The coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the world with more than 10 million cases in the US as of today. The US economy continued to function with employment increasing in January and February even when it's first coronavirus case was documented in Jan 21. The delay of a lockdown and its intensity which only took place in March, cannot be overlooked as the reason for the many cases in the US. Lockdowns slashed incomes and wealth for about half of all Americans as nonfarm payroll shed 1 million jobs from 151.067 to 150.073 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the GDP in Q1 had a dramatic 5% decline. Almost 20 million jobs were lost leading to a 31.4% drop in GDP in Q2 though lockdown was relaxed towards the close of the quarter. With the relaxation of lockdown, the economy began to pick up as nonfarm employment grew by over 3million jobs in May. The economy had so far added back over 11.5 million jobs during five consecutive months of growth though still below February’s peak of 151.076 million despite the increase of coronavirus cases.
An early lockdown would have had a better tradeoff- lives can be protected while maintaining a steady economy by respecting the necessary measures. The daily rates are however alarming, and there is fear of another possible lockdown.