Lives and livings lost because of COVID-19

Sasha Lockett, Staff writer

In the past six months, the U.S. has seen 6.85 million cases of COVID-19 and 200,000 deaths from the virus, while more than 22 million American jobs have been lost, according to The Wall Street Journal.

After months of coping with COVID-19, the fight is not over. Many people wonder if the country will ever be the same as it was before.

“I didn’t believe it was truly real until it happened to me,” said Syeata Kemp, a COVID-19 survivor who worked first hand with virus patients. 

Kemp, a relative of an Archbishop Carroll student, is a nurse who contracted the virus after being in contact with an infected resident at the nursing home where she works in Media. She had survived cancer multiple times and, therefore, was at higher risk of succumbing to the virus.

“Thankfully, I found symptoms almost immediately, but it’s scary that there are many non-symptomatic people spreading the virus without even knowing it,” Kemp said.

The virus is hard to contain because of many people being non-symptomatic, and others not realizing how serious the virus is. Fortunately, progress is being made but problems still persist.

Many Americans find it very difficult to stay afloat financially during this pandemic. Only 42 percent of those who lost jobs in the U.S. during the pandemic have been able to find work again, according to an Aug. 7 article on the Market Watch website.. This means only 9.3 million jobs have been regained out of 22 million, Market Watch said.

More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently because of COVID-19, according to The Washington Post. Some large businesses have filed for bankruptcy and closed some of their stores. Among them are Pier 1 Imports, JCPenney, Neiman Marcus, and Lord & Taylor, according to a May 15 story by NBC News

Jamese Newsome-Williams, co-owner of a black-owned art gallery in West Philadelphia, describes feeling hopeful despite the significant drop in business and sales. 

“If it had not been for social media and our website, I don’t think we would have made it,” said Newsome-Williams. “The best thing to do right now is to help each other to move past this.”