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Asia and coronavirus: The road to health

Most governments in Asia have resorted to some form of economic shock therapy, but there is only so much the monetary and fiscal authorities can do.


A common metaphor in economic literature likens problems in economies to maladies that afflict human bodies: ‘the health of the economy’; ‘the sick man of Asia’; ‘the body politic’.

It is not an encouraging comparison. Middle-aged readers trying to stay healthy will know how difficult that is.

There are risks in doing too much and too little. Too much exercise leaves a person tired and broken; too little risks atrophy. Too much food leaves a body bloated and overweight (as Asiamoney can well attest); too little leaves it weak and vulnerable.

The sum total of exercise or food is not the only consideration for a healthy life, of course. Timing is crucial. Those hoping to have a long and healthy span but planning to delay all that pesky exercise until their later years are likely to be disappointed, as would anyone who believed a few years of school sports gives them licence to raise hell in their later years.

Shock therapy

Timing is equally important in managing an economy.