Prediction: the sooner vaccines help us get a real handle on Covid, the more like the old normal the “new” normal will look.
Right now, it sounds like the best guess for the earliest possible hope of something resembling post-pandemic life is the second half of 2021. And that means the race is on to get the presidential transition done, the cabinet members in place, and new laws and regulations approved that will shape the recovery.
What follows won’t be exactly the same as before, of course, but this is — to employ a really overused turn of phrase — a truly unique opportunity to set up some channels for the tsunami of economic activity that will follow the practical end of the pandemic.
There’s probably not enough time, for example, to aggressively pursue antitrust cases against Big Tech. But the more that can be done to encourage a small-business-led recovery (not to mention some real competition or innovation in the tech industry), the better. Ditto infrastructure, health, and, above all, climate.
For practical purposes, the first six months of 2021 are likely to be defining for both the Biden presidency and the trajectory of the pandemic. Buckle up.