The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic is a moment in time many Americans would like to erase. With the creation and distribution of several vaccines to millions of people, there are finally positive signs showing a return to normal. However, many pandemic-related effects remain.
Negative Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic
- Loss of Income
A good percentage of the workforce suffered a loss of income on some level. Unfortunately, the middle class experienced a major setback. Affected companies, closed or only partially able to conduct business, laid off many employees out of necessity. The lucky ones who worked for small businesses remained on at lower wages. Unfortunately, to supplement their earnings, they used their credit cards and other available sources of income, such as payday advance apps.
- Mental Health
Because of the virus, people had to shelter in place. Adults and children alike weren’t able to visit family members or friends. They became isolated. For those who lived alone or needed social stimulation, this caused severe bouts of anxiety and depression. In many states, lockdowns lasted an entire year before people could return to the lives they once enjoyed. Unable to come and go as they pleased, some individuals turned to drugs and alcohol to soothe their pain.
Positive Effects of The Pandemic
- Losing the Dream
People who opened new businesses just a year prior to the pandemic experienced a significant setback. They invested every penny available, along with many restless nights, to get their business up and running. Their dreams of becoming successful small business owners ended quickly, with no advance notice. Even established small business owners suffered terrible financial losses. However, they learned valuable lessons. First, having savings is an absolute must to prevent a repeat of the same scenario in the future. Second, they learned to step outside their comfort zones and find fresh ways to grow their businesses. A presence on social media and a stellar website became essential tools.
- Restoring the Family Bond
Before the pandemic, many families had a routine that separated them for long periods. They lived under the same roof, but they essentially lead separate lives. A year later, families are growing closer. They have a renewed desire to prioritize their family needs first and foremost. Parents who could work remotely during COVID-19 are now considering working from home permanently. They enjoy having extra time with their spouses and children. They no longer want to spend two hours commuting, giving up quality family time.
Many Americans had no regard for saving money prior to COVID-19. They ran up thousands in credit card debt and bought homes and vehicles beyond their means. Accounting for every penny they spend is now a priority. People are saving money on everything they need, such as groceries, utilities, and essentials. Thankfully, you can do the same. Creating a household budget puts you in control of your money and lets you save up for the things you need and the things you desire.
While COVID-19 was deadly for many older Americans, it also harmed many younger Americans who were not in good health. Today, people routinely wear masks to help prevent the spread of the virus, wash their hands often, and apply hand sanitizer. Those of us who’ve put on a few pounds because of the lockdowns should take steps to remove the excess weight. But it’s also important to schedule an annual checkup with the doctor to gain confidence by knowing that you’re healthy. Your doctor may test to check your overall health condition. Even if your doctor finds something of concern, early detection may give you the best odds of reversal or recovery.
Even though 2020 is safely in the rearview mirror, it left many effects behind. Fortunately, there are many lessons and experiences learned. Make the necessary changes as soon as possible to improve your finances, health, and quality of life.