Welcoming in 2021, the Year of the Vaccine

Happy New Year! I planned to write a newsletter column about enterprise servicing and investment priorities, but decided to write about innovation and our shared goals as humanity. DMG’s February newsletter will contain the results of the annual survey and the implication of the findings for enterprises.

Awe Inspiring Change and Goodness

2021 started off quietly, with many of us welcoming in the new year from the safety of our homes, but this didn’t last long. The world is undergoing change at an awe-inspiring pace. The past 12 months have been amazing; a period in which the world has seen the best in mankind. When faced with a previously unknown and highly contagious virus that left death and hardship in its wake, healthcare workers, first responders, package delivery people and many others stood up and confronted the illness head-on to be there for others in need. Their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way to help others, was a demonstration of selflessness and the sheer goodness of people, and too many of these brave and dedicated workers paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

At the same time as the pandemic was wreaking havoc in one country after another, or maybe because of it, citizens and companies throughout the US and in other countries started to face up to the need to be more socially responsible. This encompasses not only activism and charitable and humanitarian works, but also people paying more attention to words spoken and actions taken in order to do what is right. While the work has just begun, a foundation has been established for what will hopefully lead to a new understanding and societal changes.

Welcoming a Vaccine

The development of vaccines to combat COVID-19 in less time than it generally takes companies to begin their research process is a demonstration of scientific ingenuity and commitment. While the more cynical among us may focus on the financial windfall for the companies that make the vaccine, it doesn’t lessen the contributions they will make in eradicating a horrible illness that has disrupted life as we knew it. 

The second chapter in the vaccine story is to distribute and inoculate the world’s population. DMG hopes that the impediments to the roll-out process will be quickly addressed so that the vaccines can reach the people it was designed to protect. (While it is a challenge for each country to distribute and vaccinate their populations at scale, it is basically a multi-dimensional distribution and optimization challenge for which there are proven algorithms and systems.) While the world overcame the pandemic of 1918 without a vaccine, if people work together and cooperate for the benefit of society as a whole, regardless of our various opinions and beliefs, COVID-19 can be contained much more quickly. 

What’s Next

The next 12 months are expected to be even more remarkable than the past year, although in different ways. The pace of medical and technological innovation in the past year is expected to be surpassed as the world pulls together to eradicate the previously unstoppable pandemic. Advancements in the world of life sciences, invigorated by the lessons learned from the rapid development and approval of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine, has the potential to bolster the entire scientific and medical community. Consider the good that can come from companies and governments applying the same resources and sense of urgency to find cures for many other diseases. It’s pretty amazing what happens when people work together for the common good, a lesson that all of us should take away from the pandemic.