Whatever it Takes
Two weeks ago 3.1 million people filed for unemployment benefits. Last week 6.6 million filed for unemployment. These staggering numbers, on top of what was then a 3.5% rate of unemployment, are overwhelming. If the American workforce is approximately 100 million people, somewhere between 5 and 10% of them are now out of work. With the combination of both a recession and a pandemic, it’s a double blow for economic hardship.
To exacerbate the problem, we have to social distance because of the highly contagious nature of the virus. How, then, can we can work towards alleviating an economic decline when, in order to combat the most severe threat, we must stay at home? What can we do?
First and foremost, think local. Look up your local food bank, ask them what they need most, and start a fundraiser among family and friends. Help keep restaurants above water by using their gift cards or takeout and delivery services. Make and donate masks to organizations or individuals on the frontlines of taking care of patients to help prevent further spread. Donate blood to mitigate increased shortages. Offer your time to grocery shop or pick up medication for the elderly to curb the increase of more severe cases.
In time, this epidemic will pass. But our actions, together, determine how fast this will happen and the severity of its effects. We must work separately but in unison to build a strong foundation of community and support in order to help get us through this crisis. We each have the ability to contribute to the intangible but ever-present resilience that makes up this nation. As Americans, we each can do whatever it takes. Together, we can do anything.