Investors could be forgiven for thinking that nowhere is an immediately appealing prospect for investment right now, least of all Europe.
It was being hit by the downturn in world trade before the coronavirus outbreak. Its economies have been hit particularly hard by the shutdown of both people and business as governments step up their efforts to suppress the virus.
The picture is far from clear, but we believe that continental Europe and the UK are already in recession due to strict government lockdown measures, which involve school and business closures and restrictions on social interactions.
Coronavirus is particularly affecting Italy and Spain. Germany and France seem to be coping better, but will inevitably suffer following the implementation of strict virus containment measures.
Early indications are that China's economy is in for a hard landing in 2020, albeit that it may pull out fairly sharply.
Under a scenario where the lockdown in Europe is lifted by the early stages of summer, and with aggressive fiscal and monetary policy measures, we could see a rebound in growth in the third quarter that would make Europe's recession sharp but relatively short.
If the lockdown lasts until September or even to the end of the year, however, there is a greater risk of some permanent "scarring" - the risk that GDP may not get back to its pre-virus trajectory.
The good news is that central banks and governments have acted fast. The European Central Bank (ECB) has unveiled a €750bn programme to buy government and corporate debt until the end of the year.
The Bank of England has cut its bank rate to an all-time low of 0.1% and will increase holdings of UK government and corporate bonds by £200bn.
These come alongside wider measures by governments to shore up the business community and workers' incomes.
The moves should buy some time for the European economy. Meanwhile, European assets may soon look attractive, at least from a valuation point of view.
European and UK equities were more attractively valued at the start of the year, and have suffered slightly sharper declines than US equities and other equity markets.
As a result, the prospects for medium- to long-term equity returns have improved, although it is probably too early to say that the market has bottomed.
There could be further declines ahead as the full economic impact of the coronavirus becomes clear, so the recovery may still be some time in the future.
Alexis Gray is senior investment strategist at Vanguard
• European central banks and governments are rising to the challenge of coronavirus with a range of unprecedented measures to support the economy
• Equities are starting to look more attractively valued and the long-term outlook for shares has improved, but there could still be further declines before the market bottoms
• Europe and the UK look to be already in recession as a result of the coronavirus shutdown
• The severity of the impact means there is a risk of a more extended 'U-shaped' downturn