It's Time for Americans to Go Back to Work
Since the early months of 2020, coronavirus has swept through the states, impacting every American one way or another. While COVID-19 cases are still popping up worldwide, it's time for Americans to go back to work. Adults can start to re-enter the workforce safely. As people begin to work again, the American economy will be stimulated. Additionally, fewer people will be relying on the government for income, reducing the burden on the entire country.
Why It's Time to Go Back to Work
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all economies, including the United States economy, in an incredibly negative way. Official reports state that the U.S. economy has shrunk at the fastest rate since the 2008 recession. If things don't change soon, there's no telling what kind of future is in store for the average American household.
Here are some vital statistics that outline how dire the situation is:
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States hit an unemployment rate of 13% in May 2020. This is a massive increase from the 2019 rate of 3.7%. This rate also beats the peak unemployment of 10.6% for the 2007-2009 Great Recession.
Experts suspect that the real unemployment rate was much higher in May, possibly as high as 16%. However, measurement challenges, including low participation, make it much harder to understand the exact number.
Before COVID occurred, the United States was enjoying one of the lowest records of unemployment since World War II.
More than 20 million Americans have lost their job due to COVID.
Before coronavirus hit, the American economy was predicted to grow by 2% in 2020.
Over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed in the U.S. due to COVID.
The U.S. government provided stimulus checks for qualifying individuals, up to $1,200 per adult. It's now being predicted by many that another round of stimulus checks will be sent out.
Several major corporations are failing or have filed for bankruptcy amid the COVID pandemic, including 24 Hour Fitness, the ALDO Group, Brooks Brothers, California Pizza Kitchen, Cirque du Soleil, DavidsTea, and J.C. Penney.
Americans need to band together for the future of the country's economy. Any adult in good health that can work should return to a job. As more positions are filled, unemployment rates will go down, and adults won't be dependent on the government for unemployment wages.
Adults that have jobs are more likely to have disposable income. They can then use this disposable income to put their income back into stimulating the economy. Disposable income allows people to order from restaurants, go shopping, and pay outstanding debt. This will serve to help companies, both big and small, stay in business, and continue operations.
How to Go Back to Work Safely
Of course, no one is asking Americans to go back to work in an unsafe manner. Precautions can be taken by both the employer and the employees to reduce the risk of COVID infection. Additionally, employees should not be scared of making requests to their employers to improve their safety
Some ways Americans can go back to work safely and continue to reduce their risk of getting COVID-19 include:
Wear a mask at all times. If applicable to your work, wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves.
Practice social distancing, even at work.
Ask your employer to ensure that a limited number of employees and customers are in an enclosed space. This can be done by having alternating shifts for employees and asking customers to line up outside of stores.
Ask your employer to purchase a thermometer screener for all employees and customers.
Supply hand sanitizer throughout the workspace.
Ask employers to have flexible work from home or sick policies. This ensures that employees don't feel pressured to come into work if they begin to feel sick.
Ask employers to provide their staff with educational materials on how to reduce the spread of COVID.
Ask employees that are immunocompromised to stay home until the risk of COVID decreases.
Avoid sharing of utensils at work.
Avoid shaking hands.
Looking to the Months Ahead
A lot of people are uncertain of what the future holds at this point. A 1981 study found that a one percent dip in unemployment results in 37,000 deaths (a combination of heart attacks, suicides, homicides, and other), 4,000 state mental hospital admissions, and 3,300 state prison admissions. This statistic has gained some traction in recent years after it was famously quoted by Brad Pitt's character in The Big Short. Of course, the findings of a several decades-old study doesn't apply to today's world. Still, if this statistic is even fractionally true in today's world, it could mean a bleak future.
People need to work to survive. They need to work to feed themselves and their families, maintain a roof over their heads, and stay fulfilled. When people stop working, it will inevitably result in negative scenarios for many individuals.
Additionally, if we don't go back to work, the economy may collapse. Small businesses used to be the backbone of the United States economy, and they've already taken a significant hit. Even major corporations haven't been COVID-proof. As more businesses close, more people will lose their jobs, and the economy will continue to spiral out of control.
Americans can pull together to do their part and go back to work for the benefit of the entire country. It benefits both the individual and the country as a whole.