Herd immunity by 2023? It means more years of suffering.
The chief economist of Moody’s Analytics foresees the country’s attainment of herd immunity only in 2023. Considered were the lack of vaccines and the continued mishandling of this crisis.
Only in 2023 can we then start talking of economic recovery. That is three years from now.
The recovery will also not be easy. Hampering that will be the fear of people from investing whatever money or investable assets they have. Why risk it out there when you can just keep it for any other unexpected rainy day?
Any gungho attitude when it comes to economic activities has been tempered by Covid-19 this past year. “Wait and see” is the typical attitude of people now. It will go on as long as we don’t see any relief from social restrictions. So the economy will keep on becoming tighter and tighter, as inflation keeps on hitting record highs. In short, higher and higher prices of all goods and services.
With the resurgence of Covid-19 cases and the emergence of new variants that are more vicious or transmissible, we have to prepare for the worst. There is not much government can do because it is as bankrupt as most of us. The aid it was able to give to NCR-Plus residents in this most recent lockdown was a lousy one thousand pesos. That could have lasted for only a few days.
So a time horizon we should be looking at for the return of some semblance of the economy to pre-covid times should be four or five years. Within that period, what shall we survive on? That is the question.
Millions of people who had been laid off still don’t have jobs. MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) that employ about 90% of our work force have been greatly reduced. Those struggling to stay alive were finally shot dead by this ongoing Covid-19 resurgence. In fairness, the government tried to keep them afloat by allotting funds to be lent out to them at very low if not zero interest but nobody was availing of the funds. Why avail when business is dead—there is no viable demand to satisfy. Thus, the popular option taken was to just close down.
But life will go on in a very different way. Most will have to make do with the most basic necessities. The businesses supplying such would thrive. And you cannot go wrong with farming or production of food that could not be done away with.
As we pre-occupy ourselves with such thoughts, some good karma would come in handy in the worst of situations. That is best generated by helping others in dire straits.**