Two of Covid’s main effects on the US: ~150,000 dead, so far; second quarter annualized GDP down 32.9%. That’s the balancing act; shut downs have severely impacted the economy, and more US citizens will have died from the virus than died in World War One. We need to shut down more and longer because we didn’t shut down well-enough at the start. We need to get the economy going again because too many job losses may become permanent, and evictions may create an internal refugee crisis of homelessness. Some debate the current stimulus isn’t expected to do much more than soften some of the financial pain.
“Some 20 million American’s qualified for the extra payments and the payments now account for 15% of the entire nation’s wages.” – The Guardian
Whether a stronger shutdown, or a stronger stimulus, or both would’ve kept us from such a drastic drop in GDP is moot. We are where we are. A recovery is expected as businesses adjust; but it isn’t expected to be full or soon. High unemployment is expected as many businesses either fail, or curtail operations for a time. At the same time, current projections are for over 210,000 deaths by election day with more expected after that. Even a new normal won’t be defined for months or years.
(Curious about the cost of wearing masks and washing hands – while saving lives – for a few months versus the cost of the stimulus that may take years. Anyone know of any data?)