Millions of Americans are terrified that the first pandemic in 100 years will mark a dramatic turning point in social interaction that might cause disruptive new changes in many aspects of society and the global economy. What they seem to be forgetting, in many cases, is that 50 million people died during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 - marking a global disaster on a much grander scale even than COVID-19 - and, afterward, nothing really changed.
This of course doesn't guarantee that there won't be serious long-term disruptions to certain industries - if not the entire economy - this time around. For all we know, Tyler Cowen's dystopian vision of a New York City where those without COVID-19 'immunity' are relegated to a kind of permanent underclass might come to pass. However, it certainly doesn't seem likely.
And according to thousands of armchair analysts tweeting out their views and dozens of more refined professionals sharing their outlook on CNBC, if there's any industry that's going to need a rethink, it's going to be travel and leisure.
Experts have raised the possibility that nobody will go on cruises anymore, that the "one-meeting" business trip will become a thing of the past, and traveling abroad for brief vacations might also become far less common.
But as valid as they seem, there's also reason to believe these concerns might be misplaced.
To wit: as BI notes, despite the staggering negligence of management and maddening 14-day quarantines endured by passengers - not to mention the dozens who have died and hundreds who have been sickened - reservations on American cruise lines have actually climbed for 2021.
Even with at least one major cruise line facing a criminal investigation, BI said that over the past 45 days, the cruise booking site CruiseCompete.com saw a 40% increase in its bookings for 2021 over its 2019 bookings.
For those wondering why Americans might want to go on a cruise after all of this, we have two ideas: 1) lower prices, 2) many Americans are idiots (as evidenced by the 'Covidiots'. Those people have parents).
Shortly after the report was published, Morgan Stanley's Mike Wilson appeared on CNBC to explain his bank's revised outlook, and emphasized the varying "best, base, and worst"-cases. When he got to the "best" case, he noted that there's still reason to believe that the 'best case' scenario might actually play out, and the massive fiscal stimulus coincides with a natural strong rebound to send the global economy into growth overdrive.
Here's one more reason to support that thesis - and a 3,250 2020 price target.