Economic Impact of COVID-19

My daughter worked in hospitality (waiters, waitresses, bartenders, hostesses, etc.) for years. It’s a fairly ruthless industry. If one gets sick or has some misfortune and can’t work, even for a short while, you’re fired, and the next high school or college kid takes their place. Luckily, my daughter was not working in hospitality when COVID-19 hit.

So that got me thinking, COVID-19 has caused harsh economic impact on many people. Serving food in restaurants in NC has ceased at the moment. Only pick-up and delivery is allowed. Many thousands of hospitality folks have filed for unemployment. It is very sad.

However, as an Engineer, I can be somewhat productive at home on the dining table with my laptop. I attend meetings via Skype for Business. It’s not business as usual, but it’s good enough, so far. I hope it continues. I read GM cut employee’s salary 20%. Ouch! That hurts, but is not harsh.

My conclusion is, Engineers are not heavily impacted by COVID-19 like some other career choices.

Is this true for others?

I would say engineers definitely fare better than a lot of other professions in a situation like this.

Many can likely work from home at least to some degree and remain fairly productive. Many of us likely work in “essential businesses”, and those that cannot work from home are probably considered “essential employees” and would be eligible to continue working no matter how restrictive the government gets on work and travel.

Maybe not yet… but, there will be fallout.


Such as?

I work as an engineer for an A&E firm and I have some anxiety around when I’ll be laid off - if the clients stop spending money on projects, my company will start looking for cost savings. Maybe that never happens because we support businesses that are likely essential, maybe it’s tomorrow, maybe it’s 3 months away. I’m mostly worried because I need to be able to sponge expenses for other family members that aren’t as well off.

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Good luck to you @jari001!

I suspect that if you use your imagination a bit and think of some of the fallout. There are already massive lay-offs, with millions on umemployment… this will run out in a few weeks… and bread lines will get even longer. The economy will really slowdown. China who had a real grasp on the problem of the pandemic and got out from beneath it, is already slowly starting up manufacturing. The US did not take this approach, and will suffer for it.

This will have a ripple effect on consumer spending… fewer and fewer items will be purchased… manufacturing will shut down a bunch since fewer items will be sold.

With little money, travel and recreational activity will be diminished. This will have an impact on all services related to this activity.

The effects of this pandemic may be felt for years… and little good will come of it.


We are considering ourselves an essential business, as we have current production orders for our product to go into major hospitals as well as a large government disease research lab.

As the engineer living closest to work, I get to go in daily and monitor some ongoing R+D tests, which then gets me roped into fixing other issues that come up.

But, our shop is pretty good at maintaining social distancing, with many employees working from home there are no face to face meetings, so far so good.

and from CNN:

More people in need. Less food being donated. And volunteers staying home.

Food banks across the nation are facing a perfect storm as they try to help the growing number of hungry Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This is just the beginning…

and, with this, there is a real potential for social unrest.


Thanks! Time will reveal all, so we’ll all just have to march on through this the best we can.

Right. As @dik has said, companies and people can’t hold out forever. Let’s hope virus cases peak out and decline before most companies and people’s pocketbooks run empty.

From CNN:

Mass layoffs tied to the coronavirus pandemic sparked a surge in the number of Americans who filed for their first week of unemployment benefits — the latest sign that the US economy is in for a deep recession as shutdowns aimed at containing the virus continue.


From design engineering:

According to data compiled by IHS Markit (up to March 25, 2020), Canadian manufacturing production fell during the month at the fastest pace since the market analysis firm began compiling manufacturing data roughly nine years ago. The company’s Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is derived from surveys of senior executives at private sector companies.

According to the PMI data for March, Canadian manufacturers experienced survey-record declines in output, new orders and employment due, almost exclusively, to shrinking customer demand amid the global public health emergency, the company said.

It’s happening here, too.


Economic Impact of COVID-19
There may be an even greater threat looming on the horizon.
Consider the amount of US debt held by China.
Consider that the POTUS’s actions may be inviting a trade war with China.


While China seems to be recovering while the US is still on the downslope, if China really wants economic warfare, this could be the beginning of the end of lifestyle as we know it.

Agree wholeheartedly… one of the downsides of capitalism and globalisation.


As of 12:27 PM Mountain Daylight Time, 2 April 2020.
… … … …US/China
New Cases: 20,744/35 (592/1)
New Deaths: 518/6 (86/1)
Total Cases: 235,747/81,589 (2.89/1
Tot Cases/1M pop: 712/57 (12.49/1)
Deaths/1M pop: 17/2 (8.5/1)
Updated frequently and getting worse.


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Possibly the only good news is The Donald’s TV ratings.
Bachelor! Your fired!

Who said don’t change horses in mid stream?
Been there, done that.
From experience, IT DEPENDS.
I was on a horse that stepped into water much deeper than she expected.
She lunged forward and hit deeper water.
Things got worse.
I didn’t have another horse to change to.
That confused, struggling, horses was for the moment way over her depth.
I got as far away as fast as I could and left her thrashing by herself.
Did I fall off?
Nowhere to fall to.
The water was up to the saddle horn and rising fast.
The horse was going sideways.
I did a racing dive sideways and started swimming as fast as I could.
Change horses in mid stream?
It Depends.

Best website I’ve found… and latest


New Cases: 22,874/35
New Deaths: 628/6
Total Cases: 237,877/81,589
Tot Cases/1M pop: 719/57
Deaths/1M pop: 17/2

The latter number is one of the more significant… it is a measure of how well the health care system is working. Canada is at 3 which is 5x better than the US. It’s a feature of our socialised health care; you cannot beat it.

Even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than does the US!


Anyone want to talk about the personal economic impact of COVID-19? How much of a hit have your investments suffered? Me? Ouch! It was worse though. At it’s worst, I was down 25.6%. Today, I’m -20.5%. In broad terms, I maintain an asset allocation (AA) of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. I re-balance at +/- 5% bands, and I’ve re-balanced twice since the slide started. I’m currently at 60/40. Besides living expenses, I’m cash flowing my youngest son through a state university this semester. Next semester, I’ll be cash flowing my youngest son and daughter through college. No loans for us; thank goodness for interest free payment plans! So, we are cutting back, but that’s easy right now since we are hunkered down at home with nowhere to go anyway. I’d not worried . . . yet. Still sleeping good at night, I am. You?

We may be looking at the same site dik.
Your numbers are higher than I posted this AM, but now the current numbers are past your numbers.
Economically OK.
Pensions and rental income.
Tenants are stable, government jobs.
Wife works part time at the local hospital.
We’re good.
Thanks for asking.