Wearing masks could benefit the economy and the public by controlling the spread of Covid-19, according to leading macroeconomic influencers

1 July 2020 (Last Updated July 1st, 2020 07:03)

Wearing masks could benefit the economy and the public by controlling the spread of Covid-19, according to leading macroeconomic influencers

Covid-19 cases in the US are on the rise again as many states have withdrawn lockdown relaxations and imposed stay-at-home orders. Another round of lockdown measures could prove devastating to the US economy. A nationwide policy urging people to wear masks could help save the economy.

Christopher Ingraham

Christopher Ingraham, a journalist, shared an article on research conducted by a team of economists at Goldman Sachs that revealed that wearing masks can help in saving 5% of GDP in the US. The article notes that another round of lockdowns can be avoided if the US implemented a nationwide mask policy mandating everyone to wear a mask.

The US has not adopted a mask policy compared to Europe and Asia, where masks have witnessed a widespread uptake. The article notes that state-wise implementation of mask policy has helped in cutting infection rate by 25%. A country-level implementation may help in reducing the infection rate.

Stephen Kinsella

Stephen Kinsella, associate professor of economics at University Of Limerick, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is speeding up, according to the World Health Organisation.

The article notes that the pandemic is far from over and tracing contacts of people with Covid-19 infection is the only way to fight and control the disease. Countries such as South Korea have been effective in controlling the pandemic through effective contact tracing.

Daniel Lacalle

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis SV, shared an article on the complications surrounding a second round of lockdowns in the US. As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, the government is under pressure to once again implement lockdowns.

The article notes that another round of lockdown may be difficult to implement as the first round led to wide-spread unemployment and business closures. A second lockdown is expected to be longer and pose a huge economic risk for people. It may lead to a severe depression and require another round of stimulus, which will drive up government debt.

Marc F. Bellemare

Marc F. Bellemare, Northrop Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, shared an article on the emergence of a new flu virus in China that has the potential to become a pandemic. The virus is carried by pigs and has the ability to infect humans.

The article notes that current flu vaccines may not be able to protect against the virus. Although the virus is not an immediate threat, it should be monitored closely to avoid another pandemic like situation.