COVID-19: Hard Choices
Countries may face a real trade-off. Should they go through a period of extreme and painful lockdowns, and along with it a steep decline in economic activity – or should they delay the peak and slow down the transmission and suffer a less acute but longer decline in economic activity? East Asian countries took the formal approach and Western countries are taking the latter approach. The first approach sacrificed one quarter of growth. The latter approach of social distancing, depending on success, may mean up to 6 to 12 months of economic loss.