the message from the medical community was tempered because there was more than the DISEASE aspect, there was the social DIS “ease” aspect. The message was tempered so as not so sound apocalyptic and potentially create social panic. Yet in spite of this “tempered” message we saw protesters with guns on Capital Hill in Michigan, we saw protestors demanding their Right to Work in the face of economic shutdowns and restrictions, and to add fuel to the fire, we had mass riots in numerous cities for a number of reasons, all to do with social DIS “ease” not physical DISEASE.
And now that the Second Wave is here, and is only beginning, then things are going to get worse. Much worse. And that is the nature of this kind of virus. From a medical standpoint, it was predictable, it was predicted, and although the message was tempered with the goal of minimizing social chaos, the message was given nonetheless.
Except with over a quarter of million deaths domestically and over 2.5 million deaths globally (as of today) people are slowly getting the message. Yes, there has been some encouraging news with vaccines, but even if Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines pass FDA approval the news is still grim because it will take until the end of 2021 before the vaccine has been available to everyone.
So we need to prepare for exactly what Aararat Consulting predicted back in March.
We predicted that beyond the physical virus, there would be an economic crisis as well as a sociological crisis. While the virus wasn’t going to be the end of the world, it was going to be the end of “normal”. The aftermath was predictable to anyone who studies past economic downturns and the historic fall outs from recessions, corrections and bursting bubbles like Dot.com and the sub-prime mortgage fiasco.
Sometimes you hate to be right. Yet the predictions are proving true. Millions of people who suffered the effects of COVID but then recovered from the virus itself, will suffer from respiratory damage the rest of their lives. But as researchers in socio-economics, Aararat Consulting predicted back in March that tens of millions of people who suffered job loss, business revenue losses and the erosion of life savings will suffer for years to come. And we tried to do our part to “give back” by creating a series of free training videos to help those furloughed, laid off or permanently terminated gain new perspectives to re-imagine, re-invent and re-position themselves to become more attractive and more employable as they struggled to compete with millions of others who became unemployment victims of COVID-19.
Young people will undoubtable recover economically, but like the aftermath of The Great Recession of 2008, it may take years to regain stable and viable employment. It’s predictable based on past economic downturns. While young adults may lose years of earning potential and what would “normally” be a gradual advancement in job income, seniority and stability, ultimately things will turn around. For others, however, COVID-19 delivered a fatal blow to their economic health, welfare and long term viability. These are the small business owners and entrepreneurs who lack the cash flow to survive. These are people in the wrong industry in the wrong time, like travel, hospitality and tourism. But most especially and most tragically, the worst economic fatalities of COVID-19 will be the CEO’s, senior executives and long term LoyalLlieutenants to these leaders, all of whom have spent their entire careers building what ( up until this Spring) should have been an unassailable nest egg in an unassaultable industry. During the period of just four months from April to July, Western economies have seen more bankruptcies than during the entire seven YEAR recovery period of the Crash of 2008.
And we’re talking giants of industry.
Like Hertz, JC Penney, Aldo and Century 21.
So medically speaking let’s hope and pray that we can flatten curves, get the R value below 1.0, mitigate exposure and minimize the potential that we and those we love will suffer physically in the months before we can all get vaccinated. But should we be that fortunate physically, we are still very much at risk to suffer economically from the fallout of COVID-19 and the results may handicap us for years, or the rest of our lives.
Unless we learn how to do the 3 things our research has shown will help people thrive in situations where most merely struggle to survive.