Benchmarks and uncertainty
The COVID-19 crisis has been exasperating in part due to contradictory information from experts and news sources. The latest focus on spikes in Arizona and Southern States. These areas share two important characteristics in the summer: high temperatures and people fleeing to indoor air conditioning. In addition, NYC authorities reported in May that most of its latest cases involved people who had self-isolated at home. The CDC is investigating. If these reports are verified, then the experts will have to reconsider prior recommendations that people stay indoors to prevent transmission of the virus – more uncertainty.
One tactic for clarifying and reducing uncertainties is to set related benchmarks. I’ve been applying this methodology throughout the crisis and economic lockdowns. An important benchmark will arrive next January and is based on millions of students going back to college in August. Most will live on/near campus, actively socialize, and return home in December for Christmas break. If the virus is still broadly circulating, then we should see increasing spikes in early January. This is not a prediction, but it is a benchmark that will help us clarify key uncertainties and test expert assertions and expectations – we’ll see.