Pandemic Effects Will Continue
We are six months into the pandemic and all of our lives have been impacted. It seems like nothing is the same as it was a year ago. Last weekend, I again had to wait in line to get into a supermarket. I thought that was behind us but I guess not.
Unemployment appears to be improving with four consecutive months of rehiring after massive job cuts. However, there is a rising red flag in the number of temporary layoffs that are starting to look permanent. According to a recent column in Barron’s, there are now 3.4 million permanent job losses, with August’s permanent losses at 534,000.
In August there were 6.5 million people out of work for between 15 to 26 weeks. This compares to only 831,000 out for 15 to 26 weeks just one year ago in August 2019. Many of these may also end up becoming permanent job losses.
Kids doing virtual learning is a major problem for many families. If no family or friend support, many people are taking a leave of absence or quitting jobs to be at home with the kids as they have online classes. Some parents are trying to keep working while depending on family support.
One mom portrayed in the Wall Street Journal told of how her seven-year-old son asked her where he would be going for the next day’s online classes. The mother told her son she hoped to have it all figured out by the time her son woke in the morning. She then had to scramble to find someone who could take her son for the day so she could go to work.
And when kids do go back to school in actual classrooms, how will they get there? School bus managers around the country are trying to figure this one out. And you thought a Rubik’s Cube was tough to figure out?
Then there is the upcoming election. The pandemic has many voters—especially older and more vulnerable voters—afraid to go to the polls to vote. Will absentee ballots or mail-in ballots slow down election results? Will there be court cases? When will a decision be rendered if there is a close election? Questions for which there are no answers. Kind of like, “Why can’t you eat a soft pretzel without getting mustard on your shirt or blouse?”
The economy and the stock market will continue to be jolted by COVID-19 effects but with a little bit of luck, improvements will continue.
Last and most important, the CDC says getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever. Now is the time to get your shot.
Enjoy the weekend…