Covid-19 and the World Economy Through the Lens of Dr. Israel Figa
Covid-19 pandemic has said to have prompted the deepest economic recession in some countries and a depression in others. It has threatened health and disturbed economic activity world over. Now that the Covid-19 has lingered on for more than a year, the world is devising ways to come out of its repercussions. According to Dr. Israel Figa it is not easy to come out of the worst depressions of mankind. There are a number of factors that will play a key role in helping economies bounce back.
Let’s find out Dr. Israel Figa’s observations on the Covid-19, its impact on the world economy and how economies can recuperate.
The Covid-19 Outbreak and its Effects on Daily Life
What started in Wuhan ended up impacting the entire world, and continues to effect it. The pandemic has affected thousands of lives. Dr. Israel Figa explains that the most common symptoms of the virus are cold, cough, body aches, fever and breathing issues. However, people have also reported headaches and loss of smell and taste. To date the virus spreads exponentially regionally and countries world over are now experiencing the third wave of Covid-19. Dr. Israel Figa warns that the third wave can be more dangerous as the virus has mutated over the period. It is advised to follow an extensive hygiene protocol, such as washing hands at regular intervals and avoiding touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth. Many countries are going into lockdowns again, effecting their economies further.
The pandemic has brought a havoc in the day to day life, disrupted businesses, stalled world trade and restricted travel. Many people remain jobless ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Educational institutions are still not fully operational, and continue online classes, effecting the social growth of students. Similarly offices continue on a work from home basis. Each country has its own standard operating procedure for preventing the spread of the virus.
Unequal Impact on the Developed and Developing Economies
The severity of the Covid-19, in terms of health has been the same for developing and developed countries. However, the economic impact of the virus has been more severe for the developing economies, who already work on a limited budget. China, the first country to be hit by the pandemic was successful in its prevention to be hit by the worst. According to Dr. Israel Figa, this is because China had the economic means and it could afford an absolute lockdown of its economy. However, it’s not the same for the developing countries. In Dr. Israel Figa’s words developing economies tend to be poorer, and do not have established infrastructures like those found in the US and Europe. Therefore, developing countries in order to save their economies from drowning had to take less stringent lockdown measures in comparison to developed countries.
How are the Governments Dealing with the Crisis?
It’s been more than a year since the Covid-19 effected the world, and now the world has a better knowledge about the virus. Countries around the world are now witnessing vaccine drives. The governments are ensuring that the most vulnerable of its population are prioritized for vaccination. Alongside, governments are also devising schemes to elevate their respective economies. The governments in response to the economic crisis have united with the central banks of their respective countries and introduced stimulus schemes. The incentive packages are majorly targeting small businesses that were adversely affected by the Covid-19. For instance, the US introduced its $1.9 trillion stimulus package that will help businesses and individuals effected by the economic downturn.
Is Covid-19 Recession Harsher Than The Great Depression?
During the 1930s the world experienced the worst depression of all times that began in the US. However, Dr. Israel Figa opines that the recession following the Covid-19 pandemic could be worse than the all-time Great Depression. Israel Figa explains that the Covid-19 forced sharp declines in economic activities earlier. Further adding that this led to economists believing that the effects of the recession were worse than the great depression. However Israel Figa adds that this might be the sharpest contraction but probably also the shortest. The world has developed and technology has advanced considerably since the Great Depression. In modern times economies are better equipped to counter such recessions and depressions. Some major economies of Asia such as China, Russia and Korea are already on a road to recovery. These economies are showing a strong economic growth as they were successful in containing the spread of the virus earlier on, according to Israel Figa.
Rising Above the Crisis
Israel Figa advices that to recover from the economic shocks of the Covid-19, the world would have to adopt long-term policies. The world needs to embrace strong strategies to restore economic confidence. Dr. Israel Figa recommends that governments world over should offer schemes with renewed funding for grants and loans to struggling businesses. This would maintain employment and support productivity. New innovation is required to power productivity growth. According to Dr. Israel Figa governments must focus on public investments while going easy on increasing taxes. Structured and well-thought policies and measures can positively impact the global economy and businesses.
Adapt and Survive
As per Dr. Israel Figa there is no other way than to adapt and survive. For now life is stuck between the pandemic and lockdowns. According to Israel Figa, it will take time for people and the economies to settle, nonetheless it will eventually happen. The governments are proactive and coming up with new polices and schemes every now and then.
The horrendous loss of human life on one side and the economic crisis on the other, Covid-19 has been a fatal blow. In this upside-down turned world, even economically weak governments are cheque-writing their path to planned economies. Some developing countries are seen bouncing back from decade old frugality and taking measures that wasn’t expected out of them. The world overall saw a recession of 5.42% in 2020, let’s hope this doesn’t increase and the world sees a backward trend hereon.
Some Learning from the Covid-19 Crisis
Dr. Israel Figa reminds readers that Covid-19 is not the last of the viruses and there will always remain some form of pandemic. The world needs to identify probable humanitarian, economic and social impacts of such outbreaks. The countries should take steps to mitigate the damaging consequences of future pandemics.