Learning Curve

2021-02-01   |   by CusiGO

The latest employment and GDP data show that the situation in the fourth quarter of 2020 is slightly better than expected, and most importantly, coping with the second wave of epidemic will do less damage to the economy than the first wave. There is nothing to be satisfied with, because the most important thing is human life. In addition, in terms of health, the curve of infection is much less curved, which makes the third wave come in an unusual and very lethal way at the same time as Christmas and new virus mutations. These less bad economic data – not just in Spain – seem to suggest that decisions are being learned and adjusted to develop a strategy to limit mobility and social life and reduce damage to the production machinery. It’s like there’s a learning curve, and previous experience can make you perform better in the next few episodes. Yes, there are all kinds of nuances and uncertainties in the coming months.

It is not easy to compare the management of the first two waves. To be sure, the second crisis did not force the whole country to shut down completely in a few months, but rather took some concrete measures – more or less fortunately – to the affected areas, but these measures did not lead to such an intensive and extensive closure of trade and catering industries. In the short term, this selective, surgical and precise restriction may be the key to preventing the outbreak of the third wave, in which virus variants in the UK and South Africa have attracted so much attention. The economy should be less resentful, but health will be the top priority.

Similarly, it’s time to better plan to speed up vaccination. China is facing a huge challenge of summer tourism (the prospect is becoming more and more pessimistic). In this case, instead of learning, we are talking about the adoption curve of immune technology, which must be carried out faster and more effectively. We still have time to plan to start the mass vaccination process in March or April, when we will have several kinds of vaccines, and a considerable number of them. Why not develop an all-weather strategy for nationwide vaccination starting in the spring and reaching 70% of the population in June instead of any time in the summer (recently overused but very inaccurate provisional terms)? What stopped him? In a few months, there will be no shortage of vaccines, but we may not have enough resources and organizations to vaccinate quickly.

Finally, after 2021, uncertainty will prevail. There are concerns that the new strain will reduce the control capacity of the vaccine, which will once again require learning how to manage the vaccine, as well as another risk at the end of 2021 and 2022: if the virus is not under global control, fear will continue to accompany us. When rich countries are vaccinated, solidarity with third countries must be restored. It hasn’t been mentioned yet, but everything will come.