It has now been a little over a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) official declared COVID-19 a global pandemic which subsequently sent business, the economy, and public health into a tailspin. For a while, things looked bleak as stay at home orders were issued and everyone began working from home. As we look back over the past year, things have certainly changed, many of them most likely forever. But, as the vaccine continues to rollout and case counts continue to drop, hope of getting back to normal is beginning to emerge on the horizon ahead and for that we are all grateful. Although for most of us, a new normal will never have things the same as they were, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the key statistics – both from a health and a financial standpoint – that emerged over the past year.
- On March 10th of 2020, 38 people had died of COVID-19. Since then, over 500,000 U.S citizens have died from the virus, over 2.5 million people have died worldwide, and over 115 million people have had COVID-19, as of March 10th
- A year ago at this time, a vaccine didn’t exist. The first COVID vaccine was given on December 14th, 2020. Since that date, 1 in 4 US adults has received the vaccine and more than 345 million doses have been administered across the world in 127 countries as of March 13th, 2021.
- The government stepped in to help provide support to American citizens. As of this writing, more than $5 trillion has been spent. For reference, Obama’s stimulus plan following the great recession provided $840 billion in support.
- In February of 2020, the US unemployment rate rose to a high of 14.8%. Last month, 379,000 jobs were added bringing the total unemployment rate in the US down to 9.5%. In 2009, the unemployment rates peak was 10%, for comparison. With that said, some companies, mostly those who are technology focused hired like crazy. In 2020 Amazon was bringing on an average of 1,400 new workers a day, adding over 427,000 employees in 10 months and bringing their total number employees to 1.2 million (not bad for a company that started out selling only books).
- From February 14th to March 23rd the S&P 500 fell over 30%. Since the lows of March 23rd, 2020 through March 12, 2021 the S&P 500 has risen over 70%
All of these statistics are presented politics aside. Where we go from here is yet to be decided. But as the vaccine continues to rollout and the country begins to open, we feel that 2021 is poised for growth with most economist projecting GDP to be over 4% in 2021. 2020 was a long year – our hope for 2021 is that we can all be a little nicer to each other, a little more forgiving, and to have much more face to face interactions towards the middle and into the end of the year because we certainly miss that around the office!
Source: Morning Brew Morning Newsletter