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Welcome to the first 2021 edition of The Nett Report. Last year, given the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis, we began publishing this report to provide our clients and friends with new perspectives and insights in hopes of stimulating creative thinking during that challenging period of time. Well, the challenges continue, and so does The Nett Report. Feel free to share with friends! Links to the 2020 reports can be found here.


An Optimistic Quote for 2021

"When it rains, look for rainbows; when it's dark, look for stars."

Oscar Wilde

Some changes to The Nett Report

Happy New Year! And here’s to a healthy and productive 2021 for all our readers. While we will continue to provide information about the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on all of us, in 2021 The Nett Report coverage will expand to include information about other issues that affect us nationally and internationally. Primary among those will be the climate pandemic, as it affects health, global security, and our economic well-being, along with other information and insights of broad interest.

Covid-19 Is Still Here

When will we go back to normal? What readers thought in August, what we know now

Regular readers will remember that in the June 26, 2020, issue, we reported on New York Times' interviews with 511 epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists to learn when they might expect to resume a range of typical activities. In the August 21, 2020, issue we reported on the results of a reader survey asking when would life return to normal:

  • 23% - by the end of 2020 or the first half of 2021.
  • 44% - by the second half of 2021.
  • 33% - thought it would take longer, if ever.

The top three actions required to bring us back to normal were:

  • 52% - Leadership or political changes.
  • 47% - Vaccine.
  • 28% - Personal actions.

Those top three actions are largely in play. So what do we think now? A January 4, 2021, story in the Washington Post reports what eight experts predict. Most say it will be the end of this year or sometime next year, just as our readers predicted last August.

The societal response to a pandemic, the 1918 flu compared with Covid-19

According to the January 4, 2020, edition of Fortune’s CEO Daily, the 1918 flu pandemic “laid the groundwork for the Roaring ‘20s ... and prohibition quickly gave way to a decade-long desire to party. Gin and short dresses defeated dour concern with the world’s problems … autos on the road tripled during the decade; radio sales grew more than 1000%; and rayon and refrigerators saw comparable action … Today’s economy seems similarly poised. Virtually every technology trend accelerated during the pandemic, and most business leaders seem to believe the curves will continue to bend upward.” The story says it might be different this time, given the following three differences:

  • The pandemic exacerbated fault lines in our society along lines of race, gender and education.
  • The climate crisis became more apparent, in both business and life.
  • Geopolitics has grown precarious, whether it's a Russian cyberattack or tensions with China.

The article predicts that “business leaders are going to find themselves increasingly and inescapably tied up in all three issues as the decade unfolds.

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More Contagious Variants, Vaccines and More

Why is the new Covid-19 variant more contagious?

A story in the January  66, 2021, Washington Post’s Coronavirus Update newsletter reports that a new variant of Covid-19 is more contagious for two reasons:

  • It produces more viral load in the upper respiratory tract, which means there's more virus available to spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or even just breathes.
  • The variant also has a mutation that scientists say could help the virus attach to cells.

The Economist on January 2, 2021, said this is to be expected, and that Covid-19 is “following the evolutionary rule book” for viruses. New variants are typically optimized for spreading.

4,400 adverse events reported in US after receiving Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

A story in HealthWorld.com reports that “nearly 4,400 adverse events were reported after people received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the US, with 21 cases determined to be anaphylaxis.” The story references a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additional information needs to be reported to put this into context.

U.S. reports a shortage of adoptable pets

So many people are adopting animals during the pandemic that shelters are running out, according to a Washington Post story on January 6, 2021. Shelters and humane rescue groups are seeing double the normal demand. The shelters thought adoptions would go down as people tried to conserve their dollars during the pandemic, but the opposite has happened.

Green passports and digital records being used to prove vaccinations

Israel has unveiled a green passport according to Fortune in a January 6, 2021, story “that will allow vaccinated people to do things like attend mass gatherings and sporting events. The passports will also likely be used by hotels, malls and restaurants'" On December 28, 2020, Bloomberg reported that "in Los Angeles County, vaccine recipients are getting a digital record, stored on their smartphones, that could end up being used for entrance to concerts or flights.” Airlines are reported to be “keen on the idea.”



Looking Back to 2020 and Forward to 2021

How about some fun stories to start the year?

In a look back at 2020, Fortune on December 31, 2020, published a story titled “20 things that went strangely, wonderfully right in 2020.” From “murder hornets weren’t as murderous as feared” to the Mandalorian to “the world didn’t end,” it’s both a fun and thoughtful read. Not to be outdone, Maxar News Bureau on December 10, 2020, posted a story on the biggest events seen from space in 2020. Some cool imagery if you like photos taken from satellites.

The science stories likely to make headlines in 2021

Science News on December 31, 2020, went in another direction, looking forward to the science stories likely to make headlines in 2021. From a new Mars rover to protecting high seas biodiversity to a new cancer drug, read the stories emerging this year that scientists see as important.



Nettleton Strategies - Helping You Navigate the Big Reset

This is a challenging time for all of us, in a way we have never experienced before. Here are some things you can do to move forward.

Take this time to imagine your future. We encourage you to imagine a post-coronavirus future when you can begin to realize your dreams in a sustainable way.

Assess your current and future status. At Nettleton Strategies, our philosophy has always been that we need to know two things to find solutions and move forward:

  • A clear understanding of the status of the current situation.
  • A clear vision of how you want your world to be in the future.

With those two benchmarks, you can create a path from your current status to the future imagined status, eliminating the obstacles and identifying processes and resources needed to reach the future state.

Let Nettleton Strategies help! We long ago discarded our flip charts and have facilitated client needs using digital tools. Now we have successfully facilitated client strategy sessions on Zoom. We can do the same for you! Let us help you: 

  • Clarify your unique value proposition as an organization.
  • Identify clear goals that are measurable,
  • Align what you do with available funding.
  • Determine who should be responsible for next steps
  • Help you to emulate best practices in your field

If you would like help navigating your way forward, contact us to learn more about how we can help!

Carl Nettleton is an  award-winning writer acclaimed speaker, facilitator, and a subject- matter expert regarding water, climate, sustainability, the ocean, and binational U.S. Mexico border affairs. Founded in 2007, Nettleton Strategies is a trusted source of analysis and advice on issues at the forefront of public policy, business and the environment.





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Nettleton Strategies

P.O. Box 22971
San Diego, CA 92192-2971
+1 858-353-5489



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