We're all placing bets on COVID-19 outcomes. The bets might be personal, they might involve our businesses, or our 401k accounts. We all want to know whether the COVID-19 emergency will fade away in a few months, or whether it will be disastrously disruptive for the next two years. If we had the answer we'd make more robust decisions and probably come out ahead (at least compared to everyone else).
But given the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., what's the information you need to populate your foresight framework? We suggest one answer to that question in the Foresight section in our COVID-19 External Brain.
Here's a screenshot of the layout of the Foresight section, with each heading pointing to relevant discussion, news stories, and more. We see them as key variables for understanding the future of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and by association the future of the economic and societal ramifications of the pandemic.
So where do we stand? Our 4/25 summary (last item in the list in the screenshot above) makes the following points:
When you put all of this together, the Foresight picture for COVID-19 in the U.S. seems murky indeed. The U.S. could get lucky, or we could be in for a bad summer and fall. The uncertainties surrounding the Foresight variables are large; in most cases, they're much larger than they should be at this point in the pandemic.
The uncertainties will narrow, making it possible to make better bets. To do that, you need to be thinking about the U.S. response as a system, with these 10 (or so variables) making up that system (yes, one could put together a great systems diagram, but we haven't. It wouldn't add a lot of predictive value at this point, but it certainly could in the future).
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Our free weekly foresight video, prepared by Mark Trexler, Ph.D., environmental futures expert, assembles both good and bad news into a coherent status report of where the pandemic appears headed in the U.S.
Bonus: you'll get online access to our COVID-19 External Brain!