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H1N1 The Economic Impact

Remember H1N1 (Swine Flu) in 2009? Yes, I was writing back then (and I was unemployed), so I present this as a historical piece for your enjoyment. Did we learn a lot to help COVID? Well, maybe not.

I am talking about the microeconomics view of the H1N1 Pandemic. What will future superbug and flu outbreaks do to our economy? I am not sure.

I have already noticed some exciting things that are occurring in the name of the Pandemic of ’09:

  • The Upper Canada School board has closed their school’s gyms off hours (for non school events) to slow the Flu’s progress. This is an interesting one, are they then going to lock students up next? This means community groups’ meetings and events are being cancelled or postponed.
  • More folks are taking sick leave than before. Are that many folks sick now, or is it that folks who normally would have come into work are feeling the pressure to stay home because of the Pandemic? Not sure what the answer to that question is but I view this as a positive thing, less sick people at work or at school is a very good thing.
  • People are coughing into their elbows, which is very interesting to watch, but I am not sure it is very safe when you are driving. What about those folks who are doing elbow bumps instead of handshakes? Are they inadvertently passing the Virus on?
  • No one is talking about how bad the economy is, because they like to argue about whether or not to get vaccinated, which is good as well. Fewer people talking about the economy is a good thing (now), hopefully it won’t cause anybody to buy Canada Savings bonds (yikes).
  • People are missing work and school to get vaccinated, even though they are not in a High Risk group. I have a problem with that, if there are folks who SHOULD be getting the vaccine and they aren’t that is wrong (my opinion).

Will this somehow stall the recovery (of 2009)? Not sure, but there will be ramifications at the micro-level with more and more folks taking sick leave.

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