In what feels like a blink of an eye, the world we live in has been completely turned upside down. Everyday normalcies, like going to work and (easily) buying toilet paper, have now become the thing of the not so distant past for most people thanks to quick spread of the quick corona virus.
There is nothing new we can tell you in this article you might not know already. But our aim is to summarize what we know so far and put it in a concise manner.
What are the effects of the Coronavirus? Here are just 5 ways the Coronavirus can affect your health, your pockets, and your overall well being. This is not an article meant to scare anybody. It is meant to educate you on what we know so far so you can make decisions that are right for you and your family in these tough times.
1. You can get sick, seriously or mildly
This is the most obvious one. The Corona virus can lead to the Coronavirus disease, also referred to as COVID-19. The disease, which is similar to the flu but not quite the same, causes respiratory illness with symptoms like cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.
So far, it appears that the disease is mild for most people who are healthy but can quickly cause complications and more serious sickness in those who have underlying health issues.
For those of you who are still questioning why health and government officials are panicking over something that appears to be a mostly mild disease, here is the reason.
The novel Corona virus is a new virus to humans, which means we don’t have any vaccinations for it. It also means our bodies are not familiar with it like they are with the seasonal flu, which has been around forever.
There are also two more important things that make this virus more concerning than the flu. A person with the Coronavirus on average spreads it to 2.2 people while the rate for the seasonal flu is 1.3 new infections for every sick person. That means, the Coronavirus, if not managed, can infect much more people much quicker than the seasonal flu.
Another point of concern is the fatality rate of the Corona virus. The CDC estimates the seasonal flu kills 0.1% those who get sick while the Coronavirus so far appears to have a fatality rate of between 1-3%, even higher is some areas. Even if that rate is at 1%, that means it is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu. Those numbers are for the general population. The elderly and those with underlying medical issues might have a rate that’s closer to 5%.
When you combine the speed of the spread with a much higher rate of fatality than the seasonal flu, you understand why this is concerning those in the medical filed and in government. This can lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths if it is not managed. The full effect of the Coronavirus is yet to be seen.
2. Your Other Medical Needs Might Get Affected
This has much to do with the term you surely have heard a lot lately: flattening the curve. The reason social distancing is crucial is because we need to work on flattening the curve.
Flattening the curve refers to preventing millions of us from getting sick at the same time. If this happens, our health care system will get overwhelmed and those who could have been saved might not. But if we “flatten the curve” to make sure the virus spreads at a much lower rate through society, then those who need serious care can get it.
Red Table Talk had a fantastic segment on this, make sure to check it out.
If we don’t flatten the curve quickly enough, even those with other medical needs than COVID-19 can go without getting those needs met because hospitals will be overwhelmed.
So far, multiple states have ordered postponing elective surgeries to make room for those affected by this virus and to also conserve on medical supplies. If this needs is not quickly addressed, medical professionals might be put in a position to pick between which patient to treat.
That’s why we need to practice social distancing and make sure we don’t catch the virus or give it to others unknowingly. This goes far beyond just making sure those with this disease can get medical care. Let’s prevent a chair reaction that can be catastrophic.
3. You Might Lose Your Job Or Your Business
The first major industry to get hit was the travel industry. But in a matter of days, other “non-essential” businesses have been ordered to close in multiple states. This has lead to millions being out of work. Those able to work from home are working from home, but others, especially hourly workers, are taking a huge hit.
Small businesses are the ones suffering the most. Without millions of dollars to fall back on in times of revenue being brought down to zero or almost zero, small businesses around the country are being forced to lay off their employees. The same goes to the self-employed, the likes of ride share service providers, photographers, travel agents, performers, and more.
Although the government has talked about sending checks directly to individuals and families to ease the pain of this difficult time, nothing is for sure yet. If a stimulus from the government does not come quickly enough or life doesn’t go back to normal in the next few weeks, we are in for some very troubled waters. Some are predicting unemployment rate can reach 10-20%, and on an extreme end, even 30%.
If you’re worried about paying your bills, please refer to this article from CNN.
If you are currently out of work but would love to jump on the opportunity to make some money until things get back to work, please refer to this article for list of companies currently hiring.
Remember to be cautious of your health and wellbeing if you decide to work in places where you will be interacting with multiple people. Make the necessary precautions advised by the employers.
4. Your Retirement Or Investments Have/Will Take A Hit
If you have money in the stock market, it must have been a grueling time to watch the market tumble down in an unbelievable rate. If it’s your 401k and you’re far from retirement, then you are mostly likely going to be fine.
However, if you’re close to retirement, it is time to talk to your financial adviser if you haven’t yet. Best case scenario, this virus is managed well and life returns to normal, which means the economy can pick up right were it left off. Worst case scenario, shut downs can drag on for weeks and months, which means investments will have huge losses.
The stock market is not the only concerning investment. If you have rental properties or businesses you have invested in, these will also get affected, unless you’re in one of those rare businesses that are actually making money now.
5. Please, Take Care of Your Mental Health
Times like these lead to anxiety and depression. It is no secret or surprise that financial hardships, on top of dealing with a pandemic, can lead to sever depression. A study found that a spike of suicide during the 2008 to 2010 period was tied to economical crisis.
Although you are physically distancing yourself from others, make sure you stay connected mentally and emotionally. Check in on your family and friends via phone calls, texts, social media, and video calls. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if and when you need it either from your loved ones or from professionals.
Stay safe and healthy. We will undoubtedly get through this, hopefully with minimal physical, financial, and mental damage.