I saw this interesting tweet the other day
"Idiots: A vaccine is coming soon, let’s party woooo!
Realists: “Soon” means half a year, and right now the virus is growing super fast. No partying!
Econ nerds: A vaccine on the way means the expected value of staying disease-free just increased."
This is one of those things that make economics so interesting to me (I’m not an economist, just someone who reads about it a lot). At first, I couldn’t see why a vaccine would make a lockdown, wearing a mask, etc. more valuable, but then I got the idea: without a vaccine, anything you do to reduce your likelihood of getting Covid “pays off” by giving you some months of health, but there is a significant chance you’ll get sick eventually. With the prospect of a vaccine, everything you do to reduce your likelihood of getting sick makes it possible that you’ll stay healthy until the vaccine is available - and thus never get Covid.
By analogy, you probably look both ways when you cross the street - but if you knew that in a month a potion that would give you immortality would be available, you’d be a lot more careful than you are today when crossing the road.