The Coronavirus and Lessons for Preparedness

5 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2020

Date Written: March 26, 2020


In the midst of a pandemic, the most pressing issues are those of containment and mitigation—both in terms of the virus itself and the economic costs. However, it is also in the midst of a pandemic that one can learn important lessons about preparedness for possible future pandemics.

The difficult thing about pandemics is that they require hospitals to be capable of expanding capacity rapidly and significantly. Ventilators for patients, as well as masks and other protective gear for doctors and nurses, are critical for keeping patients alive and keeping doctors and nurses healthy so that they can care for those patients. Government should subsidize industries so that they produce additional quantities of this kind of equipment during non-crisis times in preparation for a possible pandemic.

Given the need to ramp up production, policymakers need to use lessons from this pandemic to prepare for the future.

Keywords: disaster recovery, disaster preparedness, emergency spending, emergency preparedness, healthcare, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, public health, economics, quarantine, economy, economic crisis

JEL Classification: H51, H75, I00, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Hendrickson, Joshua R., The Coronavirus and Lessons for Preparedness (March 26, 2020). Special Edition Policy Brief, 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Joshua R. Hendrickson (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi ( email )

Oxford, MS 38677
United States

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