The economy shut down almost overnight. But reopening it will not happen the same way. It may take months and possibly years to fully open, even under the most optimistic estimates.
Saying the economy should reopen gradually is more easily said than done. One business that could reopen may depend on other companies that are not allowed to reopen.
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The proposed three-phase plan will allow many businesses to open in the first phase.
Schools and daycare centers can open in the next phase. But that means millions of working parents could be asked to return to their jobs before they have someone to take care of their children.
In countries that have avoided formal lockdown, people have sharply reduced their activities without government mandates.
Surveys show there is little evidence that the public is ready to return. The economy will only reopen when people are willing. The greatest fear is the second wave that could be too much to manage.
In the early phases of reopening, businesses could be required to operate at a reduced capacity.
Offices might operate in rotating shifts, but other businesses could have a harder time. Restaurants may have tight profit margins even in better times. Operating at half capacity may mean working at a loss.
Growth evangelists are right when they state that severe lockdowns produce a parallel human misery of unemployment, looming bankruptcies, and extreme financial anguish. Yet, opening the economy too soon may produce mass death.
We need a new playbook for pandemic economics to govern our short-term reaction to the health crises.
The current pandemic has led to an economic free fall which is unparalleled in history. In the US alone, the unemployment rate plummeted at such a speed that more than 10 million have claimed unemployment insurance in a matter of three weeks.
With over 30 percent of the U.S. population expected to be unemployed by this summer, and the GDP shrinking at a faster rate that the Great Depression of the 1930s, the current situation is uncharted territory, even for the experts.
While fighting the new virus economy worldwide has seen a huge growth in unemployment. Therefore, measures are to be taken and this as soon as possible. Maybe the most significant factor into getting the economy worldwide back on track is getting people back to work. One efficient way to do this is by using vaccines and tests for antibodies to make sure that the people who are getting back to work have developed immunity.
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