Over the past few months, the promising results of several vaccines and the accelerated approvals and roll-outs given to them have injected some much-needed optimism for the year ahead. Finally, a return to pre-2020 social living appears to be on the horizon.
However, governments are still cautioning that we are sometime away from completely controlling the pandemic – the logistical challenges of vaccine manufacture and delivery to a sizable percentage of the population (and globally) remains to be sorted out. At the same time, for many countries across the world, 2021 is beginning the same way 2020 has started: with a surge of infections and a return to containment measures. The end of the pandemic is in sight, but what is in store is also likely to be a slow and arduous recovery process, with some uncertainties along the way.
Businesses and policymakers will be planning ahead to support and prepare for the eventual return to normalcy, optimistically in the latter half of 2021, but how relevant are pre-pandemic, pre-2020 reference points in envisioning the consumer and economic scenario post-Covid?