Who cares if you don’t wear a mask to your barbecue for Fourth of July weekend? Well, Goldman Sachs does.
Heading into the holiday weekend, cases of the coronavirus are spiking in key states like Texas, Florida, California, and Arizona, which have also begun putting restrictions back in place, including on restaurants, bars, beaches, and more.
While many states don’t require wearing masks to be worn all the time, economists at Goldman Sachs wrote in a note Monday that creating a national mandate to wear masks could help prevent 5% of GDP from being lopped off, which could be the result if shutdowns were put reinstitute across the country.
Whether or not your state requires you to wear a mask at all times right now, the firm says its research suggests making it mandatory to wear face masks “could raise the percentage of people who wear masks by 15 [percentage points] and cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases by 1.0 [percentage point] to 0.6%,” economists led by Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s top economist, wrote. Plus, the group notes the mandate “could increase U.S. face mask usage by statistically significant and economically large amounts, especially in states such as Florida and Texas that currently don’t have a comprehensive mandate and are seeing some of the worst outbreaks.” That, in turn, could translate to lowering the “daily growth rate in the group of states without a mandate from 2.9% to just over 1%,” the firm wrote.
Beyond masks, where you eat over the weekend may also have an impact on spending trends and the spread of the virus, another Wall Street firm notes.