WASHINGTON, DC – COVID-19 has confronted the world with a horrific crisis. Because developing a vaccine will likely take at least a year, governments need to buy time to keep health-care facilities from being overwhelmed and to minimize the number of people who fall ill and die, not least by reducing the rate of new infections.
HONG KONG – There is nothing like a pandemic to expose systemic differences. For China and the United States, which were locked in an ideologically driven competition even before the COVID-19 crisis, those differences are stark. But the two countries have at least one thing in common: when this is all over, they will need to rethink their social contracts.
The coronavirus pandemic has completely engulfed the world. The United States is now the epicenter of the crisis. The worldwide shutdowns necessary to contain the spread of the virus has been quite detrimental to the global economy. What is good for public health has been devastating for economies around the world. In the United States, about 17 million people, more than 10 percent of the labor force, filed for unemployment claims during the month of March. Canada sheds more than one million jobs in March, which represents almost five percent of the country’s labor force. The statistics are unavailable for Nepal but if it were, it would be damning for the economy. Since there is no public provision for lost income in Nepal, there are no estimates to rely on to quantify the labor market effects of the economic shutdown.