I just saw yet another person say if you care about your business you must not care about lives of people who may get sick and die from this thing. Here’s my response.
While the economy is not more important than lives, one major piece being missed by almost everyone is the need for mental health and stability right now… which whether you like it or not is directly related to “the economy.” As proven in every low-economic statistic in history, suicides and chronic illness created by stress will skyrocket if we do nothing. For some, that’s doing what they can to meet virtually (being safe is important). For others, that’s finding other ways to keep their dreams alive.
With millions of people losing their lifelong dreams, livelihoods, and wondering how they’re going to feed their families until they can get to work again (I’m talking about the millions that do not qualify for unemployment or can’t get any other sort of aid), mental health is going to be of utmost importance.
This means if you haven’t heard from someone in a while – reach out! That alone will save more lives than isolation. Because it’s been statistically proven time and again we will lose more lives to a long-term economic downturn than this virus… Without supporting each other, we will look back and regret not taking action when the death toll mounts. (FYI… For every 1% rise in unemployment the suicide rate rises 1%. That means we’re at a danger of a 25% increase in suicide rate alone – currently at about 2% of our total annual death rate – if something doesn’t change. Not to mention increased chronic illness deaths due to stress).
I’m quite honestly sick of people saying I don’t care about lives because I care about small businesses’ survival. Seems to most people it’s an “either/or” choice. It sickens me and I’m speaking out about it now. I do care about lives because I’ve seen history! I’ve studied the stats. So… Yes, quarantine is important right now. Being safe once things open up again is important. But even more important is to ensure we look out for each other and lift each other up during and after… because those that have lost everything or will lose everything will not quickly recover. You can’t just tell them to “move on” because quite frankly you may have no idea what they’re going through. It may take years before they stop contemplating that their families are better off without them.
Just because someone gives a shit about what they do for a living does not mean they must not care about people’s lives. At least this is not the case with any business owner I know. They’re simply grieving the loss of their dreams and their self-worth that’s often tied (in their minds) to what they do.
Business owners – talk to each other. Let each other vent, cry, scream, etc. Figure out ways you can promote each other and keep working during this time.
And even if you don’t own a business, support those small businesses as much as you can beyond just a social media share even if it’s just to buy a cup of coffee or a $10 gift card to use once they re-open. Support them with whatever you’re able to spare.
Because without the backbone of our economy withstanding this current storm, today’s death toll will pale in comparison to what’s coming.