The trade-off between reopening economies and the worsening corona-virus crisis is the biggest problem governments around the world are currently facing. People are eager to go back to work and return to their businesses. However, this would mean profound levels of sickness and deaths from the disease due to various aspects.
Worsening Corona-virus Crisis
Studies have shown that people will adapt to and live with the health consequences as the economy continues to reopen. The corona-virus pandemic is clearly not ending anytime soon and therefore. We will have to live with it. The United States alone is recording approximately 75,000 new COVID 19 infections daily. Assuredly, the US is experiencing an economic shock and putting many out of work. President Donald Trump, among other government officials around the world, is eager to restart the economy. They have asserted their worries as the meltdown of the world economy could be viler than the COVID 19 pandemic.
The 2020 global economic prospect suggests that a worse economic fallout is yet to be experienced. With many countries enforcing total lock-down, analysts have no hope of GDP growth but rather a reduction of between 4%-10% in every country. What this means, especially to developing economies, is that there will be an acute disruption of the demand and supply chain. Despite everything, the main focus of every nation is to focus on health and economic resuscitation.
For this reason, many countries around the globe are slowly opening up and easing some of the tougher restrictions. Some would argue that this is not a proper move. However, it's only a matter of time before the unemployment rate skyrockets and COVID-19 infections will be the least of our problems.
Health And Economic Balance
It is clear there is no blueprint to reopening the economy yet, but one thing every nation is battling is the balancing act between protecting people's lives and their livelihoods. Right now, what is evident, judging from the economies that are opening up, is that the virus responds depending on the level of economic activity. We don't want a scenario where we move too fast, triggering a spike in the COVID-19 infections.
As scientists are in the race to look for a vaccine, social distancing has proven to be a better defense against the virus. Even as the economy opens us, social distancing measures should be at the center of it all. Some nations like Denmark have made bold steps in trying to cushion their citizens from the worst of unemployment by replacing their lost wages. What remains to be seen are more aggressive economic stimulus plans.
Gradual Opening of The Economy
Opening up the economy is happening and we all need to be wise about it. An ideal scenario of pursuing this would be doing it in stages. This means jobs that require less contact would probably go back to business, for instance, the construction sector. However, those that require close contacts should probably wait a bit longer.
Opening up in stages would also mean that those who are more vulnerable to the infection should wait. This includes people with underlying complications and also the elderly. However, to fully open up the economy, some control over the virus has to kick in. By this, I mean either a vaccine or rapid testing should be underway. This is the only way we can get ahead of the virus.
Right now, the priority of every nation is to save lives and also keep the country running. Clearly, the pandemic has caused unimaginable harm across the globe. However, in the middle of the storm, we have a lesson or two to pick up from this trying time. There is a need for immediate health and economic policies that would cushion everyone in the event of another pandemic. This is the greatest lesson that the world ought to learn!