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Americans Should Prepare For Future Financial Emergencies

To The Reader’s Forum:

Coronavirus/COVID-19 is changing the U.S. and the world every day. The good side is the general cooperation among nations, the search for treatments and, most importantly, recognition of essential workers and the courage of our first responders, who we regularly take for granted. The bad side is, obviously, the non-stop deaths from, and confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with the negative side effects of a damaged economy. Clearly, the world and the U.S. were not prepared for this pandemic.

Surely, school closures, “lockdowns”, “stay-at-home orders”, “distancing”, travel restrictions, use of “PPE” by the public, and similar measures are inconveniences, if not worse, but the deadly alternative seems, to me, far worse in comparison. What the latest “protests” to the restrictions being placed on us shows me is that America is the least prepared of any nation to deal with COVID-19. They show me that America is indeed #1, but not in prevention of the adversity from the pandemic, but #1 in deaths, infections, lack of sufficient per-capita testing, and in lack of patience to get the pandemic under control before resuming some sense of “normalcy” to our society.

In some states, notably Georgia as I write, where infections and deaths have not peaked, there are already reopenings of some small businesses. To me, that behavior is reckless, and it points out a large failing of the federal government – the lack of a serious plan to fund small businesses where the most jobs are, lesser-paid jobs, and where the most economic pain is felt. Why are most Americans unable to meet a financial emergency of less than 6 months? Yes, there is money starting to flow, but if we are engaged in a so-called “war”, then the federal government should have been the leader from the get-go; that’s the federal government’s primary purpose — to protect and defend us. COVID-19 is here; it is now and it will take a true national response.

Where can Americans help? If you’re not hurting financially give, as we did, the $1200 payments to others in need. Get the federal government to contribute more so workers can stay home — as we’ve seen government debt means little. Demand that billionaires and millionaires give more to “the cause”. Find innovative ways to keep connected. Prepare for future financial emergencies since, as we see, your life may depend on it.

Paul L. Demler

Jamestown

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