Dealing with Covid-19 has been a problem that we are facing as a world. Amidst shut-downs and quarantining, many are concerned with the economic battles we may have to face in the future. How will Americans face the ever-changing future to come?
Lately, the news has been all about protests occurring in various states for the reopening of non-essential businesses. What is "essential" and "non-essential" is also very heavily debated throughout the country. The strictness of these laws also varies from state to state. Now, why are these protests occurring? It all comes back to one thing that drives our economically-focused society. Money.
Empty Airport in Sweden
With businesses being shut down or having a slow business for extended periods of time, small business owners are dealing with a lot of financial strain. However, it's not only business owners. These businesses employ dozens of workers each, and as a consequence of them shutting down, many people are out of their job. In America, an overwhelming majority of the population lives paycheck to paycheck, and receiving no salary for weeks on end is a looming financial burden for years to come. An increased percentage of Americans are filing for unemployment and while the government has claimed to be creating programs for the increase in unemployment benefits, the amount is being contested throughout and Americans are still concerned if the help will suffice.
It's not only unemployment offices that are gaining more attention, but food banks are also experiencing an extraordinary flow of people.
The effects of the coronavirus have also made their way to the New York Stock Market. When the spread of the virus was announced, investors were quick to sell off their stocks. While we can expect that things will normalize after all of "this" is over, nobody really knows when "this" will be over. It's the uncertainty that strikes fear into all Americans. Will life ever go back to normal?
The answer to that question is not a simple one at all. However, we can predict bits and pieces of the future based on the gradual re-opening of other countries. As the number of cases becomes more manageable, countries ease restrictions and are starting to open up businesses again. To the delight of the people, the outside is no longer just something that we can see from the safety of our window.
While life is starting the journey back to normal, social distancing aspects and a focus on staying safe and healthy are a huge priority. In these uncertain times, people are still allowed to go outside but are still recommended to keep that 6-feet distance. Our usual greetings and parties may be changed indefinitely to implement more aspects of social distancing. I believe that the times of the coronavirus have provided people the reason to become more cautious of infection. Think of it as the harsh reality of how quickly diseases can spread. Now, maintaining hygiene and staying home whenever sick will have new importance to society.
As a lesson from history, when governments are not able to respond appropriately to the necessary challenges countries are facing, there is a highly likely chance that modifications will be made in the government itself. For example, after the 1918 Flu Pandemic, The British control of India could not protect Indian citizens in the ways that they could. This proved to be a useful fact that would later initiate the withdrawal of British forces from the Indian subcontinent.
When it comes to America's Education system, Covid-19 has made it incredibly challenging for students to learn at home. Universities, as well as schools, have shifted the learning in the spring semester to a fully online process. Some educators struggle with using technology, and their inability truly affects their students coursework. The lack of in-person instruction can lead college students to really ponder whether they are getting their money's worth. The demand for a decrease in tuition for the spring semester has reached universities, but many colleges choose to stick with their costs as of now. This can lead many to wonder whether college is forgetting and education or simply for the economic benefit of the institution.
On an entirely different note, the ways that people worship may never return to their initial processes. Social distancing aspects will most likely be implemented in these religious institutions, and the idea of group worship will be reduced to our memories of the distant past.
As of now, nothing is certain, and the fear that many people have is self-generated. Please remember that these times will come to an end, as long as people do their part in quarantining themselves. As Governor Cuomo of New York said, "How much is a human life worth? That is the real discussion that no one is admitting, openly, or freely. That we should. To me, I say the cost of a human life, a human life is priceless. Period."
The controversial politics that Americans regularly engage in will have to hold elections in the distant future. 15 states have postponed their primaries for the big election, and what this truly means for the next president is unknown.
With that, I encourage anybody who is financially stable to donate money and resources to your local food banks and other services that are facing an insurmountable demand right now. Any help can make a huge difference, especially in times like these.