Ben Steverman & Enda Curran, Bloomberg
Covid has threatened decades of economic progress. Some places have blunted the damage
From 2000 to 2019, median incomes in poorer nations rose faster than in wealthy ones, and the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from more than one in four to less than one in 10.
Then came Covid-19, threatening to undo that progress. At the start, it seemed obvious that the economic costs — job loss, erosion of wealth, even loss of life — would fall disproportionately on the poor and leave them worse off. The rich, while unable to insulate themselves from illness and mortality, would be safeguarded by an abundance of resources.
Depending on where you were, however, Covid also unleashed trends and sparked reactions that challenged this foregone conclusion. Inequality didn’t rise everywhere. Some governments cushioned the blow for their citizens. Workers everywhere hustled — many risked their lives — to keep their families fed, housed and otherwise provided for.