Coronavirus pandemic shakes reality


People are suffering in many ways, some that people don’t even see. What about children in abusive homes who aren’t able to leave? What about K-12 grade students who depend on school meals that don’t have easy access to them anymore? What about people who live alone and are struggling to keep themselves busy? What about single parents who now can’t work and are struggling to support their children now and going forward? Many are suffering in many different ways. If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that we are all ready for this pandemic to subside.

Selah DeLong, Photographer

There’s no question the Coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise. Government officials were pushed to make judgement calls based on something no one had ever gone through. “Stay at Home” orders were passed by governors in many states, Washington being among the first. People found themselves self-isolating inside their homes – some with family, others by themselves. Free time became an everyday recurring routine. 

While this seemed great for homebodies the first week, everyone quickly realized that this would be our new normal; our reality for the next month, two months, three months, who knows? With that in mind, it became much more difficult to occupy the time. 

It was no longer an extra long summer vacation, it was a lockdown; a nationwide lockdown. The world appeared upside down, like everywhere you went was a ghost town. Social interactions were limited to phone calls and virtual chats. Visiting with family and friends seemed a distant thought, almost like a dream. However, most people found this time to be less of a dream and more of a nightmare. 

Self-isolation due to Coronavirus definitely took a toll on many people in many different ways. Many lost jobs, rendering themselves financially unstable. Others were unable to access regular medical appointments due to the massive virus outbreak. Some suffered by themselves through this virus, and some lost loved ones. No one would say that the virus didn’t have a substantial impact on everyone. 

Yes, it seems these times are dark, uncertain, and unclear. There’s no denying the pain and hurt people are experiencing from Coronavirus effects. It is likely that people ‘s lives won’t go back to normal- at least, the normal they were before this pandemic. 

Possibly the largest effect of this pandemic is on the economy. According to BBC news, the jobless claims are at a record high, with a whopping 6.6 million. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a 3.2% unemployment rate in December of 2019. In only a matter of months, this number skyrocketed. According to the New York Times, it is estimated to be around 13%, which is the highest it’s been. Before now, the highest unemployment rate from 1950 until now was under 10%. 

As of now, many people are beginning to protest as the lift for the “Stay at Home” orders continues to be extended by governors across the U.S. These protests are being covered all over the news. The pandemic effects are pushing people to question what they feel is really best for the country and the people. 

It’s easy to see this pandemic has sadly caused many deaths. It’s a touchy subject as many people have lost loved ones. While this virus does pose fatal threats, President Trump stated that he expects another death rate to increase, this being the suicide rate. It makes sense. People are forced to be in isolation for 7-8 weeks. Many people are beginning to realize the toll no social interactions can have. In 1920, a study about the influenza pandemic was conducted, revealing that the suicide rate did in fact increase (according to ABC news). 

In contrast to this, due to the decline in alcohol consumption at that time, the rate wasn’t as high as it could have been. Even if the suicide rates aren’t as high, the mental health of people will definitely be affected. 

In addition to economical, mental, and physical effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, it could also affect the 2020 Presidential election in the fall. President Trump’s handling of the situation could most certainly change the people’s choice in voting either way. While some may agree he handled the situation well, others disagree. As well, if he were to make a hasty decision in regards to the pandemic that backfires and causes further damage, he could be reduced to one presidential term. 

On the other hand, according to New York Intelligencer, an opinion article on the possible effects on the presidential election, a well-timed economic boost could benefit Trump and his campaign. If the pandemic ends sooner than expected, it will reflect well on Trump’s leadership in the midst of a crisis. More specific to political parties, according to Intelligencer, it could change people’s view of socialism (either advocating for it or against it). The article talks about paid sick leave and socialized medicine. Due to the increasing unemployment rate, people may question whether paid sick leave would be something the country should invest in going forward. In total, there are many different effects this could have on the fall election that are difficult to foresee as they are all futuristic and based upon individual viewpoints. 

There’s no doubt this time will change our society. The fact still remains, going back to normal won’t be “normal” as we saw it before the national crisis.