Six scenarios for the corona epidemic

How could the Corona epidemic continue? We developed six scenarios showing the possible consequences arising from the epidemic.


Two central questions arise for the development of such scenarios: (1) Will the medical and health consequences be moderate and manageable, or will there be severe and partly unmanageable consequences? (2) Will the corona crisis be overcome quickly, or will it continue for a long time to come? Four scenarios can be constructed from these two core uncertainties:



The Short-Excitement-Scenario (#1): The corona virus has received a lot of attention for a short period of time, but after that there are hardly any major health or economic consequences.

The Shock-and-Short-Crisis-Scenario (#2): The corona virus spreads rapidly and leads to a short crisis. However, these health-related consequences are overcome within a foreseeable time. However, the economic consequences of this scenario are unclear. There are two variants:

  • The-Back-to-Normal-Scenario (#2a): In addition to the health-related consequences, the economic consequences of the short corona crisis are also quickly overcome.
  • The-Inflection-Point-Scenario (#2b): The corona shock was the inflection point for a variety of economic turbulences, which continue despite declining consequences in the health care sector.

The Long-Breathing-Scenario (#3): The corona epidemic lasts for a long time, but after the initial agitation and shock phase, the spread is slowed down and the health care system adapts to the corona virus. Here too, however, there are two variants for the economic consequences:

  • The New-Normal-Scenario (#3a): Society has learned to deal with the new virus and the economy has overcome the short-term consequences.
  • The Structural-Change-Scenario (#3b): The long-term course of the corona epidemic has slowed down the economy despite its mild course and has promoted structural changes in behaviour and values.

The Devastating-Crisis-Scenario (#4): The corona virus has spread so rapidly that many health care systems have been unable to respond adequately and have lost control in some cases. This has led to a severe economic crisis.

In summary, it is clear that scenarios 2b (Inflection-Point-Scenario) and 3b (Structural-Change-Scenario) and in particular scenario 4 (Devastating-Crisis-Scenario) would have considerable economic consequences.


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