Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Paul Krugman+ Your Authors @paulkrugman Nobel laureate. Op-Ed columnist, @nytopinion. Author, “The Return of Depression Economics,” “The Great Unraveling,” "Arguing With Zombies," + more. Jul. 11, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

It's now clear that the US took a decisive wrong turn in late March, rushing to reopen even though Covid-19 wasn't remotely under control. And here's one way to think about it: America drank away its children's future 1/

What, after all, was the situation under lockdown? It was annoying but sustainable. Many workers and some businesses were receiving enough in emergency aid to avoid hardship, and we could have plugged the holes in that safety net, making lockdown tolerable much longer 2/

Could we afford to do that? Yes. Borrowing costs were very low. There were no financial constrains on taking as long as necessary to control the virus. But there was one crucial thing where lockdown inflicted long-term damage: education 3/

Students really need in-person teaching; we now know, if we didn't before, that remote learning is a very poor substitute. So our policy should have been to do whatever it took to make reopening schools in the fall relatively safe 4/

What actually happened, however, was that many states, especially in the South, rushed to resume business as usual, allowing big parties, opening restaurants and — incredibly — bars. And the consequence of letting people drink in crowds was a viral surge 5/

Now nobody knows either how we can open schools without disastrously reinforcing the pandemic, or how we can educate America's children without normal schooling. So as I said, we drank away the future of our children — and that of the nation 6/

You can follow @paulkrugman.


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