We tend to think in nice round numbers, such as fives, tens, hundreds. Despite being a nice round number, 2020 will always be the year with the asterisk.
Researchers will seek to account for the social, economic, and political events of the year by assuming 2020 can be “normalized”. This is too simple a concept. If the economy can be represented as a factory that can be stopped and started, then concerns over 2020’s prospects are unfounded. However, this ignores the many activities that require multiple years to complete, such as capital programs, public services, or other planning and permitting activities. The challenge will be to see how activities with longer horizons perform during 2020. It may be many years to get to the new “normal”.