- What is the problem and how did it happen?
In late 2019, reports of a respiratory virus began to surface in Wuhan, China which subsequently spread around the world in a matter of months. By March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared that virus, now known as COVID-19, to be a global pandemic with over 118,000 cases in over 110 countries. As COVID-19 continued to propagate, world governments enacted emergency measures to mitigate its infectious spread which often involved enforcing lockdowns and other social distancing measures. Yet despite such actions, COVID-19 continued to spread while policymakers must now contend with finding a balance between maintaining lockdowns and reopening a crippled economy.
This decision is a multi-dimensional issue that weighs public health and safety against public subsistence. The lockdowns resulted in millions of job losses, company bankruptcies, and supply chain disruptions however it did reduce the rates of infection. With initial concerns having passed, calls to reopen the economy are constantly being made despite concerns that such actions could result in another wave of infections.
- Who are the people or communities in need of help?
In order to determine the correct timeline for reopening the economy, policymakers should use resources that extend beyond economic data and include analyses of population sentiment towards COVID-19. Such analysis can offer indications of how people are coping with the current measures and how much longer they may be willing to tolerate such disruptions.
The intended audience for this study are policymakers who are responsible for making decisions related to the handling of COVID-19. And the issue that is being addressed is whether policymakers should maintain the lockdown status in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 or begin reopening the economy despite the threat of a second wave of infections.
- When did the problem take place?
With the spread of the virus having initially begun in late 2019, this has become an ongoing issue that is present today and will continue to be so until the pandemic is neutralized
- Where means two things: 1) The environment and settings that the people or the community is living in, and 2) the place/location where the problem take place.
COVID-19 is a worldwide issue that is affecting everyone (directly or indirectly) on the planet. The number of cases has been roughly proportional to population densities, making lockdowns particularly necessary for certain countries.