As bad as the first half of 2020 was, the prospects for the second half are still stormy.
The Covid-19 pandemic will ensure uncertainty into next year while America's election in November and its feud with China stir political instability.
There will be no sudden recovery from Covid-19, with a vaccine unlikely to be widely available until next year. Meanwhile, rich countries are spending billions trying to guarantee their own supply.
If the surreal global hunt for protective equipment in March is any guide, it will get messy as politics, health and dollars collide.
There have already been claims of research espionage. Will poor countries be left in the lurch or vulnerable to diplomatic and economic arm-twisting?
The way the US election campaign is unfolding, a lagging President Donald Trump will be keen to tout a vaccine success against what he calls the "China virus".
But that, or potentially an economic bounce, may not be the only "October Surprise".
China will inevitably be dragged into the US campaign as the world's two biggest economies become increasingly strategically competitive.
Then there is Iran, which has now signed investment deals with China after battling under reimposed economic sanctions.
There is media speculation of a provocation operation underway in Iran. A series of mysterious fires and explosions have hit military and industrial facilities in the past few weeks. Last week an Iranian passenger plane had a close call with a US fighter jet over Syria.
Beijing and Tehran will be watching the US political contest closely. Any change of personnel and approach in Washington offers potential resets between the US and other countries, whether friend or foe.
In the meantime, next month's US party conventions will be a shadow of their usual sparkling selves as the country remains grappling with the coronavirus and its economic impact.
It is not alone. There are 16.5 million cases and more than 650,000 deaths worldwide.
In Australia, Victoria hit a record 532 cases on Monday and 384 on Tuesday. Elsewhere, spikes are occurring in places such as China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Israel which had previously wrested control of the virus.
Britain delivered a blow to Europe's hopes of a fruitful summer of tourism by ordering its citizens returning from Spain into quarantine. Last week, Norway imposed quarantine on people arriving from Spain and France has warned people not to visit Catalonia. That region and Aragon have experienced major rises in infections.
Even as billions continue to be poured into combating the virus and its economic fallout, a report in the journal Science estimated the cost of preventing the next pandemic would be between US$22.2-$30.7 billion.
Princeton University research said that money would be required to protect and monitor the forests and wildlife trafficking from which diseases emerge.
The study said the coronavirus had caused a minimum of US$8 trillion in global losses. New epidemics are emerging every four or five years.
It is a gloomy warning of challenges ahead.