I am very lucky. The COVID-19 mitigation efforts are not financially affecting me as I am retired and have an income that is more than adequate to meet my needs. Yet … I am starting to have bouts of anxiety and depression due to the devastating affects that the global lockdowns are having on the working class people all over the world.
I want to touch on a few areas of concern that are on my mind. I present these from a humanist perspective.
The COVID-19 pandemic is global. I can’t think of anything else in my lifetime that has brought so much destruction, loss of life and financial ruin to so many people.
I see so much pain, mental and emotional suffering, financial devastation and loss of hope that, at times, I’m so moved with empathy that I must sit down and cry for my own emotional release.
I don’t question the need for societal procedures to slow or contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. I do question the draconian isolation measures that have effectively imprisoned people in their own homes without weighing the potential devastating consequences.
When all of the lockdown procedures began, I told my wife that a baby boom and an increase in domestic violence will follow. Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York State) released the following increase in domestic violence since the “stay at home” requirement was put into place:
- March statistics showed a 15% increase in domestic violence cases.
- April statistics showed a 30% increase in domestic violence cases.
Many, many people and small mom and pop small businesses cannot hold on through the period of time it will require to see the other side of this pandemic. Without a steady flow of income, radical life changes are the only thing these folks can envision. Keep in mind that 50% of the households in American do not have the money on hand to pay for a $500 emergency. How in the world are these families going to financially make it through this pandemic?
In the last 5 weeks in the United States, 30 million people have filed new unemployment claims. Unfortunately, the real number is higher than this because the claims must be filed online and many of the states don’t have the technical capacity to handle the huge influx of applicants. To make matters worse, a large number of applicants who were lucky enough to get their claim filed have yet to receive any money.
Economic stimulus checks
Assuming a family qualifies for the maximum one-time payment, both adults can receive $1,200 each plus $500 for each qualifying dependent child. That is a great start. However, that equates to about 2 weeks of income for the average family. As anyone can see, those unemployment checks had better start coming in soon … real soon.
Opening up the economy
Sectors of business will be able to open on a ongoing basis as determined by government authorities. However, social distancing mandates and maximum numbers of allowed customers at a time will apply. So, here are some problems that businesses face that, in turn, affects employees when the business is able to open:
- Many potential customers are strapped for cash due to the pandemic lockdown.
- Many potential customers will not feel safe as long as the coronavirus is still spreading and taking lives.
- As a result, there will be fewer customers which leads to reduced income to the business which leads to the need for fewer employees.
- Even under the best circumstances, this will last for a year or longer.
The road of life before you has sharp curves and steep hills. If you are to navigate it successfully, you must critically budget your money, efforts and time. Now is the time to get physically and mentally fit for the challenges before you. Never forget that:
You will learn from this experience.
You will become smarter and stronger for having gone through this.
You will get through this victoriously!