The Newsletter 86 Summer 2020

Economic and social effects of the pandemic

Su-Ann Oh

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening lives around the world, and the measures to contain it are badly affecting economies and livelihoods. The various countries in Southeast Asia are using a multitude of coping strategies, some more effective than others, while grappling with the socio-economic costs of the pandemic.

In these short articles, we bring you concise and diverse insights into the economic and social effects of the pandemic from a macro and micro level. We have an overview of the impact on ASEAN economies by economist Jayan Menon, and the Indonesian government’s struggles to contain the outbreak while balancing economic needs by economist Siwage Dhama Negara. For Malaysia, environmental anthropologist Serina Rahman provides a micro-level perspective of how pandemic mitigation measures have affected the poor. Finally, political scientist Nyi Nyi Kyaw considers the nature of panic and vigilantism that has emerged in pandemic Myanmar.

OH Su-Ann, Visiting Fellow at ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, Managing Editor of SOJOURN, and Regional Editor for The Newsletter