Navigating the Long Haul to Normalcy

“Getting back to normal” will require cumulative immunity

Recent Oliver Wyman analysis shows that the fourth quarter of 2021 is likely the earliest we can get close to “back to normal” in the United States, even with the promising vaccine efficacy news. Given this timing, companies must consider if what has been working for the past seven months can be sustained for the next 12 to 15 months, and what they may need to adjust. 

The key to “getting back to normal” is cumulative immunity, which has several dimensions that need to be considered:  the percentage of the population that has already been infected and has protective immunity, and the percentage of the population that is either naturally immune to infection or has been effectively vaccinated.  We need enough cumulative immunity present in the population to stop the virus from spreading. 

In The Long Haul to Normalcy, which leverages our Pandemic Navigator and team of infectious disease experts, we provide four possible scenarios on when the appropriate threshold immunity can be achieved and share the key levers that impact timing and the likelihood of success – both hindrances and accelerants. The research also offers business leaders three “no regret” moves to aid their planning and response efforts.

There are many possible paths to the herd immunity threshold

Each example below represents only one of many possible pathways to herd immunity threshold; pathways become more distinctive and flexible the further out the target date.

Source: Oliver Wyman Pandemic Navigator analysis


Navigating the Long Haul to Normalcy