Today, we’ll take a step back from gambling advice and bashing Trump and discuss… yes, how about the pandemic…

As usual, there is good news and there is bad news.

Let’s start with the good news, and that is that around the entire planet (with one notable exception), things are getting better. That doesn’t mean things are great, but if you look at the numbers and graphs below, it’s clear things have stopped getting worse in Canada. They’re either just bad, or improving. At some point, I’ll throw together some world data for comparison, but the graphs will look similar; sharp drop-offs in the rates of new cases, which in turn should show fewer hospitalizations and eventually fewer deaths. Where they were growing quickly, they’re growing more slowly. And in some places, stopped. Entirely. New Zealand is the first country on the planet where C19 is gone. Period. Restrictions lifted. Workplaces, restaurants, sports stadiums… packed with happy, healthy people. This was the place that locked down early and hard, and almost did away with it on the first go-around… but it came back, so they took more drastic action. And this time it stuck. Brutally ironic and pathetic was Donald Trump, at that time, mocking them… “It’s over for New Zealand. Everything’s gone.” That was Trump, trying to imply something like, “See? No matter what you do, you can’t get rid of it. Why bother wrecking the economy, when it won’t make a difference?”

Trump wasn’t the only one with that attitude, but the attitude is wrong. Strong decisive action can make a big difference.

While things look to be getting no worse pretty-much everywhere, the huge exception is, of course, is the U.S… where things are getting drastically worse. The collision course between the pandemic, people who don’t care, and the vaccination… it’s a perfect storm, made more complicated by that second factor… people who still don’t believe there’s a serious virus and/or people who do but won’t get vaccinated. If all Americans were to go out and get vaccinated as quickly as possible, the entire country would be rid of the virus by summer. There will probably be enough vaccine to go around to do that. All the timelines we’ve heard rely mostly on the understood supply of Pfizer vaccine that’s on its way, but there is more good news… that we can soon throw the Moderna vaccine into the mix… and that’s more of a game changer, because it’s doesn’t need the ultra-cold transport and storage; that one can (and will) be made available far and wide.

The bad news is that the pain of this pandemic, from an economic point of view, will be very harsh. Every sector has been radically affected… and the issue now is that there are many businesses that rely on the holiday season to get them through with enough momentum to last them till next December. Many of those businesses are already running on fumes, and are really only still in business because it’s the Christmas season and they may as well scrape what they can from it before they pull the plug. Many that stuck it out this long were hoping for a relatively normal holiday season, and it’s not going to happen.

On that note restaurants are suffering terribly, especially many of which count on the Christmas office parties and the party season in general… and while that won’t happen this year, it’ll all come back eventually. Certainly by this time next year.

Until then, there’s no simple answer… though might I throw in… support your local restaurants if you want them to survive. It doesn’t mean go there with a group of friends; not yet. But order their food and pick it up, or get it delivered from them directly, so it’s not some third-party that’s getting all the margin. Buy gift certificates and stuff some stockings with them.

The economic landscape will look like a 9.0 earthquake roared through it, once this is all over. Hopefully, for most, it’ll just have been a big, rattling shake… and not a complete collapse.

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