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COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:July 14, 2020

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‘I Can’t Keep Doing This:’ Small Business Owners Are Giving Up (NY Times) Published on: July 13, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • More owners are permanently shutting their doors after new lockdown orders, realizing that there may be no end in sight to the crisis.
  • Nearly 66,000 businesses have folded since March 1, according to data from Yelp, which provides a platform for local businesses to advertise their services and has been tracking announcements of closings posted on its site.
  • From June 15 to June 29, the most recent period for which data is available, businesses were closing permanently at a higher rate than in the previous three months, Yelp found.
COVID-19 roundup: CEWS extended to December (The Logic) Published on: July 13, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Economic Impact
  • Ottawa plans to extend its wage subsidy program “until December,” to “give greater certainty and support to businesses as we restart the economy,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pre-announced on Monday.
  • The requirement disqualified high-growth companies and software-as-a-service business models; scale-ups like point-of-sale tech firm TouchBistro and fintech Borrowell cited their ineligibility for the program when they laid off staff in April.
  • The TSX, S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed down after California rolled back its reopening plans.
Consumers Want Anti-microbial Coatings in New Vehicles in light of COVID-19 and are Willing to Pay, according to IHS Markit (Business Wire Consumer News) Published on: July 13, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • The survey across five major markets* indicates an increase in demand, with 54 per cent of the nearly 800 consumers saying they were “very interested” or “interested” in having an anti-microbial coating in their next personal vehicle.
  • While it is not economical to coat entire interior surfaces of a vehicle, IHS Markit expects OEMs and suppliers to deploy cost-effective countermeasures on critical surfaces.
  • Additionally, IHS Markit found that 25 per cent of consumers said that they will not use ridesharing after the COVID-19 pandemic and 80 per cent of consumers expect their rideshare vehicles to have some sort of disinfecting supplies going forward.
Jumbled Covid-19 Border Rules Baffle Companies, Stymie Tourism (WSJ) Published on: July 13, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • After many countries reopened schools, businesses and restaurants, governments world-wide are wrestling with another coronavirus dilemma: When to throw open their borders again.
  • Health officials and citizens in many countries are convinced that keeping some restrictions on flights and other arrivals—potentially for months—will be necessary to prevent further infections.
  • Pressure over the issue is building, especially in countries that depend on tourists and foreign talent.
  • What’s emerging is a spaghetti bowl of travel regulations that will likely act as a brake on the global economic recovery for a long time.
Second wave (Reuters Breaking Views) Published on: July 13, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Analysts expect a 44 per cent year-on-year decline for S&P 500 Index earnings in the period, according to Refinitiv data.
  • Even the 71 per cent rebound in earnings they now foresee for the second quarter of 2021 will not quite bring them back to where they were in April to June of 2019.
  • But next year the comparisons turn positive again, and for the full year 2021 the forecasters reckon 500 of the largest U.S. companies will – just – be ahead of 2019 on profit, and also ahead on revenue after a 5 per cent drop in the top line for this year compared with last.
Not the last pandemic: Investing now to reimagine public-health systems (McKinsey) Published on: July 13, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed overlooked weaknesses in the world’s infectious-disease-surveillance and -response capabilities—weaknesses that have persisted in spite of the obvious harm they caused during prior outbreaks.
  • The world has seen repeated instances of what former World Bank president Jim Kim has called a cycle of “panic, neglect, panic, neglect,” whereby the terror created by a disease outbreak recedes, attention shifts, and we let our vital outbreak-fighting mechanisms atrophy.
  • The economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could cost between $9 trillion and $33 trillion—many times more than the projected cost of preventing future pandemics.
New intimacy: COVID-19 offers a chance to take things slow (Japan Times) Published on: July 12, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • According to a recent survey conducted by popular dating app Pairs, 30 per cent of respondents between ages 20 and 39 said that their desire to partner up has increased during the pandemic.
  • Not only that, but the same survey also revealed that having a similar moral compass and sharing values is integral; 18 per cent of respondents stated their “view on love has changed,” with some even saying they “don’t feel comfortable dating somebody who didn’t ‘stay home’ while the Japanese government has advised people to do so,” despite compliance being voluntary.
  • Taking on the challenge of the coronavirus, that app has recently released a new Video Date feature, allowing romance-seeking singles to woo love interests via screen, rather than face to face.
  • Without the potential pressure and nerves in meeting in real life (and minus the threat of infection), video dating has allowed couples to get to know each other from the comfort of their own home.
Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots “should be on the table” (Axios) Published on: July 12, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • The Trump administration’s coronavirus testing coordinator Adm. Brett Giroir said on ABC’s “This Week” that “everything” — including the “stringent lockdowns” that many governors implemented in March and April — should be “on the table” in states where new infections are skyrocketing.
  • Giroir stressed that every American should wear a mask when they go out in public, and that states where cases are surging need to close restaurants and bars as soon as possible.
  • “We do expect and are planning for and are surging people and everything else — but we expect hospitalizations to go up,” Giroir said. “At the peak in April, we were at about 85,000. Right now, we’re at 63,000. But we do expect those to go up.”
Do You Dare Switch Jobs in the Coronavirus Economy? (WSJ) Published on: July 12, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • The thought of confessing an issue at home to a prospective employer and pleading for flexibility can feel risky, especially as the economy teeters.
  • Overall, more Americans are staying put these days, if they can. Some 2.1 million Americans quit their jobs in May, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 41 per cent drop from the same month a year before.
  • A recent survey of executives conducted by search firm Salveson Stetson Group found that 64 per cent weren’t interested in making a career move during the pandemic.
The Role of Cognitive Dissonance in the Pandemic (The Atlantic) Published on: July 12, 2020 | Category: Leadership
  • Dissonance is most painful when evidence strikes at the heart of how we see ourselves—when it threatens our belief that we are kind, ethical, competent, or smart.
  • Today, as we confront the many unknowns of the coronavirus pandemic, all of us are facing desperately difficult decisions.
  • The way we answer these questions has momentous implications for our health as individuals and for the health of our communities. Even more important, and far less obvious, is that because of the unconscious motivation to reduce dissonance, the way we answer these questions has repercussions for how we behave after making our initial decision.
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