2021 Crystal Balls Are Pessimistic

Even though there are a few weeks left in the year, it’s started to really feel like 2020 is over. Things are quieting down, and the end-of-year “wrap-up” articles are increasing.

I don’t tend to be a fan of the “predictions for next year kinds of articles that appear, mainly because I have yet to see a meaningful prediction actually come true. Try to find me a list of predictions from December 2019 that came even close to anticipating what 2020 had in store. Still, I’d like to offer three general predictions in which I believe.

ONE: The news about Covid, and its effect on the population, are going to be much worse than expected: Most of 2020 has been saturated by politically-driven good news about Covid. It’s going to be gone by Easter, like a miracle. It only is affecting a few people. Operation Warp Speed is going to fix the problem. And on and on and on. Now that the political pressure is off, the bad news (AKA reality) is going to have a chance to show up, including the fact that all of these small businesses that have been propped up with PPP and emergency loans are going to start vanishing into bankruptcy by the thousands. Here in prosperous Palo Alto, it’s starting to look like the Great Depression. Seriously.

TWO: The vaccine is not going to be the miracle cure we’re being told:

Again, the news has been nothing but good, because it’s all been pushed for political reasons. Have you seen the polls about how many people are actually willing to get vaccinated? It’s about 40%. And I strongly suspect a portion of that 40% will change their minds, be too lazy to get it done, or have some other reason for it not transpiring. So maybe 30% will get vaccinated. And will the vax be perfect? Of course not. Will it have zero side effects? Of course not. Everything is as good as it’s going to be right now, because people are able to use their imaginations to project how great things are going to be next year. Reality will sully that.

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