Lesson Plan: How Should the Government Address the Economic Impacts of the Coronavirus Outbreak?

The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus

The Washington Post’s Heather Long discussed the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy.


This new lesson looks at the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and several proposed actions taken by state and national governments to address it. Students will view video clips of policymakers, economic advisers and the president discussing ways to address the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic while also addressing the public health emergency. Students will develop and justify actions that state and national government should take to address these problems.


  • WARM-UP:

    To begin class, have the students define the following vocabulary terms in their own words. These terms will be used throughout the lesson.

    • Bailout

    • Bankrupt

    • Economic Stimulus

    • Loan

    • Nonessential Businesses

    • Payroll

    • Quarantine

    • Social Distancing

    • Unemployment insurance

    To introduce the topic, have the students view each of the clips listed below and answer each of the questions. Students can also access these clips and questions using the handout.

    HANDOUT: The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus (Google Doc)

  • VIDEO CLIP 1: The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus (3:19)

    • What is meant by a bear market?

    • According to Ms. Long, what parts of the economy were impacted first by the outbreak of the coronavirus?
    • What does she mean by these issues “cascading over?”

    • Define what a recession is.

    • Regarding the coronavirus outbreaks, what are risk factors for a potential recession?
  • VIDEO CLIP 2: Social Distancing and Public Health (1:57)

    • Describe ways social distancing and closing businesses are effective at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

    • What are the consequences of these actions?

    Using the handout, have the student brainstorm possible effects that the coronavirus and the closure of businesses might have on the economy.


    Students will view each of the following clips of legislators, governor and economists about potential ways to address the economic impact of the coronavirus. They will use the handout linked below to identify problems discussed in the videos and explain the proposed solutions to these problems. They will also use the handout to brainstorm possible benefits and drawbacks of these solutions.

    HANDOUT: The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus (Google Doc)


    After completing their chart, have the students develop a list of three actions that governments at the state or national level should take to address the economic impact of the coronavirus. For each of these actions, they should explain why these actions should be implemented.


    Current Events- Find a news article about actions that are taking place at the national, state and local level to address the economic impact. Provide the following information:

    • Summary of the actions described in the news article.

    • Who is taking this action? (i.e. governor, school district, Congress, etc.)

    • What are the benefits and drawbacks of these actions?

    • Should relief efforts prioritize businesses or individual citizens? Explain your answer.

    • How should the government address growing unemployment caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus?

    • How are efforts to address the economic impact of the coronavirus an example of federalism?

    • How should national, state and local governments balance the need to provide public health and economic stability?

Additional Resources


  • Asset
  • Bailout
  • Bankrupt
  • Coronavirus
  • Epidemic
  • Evictions
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality
  • Layoffs
  • Loan
  • Private Sector
  • Quarantine
  • Recession
  • Relief Package
  • Social Distancing
  • Stimulus
  • Stock Market
  • Unemployment Insurance


Economics & Financial LiteracyFederalism and State IssuesHealth


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