Economy Being Drastically Challenged
By Josh Resnek
COVID-19 and Omicron cases have exploded throughout the nation and here in Massachusetts, the figures are rivaling and even surpassing those of the COVID-19 pandemic when it was it height two years ago.
Greater and more compelling questions are rising as the population’s patience is being tested by a virus that is not diminishing, this, despite the national and international effort to bring it under control.
Many leading epidemiologists are now questioning publicly if what our society is doing to meet the challenge of the pandemic is the best way to go about erasing it or at least in bringing it under control.
The uptick in cases has not yet been moved by the expected swarm of cases that have been gestating among the population since the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
No one seems to know the way while at the same time, anti-vaxer voices and the voices of those who claim COVID-19 is just a cold and we should get on with our lives are gaining numbers with each passing day.
This is against a backdrop of more than 800,000 deaths and a continuing strain placed upon the nation’s nearly broken health care system as a result of COVID-19, and now Omicron.
Nationwide vaccinations and testing along with masks have apparently aided in curbing some of the harshest edges caused by the virus.
However, many who have been vaccinated have caught the virus. Many who have not been vaccinated ed remain untouched by it. Many others have had the virus two or three times and vaccination doesn’t seem to mitigate coming down with the virus.
The extraordinary recent surge of viral sickness is having a dramatic impact on life in Massachusetts.
Here in Everett, the situation is no different.
The economic instability has caused many families suffering unemployment and job loss to experience food shortages, a need which has been met by the city staffing and stocking two major food banks which remain open on Church Street and at the Senior Center on Chelsea Street.
Free food for those in need has never been more important in modern times.
For now, the Everett Public Schools are remaining open.
In some of the larger American cities like New York and Chicago, public schools have closed temporarily because so many teachers, administrators and schoolchildren have come down with the virus.
Other school systems affected by the virus are offering expanded online instruction.
Last week, we reported thousands of airline flights being cancelled.
This is a situation that has continued and during the past few weeks which has escalated.
When travel becomes iffy, it tends to dramatically retract.
Without certainty as its bedrock, travel is hesitating and cannot reach pre-pandemic levels.
As long as this situation exists, the economy cannot return to pre-pandemic standards.
Perhaps the most significant problem is for mothers of school children who cannot go to work because they must stay at home to care for their children who are sick.
Day care has been seriously curtailed and in some cases is now completely nonexistent because of the virus.
What to do?
No one knows the way. It appears to be a muddle of science and sentiments and with the two never meeting to rid ourselves of the problem.