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Coronavirus' Impact on Society through an Economic Lens

Katie Bai 

Man Wearing Mask

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept through America, hurting the economy now in more ways than imaginable. This outbreak has caused extreme uncertainty in the markets, leading to significant drops in stock prices everywhere, and the 11-year bull market has finally come to an end ( A bull market is the condition of a financial market in which prices are increasing or expected to increase). How can one truly understand the impact the decline of the economy has on citizens like us? How does the economy reflect the state of society during this time? One can start from the government’s response to this outbreak. 

In order to keep the virus contained, one must limit the spread. This includes cutting access to restaurants, shops, and other small businesses that rely on cash as their main form of income. Physical contact is not allowed, and two people must stay six feet apart from one another. Due to these circumstances, small businesses lose their customers. The government has the obligation to close down small businesses amidst the pandemic as well. Not to mention, many local businesses are already short on funds and struggling to maintain their finances. What does this mean? It means that employees are laid off from their jobs because their boss can’t pay off the lease on her/his building, and as a result, cannot pay them. Eighteen million Americans are now unemployed due to this virus. Because the government has closed down hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country, many aren’t able to support themselves. 

Not only can we look at this from the standpoint of local businesses, but we can also look at this on a grander scale in terms of how the entire world has been affected. In addition to its effects on restaurants and bakeries, this virus is also greatly affecting large industries and all sectors of the US market. The victims of COVID-19’s economic effects include all companies operating in the transportation sector. Airlines, trains, and buses are rapidly losing money because mostly everyone is afraid to fly, ride the train, or bus. The entertainment industry is suffering as well, with no one going to movie theaters, plays, or concerts. The healthcare industry, however, is a crucial requirement for all. Especially because of the outbreak, the healthcare industry has been thriving due to the fact that treatments are in high demand. On the contrary, it has experienced difficulty, as the pandemic has led patients to incur bills that are not covered by their health plans. 

Although the months of February and March entailed hardships and struggles, the market has been stable since, although it hasn’t improved. Despite the market’s slow stabilization, it doesn’t change the fact that millions are still in need of its benefits. Everyone had to make sacrifices at some point during the pandemic, including their job for some. Even after the pandemic is supposedly over, society is fearing a second wave of uncertainty hitting the market yet again. If everyone starts to go back outside again, there is a risk that the virus can break out a second time. More people will suffer, and more of the unemployed will end up at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. In order to do our part as citizens who may or may not be affected by this virus, we must work diligently to contribute to the recovery of us as a nation. Each one of us can do our part to limit the spread of the virus, and help those in need because together, we can accomplish anything.​

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