What a strange time we live in? It’s easy to tell people to stay inside due to Corvid-19. It’s simple to see the benefits when you don’t live paycheck to paycheck. When you have the option, the privilege, the ability to work from home and receive paid sick leave that’s wonderful! But what about the rest of us?
This pandemic has caused widespread shutdowns across the United States. For many Americans in service and hospitality working from home is not an option. As a result, numerous nonessential businesses were shut down and their employees were laid off creating a great deal of financial uncertainty. Although some states are cautiously reopening the virus has created the permanent closure of many locations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, The US economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April.
The fear of the virus spreading has outweighed the need to keep the economy going in various states. But little has been done outside of the Federal government providing a stimulus check for those independents who qualify. But the question remains… how can people at risk of food and housing security be helped without steady income? While wondering if they can afford medical treatment if infected. For those struggling to survive, the push to stay at home could force them into a financial free fall. The shutting down of schools means no childcare options and therefore no work for families with young children. This crisis is the last thing that the vulnerable and cash strapped populace needed…
One more reason to go into financial ruin. It is a scary and sobering thought for those who find themselves steadily sliding in-between the cracks of the American dream, trying to dig their way out of the concrete and barely scraping by. What can they do? The demands of the pandemic don’t fulfill the needs of the working class. When homelessness stands in the way of sickness prevention but the cost is paramount to their livelihood the situation is dire indeed. As many of the essential workers at grocery retailers, gas stations, and warehouse fulfillment positions find themselves exposed to the perils of performing job duties with limited access to personal protective equipment, hand washing opportunities, sanitizer, raises and paid sick time.
The Cares Act includes a rent moratorium to pause eviction proceedings on certain rental dwellings temporarily (120 days since March 27th) but does nothing to halt the accumulation of rent owed. This could lead to the eviction of countless people once quarantine ends. So what is the baseline of assistance that can be provided for the homeless, struggling, aging, working poor, jobless and ailing among us? With so many questions, demands, event cancellations but no answers – I am forced to assume the worst. Capitalism works within a given perimeter but with a global pandemic a foot the social need that it takes to make us all feel safe and valued will be put to the test…
It is my solvent hope that Lady Liberty (the Federal government) answers that call and creates a way out for more than just the well off and remote workers. She must address the needs of the fast food workers, face to face retail associates, gig economy workers, cafeteria workers, non for profit employees, small business owners and so many more in order to keep the country afloat.
In 2018, there were 38.1 million people in poverty, a decrease of 1.4 million people from 2017 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If something isn’t done swiftly, we will see a sudden halt to whatever progress was made in the last 3 years along with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Hopefully Congress will pass another stimulus bill or a plan with the aim to keep those who lost their jobs from losing everything.
Thank you for reading! Stay safe & keep pushing forward 🙂