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Reopening Has Begun. No One Is Sure What Happens Next.

Partial reopening

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.

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Reopening Has Begun. No One Is Sure What Happens Next.

Reopening Has Begun. No One Is Sure What Happens Next.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/25/business/economy/coronavirus-economy-reopening.html

nytimes.com

4

Key Ideas

Restarting the economy

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.

Implementation is complicated

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.

Partial reopening

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.

Confidence is crucial

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.

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The hope is for a deep, short recession, to show that people have shut the economy down to limit the spread of disease.

A living wage

Asking millions of able-bodied workers to stop working creates a crisis of unemployment.

During this time, the U.S. is expanding unemployment benefits and are also delaying tax filing. In northern-European countries, the government is directly paying businesses to maintain their payrolls to avoid mass layoffs and furloughs.

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Many of these offices and stores are not going to open after that.

The Lockdown: Europe And Asia

  • In Europe, The north of Italy, which is the main tourist hub, is seeing a collapse in economic activity, along with Germany, which is falling at a steeper rate than the United States. Even countries like Japan, which are not hit that hard, are about to witness an apocalyptic fall.
  • In India, with the abrupt 21 days shutdown, which was recently extended by another 19 days, only a small percentage of the 1.3 billion population is covered by any social security, and millions of daily wage or migrant workers, have no hope, future or place to stay.

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Getting the worldwide economy back on track requires workforce. Providing this workforce requires healthy individuals able to work hard enough to help things get better. Governments are now trying out ways to officially have people's health checked: by providing different types of certificates, for instance. The major concern, however, is in regards to everybody's privacy: while these certificates do prove our immunity, research institutions are working on developing tools that can also protect our data.

Certifying immunity and its advantages

It might be that only by certifying workers' immunity, states can help their economy know growth again. However, in order to make the people who get certified take up positions that require direct contact with customers, there will be a need for encouragement from employers' side, such as pay raises. As this is maybe the only real option, countries worldwide are going to have to apply the method.