Thursday, April 30, 2020

CoVid-19: The Long Road to Recovery or Rush to Disaster?

by Nomad

Embed from Getty Images

Demonstrators take part in an "American Patriot Rally," organized on April 30, 2020, by Michigan United for Liberty on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, demanding the reopening of businesses. - The group is upset with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's mandatory closure to curtail Covid-19. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

As the Corona Spring winds on, the questions on the minds of most Americans are "is this push to re-open the US after the outbreak too soon?" and "Will we be needlessly risking  lives solely for economic fears?"

According to recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, most Americans are uncomfortable with reopening the country. While citizens around the world want life to return to normal. the majority of Americans worry that it makes no sense to rush headlong into the unknown without precautions. There are also many questioning the wisdom of a state-by-state approach- rather than a region-by-region policy. 

Katherine Baicker, economist and dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public PolicyHarris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago pointed out:
“The longer it takes us to get the testing in place that we need, to develop the treatments we need, to ensure we have adequate health care resources in terms of beds and personnel and equipment, the more we risk businesses not being there when it is safe to resume business activity.”
Certainly, economic worries are not exaggerated. The IMF has called the latest global decline as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s and warned that prolonging the outbreak would test the ability of governments and central banks to control the crisis. No country, the organization said, would escape the negative effects of the downturn. That includes the world's largest economy.

As NPR reports:
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to trigger the sharpest recession in the United States since the Great Depression. An early signal of that came Wednesday, when the Commerce Department said the economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate in the first three months of the year — the first quarterly contraction since 2014 and the largest since the Great Recession.
Balanced on the other side of this equation is the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States. This week, that figure topped 1 million and the death toll has surpassed the total of US troop fatalities during the Vietnam War.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Seven coronavirus models show US coronavirus deaths will rise in coming weeks, but how sharply depends on how much “contact reduction” Americans practice.
In effect, state governments - with little in the way of leadership at a federal level- are having to make life and death decisions based on two opposing factors.