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The World Amid Rising Coronavirus Concerns

Vienna, VA. –The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have no clear end in sight and the lasting economic, social pain, and hardship will remain, even after the virus spread is contained. Many furloughed people continue to become jobless as companies cannot financially afford to maintain their employee’s benefits. Jobless throughout the outbreak’s progression, many people struggle to afford the most basic necessities despite some aid from the United States government.

The U.S government has approved multiple stimulus plans. On March 27, the $2 trillion dollar coronavirus stimulus bill was signed into law, providing up to $1,200.00 Economic Impact Payment, to be sent to qualifying individuals depending on salaries, found on previous tax returns. Thursday, April 2, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for violations of certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule against health care providers or their business associates for “good faith” uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) by business associates for public health and health oversight activities during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

Despite help from the Federal government, there are still many un-addressed concerns from recently unemployed people, like the ability to maintain health insurance.

“People have the option of getting Cobra, but a lot of people are not going to be able to afford it. I am waiting for my insurance company or ex-employer to provide some info about Cobra, because once you are laid off, your employer stops paying the insurance. I can keep the insurance that I had, but it is going to be one-hundred percent out of my pocket. The former employer is not responsible for any part.” Juan Bello, a furloughed, laid off employee for the hospitality industry said during a phone interview.

Single-parent households worry if the sole parent gets sick, what might happen to their children.

“My main concern is that I get sick, and all my kids get sick. If we do get sick, hopefully all of us would be quarantined together and none of us would have to go to the hospital. If I were the only one to get sick, what would happen to my kids? I pray that if we get sick, someone will be kind enough to take the time to leave food at my doorstep.” Linda Bartlett, a single mother of five, said during an in-person interview.

As citizens prepare for an uncertain future, they wonder how to provide food or care for their families. Those who remain employed are grateful.

“I’m a bartender for a restaurant, but starting on March 16, the restaurant became a take-out only. Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones that was able to find a job amidst all the chaos. I couldn’t be more grateful to be still employed at a time like this.” Leonela Clavijo, a furloughed bartender, said during an interview, “The reality is unless you’re a doomsday prepper, one is never fully prepared for a pandemic. My mother is able to work from home and my father is still employed as a UPS driver. Luckily, the need for delivery services are only rising with more and more people staying home. As for me, this has made me realize that I need to invest my money right and work on my savings.”

Another concern many people face is what is to come from the Presidential Elections.

“When I look at the TV, the only thing I hear is about COVID-19. Why are we not being informed about what will happened if this virus does not stop? We do not hear about other candidates’ point of view.” Margi Gonzalez.