Final COVID-19 Tracker 3-4-2022

Final COVID-19 Tracker 3-4-2022

March 07, 2022
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COVID-19 was not a hoax, but it was the world's first Social Media pandemic, where fear was spread in a way we have never seen before. Our goal with the COVID-19 Tracker was to provide a data driven piece to put the pandemic in perspective.

The information we presented was used by the White House, Congress, the press, educational institutions from universities to high schools, and of course, the Financial Advisor community. The reason we think it was so widely used was that we presented factual data in a way that helped minimize fear.

What this data has consistently shown since the beginning of the pandemic was that those most at risk were a small subset of the population. Those 65 years and older make up only 16.3% of the population, but have accounted for nearly 75% of all COVID-19 deaths as of 3/2/2022.* In our opinion, focusing resources on the most vulnerable individuals, instead of locking down the entire country, would have resulted in better outcomes from both a public health and economic perspective. As history looks back, we believe locking down the economy will be viewed as one of the most damaging public policy mistakes in world history.

The shutdowns destroyed supply chains, put millions out of work, hurt the young by eliminating in-person learning, damaged mental health, caused the delay of important screenings for other health problems, and led to a government spending spree of over $5 trillion. We are now dealing with the costs of those shutdowns and while we can't assess the long-term sociological problems, we do know that the economic data continues to improve. You can follow our weekly Recovery Tracker here.

The U.S. and other western countries have seen case counts from the Omicron wave of COVID-19 collapse over the past several weeks, and it now looks clear that the worst of this wave of the virus is behind us. As a result, and in conjunction with widespread population immunity due to vaccination and prior infection, restrictions are starting to be removed at a rapid rate around the world. It's important to remember that seasonality plays a big part in the spread of this virus, and cases could always rise once again, but for now it looks like the status quo of lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine passports, etc. over the past two years may be coming to an end.

The lagging effects of the draconian response to this pandemic will continue to be felt for years to come as will the long-term economic consequences from government spending and money printing. But it seems clear that confidence is returning, the pandemic is waning and the economy continues to recover. As a result, we have decided it's time to end the First Trust COVID-19 Tracker. This final Tracker is two pages. We hope you found our Tracker a port in the COVID-19 storm.

Click here to view the final report