Cumberland Advisors Commentary – Sir Tom Remembered

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: February 7, 2021
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Remembering Captain Sir Tom Moore

Sir Tom Remembered

A cancer survivor recovering from a broken hip, Tom Moore looked for a way to say thanks to his National Health Service (NHS) caregivers in England. In the midst of a pandemic, he pondered the enormity of the need and considered what a 99 year old could do to help.

It seems he did not waste much time inventorying all the things he could not do at 99 and he refused to be feeling defeated or useless. Instead, he considered a challenge that he felt he could tackle. He could walk, using his walker, and honor the efforts of his caregivers for helping him to get back on his feet. He could undertake one hundred laps in the back garden before his 100th birthday – that became his worthy and memorable goal. He would do this as a fundraiser and raise perhaps £1000.

The world is honoring this week the remarkable life of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who came to raise the equivalent of $45 million for the NHS. The internet is replete with accounts of his life and all that is being done to honor him. Let’s remember him today and consider as we consider what steps people can take to make a difference.

“Captain Sir Tom Moore: ‘National inspiration’ dies with Covid-19,” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-55881753

A Superspreader Super Bowl?

The weeks ahead are likely to be impacted by today’s Super Bowl celebrations. We shall observe in the Covid statistics if Americans have learned anything in the last year.  Almost 30% of Americans surveyed have acknowledged plans to gather for the game, whether in a home or a restaurant or bar.  They plan on doing this while we have more contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2 circulating. So we shall see if the COVID infection and death curves climb again in the wake of behaviors associated with the big game.

See: “Superspreader Sunday?”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/briefing/biden-stimulus-jeff-bezos-fbi-florida.html

If there is anything we have learned about this pandemic that ultimately claimed Captain Tom’s life, it is that we all inevitably have a role in ending it.  Or we have a role in extending it.  We can catch and transmit the virus that’s filling our hospitals and claiming lives. Or we can do simple acts like masking and distancing when we have to be around others.

Please consider the case now for double masking: “Double Masking for COVID: Are Two Face Masks Better Than One?” https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/double-masking-against-covid.html. I double mask and wear eye goggles. These new variants can be more deadly than the first iterations of SARS-CoV-2 are, and some vaccines may not work as well to stop them.

We’re still learning about COVID.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday. Please be safe and careful.

David R. Kotok
Chairman of the Board & Chief Investment Officer
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