Year In Review – Living With COVID-19
In the past year we as a community have gone through some tough times, unlike most cities we are banding together and trying to push through these very unprecedented times and as we continue to navigate the social, economic and emotional challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 we look back on the highs and lows of 2020:
The United States Announces First Case of COVID-19
The first case of a new virus was reported to have reached the United States from a US Resident who came back from a visit to China. The Center for Disease control reported that the male patient, in his 30s and “very healthy” was being isolated and posed no threat to the public and continued to believe the virus would not spread to the American people.
Government Issues a Stay-at-Home Order
The Virus spreads rapidly, and we get our first reported case in the Santa Clarita Community. The local government issued a stay-at-home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many families went into panic mode and stocked up at local supermarkets.
Santa Clarita Comes Together
Santa Clarita is quite a special place. When challenges arise, we come together finding out different ways to support one another. Once the stay-at-home order was placed you saw residents creating masks from 3-D printing, sewing and other means, families making care packages for the elderly, businesses who might have been struggling still gave back to the hospital and other front line workers.
Toilet Paper is Worth More Than Gold
For some strange reason families across the United States went into panic mode and there was a toilet paper shortage from the excessive buying. Other items like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and soap were also on the endangered species list. Things got so crazy many stores were putting limits on how many packs can be purchased per customer.
A Hit on the Economy
Many businesses had seen a standstill in their day-to-day operations once the stay-at-home order was underway. Staples in the community were on the verge of shutting their doors for good as everyone began adjusting to the “new normal”. A lot of businesses switched to online and telecommuting and we saw many displaced workers who were furloughed or laid off for the time being.
The Trump Administration and Congress proposed a $2 trillion stimulus package for many Americans in the COVID-19 CARES Act Relief bill. In this bill, eligible Americans received $1200 in an automatic deposit or by mail. This bill was noted as the largest stimulus package in US History.
School Closures and Online Learning
In the height of the pandemic many schools were forced to close but quickly adapted by creating online lesson plans. Throughout the world more than 1.5 billion children and youth were out of school and several thousand students were unable to do homeschooling without having the correct supplies. Local organizations like WiSH Education Foundation raised funds to bridge the gap for these families.
Relieving Some Financial Burden For Businesses
To help small business financial institutions started offering Paycheck Protection Programs or PPP loans that offered SBA backed loans to small businesses to keep their workforce employed. Some of these loans are able to be forgiven if they have met certain criteria. Speak with your financial institutions to get more information on PPP forgiveness.
Later in the throws of the pandemic some businesses like restaurants, hair salons and gyms were allowed to open back up but with certain restrictions. These businesses could not operate at full capacity and much of their business had to be conducted outside in the open air.
Second Round of Stimulus Checks
In late 2020 there was a second round of stimulus checks: $600 for individuals and $1200 for couples, also those with children would receive an additional $600 for each qualifying child. News outlets and federal officials have alluded to another stimulus package in the works for 2021.
News of a Vaccine
There was a race to see who would be the first to create a viable vaccine. Ultimately two contenders came out and Pfizer and Moderna were of the first companies to create a viable vaccine that boded well during the human trials.
Vaccine Distributed in Waves
After the FDA Approval, the COVID-19 vaccine was distributed in waves. The first wave was to medical professionals in hospitals all over the country with the very first vaccination being broadcasted on the television. Sandra Lindsey a nurse at a Queens hospital was the first to be vaccinated.
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