Coronavirus economic impacts

A pandemic that is trying to bring us into recession.

Times+Square+in+New+York+City+left+deserted+by+the+coronavirus.

Times Square in New York City left deserted by the coronavirus.

Reece Marley, Staff Writer

It’s been about a month now since the lives of millions of Americans have been severely altered to address the threat of the coronavirus. Around 800,000 American citizens have contracted, and over 40,000 have died from the deadly virus. Almost as silent as the infection spreads through the roots of the United States, there has been another impact on society that hasn’t been unnoticed. Prior to the pandemic the economy was roaring and the Dow Jones Industrial was at a peak of nearly 30,000 points. However, just as quickly as panic and fear engulfed American citizens, the economy began to stumble and the economic impact from Covid-19 could be akin to the Recession of the late 2000s or even the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In just the past month alone nearly all non-essential businesses have shuttered their doors leading to employees being fired or furloughed. With scarce demand for certain services, unemployment has skyrocketed, with over 16 million filing for unemployment benefits in recent weeks. As early as February life was normal, and the economy was remaining rock solid despite warnings of the growing epidemic in China and other parts of Asia. Now, the stock market is essentially treading water in hopes that by summer infection rates will slow and Americans will return to work and resume a somewhat normal routine. The economic fallout from this pandemic may very well be worse for this country than the virus itself.

Recently, the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act, which was designed to stimulate and prevent an economic collapse. While most of the funding goes to tackling coronavirus, a lot of money is going to Americans, large corporations, and small businesses with the intent to keep things afloat while society operates in a reduced fashion. Some American citizen who filed taxes will be eligible to receive one of the much needed $1,200 stimulus checks that has drawn all the buzz as of late. Although it is important that Americans are receiving an inflow of cash to counteract them being laid off or suffering in some other way, it is equally vital to protect certain industries large and small. It is imperative that there is an economy to come back to when the coronavirus outbreak has ceded. For example, the stimulus package includes loans for the airline industry due to intense suffering and lack of travel created by the pandemic. Americans have no reason to be traveling hence why major airlines are suffering and taking out massive loans to avoid going bankrupt during these unprecedented times.

The economic impact is going to also be felt by business across the Tampa Bay region. Workers at non-essential businesses have already been let go or seen their hours decrease significantly. Local restaurants and stores face a challenging decision over if they will be able to survive and make it out alive on the other side of the pandemic. Restaurants in Tampa Bay have the option to provide take out or delivery service, but many have found it is not feasible to try and remain open. Tampa Bay’s entertainment sector is also facing tough circumstances with new social distancing and mass gathering limitations.  The Tampa Bay area alone lost roughly 350 million dollars in revenue due to the cancellation of events like March Madness and the Valspar Championship.

While it is necessary to ensure that as a country we beat and eradicate the Coronavirus from our borders, we as Americans can’t ignore the economic impact facing the United States. The economy has already endured some brutal knocks, but we cannot let it sink even further. As American citizens we cannot let the economic impact from Covid-19 be worse than the virus.