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The Paradigm Shift Despite Divided Opinions

02/14/2022

Americans are clearly divided on how they think the U.S. should handle the pandemic, according to recent polling by Axios-Ipsos. The Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index reported that:

  • 21% of people believe the U.S. should open and return to life without restrictions, 29% believe the U.S. should move toward opening with some precautions, 23% think the U.S. should mostly keep COVID-19 precautions in place, and 21% think we should increase mask and vaccine requirements.
  • Half of respondents support businesses that require proof of vaccination before entering.

The lack of consensus could make policymakers’ decisions even more challenging as they determine how to move the country forward. Yet, HilltopSecurities Head of Municipal Research and Analytics Tom Kozlik says the COVID-19 paradigm is shifting and it impacts investors, too.

“Some may have thought that investors and strategists were only paying attention to the Fed in January, and that might have been partly true to a degree. But, they have also been watching policy makers’ opinions shift about how to combat the virus,” said Kozlik in his Feb. 7 commentary.

Kozlik also noted that while COVID-19 related deaths are still increasing, the upward trend won’t likely influence new policy that could require additional waves of shutdowns that would hinder economic activity.

“There is a paradigm shift in how investors, policymakers, and health experts are seeing COVID-19 as the number of cases from the fifth Omicron wave continue to fall. How is the economy likely to react in the midst of the sixth or seventh wave? Currently there is no way to know, because there is no way to know how severe the next wave or any economic disruption may in fact be,” said Kozlik. “What we know is that for now, there is going to be a different version of normal life that society will begin to chart as this new era of COVID begins.”

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