Crash, worry and hope

How should things go on on the island once Corona is over? Britain’s economy is in its deepest recession in centuries – and there are barriers to recovery.

Something is brewing in London: A pedestrian crosses Waterloo Bridge in May 2020.

Whe economy is in a coma during the weeks of the hard corona lockdown, the forced standstill. Oxford Street, London’s famous shopping street, is eerily quiet, almost all of the shops are closed, and some shop windows are even barricaded with plywood. Double-decker buses and subways only ran with individual passengers, the offices in the Canary Wharf financial district remained empty, and lonely porters were bored in the foyers of the high-rise towers. Economists estimate that economic output has fallen by up to a quarter since the lockdown began on March 23. The auto industry reported the worst auto sales since 1946 in April.

After six weeks, the strict “stay home” order has now been lifted, at least for England, not yet in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. “Stay alert” is the new announcement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the citizens. Shops are allowed to reopen from June, and the Selfridge department store on Oxford Street has already reopened its grocery department. The streets have been filling up again since last week, and factories are ramping up production. Social and economic life is awakening – at least a little.