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.