Though this Herman Trend Alert highlights what is going on in the United States, much the same could be said for other developed countries around the globe.
(For my subscribers who would seek to make this message political, it is not intended to be. I have lived most of my life based on science and you may disagree with my opinions, but not with the science. The problem is that through social media, many of us believe that we may not trust the science.)
Finally, a National Response
With science telling us unequivocally that the way to economic recovery is to vaccinate everyone, it was not surprising to see the US President Biden taking action. He has issued a mandate to employers to vaccinate or test all employees in companies with 100 or more employees.
Most employers who have not yet required vaccines are grateful; this executive order allows them to get their people back into the workplace safely. Raising the percentage of people vaccinated and giving boosters will reduce the number of daily COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the US.
Employers and Employees Still Reluctant, But . . .
With the advent of the fourth wave of COVID infections in the US, some employers decided to postpone returning their employees to their workplaces---especially in states where there are low vaccination rates and high rates of infection and hospitalizations. Many science-believing employers see that higher vaccination rates will result in lower rates of infection and higher worker productivity.
Some of the intended and positive consequences of vaccination mandates include employees feeling less stressed and more secure about returning to their workplaces. Ultimately, this lower level of stress and greater sense of security will result in more employees working and higher productivity. Plus, once we get more people into jobs and being constructive, that will have a very positive effect on the national economy.
Attitudes about Returning to Congregate Workspaces
There is no doubt that the Pandemic has changed us. I have written entire Herman Trend Alerts about the high percentage of folks who want to work remotely and others who are shifting careers as the result of reassessing their values. Many employees are now making decisions about where they will work based on their values and attitudes.
Delta and Other Variants
With an extensive Greek alphabet soup of SARS COV2 variants (and many as yet unnamed) already proliferating, there are 25 different variants of concern or being monitored by the World Health Organization. Epidemiologists assess the infectiousness of a variant by looking at how many people the average infected person will make sick. For the Alpha version of SARS-CoV-2, the number of people was 2 to 3; for Delta, it is 6 to 7 people.
So, the fact that almost all the COVID cases in US hospitals today are connected to the Delta variant should give us something to think about. In August. The health department in Israel sounded the alarm about a new Delta variant (AY3) that was responsible for 50,000 active cases of COVID, up from 200 cases a month earlier. Then there's the fact that the Mu variant seems to be more resistant to antibodies. . .
Vaccines Holding and Boosters, Too
The latest research has demonstrated that for most people, the vaccines are indeed doing their jobs. Over 90 percent of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US have not been vaccinated. Those findings prompted the US president's decision to get more serious about getting everyone vaccinated.
Meanwhile, vaccine makers are busy working on new iterations of the COVID-19 vaccine customized to the Beta and Delta variants. On top of that in the US, people who are immune compromised are already being given booster shots to help their bolster their immune response. Eventually, all US citizens will be offered boosters, depending on which vaccine they were given originally.
SARS-CoV-2 is Here to Stay
As I have said so many times before, SARS-CoV-2 is not the last infection we will witness. However, here's the good news: researchers believe that widespread vaccination could help transform COVID-19 into a seasonal annoyance, rather than the public health catastrophe with which the world is still struggling.
© Copyright 1998-2021 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved. From 'The Herman Trend Alert,' by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com
The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.