There are many questions surrounding the global pandemic due to COVID-19. In addition to the questions regarding containment, vaccines, deaths, and the like, is a very complicated issue: the economy.
There are multiple ways this might impact the global, as well as local, economy.
The most direct problem has to do with interrupted supply chains. When a global economy meets a global pandemic, goods that would typically travel halfway around the world don’t get made. Work forces are incapacitated, travel restrictions are enacted, and end users are sick or on lockdown. As a result, buying and selling of goods doesn’t happen as it normally would.
In addition to that, uncertainty causes stock markets around the world to crash. In turn, this causes wealth to vanish and retirement funds to shrink.
Also, stay-at-home orders means travel companies like airlines and trains have few customers. Large gatherings being outlawed effectively put sports, theater, and music concerts out of operation. Restaurants and bars are restricted to delivery and take-out business. Non-essential businesses are closed.
Whenever the crisis has passed and life returns to relative normality, there may well be many companies, small and large, that go out of business, leading to wide-scale unemployment. A global recession is possible, and maybe even likely.
To try and prevent too much economic hardship, governments are introducing stimulus bills. These may or may not work, but either way, they will add a large burden to the national debt of countries.
On top of everything else is the issue of the effect of the disease. There will be a significant number of worldwide illnesses and deaths. So, how will the loss of these people impact the economy? What will happen to health care workers and systems that have been stretched to — and often past — their limits?
It’s impossible to know what the future holds. But it is possible to think about trends, and to attempt to learn from past experiences. What do you think will happen to the local, national, and global economies? How will the economy be impacted by COVID-19?