Dow Jones plummets amidst growing fears of new Delta variant of COVID-19

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– The COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave impacts up and down Wall Street, and possibly retirement accounts and college saving plans of many.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 898 points as of 12:42 p.m. on Monday, July 19. By the end of the trading day, the Dow had finished at 725.81 points.

The drop affected travel companies from airlines to cruises, which have been impacted by restrictions dating back to February and March 2020 when they took their biggest losses.

According to economic experts, the drop is due to an increasing fear of the Delta variant. Those experts fear that the COVID-19 variant could threaten economic recovery efforts.

“The headlines are still what they are,” said Derek Klock, professor of Practice and Finance at Virginia Tech. “We still have increasing COVID infections, we’ve got Los Angeles County [California] coming out with mask mandates, and if you go 12 months, our seven-day average caseload is almost identical to where it was in June of last year.”

Klock says that if another shutdown occurs, it could be catastrophic to manufacturing because it is crucial to the global economy.

In addition, seeing the issue with manufacturing toilet paper and cleaning products, it is evident that companies can stop quickly, and not start producing fast enough for the demand, according to Klock.

Health experts say many of the COVID-19 cases, especially hospitalizations, are among people who are not fully vaccinated.

Dr. Noelle Bissell, director of the New River Health District, says only 48 percent of people 16 and older are vaccinated in her district. That is why community members need to understand the characteristics of the Delta variant.

“We know the Delta variant is more transmissible…We aren’t seeing huge evidence that it is more severe,” said Dr. Bissell. “Again, when you look at history, when organisms mutate, they tend to be overall less virulent, because it doesn’t serve them well to kill off their host.”

Even with the concern of the Dow Jones falling on Monday, Klock says that stock market drops are normal and it will happen again. The rise and fall of the stock market is the price you pay when investing.

The Commonwealth has recovered well since the start of the pandemic, and with students going back to school in-person, it will bring in more revenue.

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