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Planning, pride will see us overcome COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 epidemic has turned our way. At present, there are over 600,000 cases and 26,000+ deaths in the U.S.

Coronavirus has affected our lives in so many ways, not only all aspects of our culture, but how we relate to one another. As I wander into the grocery store, I find I must wear a mask. Suddenly, it is difficult to obtain basic supplies such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, meat and deli items. Stores have placed limits on how many basic necessities we can purchase and limit how many people can be inside at any given time. Social distancing of six feet is now the new normal.

Businesses deemed unnecessary have been closed. Restaurants have been limited to take-out and delivery only. Parks and other facilities where we gather are forbidden areas. Church services, as we know them, have been canceled except online and other means. We have been ordered to stay in our house unless the trip is essential.

This has affected us in other areas as well.

Over 20 million people have filed for unemployment. Thankfully, stimulus checks are on their way and many people will get unemployment. Some businesses may get temporary loans. However, there are many people and businesses that will not qualify for these programs. Many individuals will receive food from Harrison County Community Services and churches. The problem arises that groups such as Dare to Care are finding it more difficult to provide as less staples become available and grocery stores are forced to donate less. Farmers and food processors are turning out less inventory as they have fewer workers to process them. Some of these organizations have been forced to buy supplies from groceries to provide for those who cannot afford them.

Individuals are finding it more difficult to afford the high premiums for health care. COVID-19 only adds to this as they find it difficult to afford needed treatment. This makes it dangerous for all of us. They do not always seek medical treatment because they cannot afford it.

The stock market had been doing well, being over 29,000 points. In two weeks time, it fell over 10,000 points, robbing people who do participate in the stock market and individuals’ 401(k) of money they need to save on their retirement.

Further, Russia and Saudi Arabia are engaging in a price war. Oil has fallen to prices lower than in 1995. This is good if you are a consumer, but bad if you are investing. Furthermore, it does the consumer little good as they are restricted from going anywhere.

After this pandemic is over, it will take a lot of time for the country to recover. Many businesses may never recover. Recreating the business and food supply will be slow, which could affect the supply to grocery stores, thus the cost of groceries may rise.

With careful planning and our country pride, we will overcome and be better for it. I, and all of us, love our country and people.

Lawrence Hadley | Corydon, Ind.