I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get jabbed. Oh, I am sure it will hurt, whichever one I get. And I don't expect that I will want to go do Mad Money that night. But then again, I may be so elated that perhaps it could be just a sensational day, one worth celebrating.
When I first started predicting that we could have a massive pandemic that would not be able to be stopped by any shot or medicine, I was setting in for a scared siege. I read the literature, I listened to dozens of people smarter than me and I figure that no vaccine would be available for, at the quickest, a year and a half. It took four years to develop a mumps vaccine and as someone who had mumps I can tell you that it didn't seem all that mysterious.
But this thing? We didn't know how you could get it. We focused on surfaces and handshakes, and not the aerosol spray from your mouth.
We had no coherent strategy and we had no idea what worked.
In the end, out of desperation, the government created a non-political initiative, Operation Warp Speed that spread billions of dollars to drug companies that wanted to beat this darned thing.
I know that we are in a cynical, fearful moment where much seems to be going wrong. So many are out of work. So many institutions are closing. Democrats and Republicans can't seem to agree on anything even when Treasury Secretary Mnuchin suggests giving households $600 per person. That could at least provide a Christmas tied over until we get closer to the vaccine, along with a boost in the amount of unemployment insurance and some help for small business.
Look I think it should be more than that and I think it should be contingent entirely on licking the disease. You have to take the vaccine to get the benefits.
My view, I know, will not prevail. But the sooner that we get jabbed the more likely the economy can spring back to life.
But let's not get too deep in the woods. What matters is that the impossible is going on right before our eyes. The amazing scientists at drug companies like Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) weren't deterred by those who said that it couldn't be done any time soon. They were determined to get it done fast and they have.
I know that the Pfizer vaccine has cold requirements that could make it onerous to produce while the Moderna may be easier to handle but in shorter supply. I think the surprise will come from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) . I was concerned that we wouldn't hear any news until the middle of the first quarter from a company that I think has the possibility of producing a billion vaccines given that it has partnered with Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) even as it was far from being tested. Now I think that JNJ is well ahead of schedule because the trials are reportedly going so well given that Covid's all over the place. That grim scenario, nationwide, allows the company to assess who gets it and who doesn't in pretty rapid fashion.
I think we are now in a position to believe that we could have what a UK medical publication, Greenmantle, is calling a vaccine glut in the developed world by mid first quarter. That's simply astounding and it isn't haled nearly enough given how we were told how impossible that would be.
Which leads me to make a bold prediction. Last February my wife threw me a dynamite birthday party. The only downer moment? When I shocked everyone and said this was it, the last time we would be having fun because of the pandemic.
Now, don't know if she will throw me another rager. But I want to shock people again and predict that because of science we will be on the cusp of having fun again. The whole thing is surreal. I don't want to get too far ahead of my skis but as crazy as it seemed back then that we could have a scourge that could kill tens of thousands of our own people, it will be even more amazing when the tyranny of Covid ends just like that because of companies that typically we do nothing but excoriate because of price gauging. But now we should be thanking for all they've done to beat Covid-19.