UK’s solution to economic woes: a moral dilemma

Now that we are starting to see the rates of new coronavirus cases decline and some countries are hitting their peaks, serious discussion is starting to open up about what the next steps should be for opening the economy back up.

The UK has been having talks about how to save the floundering economy and prevent a long recession and it looks like they’ve contemplated a first step to that recovery: put young people back to work, subject to certain conditions.

The plan is to slowly loosen up the lockdown by allowing young people (think 20 to 30 years) get back to work so long as they don’t live with parents (or I’m assuming other older adults).

The thinking is that they have the lowest risks of mortality when it comes to the coronavirus so they should be able to get back out into the economy and get things moving.

This is one of the hardest decisions policymakers will be forced to make.

While the risk to young people is not as substantial, it’s also not negligible. We’ve seen plenty of reports of young people suffering severe symptoms and even death. Nobody is immune.

So there is a calculation that has to be made here where you balance the need for economic prosperity with the health of young people. (Both have major health implications.)

The researchers remarked that, “Unless a vaccine is discovered quickly, it is unlikely that there will be any riskless or painless course of action.”

So basically it’s an ethical dilemma where we will be forced to choose the lesser of two evils.

It’s a tough, tough call to make since you will inevitably be “sacrificing” some people either way you go.

Hopefully a reasonable balance can be found and social distancing measures and PPE can be used to lessen the risk that many young people will have at their jobs in public places like cafes and grocery stores.