Reopening The World Economy
New details about Corona Virus’ infections, testing, vaccines, economic impact, among other details are released every day, however, not many of us know how long it will take before our prior daily routines will be a reality again. The current mass unemployment and business failures cannot currently be sustained by government intervention, therefore there needs to be the movement of people and the movement of money. The United States Government has implemented “Opening Up America Again” which lists guidelines required before a state’s government can take appropriate action. Additionally, there are new details from studies being released regarding antibodies from those who have already been infected and may have been asymptomatic. These studies have the potential to provide positive insight into the world’s reopening.
On April 17th, the U.S. Government released a data-driven, three-phase system backed by medical experts as guidelines for local and state governments to ease quarantine and social distancing measures, according to US News. Before entering phase one, a state must be able to have the proper amount of tests, protective equipment, and hospital capacity in addition to a 14-day decline of reported influenza-like illnesses. Phase one includes the reopening of large venues such as movie theatres, ballparks, churches, and arenas as long social distancing protocols can be met. Also, schools, daycares, bars, and many nonessential businesses must remain closed and those of elder age and/or underlying conditions must remain sheltered. Phase 2 allows nonessential travel to resume along with the reopening of schools, daycares, bars, etc. However, social settings should maintain appropriate social distancing and avoid congregations of more than 50 people.
Employers must also encourage workers to continue working remotely if possible. Phase 3 allows vulnerable persons to resume going into public but must maintain social distancing guidelines. Visits to assisted living and nursing homes may also continue, but strong hygiene measures must be in place. Moving to the next phase in solely up to state governors, however, the transition must follow a 14-day decline in documented cases.
Several states and countries are currently in the process of reopening. According to Time. Singapore contained the spread of the virus somewhat quickly and decided to reopen schools and allowed visitors who hold valid work permits to reenter the country. Almost immediately, the country saw a rapid growth in the second wave of new infections detected in the country which was followed by the reestablishment of quarantine policies. In the United States, over 20 states currently have partial reopening underway and roughly 9 states have partial reopening planned according to NBC.
Given current data from countries like Singapore, we are expected to see a second wave of infections in the places that are reopening.
According to virus antibody studies completed by Stanford University and the University of Southern California, it is estimated that the infection rate is 50-85 times greater than confirmed cases in Santa Clara and 28-55 times greater in Los Angeles. This could mean that the virus death rate is much lower than currently recorded considering tests that may result in false positives and population density. According to the World Health Organization, there is currently no evidence to support that having the antibodies could prevent a second infection. The WHO warns against countries that are considering granting people “immunity passports” as a way of allowing people back to public areas.
The United States along with most other countries are in the process of developing strategic plans to reopen its economies with minimal impact. The United States has implemented a three-stage set of guidelines for state governors to follow. Countries such as Singapore were one of the first nations to implement its own guidelines, however, there was a rapid growth in the second wave of infections. Recent studies from Stanford University and the University of Southern California have concluded more people have been infected than previously determined which could lower the mortality rate of the virus, but there is no current evidence to support people who test positive for the virus antibody are immune to secondary infections.