Think fast. Do you know anyone who was laid off because of the pandemic? Are you sure? How about anyone who had to lay someone off because of the pandemic? I know I asked you to think fast, but I …
Think fast. Do you know anyone who was laid off because of the pandemic? Are you sure? How about anyone who had to lay someone off because of the pandemic? I know I asked you to think fast, but I have to ask again, are you sure?
In the month of August, a time when Sullivan County tends to have a better employment rate than usual thanks to summer visitors, 10.9 percent of our population was unemployed (according to the Board of Labor). In August of 2019, the rate was 3.7 percent.
In fact for all of 2019, the rate never jumped above 4.7 percent. This year it's gone as high as 13.6 percent.
Not everyone has been out of work. Thank goodness.
There have been those of us who have woken up every single day and put in a good day's work, or maybe even more. With fewer workers there's been more work to be spread around. With a pandemic, there have been more risks, more people worried that today will be the day they catch a disease that will decimate their family.
So who has it easier?
There's plenty of sentiment from one side that it's the people off the job, the people who've been getting government help to get through.
Have you ever been on unemployment? Ever known anyone on unemployment?
I don't need the National Institutes of Health to affirm that your risks of depression are twofold when you're out of work -- although they are.
I don't need them to say that your mortality rate is 1.6 percent higher -- although it is.
Unemployment is hard. Even when you do get a little government help. Even when others are going through it.
The fear that you won't get that job when thousands of others want it is palpable. The fear that your savings is already gone and you're running on steam is hard to ignore. The fear that even when you do get a job you'll be the last one in and the first one out if layoffs happen is, well, human.
Go ahead. Look around. Ask yourself if you're really sure you know what's going on for the person next to you.
Think you don't? Show them a little extra kindness.
Think you do? Hey, a little extra kindness wouldn't hurt there either.
Winter is coming. And here in the Catskills, we all know what that means.
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