… is from page 2 of my colleague Peter Boettke’s 2021 book, The Struggle for a Better World (original emphasis):
The economic consequences are also significant, as the economy was basically placed in a state of suspended animation from March to June [of 2020]. In a “normal” economic crisis, business either adjusts or adapts to changing circumstances, and labor and capital are reallocated to more valued uses by price signals and profit-and-loss statements. Economic crises are moments of recalculation of opportunities to meet imagined futures and redeployed labor and capital in that endeavor. But as a consequence of the lockdown, many businesses were unable to experiment with mitigation strategies and engage in the sort of risk assessment and risk management that would normally be required to address such an exogenous shock to ordinary business of life. Mandates and restrictions were issued, not public health guidelines and recommendations. Stay-at-home and stay-safe orders substituted for adapt-or-fail adjustments on multiple margins. Necessity can be the mother of invention, but only if the pressures of necessity are felt, not if they are suspended.