When the coronavirus reached our shores from mainland China, Americans had never heard of a virus so difficult to defeat —at least not since the Spanish Flu of 1918. Later it has been called the “Kung flu” or “China’s Woohan flu“ by some in the media and our elected officials. Whatever you call it, it is deadly.
The death toll keeps rising and America is trying to flatten the curve by following measures ordered by our governors and our president. The stay-home orders are presently in place in five states. California was first, Kentucky, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey followed suit. Governors hope this will help flatten the curve and slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
With that stay-at-home order to shelter-in-place, we are witnessing something we have never scene before. That is our unemployment rate going from around 3 percent to something projected to be 21 percent.
The Congress and our president are working to put together a $1 trillion package to help our workforce and the small-business owners. We also hear that a airline bailout package along with others is in the works. It is too early to know who amongst our workers and employers will get cash infusions, loans, or grants.
One thing for sure, this flu is killing Americans and could drive our economy into a giant hole the size of, say, the Grand Canyon. As Americans shelter in place, business is not hiring and laying off or furloughing its workers. Thankfully our military, law enforcement, firefighters, medical personnel, utility professionals, and key civilian workers are still on the job as essential workers.
As the shut downs continue, we see our economy cratering. Federal, state, and local governments are seeing revenue decrease. These governments built their budget on a robust economic model. Income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and assorted fees aren’t collected at the brisk pace we had before the virus.
How long will our national, state, and local governments keep us at home? How long can our businesses stay shut down? How long will our residents wait patiently in drive-thru lines for a cheeseburger or taco? What about the shortages of toilet paper, sanitizer, bottled water, and other foods? This could get ugly and fast.
The economy pre-coronavirus was rolling. If you had put your hard-earned money in stocks, 401’s, or mutual funds, you took a major hit after the stock market freefall set a record for losses. Gains in your retirement accounts made over the past several years went right down the toilet. Those federal, state, and local government pension plans are also in the same boat.
Americans are anxiously awaiting a cure, vaccine, and or the light at the end of the tunnel for this disease. The longer it takes to find that magic cure, and we are told to stay home, the harder it is for our economy to recover. Lots of those small businesses we knew before the virus hit won’t be back. That’s just a sad fact. Some of our big businesses won’t either. Governments will still be with us on every level. Let’s hope they have a recovery plan.
The president says our economy will come roaring back after this is all over. Let’s hope this is over quickly and that he’s right. Americans want to do what’s right and best for our families by staying indoors and practicing social distancing. Our federal, state, and local governments must help the private businesses owners reset our economy, too!
- Doctor: Pixaby