How bad is this version of Covid?
We don't really know yet but it seems to be more contagious but milder and that's actually a good thing in a VACCINATED population, as it promotes herd immunity (for those that don't die). The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 ravaged the planet yet today Influenza is what keeps us out of work for a few days and yes, some people still die but in 1933, scientists isolated the Influenza virus and began testing shots on soldiers and college students and they rolled out the vaccine in 1936 and by 1945 it was required to attend school (friggin' Democrats, right?).
We have learned to live with influenza and we'll have to learn to live with Covid too but, hopefully, we aren't going to take 37 years to immunize the population. They had an excuse back then – they had to invent it! Disposable syringes weren't even invented until the 50s so our parents in this picture are sharing their needles…
Anyway, 5 generations later the flu that killed 50M people (3% of the World's population at the time) now kills "just" 0.02%, 1/100th as many. The question for investors, however is what will happen to this generation of humans as we become exposed to the new variant? Yes, it's milder, but that doesn't mean we should run out and get it. There's not enough data to make a firm decision but it doesn't seem like it's going to be a market-killer – we'll simply have the same weakened economy for a little bit longer.
We can play these things strategically, of course. I mentioned MRNA on Friday and they are up another 10% this morning as the company announced they are working on a vaccine booster for Omicron. This is why we like them, they have proven their technology works, why did people dump them just because one flu had possibly run its course? There's always another one and this is already case in point.