spence126_Eva Marie Uzcategui TrinklAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_beach covid19 Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/ Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Florida as a Developing Country

During the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and Western advanced economies, there was a clear pattern of lockdown, containment, and gradual economic reopening. But now a third pandemic wave has brought a new, more disturbing pattern to both developing countries and major US states.

MILAN/HANGZHOU – The COVID-19 pandemic has arrived in waves, starting in Asia, where it quickly spread from mainland China to South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. These governments all reacted quickly with aggressive tracking, tracing, and containment programs, and China induced a massive but short-lived economic contraction to stop the virus more or less in its tracks.

Meanwhile, a second wave, now in its middle to late stages, has swept mostly through the developed economies of Europe, North America, and Oceania. As in Asia, there has been variation in containment approaches and results across countries; but, generally speaking, most of these governments responded late, allowing the virus to spread widely before introducing countermeasures.

In any case, the pandemic has followed a clear pattern in both first- and second-wave economies. After a sharp economic contraction (phase one) comes a trough (phase two), when the virus’s rate of spread is reduced to the point that recoveries exceed new confirmed cases. Then comes a period of gradual, sequenced reopening, with precautions to contain the virus remaining in place (phase three).

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