As some states in America are opening the doors to some businesses, everyone will be watching. We are also watching China, especially since we know that the last patient has been (apparently) released in Wuhan. Still, the country is nowhere near being back at work.
Earlier this week, cases of COVID-19 hit the one million mark in the U.S., and three million in the world. There have been more than 55,400 deaths in the United States so far.
Microsoft in China
One company that may be providing a model for the world on how to get back to work is Bill Gates and Microsoft. He has said that about half of the employees at a Microsoft factory in China have gone back to work. He is using a phased-in return of employees, and they must wear masks, have regular temperature checks, keep practicing social distancing, and use hand cleaner frequently.
Other major U.S. companies have started going back to work as well. Foxconn, which manufactures products for Apple, is also open, but they also have strict guidelines in place to help ensure that there is not a new spread of coronavirus.
Some States Opening Some Businesses
The economy may start to see a little pickup as a few stores start opening tomorrow. It is apt to start out being negligible, but as warmer weather comes around, people are going to want to get outdoors. Some state parks have opened, and a warm day in California brought out many beachgoers – even though the beaches were not officially opened.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has begun making plans about getting New York back to work. Upper New York would likely go back to work before lower New York – the New York City area and Long Island. He is looking at a target date of May 15th to possibly begin letting construction and some manufacturing get started. After that, it would depend on the results and statistics. Recently, New York has seen a decline in new cases and hospitalizations.
More COVID-19 Tests Coming
Dr. Fauci has said that about 1.5 million to 2 million tests are being given in the U.S. each week now. In order for states to safely begin opening for business, they need to double the rate of testing. This will reveal where it is spreading still and where it will be safe to going back to work – slowly and safely.
The Stock Market
Two companies that are expected to do well this week are Apple and Amazon. Amazon, which has just hired well over 175,000 new people, between March and April, is being overrun with business. Profits can be expected to be high, even though they are often shipping essential supplies before regular orders.
Although the stock markets were down earlier in the week, they have picked up some by this past Friday.
With a few businesses and parks opening this week, the market can likely expect to see another increase.
Hopes of a treatment or vaccine for coronavirus continue to be dashed. About 30 companies are working on the problem, one of the most promising – Gilead Science’s Remdesivir – has shown preliminary promise. It is surely going to affect the market, but businesses opening may be an even better therapy for the economy – along with stimulus checks going out and new money for businesses being made available.