Pandemic: Public Health or Economy?

The coronavirus crisis presents leaderships of countries and governments with a very difficult dilemma: what degree of restrictions can a society withstand without the risk of economic collapse? How much is it possible to weaken the lockdown without putting lives at risk? The prospect of effective vaccines raises all these questions anew. As the press notes, the economy and health care are closely interconnected.

Two sides of the same coin

As Jornal Economico points out, economics and healthcare need to be seen in conjunction:

“The health problem cannot be solved without the involvement of the economy, just as a healthy economy implies a healthy population. Today, the economy is already being spurred to a large extent by spending on health care — a trend that will only grow due to an aging population. It is important to preserve and strengthen the national health system, which serves as one of the most important pillars in the fight against the pandemic, especially given the fact that life expectancy in our country is one of the highest in the world. However, the more obvious the collapse of the national economy will be, the more difficult it will be to cope with this task.”

The second year of the pandemic is coming …

Even if things go well in terms of combating the virus, 2021 will still be marked by a pandemic, — journalist Daniel Apostol puts forward such a forecast on the pages of Jurnalul National:

“It is already clear that how severe and prolonged this economic crisis will turn out to be will depend more on the effectiveness of planning in the health sector, rather than on the willingness of states to pump money into the real economy. Nevertheless, the second and third waves of the pandemic – who knows how many more waves there will be — pose a serious threat to already shaken economies, even if the vaccine becomes generally available and effective. … From the economic downturn, the deepest in the last hundred years, we are unlikely to get out so soon. 2020 is coming to an end in a matter of weeks, but there is no certainty that the word combination ‘viral year’ will disappear along with it.”

Vaccination will save jobs too!

Slovenian newspaper Delo is very optimistic about the prospects for the local economy:

“During the period from early July to late September, the Slovenian economy reacted more than positively to the weakening of anti-epidemic measures and, according to the data of the Main Statistical Office, dynamically pushed off the bottom that the second quarter of this year became for it. … Along with the positive dynamics in the industry, which is still in more or less decent form, the summer weakening of the lockdown also benefited the service sector — especially tourism, gastronomy, and trade in general. … In combination with adequate anti-epidemic measures, the emergence of a vaccine would not only provide an invaluable service in terms of maintaining the health of the population, but also positively affect the economy, social sphere, and public finances. And this is another reason for the authorities to immediately start developing an effective strategy for vaccination of the population — a strategy that would not only save lives but also save jobs.”

Capitalism saves from bankruptcy

In the course of the current crisis, the country is saved from collapse not by the actions of the authorities, but by the mechanisms of the free market, writes the Bulgarian edition of 24 Chas:

“Thanks to the flexibility of banks offering lucrative loans for the purchase of the real estate, the housing market in 2020 remained stable — and even grew slightly. This in turn keeps the construction sector afloat and everyone who is directly or indirectly involved in it. People see that it is more profitable to invest in real estate than to keep money under a mattress or in a bank, and to invest money, not in some speculative transactions, but in order to acquire an apartment — right now, when loans are so cheap. Smart capitalism works for itself — and let this truth be hacked into their noses by all those who do not believe in it.”

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