10 Predictions about 2022

“Who among us knows what the future holds”, said the wise philosopher Paulie Walnuts. The answer is no one, but that doesn’t stop me from guessing. And any predication is often OBE (overtaken by events). Omicron variant was a concept none of us had thought about until November, and now it’s a mega (short-term?) threat, that hopefully recedes quickly.

But one thing we can all agree is the 20s have really sucked to date. No other way to put it. Nothing “roaring” about this century’s 20s.

Beginning in March 2020 our lives changed—it’s now almost 2 years ago. COVID devastated seniors and continues to claim lives, 800+k in the US alone and millions more throughout the world. It has impacted our economy and upset our societal equilibrium. And it is not “over” as we are in for another round of significantly accelerated cases at the least in the short term, and possibly accelerated hospitalizations and deaths. Omicron is the newest wild card. And it might not be the last. What Greek letter will follow?

As it relates to COVID, my plea to all is straightforward: please get vaccinated…..and boosted. Simply, we all are safer—people who I know and love & and strangers alike—if we accelerate vaccination. This is not a political or freedom issue, it’s a public health issue. There’s no disputing that those who are unvaccinated are FAR more vulnerable and put themselves (and others) in jeopardy. I understand that vaccination is a personal choice, yet there’s a ripple effect as those infected devastate a burnt-out healthcare industry, jam up our ICU units in hospitals and place even vaccinated folk at risk as well. When did we lose the idea of greater good and unity? To those unvaccinated, please just do it. Your risk of serious illness will greatly diminish if you do.

Moreover, we Americans make up a tiny % of the world’s population (4%). And like climate change, the pandemic is a world issue. The faster we help other less developed countries get vaccines the faster the pandemic will fade everywhere. But obviously vaccination at home is priority #1. The irony is that omicron is highly contagious and the medical thinking is that may accelerate us attaining herd immunity, unfortunately at the cost of lives of largely those who are unvaccinated.

So, for prediction purposes I will assume that after a winter surge that COVID fades and we indeed move into a somewhat more normal life with obvious continuing caution, but less overwhelming concern about the impact of COVID. That’s the best we can hope for.

If that’s the case, what lies ahead? Here’s where I can make predictions which I will clearly remind everybody about if they come true (but will stay silent if they don’t). But I think they are intelligent guesses. Here goes:

1. The economy will stabilize. Shortages will lessen. Unemployment will continue to decline (and it’s already back in the 4s so it’s not a big issue) and those who want to work will have jobs. We will emerge from bizzaro-land we have lived in, and some normalcy will again take hold. People leaving jobs (the Great Resignation) will slow.

2. Inflation will recede perhaps to a manageable 3-4% level. Gas prices will also flatten and level off in the high 2s per gallon.

3. COVID will fade by spring and merely become an ongoing “concern” but not a pervasive threat. Again, we will still be more cautious, but COVID will fade as the pervasive topic and concern. It will not go away however in the short (and maybe long) term. And alas non-vaccers will be the ones who get more seriously ill.

4. The Dems will strength their position. This is not a common prediction. Politically, common wisdom is that the party in charge takes their lumps in mid-term elections. Here’s where I differ as I think old rules don’t matter much going forward. If (and only if) #1-3 happen by summer, the current Administration and Dems at large, who are now, fairly or not, taking lumps for the current instability, may fare far better than expected if there’s a greater degree of stability. My guess is that the Democrats actually strengthen their position in the Senate and hold onto a small margin in the House. We’ll see. Perhaps some personal wishful thinking, but elections are held at a specific moment in time and the pubic psyche at that moment will weigh heavily in the results.

5. Major League Baseball won’t get their act together in time for an early April start, but once spring rolls around pressure for a solution to the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) issues will force a truncated season of 130-140 games. And no, the Yankees won’t win this year either, unless they have a mega-talent infusion post-CBA resolution.  

6. People will return to the physical workplace to a greater extent once COVID fades, though not in a 5 day/40-hour week configuration. Those days are over for many businesses. WFH is a real phenomenon that won’t fade. Every business will need to determine the right on-site/WFH balance. My 2 cents is that most employees largely prefer WFH and most employers favor a fuller return to the workplace. For the moment, employees have greater influence in the workplace, but that many not continue. As the Moody Blues say, it’s a question of balance.

7. Business travel will never return as it was. The necessity of a business trip will henceforth be questioned. Spending thousands of dollars for a short in-person meeting makes less sense than ever. Zoom/Microsoft Teams has become an integral part of communication. Some of the mega trade shows will continue to exist, but airlines and hotels can kiss a big portion of higher margin business trips goodbye.

8. Residential real estate will stabilize. The unstable economy has fueled a buying frenzy in some regions effecting prices. But as normalcy returns to some degree, and interest rates creep up to some degree as well, escalating real estate price increases will moderate. It’s already happening in some places. On the commercial side, many companies housed in expensive space are already questioning their need for large space in a new “hybrid” work world. Woe be the company which took a 10-year lease with mega space in 2019. Lots of sublets available in midtown city locations.

9. Climate change will become an even bigger issue in public’s perception. I personally think it’s the biggest issue facing mankind, far more than COVID. But since there’s no chyron of stats/deaths that can be shown on news programs, as a result it doesn’t feel “urgent”. There are no vaccines/boosters for climate change and 1/4 of the US population denies it anyhow (Alas many of the same folk that think COVID is no big deal until they get sick, or a family member gets seriously ill). What worries me is that our inability to rally around defeating a clear and present danger (COVID), bodes very poorly for an action plan against climate change a “creeping” yet humongous issue that will impact life on Earth as we know it. Obviously like COVID, this is world issue, not merely a U.S. issue. And as always, the poor, here and abroad, always suffer the most.

10. U.S. population growth will moderate. That’s happening already. People are marrying later, having fewer children, and yes dying earlier–that’s a bummer and hopefully a short term COVID stat. But opioid addiction has played a role as well. Our immigration phobia also fuels slower growth. The US is only 4% of the world’s population as it is. We have an over-inflated opinion of our size and influence. Alas our influence is receding, and we’ve tarnished our image abroad at a time where nations are more interdependent than ever. The US will not and can not solve the world problems, yet it should take leadership roles in doing so.

My list is not all encompassing and there are many issues beyond these. But these are my Big 10 Predictions for 2022 (and I realize #5 related to baseball is hardly seismic). Alas my confidence in the wisdom of mankind is shaky, and my confidence in the Yankees winning Championship #28 is waning as well.  

2022 is straight ahead. I truly hope a brighter tomorrow is around the corner because the first two years of this decade have been largely miserable. Here’s hoping the sun will shine for all of us in 2022 and beyond. But as Paulie Walnuts said, who among us knows?

More Strumings


  1. Gary Barnes says:


    Happy Holidays, a wonderful post with plenty of optimism and confidence. That is what we need now – to believe and trust again that we can be and do better – and then make it happen together. I share your doubts, but we, as a species, are getting to the point where there is no choice beyond do you want to live here on Earth or find another planet.

    It becomes more cut & dry in my view as each year of inaction goes by. If people can wrap their brain around that, stop denying reality and stop supporting those who benefit from the denial of reality on multiple fronts, we may have a fighting chance. Humanity has done incredible things, but remains so ignorant on so many levels.

    The respected biologist & naturalist Edward O. Wilson passed away recently. He wrote a great book called On Human Nature. His assessment of the problem with humanity is that we “have stone age emotions, medieval institutions and god like technology”. In essence, we do not have the maturity, understanding or capacity to manage what we have created and end up largely destroying everything we touch like we have done the last several hundred years to our planet. I have more optimism than that, but I think there is truth in what he says unfortunately.

    All the best to you and yours.


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