The Coronavirus outbreak, which appeared in China in the last months of 2019 and spread rapidly all over the world, is described as the deepest crisis for the world economy since the Great Depression in the 1930s. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in global trade has more devastating effects than the one experienced during the 2008 crisis.
The COVID-19 global pandemic not only affected people's physical health and healthcare systems, but also countries, societies, businesses, families and individuals. Movement-restricting measures adopted to contain the pandemic significantly suppressed economic activity, leading to stagnation and contraction. Without a doubt, such economic contractions primarily impacted employment; losing jobs and income levels turned economic contractions into a severe fiscal and economic crisis. It is extremely difficult to produce and implement policies with economic and financial rationality that will completely solve the crisis in the fight against this situation, which is also reflected in the size of public finance.
Here, the priorities are to be able to offer public healthcare services that can effectively fight the pandemic, operate a system that can ensure the continuation of economic services, and have the ability to offer the social support and transfers that will allow people to maintain their lives even at a basic level. All of these are options that will allow the pandemic to be managed without it turning into a social and economic crisis. Managing the financial aspect of the process is also extremely important, especially for developing countries with public financing problems.
This study examines the effects of the pandemic on economic and social structures and the effectiveness of public policies adopted in response to the pandemic by providing a theoretical background and making use of field studies. The study reveals that some countries successfully managed the pandemic, while some adopted approaches in response to the pandemic that further deepened its effects, turning it into a crisis. Social and economic policies that were decisive in countries' successes and failures are examined through comparative descriptive analyses within an analytical framework in each chapter. We hope that this study, which examines the destruction caused by the pandemic and success of public policies adopted to combat the pandemic from the perspective of different countries, societies, industries, and economic structures, will serve as a guide for policy makers.