Coronavirus Impact Studies

Edgeworth Analytics is providing a series of data-driven briefings that deliver an initial assessment of the various economic consequences of the Coronavirus. We take a broad-based approach, as there is no single data source which can capture the impact of this pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization, the first incidents of a “pneumonia with unknown cause” were detected in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019.[i] Since that time, the global spread of the novel COVID-19, colloquially known as Coronavirus, has led to a declared worldwide pandemic and a public health crisis unlike any in recent experience.[ii]

As a practical matter, local governments and business leaders are confronted with a range of difficult decisions to try and slow the community spread of this virus to avoid overburdening the health care system in the US.[iii] Public health officials have advocated for social distancing measures to “restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases.”[iv] In the last week alone, social distancing efforts to limit large group gatherings have included:

  • Virtually all major sports associations in the United States—National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, NCAA, and Major League Baseball—have suspended or cancelled major sporting events.[v]
  • Major theme parks (Disneyworld), museums (Smithsonian museums and National Zoo in Washington, DC), and theaters (Broadway) have closed for the foreseeable future.[vi]
  • Live music and festival organizers have also postponed and cancelled their events, including Coachella, South by Southwest, and all concerts by Live Nation and AEG.[vii]
  • Large scale trade association conferences across virtually all industries, from Self Storage to Data Privacy to Education have been cancelled.[viii]
  • Dozens of states have shut down all public schools for several weeks, and major universities have either gone to virtual classes, cancelled classes, and/or asked students to leave campus entirely.[ix]
  • Retail businesses are also beginning to act, such as the decision by Apple to close all retail stores outside of China for several weeks.[x]
  • Cities and states (for example, the state of Ohio and the city of Los Angeles) have announced closures of bars and limited restaurants to takeout and delivery only.[xi]
  • Many companies are implementing or even mandating telework and restricting non-essential travel, including the Washington Post, Google, Microsoft, and the United States Government.[xii]
[i] https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen
[ii] See, for example, Comments from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General of the World Health Organization): “WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic…We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.” https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—11-march-2020
[iii] According to the CDC, “Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.”  A combination of factors—including, but not limited to– the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, the lack of available testing to identify known cases, and the continued fear for the most vulnerable populations, makes community spread efforts more important in the context of this pandemic.  See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Ftransmission.html
[iv] http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/php/185/185_factsheet_social_distancing.pdf
[v] https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/28871525/coronavirus-cancellations-reactions-sports
[vi] https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/media/disney-world-close-coronavirus/index.html, https://www.si.edu/, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/theater/coronavirus-broadway-shutdown.html
[vii] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/arts/music/coachella-concerts-coronavirus.html
[viii] Several technology conference have gone virtual.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/coronavirus-tech-conference-cancellations-e3-nab-gartner-dell-world-and-more/
[ix] https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/13/dc-school-shutdowns-coronavirus-128060, https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/09/us/coronavirus-university-college-classes/index.html
[x] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-to-shut-all-retail-outlets-outside-of-greater-china-091836493.html
[xi] https://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/2020/03/all-bars-restaurants-to-close-9-pm-sunday-due-to-coronavirus-carryout-still-allowed-ohio-gov-mike-dewines-sunday-briefing.html, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-15/coronavirus-close-los-angeles-restaurants
[xii] https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/814543505/in-reversal-trump-administration-now-urges-agencies-to-allow-telework, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/coronavirus-has-prompted-these-tech-companies-to-ask-employees-to-work-from-home-2020-03-05, https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-asking-employees-to-work-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-2020

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