Financial benefits of reopening the economy

If you were to tell me two weeks ago that I’d be in favor of reopening California’s economy by the very beginning of summer, I’d probably have laughed in your face. However, as financial compensation from the government has proven to be quite unhelpful in providing for a family of five, I can only hope more businesses start to reopen in the next couple of months in order for us to support ourselves. 

On May 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom moved the state  into Phase 2 of reopening the economy, where bookstores, florists, sporting goods retailers and other stores will be reopening for curbside pickup. Retailers were encouraged to enforce social distancing rules for their customers, which includes having customers pay for their products in a hands-free manner and keep their distance from other people. As of May 25, places of worship, dine-in restaurants and malls were allowed to reopen. 

Being cautious when going outside is still going to have to be a key factor for people to keep in mind if they do choose to buy from these stores. According to director of the Centers for Disease and Prevention, Robert Redfield, the second wave of the coronavirus may come in the fall or winter, which is also when flu season begins. 

While it may be difficult for some Californians to adjust to this in-between state of permission to roam outside while simultaneously exercising safety precautions around other people, practicing methods of social distancing is necessary in order to keep the COVID-19 death toll under control by the time fall rolls around. 

Californians should not view reopening the economy as an opportunity to do leisurely activities  but, rather, as something necessary in order to reestablish a continuous form of financial support. 

A report by the Urban Institute revealed that, as of late March, 31 percent of non-elderly adults could not pay their rent, mortgage, or utility bills and were scarce on food due to the outbreak. In addition, 4 out of 10 adults (41.5 percent) said that their families have lost their jobs or have had their work hours reduced. 

Some may wonder why these adults did not have a savings account that would provide them with financial relief if a situation like this occurredor, perhaps, why they didn’t file for unemployment. 

While I cannot speak for those 31 percent of Americans struggling to pay for housing, my experience with my family having a savings account as well as receiving financial aid from the government can only be described in one word: temporary. 

Money can run out in a matter of monthsespecially when having to support a big familyand your only choice is to rely on the money you receive from unemployment. Despite the fact that my mother filed for both unemployment and had money saved up in the bank, we are inevitably going to have to sell our house in order to make ends meet. 

So, for families like mine, reopening the economy is the only scenario where financial stability is possible. In regards to the re-opening California, it is crucial to be safe and cautious when going outsideno matter the circumstance. If not, death rates will immediately spike up and non-essential businesses will be out of work for a longer period of time. 

Trust me, I don’t believe  protesting and congregating in large groups to scream about returning life back to normal is a logical or at all effective approach to reopening the economy. While I do think that it’s important to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, financial stability of those across the United States should also be a priority.