In March of 2020, non-essential businesses closed their doors and millions of employees found ways of working from their homes. Late-night television hosts conducted shows from home while their young children ran in the background, musicians played concerts in their living rooms. On social media, people held up signs saying who they were self-isolating for. The idea being that to quarantine meant to think of the greater good. Sometimes, it was easier if that cause had a name and a face.
There was a sense of camaraderie. We were all in this together.
Now there’s a different feeling. Unemployment is up to 20%, just 5% shy of where it was during The Great Depression. Upwards of 90,000 people have died, leaving people wondering how to solve two different problems.
Two Factors at Odds with One Another
The solution to one thing causes the other problem to worsen. To solve the unemployment problem would mean we go back to work and risk exposure. But to limit exposure means non-essential businesses would remain closed, unemployment numbers grow.
We can’t choose one path or the other. Neither offers a full-fledged long-term solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite what side you deem the better option, we have to manage both economic and health factors. Economic relief has been suggested in the form of a payroll tax cut.
Moving at Different Speeds
Most of the states in our country are moving forward but are doing so slowly. Despite the guidance being issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), state governments are issuing different parameters for how their respective areas will begin to reopen.
For instance, in Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that his state would now be “…just like it was prior to the virus.” On the other side of the spectrum, New York and New Jersey, which were amongst the hardest hit by the virus, are just starting to offer curbside pickup at retail stores.
States such as North Carolina are reopening in phases with different types of businesses being classified into specific phases based on necessity and risk. Washington D.C. is continuing to enforce a shutdown until June.
Why are States Reacting Differently?
Each state has been impacted differently to varying degrees, and the information being given is conflicting. Ultimately, it will be your specific state that decides how it wishes to proceed with the guidance they’ve been issued from the federal government.
For instance, the President calls houses of worship “essential services” and should be open, but governors have to decide if they will allow their reopening.
For more information about your specific state, look it up here.
What to Expect and How it Will Be Resolved
In the upcoming months, everyone will need to expect that each state is testing out where their threshold is. The question will become how close can we return to normal operations without forcing a setback in our efforts to be beyond COVID-19.
The piece that hangs in the balance is a vaccine. Before asking why we haven’t developed one yet, understand that normal vaccines could take a decade of testing before being given out to the general population. Despite it, the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, states that it is possible to have one by the end of the year. The speed of delivery on this vaccine is unprecedented.
Be Safe, Be Well
Continue to support those around you in whatever capacity you are able. Take care of your employees as well. If you need assistance in managing your payroll as we navigate new tax laws and cuts, PayWow is here to help in whatever way we can.