United States COVID Scenarios, January 2022

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The Millennium Project

Lively and extensive draft versions of a mixed, a pessimistic, and an optimistic scenario, each with advice for Red Cross preparedness.


  1. America Endures by Jerome C. Glenn (MP) with Jay Herson (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) describes stretched disaster personnel, many desperate people, more than 400,000 deaths, food shortages, and the disinformation” infodemic.” But “the new administration and Congress initiate a series of national recovery acts” to reduce unemployment and increase business recovery, and established the National Service Corps.  National, state, and local resources are now being coordinated for testing, contact tracing, treatment, and PPE.  Also considers vaccinations (only 55% of the public vaccinated as of 1/1/22), virus testing with quick saliva tests on a $1/test paper strip, antibody testing, improved contact tracing, better treatments to lessen the hospital load, negative economic impacts, the second wave of infections in lower income countries, and international collaboration.
  2. Depression, Hubris and Discord by Theodore J. Gordon (MP) with Elizabeth Florescu (MP) and Alfred Watkins (Chair, Global Solutions Summit) describes the inability to organize a decisive response, unemployment at over 10%, continued loss of jobs and businesses, 500,000 deaths (plus hundreds of thousands more from indirect consequences), failing pension funds, rising defaults on corporate and municipal bonds, increasing evictions and homelessness, rising hunger, violent civil conflict, snake oil salesmen everywhere, and the rise in the stock market while GDP stayed at record lows.
  3. Things Went Right by Paul Saffo (Stanford University) and Banning Garrett (Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils) notes an outbreak of common sense at all levels of society, coordination at all levels of government, full participation of an engaged public, the new administration drawing on the work of experts, growing social cohesion, shunning of virus skeptics and anti-vaxxers, an orally-administered vaccine, redesigned restaurant and entertainment venues, the shift to remote work for many white-collar workers, antibody testing and immunity more effective than expected, improved contact tracing, a series of trillion-dollar pandemic relief measures, minimal mutations of COVID-19, and globally collective steps to prepare for the next outbreak and address climate change.