As the COVID-19 pandemic is putting our lives on hold, could we do the same with the economy to avoid bankruptcies?
With every day passing right now, the news seems to get grimmer and grimmer. New record numbers of infections, new lows across all stock markets, drastically reduced revenue forecasts, whole industries reduced to a shadow of their former selves.
Economies globally are in a downward spiral — at least psychologically. Every day is worse than the last.
That directly translates to consumers, of course. When they don’t wear their work hat, where everything is looking grim, privately, people are even more worried. They are concerned about their families and friends, of course, but also about losing their livelihoods, having no source of stable income, and potentially downgrading their lives.
These are challenging times for everyone. And they are unprecedented times as well.
It is hard to think of another instance in recent history when the freedom of billions was so drastically (and necessarily) restricted. Previously unthinkable things are being discussed in all countries globally. These are not the times to hold back ideas, but to break with conventional thinking and radically question everything.
Therefore all questions can and should be asked right now. The clear objectives are :
- (I) to get through this time with the least amount of lives lost possible
- (II) to have something to come back to afterward
In that precise order.
All calls for physical locations of businesses to remain open or re-open already are incredibly misguided. The first decision-making principle needs to be (I) — and therefore, we need to do the utmost we can to reduce the spread of infections. We can only find answers to (II) that first adhere to (I).
The question I, therefore, arrive at is: Could we freeze the economy?