Dublin, Ohio, U.S.A. – With the coronavirus pandemic spreading and the economic impacts only cutting deeper into the Americans’ pockets, the federal government enacted legislation to help.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act hopes to offset the economic turmoil that has impacted so many Americans during the covid-19 global pandemic.
Some Ohioans interviewed feel it is a good first step, but aren’t certain it’s enough.
Leah Shadle, 17, a high school student at Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio, said the package simply isn’t enough.
“Let’s be real here,” she said. “It’s very difficult to live on $1,000-2,000 a month. Groceries, gas, water, electricity, rent, mortgages, etc. still need to be paid.”
Ed Sarkel, 53, finds it hard to measure the real impacts of the coronavirus.
“This country has never had this large of a number of people unemployed so suddenly because of a pandemic/disease outbreak,” said Sarkel. “No one really knows how the effect of the unemployment will ripple through the economy.”
Still, Sarkel hopes that the CARES Act “will help companies to avoid bankruptcy” and that “between unemployment benefits and the stimulus checks that displaced workers can manage the lean times.”
Kyle Strickland, 29, of Columbus, is a senior legal analyst at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity. He said the CARES Act is a helpful first step.
The legislation “will increase unemployment benefit compensation and will expand it to reach more people,” said Strickland, “including gig workers, like Uber or Lyft drivers, freelancers, etc. Not to mention, provisions like increased paid family leave and sick leave will provide families with additional support.”
Still, with all these benefits he finds it to have many shortcomings.
“In this package, there is a $500 billion government bailout that will go to big corporations impacted by the crisis,” Strickland said.
While Strickland said it is important to support some corporations, he stressed, “Without more support to small businesses and state and local governments, many of these smaller businesses will never recover, and will leave millions of Americans out of good-paying jobs.”
Sarkel seems to have faith that things will work out.
“Americans with their ingenuity, spirit, and grit will work together to overcome these hard times,” said Sarkel.
Shadle isn’t as convinced that everything will be fine.
“We need to do better about caring for our people” says Shadle.
Danish Bajwa is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.