Last March, when the COVID-19 lockdowns started, we couldn’t imagine how serious the situation would become — at least not at first. But then it became abundantly clear that everything about our normal life was about to change. And here we are, a year later. The virus is still with us until the vaccine can be made more widely available.
President Biden has the goal of vaccinating 100 million people in his first 100 days. It’s looking like he’s on track to surpass that goal. According to federal data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 million doses have been administered, reaching over 14% of the population. The rollout of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine is great news, but we’re not out of the soup yet.
This year has been unlike any year in our lifetimes. We’ve all been affected greatly by the pandemic. Everybody has lost something. Some of us lost our employment. Some of us lost our parents. Some of us lost both. Roughly one in five small businesses has closed since the start of the pandemic. Unemployment claims in South Carolina have risen approximately 400%. The coronavirus has claimed over half a million American lives. So not only are millions of families financially struggling, but hundreds of thousands of families are grieving amid their financial struggles.
It is important for us to acknowledge that not all families are struggling the same.
The sale of houses valued at over $1 million has nearly doubled since the pandemic began. What does that tell you? Well, it tells you that interest rates are at an all-time low. But it also tells you the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening now more than ever.
Dealing with daily life during a pandemic isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s harder for some. Those of us who can Zoom, Zoom. Many people don’t have that option, which means that those who can’t work from home can’t work. In some industries, finding a job in this climate can be like finding a needle in a haystack. And finding a job in that haystack while caring for children who would normally be attending school is, for many, impossible.
The pandemic has been hard for all of us. But it’s disproportionally harder on families who are experiencing poverty. Now is the time for people who have the means to help to actually help. Make the extra effort. You could be saving someone’s life.