As Americans brace for the arrival of a possible outbreak from the novel coronavirus, there are fears that an outbreak could have devastating outcomes for many Americans.
At least 47 countries have reported cases of the disease as of Thursday, according to The New York Times, and the CDC recently advised travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea.
As you reconsider ways to approach work and start planning for the possibility of an outbreak in the United States, there are many other implications that the coronavirus could have on your life beyond your health.
Over the last week, you’ve probably noticed losses to your 401(k) savings plan. That’s due to the wave of panic the coronavirus has caused on Wall Street.
The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq have all plummeted at least 10% from their recent highs as of Thursday morning, with US stocks on pace for their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, according to multiple outlets.
“The stock market will continue to react to developments related to the outbreak, including those seen putting the global and U.S. economies, and profits which determine stock valuations, at risk,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said in a statement. “For investors who truly have a longer time horizon for their money, including those saving for retirement years into the future, they should need to try to avoid the inclination to act on fear. As with the sharp declines seen during the financial crisis over a decade ago, it was difficult, if not impossible, to know when it was time to get back into the market as an advance in the market emerged.”
The Washington Post noted how the coronavirus outbreak in China has affected manufacturing and production from Chinese factories, which have affected the market. However, the case of a possible outbreak in the US could further harm the economy by interpreting the routines and spending habits of Americans.
Medicine at risk?
With the US relying heavily on production via China, electronics and clothes aren’t the only things that could possibly be affected.
About 90% of the active ingredients used by US drug manufacturing companies come from China, according to ABC News, which means common generic drugs could possibly be at risk over potential shortages.
“If China isn’t in a position to turn [drug manufacturing] around … then we don’t have an alternative source from which to source them,” David Jacobson, a professor at Southern Methodist University told ABC News.
The US Food and Drug Administration identified about 20 drugs at risk of shortage due to China’s coronavirus outbreak. These drugs either source their main ingredients or are finished in China, according to Reuters.
The FDA noted that none of the manufacturers noted an anticipated shortage.
“We have been in contact with those firms to understand if they face any drug shortage risks due to the outbreak. None of these firms has reported any shortage to date, said FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo in a statement. “We will continue to remain in contact with the manufacturers so that we can best help mitigate any potential issues in the future.”
The 2020 Olympics and sports
Looking forward to supporting Team USA at this summer’s Olympics? Well, that might not happen.
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan could be in jeopardy if the outbreak of coronavirus is proved too dangerous to hold this summer’s games in Tokyo. Organizers said it’s more likely that the events would be canceled entirely rather than look for an alternative setting or postpone it, according to The Associated Press.
Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, said earlier this week that the fate of the Toyko Olympics could come in late May, giving officials three months to make a decision.
“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’” Pound told the AP.
There have been nearly 900 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Japan. Four people have died from the disease in Japan, according to the AP.
The Olympics have only been canceled once — the 1940 Olympics — which was supposed to be in Tokyo but was called due to war. The 2016 Olympics in Brazil continued despite the outbreak of the Zika virus.
Multiple sporting events have been altered as the virus spreads. In Italy, where the outbreak is one of the strongest in any country outside of Asia, five soccer matches were moved to closed stadiums including four in Serie A, Italy’s top division.
The K-League, South Korea’s top soccer division, has indefinitely postponed the start of its season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It was scheduled to kick off this weekend.
“This is a measure to protect the health and safety of the citizens and our players with the highest priority against the outbreak of the COVID-19 which has entered a serious phase,” The K-League said via the Japan Times.