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The Economic Cost Of Coronavirus

  Quickbeam 06:12 16 Mar 2020

Just watching the BBC news where it's said that SAS airlines are laying off 90% of it's workforce. All leisure industries are facing a lost year.

If we get to the stage that Italy's got to, nobody will be doing anything much.

Obviously the vast majority of working housholds will have their budgets decimated. The level of income is irrelevant as a houshold with the living costs associated with a £100k income will be just as severely hit as a £10k houshold. The vast majority of working people do not get paid sufficiently in sickness to cover even 40 hours of minimum wage income. In this it's the £20/30k earners that will suffer the most.

Those with mortgages can reach an agreement with their lender to defer missing payments to the end of their term. But the low paid living in rents could see themselves being evicted wholesale as uneconomic tennents.

This is going to cost the government/taxpayers dearly to avoid civil unrest. I'd say that last weeks budget will soon be redundant as the costs of Cv are going to be as decimating on the nation as in any household.

Effectively we're looking at the economic effects of another severe recession to recover from over the next decade or more.

Have I got this reading right?

  wee eddie 07:05 16 Mar 2020

Not far off

  x13 08:11 16 Mar 2020
  Forum Editor 18:07 16 Mar 2020

"Have I got this reading right?"

Nobody knows, because we really don't how what this virus will do. If you assess its impact in purely medical terms the answer is 'so far not much'. To date COVID-19 has killed 36 people in the UK, out of a population of just under 67 million. To put that into perspective, an average of 1500 people die of various causes in the UK every day. Each year, around 17,000 people in the UK are killed by flu.

Nobody really knows how may deaths will result from Coronavirus because it has not yet infected anything like the number of people who are infected by flu each year. In addition, there is so far no vaccine against coronavirus, although there are about 20 undergoing clinical trials. Most of us have developed at least some immunity to flu because we have been exposed to it for all of our lives - it's not the case with Covid 19 and that makes the job of forecasting its eventual impact on the world's populations a good deal more difficult.

The result of all that uncertainty is fear, and that's what drives the reactions we are seeing all around us right now - stock market uncertainties, and panic buying are two of the familiar reactions to fear in a population. With luck. our nerves will steady as we become more familiar with a new set of circumstances. We'll realise that for most people a Coronavirus infection will be no worse than a dose of flu. We'll get better at self-protection, and at looking after those who are particularly vulnerable.

In the end, we'll learn to live with Coronavirus and much of the fear will subside. Let's hope that happy day is not too long in coming.

  Quickbeam 13:05 18 Mar 2020

It looks like they're goingto act on some of these issues soon in particular tennent security.

  Quickbeam 09:30 22 Mar 2020

The tennent security and self employed situation still hasn't been fully addressed, but is thought to be addressed this week.

They seem very reluctant to do this when they're prepared to offer to pay 80% with a limit to employees. This was not expected at all.

  wee eddie 10:16 22 Mar 2020

Considering the complexity of the situation, carping on about the fine tuning is, in essence, a form of self aggrandisement.

  john bunyan 12:20 22 Mar 2020

Quite apart from the medical costs ( and our graph on that looks horrendous, a couple of weeks behind Italy’s trend) , the debts we are racking up are like WW2 and will have a similar effect on the medium term , with more than 2 years worth of GDP on our National Debt.. Austerity- we ain’t seen nothing yet! Those of us who recall the late ‘40’s remember the taxes and lack of foreign holidays etc. The economic actions taken are unprecedented even In wartime.

  beeuuem~2 13:09 23 Mar 2020

I never thought I'd live to see the day when British people were begging the government to remove hard fought freedoms.

Every death is a tragedy for those affected. When 'flu killed over 28,000 in the UK in 2014/15 the country didn't close down, nor in the winter of 2017/18 when there were 50,000.

When this the history of this time is written people will wonder how so many were so easily duped by 'experts', politicians and mass media into destroying the world economy for 20+ years by a virus which, thus far, is less lethal than annual 'flu to those without underlying health conditions.

  Forum Editor 14:39 23 Mar 2020

"...people will wonder how so many were so easily duped by 'experts', politicians and mass media into destroying the world economy for 20+ years by a virus which, thus far, is less lethal than annual 'flu to those without underlying health conditions."

That's the kind of comment that displays a singular lack of understanding about what is happening. Comparing Covid-19 to flu in that way is misguided to say the least.

We have vaccines against flu, but we have no defences against corona virus, and we will not have any for at least another year, and probably longer than that.

So far, COVID-19 has killed just short of fifteen and a half thousand people in 192 countries, and the rate is rising. What you don't seem to understand is that with no vaccination available a virus like this will rampage through entire populations because there is nothing to stop it.

By the time around 80% of the UK population has been infected we will have developed a herd immunity - the virus will quite literally run out of hosts to infect, but long before that happens our National Health system will have been hopelessly swamped. With insufficient staff to treat the huge numbers of cases the death rate will soar, and make a flu outbreak look like the merest blip.

Our only hope is to slow the rate of infection to the point where health services can cope, and to keep the rate like that until we reach the herd immunity stage or until we have enough vaccine to treat those who still haven't been infected. Then, and only then will we have beaten this thing. What governments are doing is trying to make us realise the importance of self-isolation and social distancing - so we can achieve the 'flattening of the curve' situation that the Prime Minister talks of.

Saying that we are being duped is total rubbish - our government is acting to save lives, and doing so without any previous experience on which to base decisions.

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