One is that we don’t know how long the pandemic will last. Right now, we’re probably opening too soon, which will actually extend the period of economic weakness.

Another is that even if we didn’t have big imbalances before, the slump may be creating them now. Think of business closures, which will require time to reverse.

And I also wonder how much long-term change we’ll experience as a result of the virus. If we have a permanent shift to more telecommuting and less in-person retail, then we’ll have to shift workers to new sectors, which will take time. That was an argument lots of people made, wrongly, in 2009, but it could be true now.

All that said, right now I don’t see the case for a multiyear depression. People expecting this slump to look like the last one seem to me to be fighting the last war.

Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.

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