The coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, creating an enormous panic and concern for human health and welfare. So far, the notion of health before the economy is right and must be adopted. After all, the economy is a man-made system for a better distribution of resources, unlike diseases and pandemics that are beyond human comprehension and cannot be controlled by any central bank and financial authorities. The coronavirus has taught us that science is full of dead ends.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have witnessed the most bizarre economic crisis since the establishment of financial markets and the integration of the global economy. At this point in time, it is inevitable to ask – Is it the right time to stop, just for a second, global economic activity? Can we turn off stock/futures exchanges worldwide and go back to our routine life once we, as a collective group, find a solution to the coronavirus flu? Can we shut-off the economy?
The coronavirus shutdown – Is it possible?
In theory, it’s possible. The fact that the coronavirus is an international pandemic affecting and might continue to affect every nation and citizen worldwide makes a complete shutdown a reasonable scenario. If it was just one nation or area in the world, that would have been a different story. But hey, we are together in this thing. It’s the whole humankind that suffers from this flu. Is it written in stone that the stock market must stay open in all events and disasters? Should we as a group (and individuals) create an income and growth every second, day, and month? Is it really not possible to stop for a second the economic cycle? After all, we have created it.
Yet, practically it seems almost impossible. In particular, with such a short notice like the outbreak of the coronavirus. The economy is part of nature because of the economic activity of human beings, hence, it is not possible to pause all economic activities such as trade. But the economy is a man-made system that can be controlled. A total shutdown of the global economy can only happen with the cooperation of all countries and world leaders. Otherwise, the economy might completely collapse. Moreover, new morals should arise – Houses owners may come forward and propose a new payment schedule that can be met, borrowers can pause their loans, and governments and municipalities must hold all taxes and fixed payments.
In terms of the monetary system, the economic cycle may be dead in such a scenario, however, the capital is still out there. Distribution of resources during a pandemic is essential to reduce the ability of people to obtain a sufficient amount of income and basic products.
That’s easier said than done but in the scenario in which a pandemic can crash the economic cycle, a backup plan is a necessity.
One can argue about the impact of coronavirus over global health and its implications over humanity, in particular in comparison to other viruses. There are plenty of experts and ordinary people who feel as it is another pandemic that will soon disappear and be forgotten but so far, no one can argue about the economic effect of the coronavirus. Even if the public has doubts about the risk of getting infected with the coronavirus, governments are doing the right thing when calling for home isolation of the entire population.
But the question of shutting down the financial market is valid and should be taken into consideration. Even if it’s not about to happen this time, we must have rules and limits as to how far we take the economy as the leading creator of wealth. We missed the deadline this time but hopefully, mankind will prevail the coronavirus somehow and move on to the next challenge.