Even more unpredictable: the odds and fears of 2021

Next year, the world will try to do what it failed to do in 2020: defeat the pandemic, return to economic growth, hold the Olympics and other major sports championships. Will it work?

The British magazine The Economist publishes a letter from the editor-in-chief of the collection “The World in 2021” Tom Standage. He recalls that the number 21 is traditionally associated with luck, risk, courage, and betting in the game. This combination of numbers is well suited to the year of uncertainty that is about to come.

The big prize at stake in this “casino” is controlling the pandemic. But the risks are much greater – for health, for the economy, and social stability. Therefore, it is worth paying special attention to several points.

Vaccines. Very soon, there will be quite a lot of them, and manufacturers will no longer have to be heroic, trying to give the world prevention and distributing their goods. Countries may start fighting for these drugs: who, when, and how much should get.

The recovery of the economy. It will start, but local outbreaks cannot be avoided. And then-again lockdowns and bans. The attraction of generosity to support most affected businesses is likely to become a thing of the past. Governments will only provide targeted assistance to those who have lost their jobs.

World order. The White House will have a new owner. Should we expect Joe Biden to restore world order? The Economist magazine believes that it would be possible to start with the Paris climate agreement and Iran’s nuclear deal.

USA and China. What British publicists don’t expect from Biden is that he will stop the trade war with Beijing. Therefore, tensions between the two countries will only grow. It is about geopolitics, but the big business will have a hard time in this confrontation.

High technology. Artificial intelligence and online services in 2020 developed rapidly due to the need to do everything remotely – to study, work, be treated, hold conferences, etc. Next year, this will either be even more or, on the contrary, the volume will decrease, as people will return offline again.

Less freedom. Although the general enthusiasm from the start of mass vaccination against coronavirus, the author of the article in The Economist does not exclude that the tourism volume will decrease. Moreover, people will prefer to travel to their own countries. Hotels and airlines again do not count the money. Universities that depend on international students will have a hard time. Cultural exchanges can also not be counted on much yet.

Climate change. The UN climate conference has moved to 2021 from 2020. Perhaps governments are using the crisis to develop a green economy and reduce harmful emissions.

Attempt to repeat. More precisely, to carry out all that had to be postponed in 2020. The Olympic Games in Tokyo are perhaps the most striking example. A large number of political meetings and economic forums also did not take place due to the pandemic. It is unlikely that everything will be held, but at least some part should take place.

Risk assessment. Perhaps the pandemic was a signal to politicians that they need to analyze where else to expect trouble. To deal at least with resistance to antibiotics and to stop their uncontrolled appointment and use.

The year will definitely be unpredictable, but this does not negate everyone’s chances of success in the next 365 days.

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