Why Aren’t People Connecting “No 2nd Wave of Cases” With “No Economic Re-Start?”

I keep seeing line graphs trumpeting “no coronavirus case re-acceleration yet!!!”  This is often connected to some sort of positive economic outlook or commentary.

That makes no sense.

The absence of a case rise tells us one thing.  People are still social distancing even with the legal lockdowns lifted.  If more people aren’t getting sick, then more people aren’t going out (much).  If they were going out, we’d be seeing them getting sick (much).   Less contagion must be driven by less social  mixing.  Unless the virus has somehow gotten less contagious?  (it hasn’t).

The above logic also squares with activity and economic data from Georgia, Sweden etc…  The lockdown isn’t driving the economic slowdown, the virus is.  People aren’t stupid.  They aren’t taking unnecessary risks.  Anecdotal newspaper stories about people bars and restaurants notwithstanding.

It was hard to not see the whole “lift the lockdown!” push as a pretty naked effort to risk the lives of a lot of folks to save the financial prospects of a much smaller number of folks with mortgage payments on retail and commercial property coming due.

The key, cynical, false assumption of “lift the lockdown!”  was the masses were dumb enough to go back out once restrictions were lifted.  Especially if loudly encouraged by media outlets owned by wealthier folks (working from home).

The absence of a case uptick is yet another sign that the masses aren’t that dumb.  They are staying home too.  This is great news from a health perspective.  It is much less good news from an economic perspective.

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