The American economy is going to be shutdown on a scale that none of us have ever seen before. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US is exploding- going up 10x in the last week (Worldometers graph below). Part of that reflects the ease with which this disease can be passed and an even bigger part is that we have been woefully inadequate in testing people for the disease.
The New York area, Washington and California are the hardest hit, but it is going to impact every state in the country. It is already there- many of them just lack testing to verify the results. How many beachgoers in Florida infected someone this week?
Here in California, we are a week in to “Shelter in Place” status and there is no end in sight. Other areas will be taking the same measures or even more drastic ones. Millions of businesses are going to be shut down….and many of them will never reopen. Nail salons, gyms, yogurt stores, tutoring centers, car dealerships- they are interdependent. Economies are cyclical and recessions are self reinforcing- the failure of these businesses will drive the failures of other businesses. Even when we can safely go back in to the world, the laid off sales person from the Ford dealership won’t be taking the family out to dinner and ice cream.
The sooner we shut things down, the sooner we will be able to bring them back. But we have a President who consistently dismisses the threat posed by the coronavirus. His actions could costs thousands of people their lives and millions of people their businesses or jobs.