The impending COVID-19 outbreak that now has spread to a pandemic has caused ripples in the United States economy, society, and culture. As a direct result of this pandemic, we’ve witnessed historic drops in the stock market, deaths worldwide, and mass panic.
Despite all of the jokes about the virus that we can all laugh at on Tik Tok and other social media platforms, the reality exists that many people have lost their income, are jobless, or struggling to make ends meet.
Since the virus has spread all across the country, cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, and other bustling metropolitan areas are having shutdowns, according to ABC News.
These shutdowns have directly impacted businesses, schools, and families. Due to shutdowns, only essential stores are open hurting “non-essential businesses,” schools are closed which means students must stay at home, and families especially low-income households are hurt the most as they must stay home to watch after children and feed their families while not working.
This creates a huge problem and explains the panic, anger, and frustration of people. A lot of people are currently not working which means that they are technically income-less for the foreseeable future.
According to CNN, more than half of US jobs are currently at risk and as many as 10 million of those workers could see some impact on their paychecks — either layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts.
Families aren’t just the only ones being impacted. Businesses both big and small are also negatively impacted. For large businesses, their stock prices have taken massive hits especially corporations like Boeing and airline companies, according to CNBC.
For small businesses, they are more heavily affected as they lose not only daily profits, but they are either forced to increase prices, cut employee wages, or even fire employees.
The S&P 500 numbers show that for the 500 largest corporations in the United States, the market has dropped almost 1,000 points for the past month, according to Market Watch.
As a direct result of all of these unfortunate situations, there had to be something done. Local efforts such as food banks, shelters, and even some companies offering food and assistance was a start, but more had to be done to combat the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act was passed on last Friday after President Trump signed the bill. This new Act had a lot of controversy on it.
Both Democrats and Republicans were forced to create a bipartisan bill that could help stimulate the economy, and give Americans some temporary relief in the face of the COVID-19 virus. Despite the urgency needed as a governmental response, both Republicans and Democrats showed the dark-side of US politics. With refusals to cooperate, Democrats refusing to approve the original bill, and even a Republican trying to force an in-person roll call vote, the Congress finally got the bill done after over a week of prolonged anticipation, according to CNN.
This CARES Act is the beginning of a brighter outlook for the United States.
The fact that in just a week, Congressional Democrats and Republicans could come to agreement to a $2 Trillion stimulus package is something that is notable. This Congress has been one that seemed to not be able to agree on anything remotely to the size and price-point of this bill. It shows that maybe the American political system still is able to work and be productive.
This CARES Act is also a sign that the country can overcome its economic struggles. With individual payouts to people, it helps to reduce the anxiety of mounting bills to cover. New aid for hospitals all over the country can give much needed help to many facilities that are overcrowded, overworked, and underfunded. The prioritization and expansion of the FDA as well as approving certain diagnostic tests can help treat and contain this deadly COVID-19 virus.
The CARES Act in the midst of the drama, political bickering, and mass hysteria give the country hope. By providing families and businesses monetary relief, more aid to hospitals, whilst prioritizing the FDA to continue to produce new drugs and treatments, it is a sure sign that America is not idly standing by, but actually taking action.
The government and the Trump administration has been on blast over their handling of this pandemic, but this ACT is the right course of action by the country, and a huge win for the country.