The Year the World Stood Still: Lessons and The Unquantifiable Consequences of the COVID-19 Outbreak, The Social Pandemic
Centre for Innovation and Sustainable Development Economic Review Volume 2 (2020)
14 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020
Date Written: April 11, 2020
In its recent March report, two particularly note worthy observations are made in relation to the OECD’s projections and predictions about possible outcomes of the recent COVID-19 outbreak (See Le Figaro, 2020):
“The OECD put forward two main possible scenarios: The first, the basic one, which considers that the epidemic will peak in the first quarter following, and that its distribution in the rest of the world will be relatively contained…”
The COVID-19 has not only impacted on a social, unprecedented magnitude as never before seen, with the cancellation of major sports tournaments and events, the deferral of the 2020 Olympics, but also highlights the importance of never under estimating a potentially devastating – and particularly unknown unprecedented unchartered phenomenon.
Whilst the magnitude and consequences of the outbreak can certainly not be compensated – at least for many, or even quantified, it is hoped that greater cooperation between global economies, will be fostered in the ongoing efforts to find a solution to address the outbreak.
This paper is aimed at contributing to the literature on a topic on which previous literature, at least prior to December 12 2019, practically and literally, in respect of COVID-19, did not exist. Many major economies and global economies have extended shut downs from excluding essential workers, to 80-90% of its citizens being ordered to stay at home. Whilst it is certainly crucial to ensure that the outbreak is contained, it appears that certain economies, given uncertainties associated with the nature, scope of recent developments, are willing to take risks at salvaging their economies. At what stage does a government decide that prevailing restrictive social distancing measures should be relaxed? What are possible mental, long term consequences associated with, and attributable to a protracted economic shut down? What options exist for monetary policy and central banks in particular, given less options available amidst historically low interest rate levels? These constitute some of the questions which this paper aims to address.
Keywords: digital currency, interest rates, consumer spending, investor confidence, global markets, COVID-19
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