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The End is Nigh (Again) – Coronavirus and the Chinese Economy

In 2019 we were plagued with hurricanes in the south, California forest fires in the west, the Amazon was burning, and earthquakes shook South America. Only one month of 2020 the effects climate change has turned much of Australia to ashes and now the Coronavirus has paralyzed Asia and now is making its way across the globe. I know we all said it last year, but I think this is it, and even before Bernie erased all our student loans.

Everyone has seen the news about the appearance of the coronavirus in China, and now the United States. A coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause respiratory infection. This is not the first time China has faced this challenge, in 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) took the lives of an estimated 800 people. Luckily in 2020, the public health community is much more prepared for an outbreak like this and the United Nations has already gathered and formed a plan for containment and treatment.

Obviously, a danger like this puts China at a standstill, just before the Lunar New year a huge time for travel and economic gains. While the public health community is thankful for a standstill, businesses will suffer because of it. The article I chose was from the New York Times, titled “How China’s Virus Outbreak Could Threaten the Global Economy” by Alexandra Stevenson. Wuhan is a huge hub of travel to get through China, where all buses, trains, and planes have been grounded and will not allow travel in or out. Thousands of families are choosing not to travel during Lunar New year which obviously hurts domestic travel, and international travel as well. Fewer people are coming, and no one is leaving. The travel industry in Wuhan is at an almost complete standstill.

Last year over the Lunar New Year week, the box office estimates it made over $860 million dollars. Hundreds of movie theaters this year have closed completely. They are begin praised as “responsible business” by keeping their consumers health as a priority, but if all businesses continue to do this no money will be made, and stocks in companies will go down and China’s economic growth will continue to slow. The Forbidden City, and Disney World in Shanghai which attracts a combined 20 million people a year, have been closed indefinitely. The food industry to is estimated to experience a slowdown, people are being cautioned to stay in their homes, people like Mo Chen, a woman who has both canceled her plans to visit her parents and begun to cook at home (which she never does).

This virus will affect China’s economy, but it is not yet known how much and what it will take to get back on track. With China’s economy seeing unknown ups and downs, so will the rest of the world who depends on them for trade, manufacturing, and other transactions. Just because the virus isn’t affecting every country, does not mean they will not experience the effects.

Original Article – “How China’s Virus Outbreak Could Threaten the Global Economy” Alexandra Stevenson, The New York Times, January 23rd, 2020.

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