Robert Crohan/Staff Writer
It’s no secret that the current coronavirus pandemic is extremely disruptive and terrifying. Entire states are ordering residents to stay at home, three European countries are on lockdown and the virus is now among the FIU community. As the cherry on top of all this, a recession has already begun in the United States.
Given that Miami is a heavily populated and globalized city, it makes sense that cases are spiking in South Florida. Members of the FIU family may have to forego time spent with friends, jobs and meetings, hurting their well-being and their pockets. Similar to how the 2008 recession hurt Millennials by further depressing their wages and making it harder to buy a home, this recession could heavily harm Generation Z and is projected by some economists to be potentially worse.
It is easy to be depressed or anxious at these times—believe me, I certainly have been—but there are some things we Panthers can do to prepare.
This is perhaps the most obvious, but according to research, stress can erode your immune system. Panic can also lead to hoarding of items that might be prioritized in production due to demand, and are needed by others in your community. Instead of fixating on the bad news, focus on the good things, such as the recent decline of coronavirus cases in Asia, or the potential positive impacts on life after it wanes. Think about that and imagine your family and friends staying safe.
Many of our fellow panthers are forced to stay isolated and are in need of company. Consider using your spare time to message your friends, offer to be their person to reach out to, and wish your good friends well. Maybe suggest virtual hangouts via FaceTime or Skype to enjoy your favorite Netflix hits! This is a good time to get closer with your family: everyone will be thinking of you.
Stay informed, but don’t obsess over the news.
It’s good to know the progression of the virus to our counties, but not at the expense of our health. Don’t let the news distract from your family or schoolwork, and know that your chances of contracting the virus are low if you stay indoors.
Practice social distancing.
I know, you’ve heard it before, but this cannot be stressed enough. As seen in the viral video that made rounds on Twitter last week, many of America’s college students went to Miami for spring break, risking their own health because they believed that the disease would not kill them should they become infected. But if they do and are asymptomatic, they put countless others at risk. The virus can be most contagious when symptoms are mild, studies show.
Consider investing and limit your spending.
Perhaps not now, but when the coming recession starts to calm down. Hard-hit companies like Amazon will soon see operations return to normal, and that will be the perfect time to buy stocks and earn money. If you are impatient, consider Zoom, which is seeing its numbers rise due to the sudden demand for online classes. It is a gamble, of course, so be careful! Truebill can negotiate bills, and it is a good time to call financial analysts or creditors.
Look for virtual internships and side jobs.
Since the world is turning digital, many of my friends have sought opportunities on the web, and since things like internships are unlikely to be cancelled, some can be moved online. It takes some searching, but there are ways to keep income coming in during these times. Survey Junkie, Inboxdollars, Uber Eats and Doordash and similar companies are worth looking into.
How this recession will play out is uncertain, but many analysts believe it will last throughout the year and cease by 2021. Many FIU students could see financial struggles, but can take steps to reduce economic pain. Once the dust settles and school resumes normally, we may even see more virtual classes. And who knows? Maybe that will give us an opportunity to advocate for and demand the changes that our country needs to better prepare for the future, liberal or conservative. The fight ahead is difficult, but we can do our part to get past it.
Featured image by Sonny Abesamis on Flickr.
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