As I look forward to the rest of the year and try to come to a conclusion on what it would take for the equity markets to keep up the good work of the last year, one thing is clear in my mind. We will have to be able to start seeing the COVID-19 crisis from the rearview mirror instead of the windshield. The only way I can see that happening is if we get closer to herd immunity and start living our lives again in a way that is considered normal.
There are two ways to get to herd immunity. One is to have the virus blow through our population until enough people have gotten it that there isn’t anyone much left to give it to. That takes time as well as a serious toll that I, for one, am not willing to pay if there is another good option. The other is to take the vaccine.
I understand that a lot of people are concerned about the vaccine. I would be lying if I told you that I had no concerns. For me, the decision was not easy, but it was clear. I wrote an email to my firm on Feb. 10, the day I got my second shot. In part, this is what I said:
“Got my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine today! There is a light at the end of this tunnel. I understand that it can be scary to proactively take something that you don’t understand and put it in your body, as opposed to waiting and hoping that something else, more dangerous, doesn’t find its way into your body. We have dedicated our lives to a business that requires us to determine the potential risk and the potential reward of investments we make on behalf of our clients and then take appropriate action.
• The coronavirus is highly contagious and new strains are more contagious than the original strain.
• A death rate of 2% is not a lot, but with the massive amount of contractions it has already killed more U.S. citizens than any war we have fought including the four years of WWII when we lost 420,000 souls. We are about to hit 500,000 souls in the first year of this pandemic.
• The vaccines have been produced faster than any in history, but technology has something to do with that. Everything is faster now.
• Getting 75% or more of our population vaccinated should allow us to take control of this virus and either wipe it out or manage it consistently without harm to our economy or our people.
• The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines do not use any part of the virus in its development so there is no way to catch the virus from the vaccine.
• We have no evidence of the long-term effects of the vaccine on our population because it hasn’t existed for a long-term.
• We have no evidence of the long-term effects of the virus for the same reason, however the short-term effects of the virus appear to be much greater than the short-term effects of the vaccine.
• Without the development of herd immunity through vaccinations, we will, I believe, be dealing with a more serious version of this virus for a long time and it is likely that we will all get it for the first time, or again.
“When looking at the evidence, it does not change the fact that all of this makes me nervous, but it does make the choice clear to me. I personally feel that it is good for me and my family to take the vaccine and it is good for my community for me to take the vaccine.
“So, here I am, two shots in and having done everything I know to do to help stop the continuation of this virus in me and in my community.”
Nothing has changed in my mind since then except that we are within sight of herd immunity and the end of the tunnel. If you are looking for a good investment this year, get the vaccine. It is free but the return could be tremendous.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.djournal.com/news/business/scott-reed-what-can-you-do-for-the-economy/article_9240ad63-9ba9-5920-a5a0-1a0ba044da03.html