Measures to Attenuate the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Global and National Economies

Sofia L

Two years of living with the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in. While there have been many small, country-specific changes-- from new health regulations to lockdown mandates-- one aspect of the world that has changed for everyone is the economy. Even though many countries are trying to reach a point of normalcy again, the continued rising of case numbers and protests against regulations make it infinitely more difficult for the economy to stabilize. 

(The percentage change in quarterly real GDP from the same period a year ago in China, the United States, Europe, and Japan. There was a drastic drop in the percentage change of around -15% in 2020 for all places due to the Coronavirus pandemic, CNBC)


To combat high case numbers, the majority of the world went into lockdown-- an obligatory act that not too many were happy about. This forced isolation was the primary reason for the decrease in the prosperity of global and national economies. Fewer people were allowed to work, and fewer still were allowed to leave their homes to purchase goods and services. According to PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, around 41.3% of small businesses internationally had to close down as a result of the lockdown. Many people became unemployed and were receiving no income. As a result, there was less consumption, signifying a decline in the international economy.
    So what can be done to attenuate the effects of COVID-19 on the international economy?
The PWC, the PricewaterhouseCoopers company, is the second-largest service of multinational accounting firms, and has suggested ways to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 on the global economy. The suggestions include increasing investment, increasing revenue, reducing costs, encouraging innovations, and supporting workforce readiness (PWC.com). Increasing investment involves arranging direct capital through investments, loans, and grants-- actions that require implementing capital into the banking system to bring further investment (PWC.com). Increasing revenue involves expanding government spending on public-use assets, like heavy infrastructures, and by promoting spending on domestically produced goods and services through tax-rebate checks. Furthermore, reducing taxes on businesses offers them more disposable income (PWC.com). Encouraging innovation in multiple industries, such as design and development agencies, is also very beneficial to better recover from COVID-19. Lastly, by creating reskilling programmes, governments could better support workforce readiness to encourage more efficiency and productiveness.
Some other ways to ensure that our world returns to a more stable economic cycle is to ensure that more people are vaccinated and are following COVID regulations. In order for people to be able to leave their homes, everyone needs to be safe and protected. As the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or the OECD, suggested, “Implement short-term support measures for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and severely affected sectors (e.g. tourism) including temporarily reducing or eliminating property/business taxes, or provide liquidity support through the creation of temporary loan-repayment amnesties or provision of grants to bridge liquidity gaps.” (OECD.org) These new ideas could be greatly beneficial for small businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Additionally, this is an opportunity for businesses to adapt their products and services in order to deal with the post-pandemic world. Though the economy shows signs of improvement, this return to stability will be a long and arduous process that requires a realistic and objective viewpoint. 

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