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The “X” Factor

The X-Factor has a rather ominous ring to it. It harkens to science fiction movies populated with alien beings and mutant viruses… and worse.

According to however, the X-Factor is “a circumstance, quality, or person that has a strong but unpredictable influence.” Sounds a lot more tame.

But we’re all experiencing an X-Factor. Just one year ago the economy was cruising right along – stronger than it had been in years, or even decades. Unemployment was lower than it had been in nearly half a century.

Then Mr. Covid came a-knocking.

The quarantine, the shutdown – whatever you want to call it – it hit, not only the U.S. economy, but the world economy. And it hit everyone right between the eyes. And hit them hard. No one was ready for that one.

Seemingly overnight the economy was in the dumpster, unemployment soared, businesses closed (many permanently) and we were seeing something rarely seen in America since World War II – empty shelves in supermarkets. Regardless of your economic status, suddenly you couldn’t find toilet paper. All at once schools closed, people started working from home, Zoom took on a whole new meaning, and overnight “social distancing” replaced “hug a friend.”

That is the 21st Century version of the X-Factor. Then the experts started to weigh in.

Work from home will be the new norm. Our kids’ education will change forever. Artificial Intelligence will take over everything. Etc. Etc. Etc.

No one was prepared for the Covid X-Factor. It’s rare that anyone is. But the survivors will be the ones who will adapt, who will change, who will be able to pivot – almost at moment’s notice. And most predictions by the so-called experts will be wrong.

“For violent fires soon burn out themselves; small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.”

― William Shakespeare

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