As we count down the hours to November 3rd when we will know who becomes our next president, we are in the process of weighing which door to the future will open. Half of us will feel hope, either for a new beginning or a return to the longest period of economic growth experienced in our lifetime. The other half will fear a continuation of the surging coronavirus or a new level of economic uncertainty.
So that defines the two overriding issues in this election, doesn’t it? Coronavirus and the economy. We all hope the coronavirus ends and our nation’s economy is restored. The difference is how we think that will happen.
We have survived economic uncertainty many times over the years. Some of you experienced the stock market crash and Great Depression; most voters experienced the Great Recession of 2008. But none of us have experienced a health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
We thought it was under control in late spring, but then it grew even more deadly in the summer; and now, in spite of wishful thinking that the pandemic is behind us, the number of infections are rising to even higher levels than before. A vaccine is on the horizon, but as a practical matter, it probably will not be available to the general public until later in 2021. As far as getting our lives back to normal – however “normal” will be defined in the future – we may not see that until 2022 or beyond.
So which door to the future will it be, ladies and gentlemen – celebration or despair? Economic or physical health? Hope or fear? Whichever it is, the door will open next Tuesday, November 3.