There has been plenty of good news the last few weeks regarding progress with COVID vaccine development. Early signs are promising, with big pharma massively starting to scale production and countries readying for delivery of vaccines to their population.
All in all the speed of vaccine development vs normal timeframes has been amazing. In an interesting article on the radio, it was explained this was driven by not only by the nearly unlimited funding nor the cut regulatory approval times, but importantly by the vast pool of people happy to be part of testing programmes… Even in pharma, it seems like this pandemic episode will have re-written benchmarks for delivery timeframes.
… New technology and ways of thinking seems to have a habit of developing in times of great challenge, change and upheaval… it also appears to be no different this time around too, as with these new vaccines new mRNA technology/research has been deployed. This development offers hope not just for COVID but also for other ailments, including types of cancer. It is a potentially very exciting development indeed.
Of course, we are not quite there yet, and it could be 2022 before we see public mass vaccination programmes… and even then the virus could mutate… but it is a good start, good news and some needed cheer.
Economically, the pace of new dramatic headlines seems to have slowed somewhat. More on homeworking, online shopping, the exodus from cities are still there, together of course with the financial stress for many, which continues.
However, more subtle fundamental changes are also starting.
Bill Gates, who spends his time (and money) thinking and investing into the future (equally with Melinda Gates I should add), caught the headlines with his view on business travel… only 50% of business travel (and only 70% of office life) will return.
We may indeed be living in the new normal today and adapting to this new way of working now may be critical for the future. Those that can adapt will strengthen, whilst those expecting a return to the world of 2019 less so… it is time to move on, be flexible and adapt it feels.
Key stories for this week
- UK’s poorest households saddled with debt as benefit payment errors soar during pandemic
- Contactless debit card payments hit record high
- Young people hit hardest by national lockdown
- Three-in-ten households facing hardship following pandemic income impact
- Central London rents fall 15% while rural areas rise as city dwellers seek more space
- GenZ most reliant on credit as UK population continues to struggle financially
- Sub-prime credit card applications jump 143%
Have a good weekend everyone… @chris_w_tweet