Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2019, which was officially announced by the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organisation to be a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ on 30th January 2020. This outbreak has affected the lives of everyone around the world, both economically and socially, as well as politically, that people’s daily lives have been largely influenced and their daily routines had to be changed. 

 

One example of this would be how Tokyo was affected by the outbreak of coronavirus, that many of the Wall Street banks offices in the city would have to be split into groups in order to avoid physical contact between the staffs to stop the potential spread of coronavirus. 

 

I believe that this would definitely have several effects on both the Japanese and world economy. People may argue that due to the advances in technologies, work could be done from home, and by using technology to shorten the distance between staff and customers, the effect of fewer people being able to go to work could be limited. However, I consider it important to have conversations face to face to avoid any confusion by contacting indirectly. This means that fewer contact hours would slow down the business in the banks, that transfers and projects would need to be delayed, and with all the banks being affected, this indicates that the global market has been slowed down, and therefore the economic growth internationally would reduce and hence affect everyone in the world. As firms’ main focus now is on the prevention of coronavirus, less effort would be put into achieving macroeconomics aims, therefore there is the risk that global quality of life would decrease due to the reduced economic growth.

 

Banks such as Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are now using the ‘split operation strategy’ and ‘rotation system’ to divide staff into 2 or 3 groups to avoid any physical contact between them. This method was originally developed in the aftermath of a major Tokyo earthquake, and this means that the techniques in companies could be reused in very different circumstances and this flexibility would reduce the damage caused by coronavirus and minimise the loss.

 

Overall, there’s no doubt that the coronavirus would cause social damage to people by restricting the activities outside, and the economic influences would be severe as well, with an estimated $1.1 trillion loss by the guardian, the global market would be damaged. However, the banks showed their flexible responses to unexpected events with very specific plans, which would be comforting as they are trying to reduce the loss.

 

Yanjun Zhou