COVID-19 in 2021: The Reckoning is only beginning

COVID-19 in 2021: The Reckoning is only beginning

Humans do not behave in accordance with economic models or algorithmic trading programmes that rely on historic patterns repeating themselves. There have been too many deaths, too many afflicted by ‘long COVID’, too much bereavement and other mental stress. Too many have become unemployed, suffered loss of income or had their education disrupted. Things really will have to be done differently and social values will surely become increasingly influential in politics, economics and financial markets. Nevertheless, COVID-19 should still be regarded as a catalyst as much as the origin of developments that would have happened anyway. This edition of Economic Insights looks forward into next year, but not in a series of quantified or, indeed, unquantifiable predictions, but rather comments on some of the significant developments already underway. Many will take a lot longer than the next 12 months to gather momentum and all human developments take unexpected twists as they unfold. No trade-offs between public health and economic growth COVID-19 is turning out to be even more contagious and pernicious than was first flagged by medical staff in China and Italy as they battled heroically to save lives in January and February. Figure 1 touches on the human cost and Figure 2 on the economic cost so far, with both set to carry on rising well into 2021. There have been multiple mistakes made by most governments around the world and many seem likely to pay a high political price, with Mr Trump as the first and most prominent casualty. None has found it easy to cope and even many of those with initial relative success have subsequently suffered severe setbacks in easing restrictions too quickly. Taiwan and New Zealand still seem to be setting an example in both containing the contagion while keeping their economies turning over, even as others sneer that it is easy for islands to ‘isolate’ and that they are unimportant in a global context. In fact, what they are doing next is also exemplary: mass vaccinations to mitigate the absence of herd immunity that they deliberately prevented. Perhaps surprising is that so many governments that have been prioritising economic activity are planning to vaccinate older people first instead of those who carry out essential jobs away from their homes and/or are the parents of children at school. Indeed, any recovery will be held back until most 20-40 year olds are vaccinated. Public health, of course, is not only about coping with pandemics, although scientists expect them to occur more frequently. In fact, COVID-19 has cruelly exposed the widespread incidence of ‘underlying’ coronary, respiratory and metabolic conditions as well as the inadequacy for many of mental health and age care provision. Compassion is important but it also makes economic sense to keep people in work and out of hospitals and other institutions. Also recognised at last, as a threat to public health is air pollution, which in a landmark case was last week ruled to be the cause of a London child’s death. To be effective public health policy must win people’s trust so that they comply with any personal restrictions and respect others who need help and protection. Medical workers around the world have responded selflessly to the pandemic and communities have drawn closer together, albeit some more than others. The challenge now is that a lot more public investment is required to avoid in the future the worst of both worlds that so many countries are currently experiencing. A new focus on wellbeing would actually create a healthier workforce and boost employment and consumption. Governments will have to fund enterprise and innovation GDP may still be the most publicised way of quantifying economic activity but governments are under increasing pressure to take account of qualitative factors such as wellbeing (as discussed above) and environmental protection. However, even the quantification is based on assumptions and methodologies that differ in reliability from country to country and, in some cases, political priorities can affect the compilation as well as the presentation of official data. At some stage of 2021 we shall get a better understanding of the extent to which GDP numbers (actuals and even more the current forecasts) are underestimating the damage from the pandemic. In particular, Unemployment appears to have been remarkably contained in many countries but the numbers are likely to have been distorted by official support programmes as well as by not fully capturing underemployment or those leaving the workforce to care for family members and/or because they have simply given up looking for a job. The impact on the self-employed and small employee-owned businesses is unlikely to have been fully determined yet but will loom large in the worst-affected sectors in Figure 3 (which covers Europe but with a large enough sample to be applicable elsewhere). Other factors yet to work through include the failure of larger ‘Zombie’ corporate employers, debt forbearance and delayed evictions of private and corporate borrowers and tenants. In contrast, the productivity of people working from home (the least affected sectors in Figure 3) may well have increased thanks to less time and effort spent on commuting while many low paid service workers have been laid off. Furthermore, retail sales in advanced economies seem to have been boosted over recent months by a combination of welfare payments to the less well-off and restricted spending opportunities (travel, entertainment, eating out) for the better off. In the meantime, the GDP data that we do have for 2020 still shows that only China, Vietnam and Taiwan will achieve net growth while the weakest economies will include those with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths: Argentina, Brazil, France, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Spain and the UK. While most enjoyed a bounce in Q3 none are expected to achieve met growth over Q4 2019 until 2022 at the earliest. In contrast, among the major G20 economies the more dynamic US, India and Indonesia are expected to recover during next year, albeit with the benefit of substantial fiscal and monetary stimuli. Turmeric is a plant related to ginger, is grown throughout India.  Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicines, including breathing problems,… There I stand in a large courtyard of a large house built in traditional style, all littered well by sunlight. The… Schooling for Indian children begin before they reach the age of three, when the child’s only identity is still, just his or…
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Comedy is all about rhythm: Aahana Kumra

Directed by Rohan Sippy, the show revolves around a newlywed couple – Naina (Kumra) and Sameer, played by Kunaal Roy Kapur, who struggles to manage their folks and in-laws who live next door. The 35-year-old actor, who starred this year in thriller web series “Marzi” and zombie horror show “Betaal”, said “Sandwiched Together” marks her maiden comic project. “Comedy is all about rhythm… This is the first time I was offered a comedy. On OTT, there is a huge space for humour because there isn”t any. The digital platform mostly tends to offer content in the dark, crime and thriller space,” Kumra, who plays a badminton player in the show, told PTI. The actor has also recently completed shooting for another comedy series, titled “Call My Agent”, and said 2020 turned out to be a “brilliant” year for her work wise. “2020 has been a difficult year for everybody. For me it has been brilliant, I had back-to-back releases. I am grateful for the appreciation I have got for all the work. I hope I have an exciting lineup next year.” “Call My Agent”, directed by Shaad Ali, is a Hindi remake of the French workplace comedy “Dix Pour Cent”. Narrated through the eyes of four high-profile agents of Bollywood celebrities, the show narrates the behind-the-scenes stories of the magic and the madness which keeps the star system running. “There are so many things that agents do to make sure you have a good and happy career. There is a huge system that works behind to streamline your life. I now have a lot more respect and empathy for my agents and managers. Now I understood the way it is,” she said. “Call My Agent” also stars Soni Razdan, Rajat Kapoor and Ayush Mehra. The French original was created by Fanny Herrero and showrun by Cedric Klapisch. PTI KKP RDS SHD SHD SHD Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI More from Website AUIS Vs IND, 2nd Test: Mitchell Starc Rues Missed Chances For Australia; Praises Ajinkya Rahane’s Knock Farmers’ Stir: Protesters Vandalise 150 Telecom Towers In Punjab China: 7 Killed And 7 Injured In Knife Attack, Suspect Arrested More from Outlook Magazine What’s Kosher, What’s Halal? Sans Frontiers ‘DATRI Has 4.8 Lakh Donors…Less Than 1% Of India’s Population’
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