The American economy is at a standstill. Everyday we do not reopen for business, the hole we are digging ourselves into grows geometrically.
It is expected by the end of this week, approximately 20 million – 30 million men and women have lost their jobs and will be applying for unemployment.
Many thousands of men and women in Everett face the same stark reality of no job, no money coming in, no place to put their children so they can work and no work to be had because the marketplace for jobs has shut down.
Each week we are closed down those figures will jump dramatically.
At the same time, those infected are growing in greater numbers all over the state and the nation.
Deaths are rising dramatically. Hospital intakes are exploding. Hospitals across the nation are concerned, and rightly so, that they were not ready for this. Even here in Massachusetts hospitals are complaining about not being able to meet the crush that is upon us and which cannot be immediately stopped.
To its credit, the Everett Board of Health has been leading a heads up strategy of informing Everett residents of nearly everything they need to know about trying to avoid being contaminated.
The extended shutdown announced by Governor Charlie Baker is absolutely what is necessary. The governor has been extremely careful to make decisions that resonate with intelligence and common sense. His compassion and the emotion he is feeling as the state reels, is noticeable. At a time like this, it is good to know we have a real human being leading the state.
President Trump has started suggesting that the shutdown – the cure – is worse than the corona virus – the cause.
It seems highly improbable that the nation’s economic power can be unleashed before the virus is contained. There is, we believe, a measure of insanity in such a thought.
Science proves we cannot wish away or work away the deadliness of the spread of this virus.
On the other hand, reality proves we cannot keep the United States locked down and survive without causing deep and irreversible damage as we move ahead and time passes by.
The longer the nation is shut down, the worse the economic situation will become.
If we open too quickly, the virus is not contained and many more will become sick and many more will die.
What to do?
We can allow many more to die and say let’s get on with it and reopen the nation’s businesses.
This is a strategy doomed to failure.
Keeping the nation locked down will kill the spread of the virus and bring it under control where it belongs.
This is not a strategy doomed to failure.
However, it is a strategy that guarantees enormous economic disruption for all Americans – and for the local economy.
We cannot yet reopen. We cannot remain closed down.
The federal government needs to support all of us in this crisis. An announcement that the government will be paying everyone out of work and all those companies large and small that are nearly out of business for at least the next three months would calm down the stock market.
Most Americans to receive checks from the stimulus about to be passed are in bad need of them.
Let’s face it, we are all living way above our means, with no safety net and now such a pampered and self-indulgent way of life is coming to haunt us as the virus rages on.
What to do?
We need to contain the virus and to come in control of it. We also need to open the economy as soon as possible. One solution won’t work without the other.
For the short term, tough times lie ahead.
The longer term will be much better for all of us.