Without joined-up thinking about Covid and the economy, Britain is just guessing | Tony Yates

Policy could be fine-tuned to help different groups, such as young people, whose lives are currently on hold

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  • During a pandemic, the virus and the economy feed back in a continuous circular loop of causality. You don’t need to be a trained economist or epidemiologist to see that.

    As the virus progresses, consumers respond to the risk to their health by cutting back spending on risky activities in leisure and hospitality, such as visits to pubs, cinemas, gyms, nightclubs and restaurants. How much they alter their behaviour depends on how much the virus is a threat to them and those they care for, or how much they know about it. And of course it also affects companies (whose profitability and outlook for the future worsens) and workers who, ultimately, may fall sick and not be able to work, or may fear turning up to risky workplaces. So the virus affects the economy.

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