It’s fascinating to hear a great deal of rhetoric from government about rebooting the economy. As many know I do not believe that it will be as robust as many believe it will be. It’s not to say that consumers will not go back to their normal lives but most of the polls and research is beginning to show signs that not everyone is anxious to return to the office, commute back to work or even visit a mall.
Concerns versus Optimism
The challenge isn’t about whether or not we want to put this pandemic behind us. It’s more about what has happened as a result of the pandemic and how it has changed us. However, as mentioned in an OpEd you can mandate the public back to the workplace, but you can’t mandate them back to their old habits, especially if they still feel apprehensive.
This poll was completed in November as news of vaccines were being made. Quite simply some 53% of the public will be in the marketplace within the first three months of receiving the vaccine. Another 47% said that they will wait a period.
However while we need 70% of the population injected to achieve herd immunity, the economy needs almost 100% participation to recover anything less, even just a 5-10% reduction will not yield a recovery.
Not so fast say consumers
Recently officials have been playing with the idea that we could get away with a single injection. Of course health Canada has not given that permission. However with the lingering doubt and a new plan that differs from that of the pharmaceutical manufacturers. A change in plans just opens the door for more skepticism and doubt about protection from the virus. I believe the public globally would rather see this done right rather than in cowboy fashion.
Executing anything this important needs social responsibility behind it. There is no question that if I were the leader of a Country, State, Province or City I would be very worried about keeping the economy afloat.
I believe that besides trying to manage hospital capacity, the economy has also been extensively talked about.
To get to an end goal that see’s the public back at work and shopping and socializing as they did a year ago you need to be patient. This isn’t as easy as turning a light switch on and off. Besides we now have new habits and comfort levels that our health and wellbeing is safe. Time heals everything….but everything will be different.
George Minakakis is the CEO of Inception Retail Group and author of Last Retailer Standing and The Great Transition
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