After a long, wretched year that few of us could have imagined, light at the end of the tunnel is visible. As of mid-February, more than 40 million Americans had received at least a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The rollout has been plagued by supply chain disruptions and bureaucratic bungling. Slowly but surely, however, it is happening. President Biden says that by the end of July there will be 600 million doses, enough for 300 million Americans, or virtually every American who wants it. For folks over 50 years old, the most vulnerable population, that day should arrive sometime in May.

Take a look back at the startling changes we experienced last March. All the so-called rites of spring—March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day—suddenly vanished.

The road to normalcy remains unclear. One analyst at J.P. Morgan argues that, for all intents and purposes, this will mostly be over by April.

I doubt it. But the stock market isn’t the only thing exhibiting animal spirits in anticipation of the end of the pandemic life we have come to know. A quick glance at hotel bookings for this fall reveals Americans are hankering to get out of their homes and go somewhere. Those restaurants that managed to survive are also likely to enjoy a well-deserved boomlet of sorts.

Theme parks, cinemas and theaters are going to reopen, although it’s likely that a significant segment of the population will remain reluctant to pack themselves like sardines into such venues. What happens to business travel remains to be seen.

Most advisors I speak with say they were already working at home before the pandemic began and say their business has barely skipped a beat since last March. However, experts believe that working in an office ultimately spawns more creative energy, so how this plays out is another question mark.

On a macro level, certain trends that were underway before the pandemic are likely to accelerate in the next decade. Joe Davis, Vanguard’s chief economist, says the bioscience industry is seeing the same kind of big transformation that information technology did in the 1990s. Serious advances in health-care science are likely to spring from the billions of dollars poured into vaccine development, so something good hopefully will come out of the last miserable 12 months.

Davis, incidentally, will be one of many illuminating speakers at our Advisor Growth Summit on March 25-26. See you there.  

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