As foreseen by public health experts and economists, premature reopening of economies and lifting of lockdowns will not lead to full economic recovery.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) constantly warned Trump that reopening state economies and relaxing safe distancing measures can only lead to “more suffering and deaths.”
Backing up Dr. Fauci’s, and other health expert’s claim is a new research work performed at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York. The researchers warned that
”Allowing people to mingle more freely, and relaxing stay-at-home orders would lead to new COVID-19 cases, while deaths can be expected to rebound in late May.’’
Lead researcher Jeffrey Shaman PhD, who is also an infectious disease modeler at Columbia University, remarked that lack of testing and the correlated contact tracing will temporarily mask the rebound and exponential rise of COVID-19 after reopening. Yet the rapid spread will be well underway, to manifest a resurgence of new cases after two to four weeks since reopening.
To date May 15, 2020, the U.S. has not seen a downward trend, as the number of active COVID-19 cases has quickly risen to a total of 1,470, 067, while the death count now totals 87,707.
What Expert U.S. Economists are Saying
When COVID-19 started spreading rapidly across the U.S. which subsequently triggered lockdowns, ban of all forms of transportation, and closures of nonessential businesses, expert economies predicted a V-shaped path toward economic recovery.
Others were more conservative in their projection and envisioned a U-shaped path instead. It denotes that it will take longer for the American public to return to their previous economic routines, which in turn, will prolong the struggle-period for businesses.
However, as the turns of events have it, with Trump, along with some Republican lawmakers and governors pushing for the reopening of the country’s economies, the general consensus among economists is that the U.S. is headed toward a W-shaped course. A W path toward recovery suggests that there will be a double-dip of economic downturns. Even if the reopened states achieve a slight economic progress from their premature reopening, the resulting increase in COVID-19 cases will only cause another economic fallout.
Can Businesses and Household Face a Second Economic Fallout?
However, even a W-shaped path might not be the best representation of the country’s road to recovery.
A second downturn signals the beginning of a recession. A situation that will make it imperative for Congress to extend trillions more in stimulus and relief packages to help businesses survive another round of lockdowns and shutdowns.
After the coronavirus first-wave, cash reserves of major businesses had already suffered a substantial depletion, while majority of the small and medium scale businesses, are already cash-strapped or already on the verge of bankruptcy.
Households can be expected to save whatever remaining money they have to buy only the essentials, which means there will be fewer demand for nonessential products and services. If that would be the case, many manufacturers will be forced to downsize production along with every cost related to their operations, largely including manpower costs. As a result, and as more businesses will be forced to close shop for good, the millions of unemployed will be faced with fewer job opportunities.
The likelihood is that most job opportunities will be available in companies that offer business process outsourcing; probably in a call center outsourcing company in US locations. That way, businesses can reduce costs of salaries and of training new hires, as well as minimize office space rentals and costs of utilities.
Simply stated, a second recession presents a scenario in which businesses will find it more difficult to bounce back. If the economic struggle extends to more than 18 months onward, then the country enters a period of depression.