Lazily, I did not publish weekly thoughts for the past two! It was August, after all, and many of us typically take a few weeks off during August. Some countries take the entire month off…during normal times, that is.
These still are unusual times, however. August 2020 brought us some unfortunately usual events including two hurricanes, Marco and Laura, and major wildfires in California, events of the type which normally occur annually between August and October, along with the usual quadrennial events of two presidential nomination conventions.
The unusual includes continued Covid-19 complications across the country and continuing civil unrest in major cities, which seem oddly interconnected. Both are exacerbated by the police shootings, most recently of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin followed by the shooting of two Kenosha protesters allegedly by a 17-year-old boy. All was caught on video and posted and replayed millions of times.
Whereas many in the service sectors of our economy are facing tough times, those of us in the insurance professions are finding it difficult to keep up with the pace. Our consulting practice has been as busy or more so than could have been expected back in March when the lockdowns commenced. The commercial insurance marketplace remains severely restricted due to both insurable loss events and the continued uncertainty in the political economy. Hopefully as we move forward into the fall, past Labor Day this weekend, we will see some certainty emerge. Covid-19 will either re-surge into the widely predicted second wave, or maybe not. Dependent upon whether or not Covid-19 is contained is the future of the commercial real estate market with maybe the return to office life or continued remote work, to which many former office dwellers have successfully adapted. Likewise, the hospitality, entertainment and transportation, travel & leisure industries are dependent upon control and a return to normalcy.
The political conventions set forth the two presidential candidates (not counting Kanye), one of whom will emerge as the victor and lead us forth until 2025. Any way you look at it, it seems unlikely that we will ever return to life as it was in January 2020 and previously. Normal will return, although likely it will look and feel different, as we all continue to adjust to change.
“The only constant in life is change.” –Heraclitus
“It is not the most intellectual or the strongest species that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”—Leon C. Megginson