There are harsh realities for every tragedy. When we get hit by a natural disaster, we calculate the potential cost by analyzing the total damages to infrastructure, people, productivity, etc. It’s even more complicated than that when we consider the economic impacts of man-made climate change — because we know those natural disasters will occur more often and will be worse. But what about the economic consequences of a virus or disease?
Unfortunately, it works much the same way.
A warming climate means that these infections and diseases will become much more common in the future, which is disastrous for our long-term economic outlook. In fact, COVID-19 itself might be a consequence of climate change.
President Trump has done his best to ignore these problems, which has resulted in a large number of lawsuits against his administration. Some have succeeded. Some have failed. Others are forthcoming. While the president himself isn’t liable personally for any unintended consequences of executive actions he takes while in office, we can still try to prevent future damages by legally turning him away from some of these decisions.
But the consequences are already adding up. First and foremost, many Americans have been ruined financially after losing their jobs — and subsequently their health insurance — which means they can’t contribute to the overall economy. Add to this fact that automation was experiencing exponential growth before so many businesses lost their workforces and what you get is a country led more by robots than by people. That means good news for businesses but bad news for families.
The economic impacts will be felt more strongly in the coming years as we forget about legitimate concerns amidst ongoing struggles. Will anyone still be wearing a mask in a year or two? It’s hard to say yes considering how widely politicized such a simple thing has become. The virus won’t be gone, though. That means more cases and a higher cost.