Are we ready for the fall?

This came across my feed. I think there is a bit of truth to it:

To clarify, I don’t think there is a conspiracy to undermine the hospitality and retail sectors. However, I do think we aren’t looking at the entire picture.

As the economy reopens we see cases increase across the country. Despite many numerous rules and guidelines being issued by authorities, human behavior is notoriously difficult to change. Old habits die hard as they say. For proof see here:

The above was taken this week at Cause and Effect, a restaurant in Hamilton ON. A patron was reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The story is here.

As well, I wrote earlier in the week about how the jobs returning is not keeping pace with the jobs we lost due to the pandemic. Many of the financial supports which were introduced at the start are scheduled to end in October. It’s clear that as we reopen, our cases are going to rise. Which raises new questions that no one has be answering.

What measures are we putting in place to shift to a new economy that focuses on social distancing? Should case numbers start to spike during the second wave that is predicted, are we capable of returning to lockdown? Are our current financial supports needing to become more permanent? If they are, then how are we to pay for them?

These are complicated questions, and I do not know the answers. However, I do think they need to be asked and seriously contemplated. While it’s terrific to be able to get out of the house and enjoy the summer, I fear we are squandering this time to reconsider some fundamental truths of our society and economy. If the fall hits and no plan is in place to handle a second wave, we may be left even more exposed and vulnerable than we were in March. If that happens, then all the sacrifices we have made as Canadians to date will have been in vain.

What happens when CERB runs out?

That’s a question that is on many people’s minds these days. CERB has been a godsend for people who lost employment or were unemployed at the start of this pandemic. According to some employers as we reopen our economy, it is the bane of their existence. It is scheduled to expire at in the fall, however there is some debate on whether or not to extend it or make it permanent. The fact is that reality is not keeping pace with the government’s plans.

The reopening is clearly not the same as flicking an on switch. It is taking time for jobs to return to Canada. Of the jobs that have been recovered, it appears that the majority of them are in the retail and restaurant industries. And even still those industries are not back to full capacity. As the economy reopens, businesses are re-evaluating their structures and how best to operate in a COVID-19 world. This has lead to some economists to look and say that major changes to the workplace are coming. As businesses look to restructure themselves to be more efficient, some jobs may become redundant and unnecessary.

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A short note on the CERB

A lot of the news yesterday was about how the Trudeau government was looking to crack down on CERB fraudsters. I don’t know what the numbers are for fraudulent claims for CERB. I’m also betting that the government has no idea either. I do know though its a good program that is helping folks through this trying period. I know this because I am on CERB.

Prior to this pandemic, I was on EI. I had lost my job a while back and was in the search for a new one. Had landed a few job interviews but unfortunately no offers. I decided that I would go into business for myself. Primarily helping small businesses brand themselves and help to promote their stories. It was a combination of two things I had much experience in, communications and small business management. It was a good fit for me, so I created a sales pitch, printed up some business cards, signed up for a few networking meetings and made a list of businesses to target. And then the pandemic hit. Literally overnight every business I was going to call on, was uncertain if they were going to survive the month. Networking events cancelled. My entire plan literally collapsed in one day.

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