Some economists believe that as holiday demand and supply chain issues ease, the situation should improve in 2022, but Omicron could stand in the way in the short term.
Armine Yalnizyan, economist, writer and former senior economist at the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, tweeted about the intersection between the Covid-19 pandemic and economic variables and what to expect next. She also highlights through a post shared by Eric Lascelles, Chief Economist at RBC Global Asset Management, how Omicron infections will start to fade in January 2022, but will pick up again soon after as restrictions ease, affecting growth and the GDP of many countries.
The analysis reveals that globally, the world is now reporting more than twice as many new Covid-19 infections each day as the previous peak. However, deaths remain well below previous peaks due to less severe infections. It has also been seen that the majority of new infections are being reported in the developed world, with cases in the emerging market also starting to rise in recent weeks.
The Omicron has been found to have a natural reproduction rate as high as 10, implying that each sick person can infect ten other people. This is a huge leap from the original strain, which had a reproduction rate of 2.5 and a delta of almost seven. However, experts say Omicron is not the most contagious virus, and the world has seen other contagious viruses, such as measles, which can cause one sick person to infect 15 others.
Currently, existing vaccines and previous infections do not work well against Omicron, hence the increase in cases. However, medical experts believe it is less serious because it affects the upper respiratory system. As a result, several countries such as South Africa, Scotland, Denmark, and New York State have reported reduced hospitalizations due to Omicron compared to other variants.
Described as tall and brief, the Omicron has already peaked in South Africa and reports a drop in cases from London, while the US and other countries are expected to see a spike in their infection rates daily in January due to less socialization and with the fraction of the population whose immunity is gradually increasing. However, experts warn that the Omicron could heat up if governments ease restrictions in the coming weeks.
Martin Sandbu, leading economics writer for the Financial Times and former senior fellow at the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, retweeted an article shared by Nicolas Goetzmann, head of research and strategy macroeconomics at Financière de la Cité, to be wrong again to panic in the face of American inflation. Sandbu says the latest US data continues to show Covid-19 disruption, but not excessive demand.
US inflation hit 7% for the first time in nearly 40 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated disruptions. However, Sandbu believes that year-over-year metrics should first be ignored, and whatever factors are driving this momentum, they are also likely to change quickly and erratically.
Sandbu also points out that pundits who argue for lower inflation on its own do so because they don’t believe it is the result of overspending overall. Instead, it is due to the huge and extraordinary shift in spending from services to goods during the pandemic. Therefore, those worried about inflation fear that price pressures will spread from goods to services, which cannot be sustained.
He also writes that other economies have also seen rising inflation during the virus crisis, but due to different factors. For example, Europe has not seen the same shift in spending from services to goods, according to OECD chief economist Laurence Boone.
Jim Stanford, director of the Center for Future Work in Vancouver, shared latest research on Canadian workers being sent back to work after just five days of self-isolation due to infection or exposure to Covid-19, not because that they can safely return, but because they are needed to return to work.
Teresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, told the House of Commons health committee that the latest evidence does not show that the Omicron variant is contagious for less time than the original strain or the Delta variant. . However, rising numbers of infections are stressing the workforce and therefore a reason to end isolation periods early, a tough decision provinces are being forced to make.
Although the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that people infected with Covid-19 self-isolate for at least ten days after testing positive or symptoms have started, whichever comes first, each province and territory has stopped following advice starting with Saskatchewan and Ontario on December 30, 2021.
Unlike the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, which reduced the isolation period from ten to five days, in Canada the shorter isolation period only applies to those who are fully vaccinated and those receiving booster shots. in the Northwest Territories. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, as well as Nunavut and the Yukon, have reduced the isolation period from ten days to seven days for those vaccinated. All other provinces and the Northwest Territories have reduced the isolation period to five days.