The Covid-19 virus has affected all of us throughout this past year. The consequences were felt worldwide. In America, thousands died and thousands more were infected and recovered from this virus. Besides the catastrophic health impact, the virus has had devastating effect on the economy of the world. Worldwide, we have been on various forms of “lockdown” where public business places were forced to close or scale down in efforts to slow the spread. The effects of this has created record unemployment and reduction or loss of household incomes. Different nations have executed the “lockdown” in various ways. All counties have experienced success in reducing the spread and have also experienced surges in number of cases and deaths from Covid-19.
The economic impact has been experienced by all nations. Medical facilities have also been overwhelmed by the large number of cases requiring hospitalization. In America, we have experienced large surges in cases and deaths following holidays. This winter’s surge in cases and deaths have reached new levels of pain and agony for Americans throughout our country. People continue to lose jobs and businesses are forced to call it quits. The extremely long lines at local food banks and food giveaways highlight the dire consequences of not assisting Americans in these difficult times. The World has been forced to assist people by offering financial programs, called Relief Packages. In early summer, just months after the dire economic consequences were being felt, the U.S. government passed some important relief packages for Americans. The Payroll Protection program offered loans to small business owners that allowed them to retain their employees and keep operating at the reduced level dictated by the “lockdowns” in effect. There were direct payments of $1200 to each person to help Americans with personal finance issues. That was six months ago, and no direct payment relief package has been passed by Congress since. As Congress and politicians continue to haggle over a new relief package, we continue to suffer.
We will get a new relief packaged passed by Congress, and Americans will get some relief with their economic crisis. The issue is that even with a new relief bill passed and we get some type of direct payment to Americans, it has been over six months since the government offered some direct assistance as Americans continue to lose jobs and have had to close their business. All this as we see other industrialized nations provide much more robust economic assistance to their people. Here is some data from other countries regarding direct economic support. Australia’s stimulus package gives workers who lost their job $1,500 every two weeks. Britain covers unemployed workers up to $3,000 a month as well as sick pay for workers who are required to self-isolate. Denmark will pay 75% of affected employees salaries up to $3200 a month. France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and South Korea all offer similar direct assistance to workers affected by the virus.
It makes you wonder which nations will economically come out of this Covid-19 dilemma the best. Who will end up with their workforce intact, homelessness in control, political stability existing and economic recovery for working people? I hope America can get it right in the next year as we try to come out of this mess. We will need some political unity and governmental leadership that will bring us together in the aftermath of this pandemic. And we should look at other countries who were more successful economically than America in dealing with this virus. Instead of looking down at other countries and insulting their leaders, we should look at what they did right and implement it in our own policies. It may take all the next year to vaccinate everyone and eradicate the virus. Economic recovery will depend on getting small business back to profitable operation and getting working Americans back to work. It is important we get this right, as we begin the last half of the fight to survive this pandemic and economically recover.