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Returning to Work During COVID-19

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Message Kamala Sarup
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I was at home for almost three months, without work, and it was not a happy time due to the ongoing pandemic.

In New Jersey, the unemployment rate reached 15.3%, in April, according to NJ.com(https://bit.ly/30kA8nw), due to the temporary closing of the businesses and establishments that helped put food on the table for these people.

With the pandemic crisis at its peak, it was difficult for people to apply for unemployment and receive approval in the state.

I work for a small business, one of the best bed and breakfasts in Cape May. When the stay-home order hit, it was truly an awful experience, as every family of the business was directly affected by the pandemic's aftershock.

The whole nation was in economic meltdown and all kinds of businesses, especially small businesses, were affected. However, when the government started to open the states in phases, they introduced a Small Business Administration loan, also termed the Paycheck Protection Program. Its main target is to help businesses, especially small ones, to keep their workers/workforce employed during this crisis.

When my boss called me and asked if I was able to work, I was reluctant at first. Without a cure, I felt as if something was stopping me from leaving my home, since opening the business is also risking the chances of infection.

It is important to look at the human costs rather than the economic costs. Reopening businesses aids the declining economy, and even though health experts warn us of the dangers of reopening the nation sooner, if proper precautions and meticulous planning are done, one can avoid being infected with the virus.

In other words, without strict health and social distancing, reopening the nation will possibly be more dangerous.

My employer had plans regarding the control measure for virus spread. After considering the safety measures taken, my perception changed, and I agreed to return to work.

We are strictly practicing social distancing. I appreciate all the help my bosses are doing to make us comfortable amid this crisis.

Since there is an expansion in testing, we must rapidly improve treatment options.

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Journalist, poet and editor Kamala Sarup works at the Cape Collection. Kamala specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering journalism, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and economic development. (more...)

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