The rapid policy response to quash the spread of the Covid-19 virus has been social distancing and lockdown. But these immediate policy goals cannot be maintained in the long-term management of the virus and for economic and societal wellbeing. Social distancing and lockdown policy have already proved to have disastrous impacts not only on the economy, but on inequality, poverty, housing, access to care and food and education – exposing how precarious people’s livelihoods are. This paper aims to start a critical discussion on how to develop innovative social mechanisms for supressing the spread of Covid-19 and whether there might be alternative solutions to long-term social distancing. It has been to the detriment of the UK and the USA that they have not viewed the Covid-19 pandemic as a humanitarian crisis as countries in Africa have. We argue that any solution to manage the virus, society and the economy must be locally informed and led. This requires progressive localism and universal public service delivery, enhancing the capacities and capabilities of local communities who are already responding to the virus.
Moore, H., & Collins, H. (2020). Prosperity and the New Normal: Social Distancing and the Exit from Lockdown. Journal of Behavioural Economics for Policy.
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On 4 August 2020, a massive explosion at Beirut’s port killed at least 200 people and caused up to $15bn in damage to buildings and infrastructure – including the destruction of the public electricity company building. It was the latest blow for a country battling a 30-year energy crisis and facing chronic shortages as a result of an ageing infrastructure based around fossil fuels.Read More
In 1945, the UK’s welfare state was set up to address the want, need and misery caused by unemployment. Seventy-five years later, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had almost full employment in the UK – and yet we still have massive levels of poverty and precarity experienced by people in work.Read More