Through the past few months COVID- 19 has become feared not only in America but globally as well. As the virus escalates, so do its impacts on the world. Over 200 countries have been affected and over 1/3 of the world is under a version of lock down. This is all happening while an economic recession is afoot. We may not know what the permanent effects of the Coronavirus may be on our everyday lives, but there are certainly things we can all see that will be affected.
Many experts say there will be a recession in the near future that could be the worst in generations. Some say it could be compared to The Great Depression of 1929. Bloomberg created a model with the probability of the U.S recession within the next twelve months which you can find here. This will all depend on the rate that things are restored ‘back to normal.’ According to the Bloomberg article “Employers cut 701,000 jobs in a month, the most since the Great Recession- and a number that reflected just the first half of the month.” (bloomberg.com) One sign Economists look for in terms of looking at a potential recession is an increased weekly filing for unemployment. Right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 virus, it is seemingly better for some to file for unemployment than to stay at their jobs and collect with hazard pay. Only time will tell for the state of the Economy post- COVID- 19.
On a lighter note, it seems that people have been called to kindness over this time. Celebrities using their platforms to help others like John Krasinski took to popular social media outlets, Tik Tok and Instagram, and created an account called: Some Good News. There, he hosts ‘virtual proms’ featuring celebrity performers, He posts recipes for readers to try, others’ accomplishments which he recognizes, and, videos with the original Broadway cast of Hamilton or the ever popular ‘reunion’ of Michael Scott played by Steve Carell and Jim Halpert played by Krasinski from The Office. Though it may seem a small contribution, he is truly bringing light to our ever repeating days. Broadway stars such as Award Winning Lin-Manuel Miranda and Laura Benanti have encouraged those whose theatre performances had been cancelled to send them recordings in promise to listen. Other Celebrities like Halsey, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Cardi B, Elton John, and Dolly Parton have donated to COVID- 19 research, have donated masks or made a contribution in which the funds are going to helping those affected by the virus. This call to kindness has truly been a light in the dark for many and we can only hope this continues in the future in our everyday lives.
The social affects of COVID-19 are also monumental. Many feel frustrated at being stuck in their current situation, others are simply distressed at the state of the world. Most, I would safely generalize, are perhaps feeling both. Normalcy will forever change on a global scale. According to a Politico article, we may be asking different questions like “Instead of asking ‘Is there a good reason to do this online?’ we’ll be asking ‘Is there a good reason to do this in person?'” (politico.com) The changes in mentality will affect many generations, especially current High School students and younger, whose brains are still developing. Stepping back into our ‘idea of normal’ will be hard to do and we will have to adjust to all of the changes, but it may all be for the best.
COVID-19 is breaking many of the ‘barriers’ that have stopped us from moving more of our individual lives online. Many things will stay the way they are but there certainly will be differences. Some parents may prefer to have their children home schooled than to go to online school. That will certainly be a foreseeable problem for colleges in the fall, where students may prefer to stay in their own homes than to move around a campus. In the same regard many people may enjoy working from home instead of commuting to an office every day. In the social aspect, instead of ‘hanging out’ with your friends, Facetime and other similar video services such as Zoom or Google Meets may become the main source of ‘hanging out.’
COVID-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of many. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation article about mental health during the pandemic ” nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively affected due to worry and stress over the virus.” (kff.org) They believe that as the pandemic wears on the general mental health of all people will decrease. As usually common things and places such as school and business close down and quarantine orders are put in place people are isolating themselves more and more and there is the potential for financial problems. Many people have reported according to the same KFF article “feelings of anxiety, as people are fearful of themselves or loved ones falling ill and are uncertain of the repercussions of the pandemic.” All feelings we all are surely feeling ourselves. If you know someone or are struggling during this time please feel free to call the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses hotline at 800-950-6264.
Through the past few months COVID- 19 has required global change from schools shutting down to being able to the ability to see clear across previously polluted areas. We may not know what permanent the affects of the Corona Virus may be on our everyday lives but the first step is to deal with the pandemic at hand.