Public colleges and universities are not immune from the financial distress in the wake of Covid-19. “Public colleges and universities across the nation have had to spend enormous sums of money to support their students through the pandemic; switch to online education; and issue refunds to students for parking, housing, and dining services for the period of time when they were not on campus in the spring.” While there is the CARES Act to provide funding for these institutions, the funding verses the lost revenue is leaving a huge divide.
Over the past seven weeks, more than 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment. President Trump is looking for the states to relax their social distancing guidelines, but the number of virus cases is still rising. The CDC has prepared guidelines to reopen the country, but the administration has rejected them stating they are too “prescriptive.” The guidance, while not being currently available to the public, was intended to help establish measures that keep the virus from spreading once areas begin reopening. Economists are not optimistic that economies will rebound quickly. Even as restrictions lift, people will remain leery of being in public places with large groups of people. Further adding to fears are the increased number of cases of the virus in the states that are relaxing restrictions.
As Passover begins and Easter approaches, many families will continue social distancing through a time that they would generally spend these holidays with their loved ones. This disruption to life as we know it has mental health experts warning about the impact of mental trauma. Feelings like anxiety and depression might start to impact people now and into the next few months. Families are stuck inside and those who live alone are cut off from their daily interactions.
It’s no secret that you cannot go anywhere without hearing about pandemics and the coronavirus, but the lingering question is what will happen to me? The number of global cases has grown exponentially but containment and the latest trend of “social distancing” is attempting to slow the spread. These measures would not prevent the illness but slow its impact on the communities and associated consequences. The concept is simple – stay away from large gatherings of people, keep yourself home if you feel sick, and wash your hands.