CORDER’S COLUMN: It is time to see beyond the pandemic

Rob Corder, co-founder and editor of WatchPro.

I hoped to be writing my opening missive of 2021 from the sunny uplands we have been searching the horizon for since last March, but covid has not only returned with the winter weather, it has also tightened its grips in many parts of the Western world, leaving devastated families and crippled businesses in its wake.

Ever the optimist, I refuse to be downcast, not least because vaccines are being administered to hundreds of thousands of our old and vulnerable.

The first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are going into arms starting today.


Officials and politicians seem reluctant to speak about how quickly the vaccine will help society and the economy bounce back, but it seems logical to me that it will happen faster than we are being told.

In the UK, around 140,000 people got their initial jab in the first week of the roll-out and an additional 360,000 pulled up their sleeves in the second week. We are now well over one million first doses, and that is before the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine roll out began.

Everybody over the age of 80 could be protected within weeks. Given the average age of somebody dying from covid is 83, we should see hospitalisations and deaths nosedive in the New Year.

Throughout 2020 we saw how much pent-up demand there has been for watches and most other consumer goods. As soon as stores were allowed to reopen, shoppers returned, and they normally hit stores with a far greater sense of purpose than before the pandemic.

Conversion rates and average transaction values have been remarkable, according to the majority of retailers sharing their news with WatchPro.

I believe there is even more pent-up demand for people to come together and rekindle relationships that have inevitably been tested while travel has been so challenging, mass gatherings banned and offices closed.

It still seems unimaginable, but the vaccine could make events on the scale of Baselworld in its pomp a possibility as early as this summer. The Olympics is scheduled to take place, music festivals may rock again, board meetings could take place around a table before decanting to the nearest bar.

Within our team, we have a joke about our moods oscillating between Morrissey and Katy Perry throughout this year. It might not quite be time for Roar, but we are well past the days of Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.


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