There have been different priorities for people who are trying to make predictions and analyze the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the future of the world.
As the world debates whether to save economies or to save people’s lives, countries have already made the decision, declaring that human lives have supremacy over economic matters.BUT there is no dilemma here, as you need healthy people to have a healthy economy.#COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/Jr6Zgm1IEk— politics & economics (@politics7eco) April 20, 2020
While the conversations have widely been focused on the health aspect of the crisis and how many people the world is losing to "the invisible enemy," a lot of people are more interested in the possible growth of the economic crisis that has already started to emerge in different corners of the world as a result of the outbreak.
Nowadays, people seem interested in news of stimulus packages, unemployment support, oil prices, and stock markets' volatility almost as much as they are interested in learning about the health precautions they can take to avoid contracting COVID-19, and everything related to testing and lockdown rules in their area.
The question over whether peoples' health has a higher priority over their economic condition has never been so urgent, as we see hundreds of people protesting against closures and lockdowns; arguing that the economy is more important than human lives, that could have been lost to some other non-contagion diseases.
To answer this question, Al Bawaba Business ran a 24-hour Twitter poll, asking users to vote to prioritize either human health or the global economy.
Which one is threatened more by COVID-19?— Al Bawaba Business (@AlBawabaBiz) April 16, 2020
With over 160 participants, the poll revealed that more than 67% of voters think that people's health comes in the first place when compared to the global economy, which gained 32.5% of the votes.
The health vs economy debate has clearly been attracting lots of voices from both sides.
One side of the argument thinks that a healthy population, whether we're talking about actual physical health or a mental, is crucial to the success of the economy in the long run. Moreover, forcing people to carry on daily work tasks, with no regard to the risks this may pose on their lives, is actually capable of lowering their productivity, which means that such a decision would endanger both health and the economy.
''We understand that economy of the state and that of individual have been grounded by the first lock down but we can not sacrifice human lives for our economy''.— Prince Aderemi (@HARDEYRHEMMYMo1) April 14, 2020
-Governor Adegboyega Oyetola pic.twitter.com/JLq1Xax6UI
On the other hand, people who lean towards reopening countries even before containing the coronavirus or finding an efficient vaccine, believe that an inevitable economic collapse, following months of closures, will eventually worsen not only the economic situation but will also be disastrous on social and political levels. Governments will have to face the possibility of running out of resources that support their health systems.
Sen. Rand Paul: "No amount of money -- not all the money in China -- will save us from ourselves. Our only hope of rescuing this great country is to reopen the economy." pic.twitter.com/dWKbLUwG6g— The Hill (@thehill) April 21, 2020
These voices are also concerned with the growing number of unemployed people on a global level, which will put a strain on plans of economic recovery once the virus is under control.
Many analysts have been trying to offer an alternative middle ground that tried to balance both losses as much as possible. They suggested that countries can put some extra effort into protecting and probably isolating workers of certain vital fields, to help them maintain daily business running and to rescue the economy from a total collapse. At the same time, provide people with everyday needs while keeping them and the rest of the community safe, especially vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.
Glorious first delivery from @AbelandCole's new service 'Food On The Table', which delivers food originally destined for restaurants which have had to close during the lockdown. A great idea that provides support for our farmers & food industry while supporting social distancing. pic.twitter.com/wgGZd408I4— Miranda Grell 🕷 (@MirandaGrell) April 16, 2020
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