The two pandemics

Robert J. Shiller  |  Yale University  |  31 March 2020

We are feeling the anxiety effects of not one pandemic but two. First, there is the COVID-19 pandemic which makes us anxious because we, or people we love, anywhere in the world, might soon become gravely ill and even die. And, second, there is a pandemic of anxiety about the economic consequences of the first.

These two pandemics are interrelated, but are not the same phenomenon. In the second pandemic, stories of fear have gone so viral that we often think of them constantly. The stock market has been dropping like a rock, apparently in response to stories of COVID-19 depleting our lifetime saving unless we ...

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