Keep the faith

For Christians, the coming weekend is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was executed on the cross. It is a tenet of their beliefs.

For many, Easter is about family and getting together, whether it be congregating at their church of choice or within their homes. Most family gatherings include lots of hugs and closeness, which is also forbidden at this time.

This year will be quite different with the social distancing guidelines each of us are obliged to follow for the sake of others.

In many ways, the inability to take chances and be close to family and friends is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of COVID-19. Images are regularly shared on the news of adult children waving from a distance, desperate to see loved ones in quarantined facilities. Worse yet are times when family are unable to see a loved one on the verge of perishing in hospital. But, that is the price of our health going forward. We must stay apart to be safe.

It is a mighty curious thing this COVID-19. Who would have ever believed having to drop off groceries to loved ones, unable to enter a home or visit for a while? It is the reality of spring 2020, but there are signs of hope and reasons to keep the faith that better days lie ahead.

Nature offers that promise – the return of birds, the emergence of wildlife, the desperate efforts of perennials to reach for the sky. It’s a reminder that although seasons come to an end, another begins. We are fortunate this is the season of renewal. Keep the faith, Wellington.

Keep your distance and keep your family safe.

A gentle reminder

There are many people suffering financially, between reduced hours and even no hours at all. Many businesses are now closed entirely waiting for the all clear to start again.

COVID-19 has placed an enormous strain on workplaces and households around North America. Declarations of essential and non-essential services determined business actions in many cases. Some companies reacted by having work at home options and we have heard from many who are putting in significant hours trying to keep up with the workload.

There is a talking point in various circles that everything should be shut down and claim the government offer of $2k per month. That certainly has crossed the minds of many when their typical pay resembles that offer. We hear it every day, but it is no free ride.

Eventually when people get back to work, these “free” funds will come due and whether it is this generation or the next, taxes to offset the cost will ensue. That is why the government passed the wage subsidy programs to stifle what would be a catastrophic strain on the financial system should all employers and employees be forced on the dole.

Some well-heeled businesses and various levels of government have sent workers home with full pay. As mentioned, depending on the occupation or role, they have plenty to work on remotely. Smaller firms have tried to keep as many staff going as possible. Sometimes the math just doesn’t work. Critics of course point to everyone needing to share the pain – even those who work for government.

If this economy is to rebound and emerge from the grave once isolation has been lifted, there needs to be a degree of normalcy in an economic sense. The pennies which will be left from current federal programs after essential household bills are paid will not be enough to kick start the local economy. There needs to be normal incomes and those fortunate households that benefited from full pay during the crisis will have to then do their part and spend in the local economy.

Stripping full-time government workers of their pay (which is already funded within current budgets) would be an unnecessarily spiteful action. Misery loves company they say, but if the local economy is to have a fair chance to rebound there needs to be revenue within the community to make that happen. The notion that this layer of worker should miss their pay, be forced to extend payments and skip out on responsibilities is a self-defeating proposition best avoided.