June 12 2020


The entire world is tired. Families have been double-jobing with their kids at home. White-collar workers have their eyes peeling from their 10-hour of Zoom per day. Blue-collar workforce is groping in the dark for if-or-when their help would be needed again. In the meantime, anger, stress, or delusion about the pandemic situation are palpable. We are all tired.

There are of course 50 shades of grey in this tiredness, you could be tired-poor, tired-wealthy, tired-sad or tired-happy, but everybody needs a break. One thing we know is that statistically the virus has killed predominantly people over 65 years old – 71% as per 14Apr20 data from NYC Health – and those with pre-existing conditions, with some understanding overlap between the two.

Well, instead of locking down the entire economy, wouldn’t it be preferable only to better protect those at higher risk of death? In the 2010 US census, the 62-years-and-over represented 16% of the total population. Wouldn’t it be more effective to focus on these as opposed to shutting down the entire country?

In the re-opening measures, it is surprising that very little age-based approach has been laid out. If any, they go the opposite way of what we know about the virus. In Chinese Beijing for instance, higher grade students were allowed to go back to school in May, while grades between 1 and 3 are only returning in the course of June. It takes for granted that younger children are the weaker, while indeed they are not in the view of covid19.

Fears of an uptick in contaminations are justified. As long as no vaccine is available, covid19 kills 3x more than the common flu, with rates up to 6x in the US at 5.6%. However, the political risk of being seen as an elderly basher is misplaced. Elderly are a dear part of our economy, social fabric, and families, and it is for their own good that we would protect them. It is a matter of survival and mental sanity for the other 80%+ of the population to get back to their business now.

360 Advisory – Markets