An Infected Economy
The commonly recited statement that COVID-19 knows no bounds is not confined to its effects on individual or population health; it is also the instigator of our current and growing economic woes. Prior to COVID-19, it was well-established that an outbreak of a reemerging or novel disease with high communicability would ravage the US economy, along with global economy. A combination of industry shut downs to reduce disease transmission and panic-induced risk averse behavior among consumers and producers turns a pandemic into a pestilence for the economic health of countries and their people. Just as the high probability of a pandemic was foreseen so to were the economic effects of such an event. As the Washington Post stated, COVID-19 is no black swan, nor is it an event for which we were not given warning shots.
In September 2019, mere months before the arrival of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the Council of Economic Advisers published a report, which estimated the likely substantial health and economic losses the US would face as a result of pandemic influenza, another highly communicable virus. In 2018, the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community found that a “novel strain of a virulent microbe that is easily transmissible between humans continues to be a major threat,” and listed pathogens H5N1 and H7N9 influenza and MERS-CoV as potential culprits. Until bureaucracy-fueled abandonment in 2017, the Department of Homeland Security maintained annually updated models that estimated the infrastructural damage wrought by a pandemic. Beyond predictions, the 2019 Global Health Security Index Continue reading “Acute & Chronic Economic Considerations of COVID-19”