Hope amidst COVID-19 panic

This information was gathered, written and is accurate as of March 29. 

Feb. 12 marked the record high for the Dow Jones, a whopping average of $29,551.42 displayed an astoundingly historic day for the nation as we drew closer to financial resilience. On Feb. 28, a little over two weeks later, the nation watched in horror as the market endured a 14% drop. Mangled in tensions and fear of a newly announced epidemic across seas caused investors, corporations and small business owners within the states, to hold their breath as the media coverage, and market conditions began to shape an inverse relation, which resulted in the market falling 37% down from the initial national high as more news discharged over the topic. 

Here’s why — Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), despite the call to rename the pandemic virus otherwise, did, in fact, originate in a wet market located within Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019, of the rare strand, formally known as, SARS-CoV-2, spreading exponentially among Chinese citizens, within and around the city the virus originated from. Symptoms the contracting individuals experienced were fever, cough and difficulty breathing, some even stating the sensation of drowning was prevalent with their pains endured. The disease, unfortunately, was not taken with utmost precautions until Feb. 4, 2020, when the U.S. State Department issued a level 4 advisory, mandating that foreign individuals who had visited China, not be allowed in.     

Other countries, prior to the US, soon began to feel the repercussions the virus carried to its hosts. The most infamous country location, Italy, initially banned all flights from China on Jan. 31, but soon experienced firsthand, the spreading rate of the pandemic, as the country began to post-death tolls totaling 10,023 of their current 92,472 infected cases reported. Though this number brings a stark outlook upon this virus’s wrath towards civilization, all readers must recall that COVID-19 is most detrimental to the elderly population, which is, you guessed it, the majority of Northern Italy’s populace where the grim numbers were reported. 

Furthermore, despite many small businesses without online storefronts or grandiose investments in toiletry and sanitation-product industries, hope still is in sight. Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump recently created and signed into law the $2.2 trillion dollar stimulus, “CARES Act” package, with hopes to guarantee American citizens revenue for their upcoming financial liabilities. This new deal promises to garner Americans making up to $75,000 annually, a $1,200 dollar check (via mail or direct deposit.) If married, couples will receive $2,400 if they have no children but will receive up to $500 per child if they do have children. This stimulus package was drafted in order to offset default payments to those with outstanding, present liabilities. 

You, yourself, can verify if you are eligible for benefits of the package since salaries over the $75,000 amount are eligible for stimulus payments as well. The stimulus payment calculator, via WashingtonPost.com, outputs that one would receive $2,400 being married and without children, making just over $150,000. The calculator displays the amount the individual receives back, decreasing as their reported salaries increase. Amazingly, you can even receive an entire US dollar if you are married, without children and make $197,990. All jokes aside, I strongly encourage you to seek, calculate and claim your amount receivable during this time. Why exclude yourself from an available payment? Unemployment benefits are additionally available as well, promising those applicable an extra $600 weekly payment, a whopping 165% increase in their normal $385 national, weekly payment. This payment will soften the harsh rifts created by fear of bankruptcy tensions, which caused many small business owners to lay-off thousands of their hardworking employees nationwide.

Additionally, a massive crackdown on “fake news” in relation to the virus by major tech companies Facebook, Microsoft and Google have been spawned to bring media sources and audiences alike closer to the reality of the virus’s path. This should reiterate to all readers of this article that you should perform your due diligence when learning about the virus itself. Skepticism and cross-referencing sources will always be your best friends in these times. 

Also, though America has recently inducted the award of highest cases of COVID-19 globally, presently sitting at 123,428, the workmanship and courage of Americans are soaring with efforts to produce and protect those enduring and battling the virus. This is being accomplished through the production of medical-grade safety masks, and ventilators for the incredibly ill. These actions are led in states affected the most, such as New York, by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has called for testing expansion, school closures and growth in the health service availability industries in order to combat and mitigate the adverse effects this virus historically carries upon it’s growing body of hosts.   

Though the market has taken a historic, abyssal fall, economists and financial officials can reassure the general populace that the market, similarly to the state of the nation, will indeed, always prevail.    

Do your part to comply with guidelines set, and most importantly, stay healthy!

1. HANDS: Wash them often.

2. ELBOW: Cough into it.

3. FACE: Don’t touch it.

4. SPACE: Keep safe distance.

5: HOME: Stay if you can.