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We have a new president, a vaccine for the virus, tanking tech stocks (aka rotation) and seriously gorgeous weather

Cycles move so quickly these days (thank you Todd).

+ After I spent all weekend studying pandemics and plagues (and figuring my future), Pfizer announces a covid vaccine with a miraculous  90% effectiveness. (More below).

+ My “stay-at-home” tech stocks promptly tank big-time because, with the vaccine, no one will work from home. They’ll all return to the office. Of course, some will. Some won’t. The exploding technology of remoteness won’t go away. I love stocks like Zoom, TelaDoc, DocuSign, Roku, Trade Desk (TTY), PTON, and Amazon, which are now cheaper.

I’m not going crazy looking at all the money I’ve “lost” today and yesterday because I made” more last week.

This chart tells all. It compares technology stocks (through Vanguard’s VGT ETF) with the S&P500, courtesy VTI (Vanguard’s total market ETF, which mirrors the S&P500). I recommend VGT for your kids. We’re up more technology this year.

+ Biden becomes president. The country erupts in street dancing and picnicking in Central Park’ s Sheep Meadow yesterday.


Photo by Ed Sonderling

Everyone feels great. I feel great. Suddenly my feelings about returning to New York City return and I play Taylor Swift’s wonderful ode to the city, Welcome to New York. Enjoy.

The world celebrated with us. This is from Australia, and wonderful. Enjoy.

I spent the weekend reading Christakis’ brilliant book¬†

Throughout history, three fates have affected mankind — war, famine and plague. Of the three, plague does the most damage – by far. Christakis ends his book:

Microbes have shaped our evolutionary trajectory since the origin of our species. Epidemics have done so for many thousands of years. Like the myth of Apollo’s arrows, they have been a part of our story all along. We have outlived them before, using the biological and social tools at our disposal. Life will return to normal. Plagues always end. And, like plagues, hope is an enduring part of the human condition.

Buy the book here.

Hours after I finished the book, Pfizer announces the vaccine. The New York Times runs a piece, “Pfizer‚Äôs Covid Vaccine: 11 Things You Need to Know.”¬†Here are few excerpts:

+ One thing remained clear: The vaccine will not come in time to rescue the world from the next several months, when the virus will take many more lives unless the public takes more stringent public health measures.

+ What did these scientists find out? In July, Pfizer and BioNTech initiated a late-stage clinical trial on a coronavirus vaccine. Half of the people got the vaccine, while the other half got a placebo of salt water. The companies then waited for people to get sick to determine if the vaccine offered any protection.

+ So far, 94 participants out of nearly 44,000 have gotten sick with Covid-19. An independent board of experts looked at how many of those people got the vaccine, and how many got the placebo. That early analysis suggests the vaccine is over 90 percent effective.

+ Is that a good result? It is. The Food and Drug Administration had set a bar of 50 percent efficacy for vaccine makers who wanted to submit their candidates for emergency authorization. If the preliminary results from Pfizer and BioNTech bear out – and accurately reflect how the vaccine will work in the real world – then it’s far more protective than that.

To get a sense of how good these results are, it’s worth considering licensed vaccines that people regularly receive. On the low end, influenza vaccines are 40 to 60 percent effective at best, because the influenza virus keeps evolving into new forms year after year. By contrast, two doses of the measles vaccine are 97 percent effective.

+ Can we stop wearing masks now? Please don’t. The coronavirus is raging across the country, and public health experts have said that Americans need to be prepared for a very tough winter.

Even if a vaccine is authorized within months, it will initially only be available to a sliver of the American public. Most health officials think an effective vaccine won’t be available to anyone who wants it until well into next year. Even then, there is still no data about whether a vaccine will stop asymptomatic spread of the virus, or the extent to which it will prevent people from developing severe Covid-19.

Most experts say even when a vaccine is widely available, additional measures like masks will still be necessary until the public health threat has subsided.

“This will not replace hygienic measures – it will be an adjunct to hygienic measures,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the F.D.A.’s vaccine advisory panel. “You owe it to others to make sure you wear a mask.”

That’s it. You can read the full piece here.

This is Zoe, my grandchild


My daughter Claire asked Zoe if she’d like to be President?

Zoe answered, “Let’s do it!”

Zoe is 3.

Mark your calendar for January 20, 2061, Zoe’s Inauguration.

You can’t make this up.

Rudy Giuliani staged a purportedly major press conference at a Philadelphia landscaping business, called Four Seasons Total Landscaping, which was situated between a crematorium and sex shop.

Apparently Rudy’s people booked the wrong Four Seasons.

My weekend videos

I posted these videos on the weekend just after the election had been called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I believe some of you didn’t see them.¬†Here are three beautiful video clips.

Here’s the chairman of the board in action. This guy is good. And the song even better. Follow the bouncing ball to sing-a-long.

Earlier this year, with the pandemic raging, musicians from the New York Philharmonic from the safety of their own homes played their roles in Ravel’s iconic Bolero. The result will bring tears to your eyes.

Stay safe. Stay well. Wear a mask. Stay distant. The virus is worse than ever. Enjoy the celebrations carefully. — Harry Newton