by Hunter Dawkins

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 outbreak has rapidly changed the American agenda the last few months, while altering the lives of citizens with plenty of medical, business, social and policy questions raised by this pandemic.

Among the most immediate questions in public health are quarantine measures, the movement of medical goods, health care coverage and solutions to the virus, such as vaccines.

At the same rate, public interest has been concerned with economic assistance of businesses, unemployment claims, foreclosures, evictions, and other civil liberties.

While many have aggressively formed an opinion one way or another, this is not a right/wrong issue, just like this COVID-19 (coronavirus) does not choose who it affects by gender or race.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released guidances for the general public, schools, health care providers, health departments, pregnant women and children, travelers, and others that are usually prepared by the counties local Emergency Operations Control (EOC) through different local media.

Ultimately, containment and mitigation efforts by federal, state, and local governments have been undertaken to “flatten the curve” or slow transmission that could overwhelm the health care system.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, provides a $2.2 trillion economic package that includes $172 billion additional appropriations for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) to support public health and medical response activities, including coverage or purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine, when available. It establishes a $100 billion fund for hospitals and other health care providers.

As the economic effects of the pandemic grow, governments are giving more weight to policies that address the immediate economic effects at the expense of longer-term considerations such as debt accumulation.  The virus-related supply shock is apparently creating more prolonged and wide-ranging demands as reduced activity by consumers and businesses lead to a lower rate of economic growth.

Although the CARES Act provides “impacted borrowers” adversely affected by COVID-19 complete payment deferment relief on a covered loan in its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the  moratorium may be for not less than six months and not more than one year if the borrower was in operation on February 15, 2020, and has an application for a covered loan approved or pending approval on or after the date of enactment.

After reviewing both issues, there is absolute fear in the overwhelm of both.  In comparison to the 1918 global pandemic of the Spanish flu, everything was closed and many were quarantined just like right now.  The difference was the better development of medicine, the world is not at war, and the testing is more rapid.  Fear should not be the way Americans live today.

Shop at local businesses, go for a walk outside, file your unemployment claim if not working, and follow the local health guidelines by social distancing plus washing your hands.