A Virus.

A Virus.

Grace Flynn, Contributing Writer

21.7 million cases. 365 thousand deaths. Hospitals running out of room. People being scared to go around family and friends. Loneliness and suicide. Will our economy ever get better? Questions that cannot be answered. Businesses falling apart, and people losing their jobs. How has COVID-19 affected the American dream?

According to Dave Mosher in March 2020, “As increasing numbers of people die from the illness, relatively small hospital morgues around the area are filling up. That is according to a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and body removal expert who works for a company handling transport of most COVID-19 bodies in the city.” On March 25, 2020 there were so many COVID-19 deaths, workers had to construct what is believed to be a makeshift morgue behind a hospital in the Manhattan borough of New York City.

This has put a major toll on the American dream. People are losing their lives to this virus. Thousands of people are dead each day. So many people are losing their family members and not knowing what to do with themselves. Hospitals cannot even always efficiently help these people. Some hospitals are running out of supplies and must use them on people who are most likely to get better. People who are working in hospitals are putting themselves at risk every single day. Will we ever come back from this?

According to Rebecca Dolgin, “The research has been for years: isolation and loneliness is bad for our health—both physical and mental.” According to a meta-analysis co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking three-quarters of a pack of cigarettes a day…every day. According to Holt-Lunstad, there is strong evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increases risk for death that occurs before the average age.

This has put a major toll on the American dream. Loss of social connection causes loneliness, and loneliness causes suicide. How can people achieve their American dream if they have thoughts about dying every day?  It is the unfortunate reality of our world today. People can rarely go out without the worry of catching this virus. People can rarely visit their family with the worry of spreading this virus. What happened to big family dinners and hanging out with a group of friends? How long will this go on?

According to Lucia Mutikani, “The number of people who have permanently lost their jobs declined by 348,000 to 3.370 million.” This was the biggest drop since December 2010. “Nearly 4 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six weeks, accounting for 37.1% of the jobless in December.” “Payrolls decreased by 140,000 jobs last month, the first decline since April, after increasing by 336,000 in November. The economy has recovered 12.4 million of the 22.2 million jobs lost during the pandemic.” People are starting to be able to work again safely, but many changes have been made to stop the spread of the virus.

This has put a major toll on the American dream for so many people. How can people provide to their families with no job? Yes, some do get paid unemployment but that only goes so far. People have been jobless. In urgent need for another job. Imagine trying to find one during this time. The things this virus is putting people through is terrible. When can everything just go back to normal?

COVID-19 will be a time period people never forget. Wearing masks, isolation, loneliness, and even more unimaginable things. We still do not know when everything will be normal again. Will masks become mandatory forever? Will the death rates continue to go up? Still so many questions and still no answers. COVID-19 has in fact, affected the American dream.


Works Cited

Emamzadeh, Arash. “COVID-19 Pandemic: Loneliness, Depression, and Suicide.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 25 Aug. 2020, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/202008/covid-19-pandemic-loneliness-depression-and-suicide.

Mosher, Dave. “New York City Hospitals Are Running out of Room in Their Morgues, but the Flow of Coronavirus Bodies Is Just Starting to Ramp Up.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Mar. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-covid-19-deaths-bodies-morgue-storage-capacity-maxed-out-2020-3.

Mutikani, Lucia. “U.S. Economy Loses Jobs as COVID-19 Hammers Restaurants, Bars.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 8 Jan. 2021, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/u-s-economy-suffers-job-losses-as-covid-19-ravages-restaurants-bars-idUSKBN29D0J9.

Rebecca Dolgin. “The Impact Of Covid-19 On Suicide Rates.” Psycom.net – Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1996, 13 Aug. 2020, www.psycom.net/covid-19-suicide-rates.