If there is anything that can be learned from our present situation, it is that we should be prepared for unexpected situations. In the pandemic of 2020, millions of businesses closed across the nation, people stayed at home for months, and the stock market flipped upside down and back again.
Sudden, unexpected events like this demonstrate the need to be prepared for emergencies the best we can. During this new way of life, we have learned many lessons that should not be forgotten and should help us be more prepared for events like this in the future.
Right now, there are signs that part of the country is beginning to return to the new normal. Across the nation, some areas are slowly starting their attempts to open commerce in an effort to lessen the financial impact on their citizens. Some states, counties, and towns are allowing certain industries to reopen and are even allowing the public to begin a modified version of social distancing in public spaces.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to pick up where they left off.
No matter how soon lockdowns and distancing measures are repealed, a lot of damage has already been done. By the time restaurants and other closed businesses across the nation can reopen, the amount of income workers have lost will be in the trillions.
Even worse for many, temporary furloughs and layoffs have extended beyond the initial time frame as businesses continue to close at record numbers. While efforts are being made to save as many small businesses as possible, a significant number have already had to close or are on their last legs.
On top of all of this, COVID-19 has not disappeared. There is not yet a vaccine, and many elements of the pathogen are still unknown by scientists studying the virus.
There could be a second wave of infections.
The CDC has cautioned that there is likely to be a second wave of the virus in the fall. To make matters worse, this second go-round is predicted to occur around the same time seasonal flu spreads. Combined, these two illnesses could be a deadly tag team, making it difficult for doctors to track who has which disease – and many experts are predicting that it could lead to the need for a second series of lockdowns.
Unlike the last wave, whose quick acceleration caught many off guard, we have time to plan ahead even get prepared for the next wave should one happen.
Now is the time to think about preparation.
Nothing has been so dramatically underlined by these past few weeks than the importance of caution and preparation. If the nation truly returns to “business as usual” then there may be no better opportunity to be prepared for another disaster. The best time to prepare for a turn for the worse is always before it happens, when there is a turn for the better.