Scientists are racing to figure out omicron, the new coronavirus “variant of concern,” and governments are scrambling to devise strategies for dealing with it. Several have rushed to enact new travel bans and dust off mask requirements.
On Friday, the United States announced that it would ban visitors from South Africa and seven other countries in the region. And on Monday, President Joe Biden said he expects no additional travel bans and doesn’t think new shutdowns are necessary.
So what might omicron have in store for the U.S. economy?
We don’t need more lockdowns for the virus to damage the economy. It can do that via plain old fear. Gad Levanon, who heads the labor market institute at The Conference Board, said that if omicron turns out to be, say, a slightly worse delta, we might expect a similar economic result.
“Spending on leisure and…