As we continue through our current misery one thing has become abundantly clear to me. You cannot build a life on an unstable foundation. I had the depressing thought this morning that I feel like a fish dragged out of water. Grasping to breathe and refusing to die as I slowly suffocate on land. This is all a side effect of our current situation as a nation.
My business is one of the most affected I know of. The factors of the pandemic have hurt us in nearly ever facet possible. With record unemployment the market share is reduced as it is during every recession, but that isn’t the only factor reducing the market share. There are some people that currently don’t feel comfortable having someone else come into their home. Someone that they don’t know, and let’s face it, with the amount of disinformation and people acting fools about mask and such out there right now people have a right to be wary of those they don’t know. Reduced market share is only a small factor of our problems.
Before the pandemic we were in a place where new clients were nice to have but not a necessity. We could have survived with just our current client base if we had to, but with the pandemic and people working from home and going to school from home our mid-day dog walking business is reduced to a trickle. People simply do not need our services when they or their children are at home to let the dog out. Then there are the vacation clients. There are a lot less vacations happening right now. The dog walking and pet sitting industry is one that relies on other industries health, and the travel industry is not healthy right now. Airports currently have 50% less travel, it is a liability for offices to send their staff on work trips, and there are no industry conferences or office retreats happening right now. The final side effect of more people working from home and going to school from home is why would someone pay for our services when their neighbor or family member can do it for free because they don’t have a job or school to go to right now.
2020 is going to be a defining year for a lot of us, and I can say it has shifted my perspective on a lot of things. The amount of abject cruelty and lack of empathy I have witnessed has been shocking. I simply cannot understand the spirit of a person that looks at the suffering this pandemic has brought about with 200,000 Americans dead and 1,000,000 dead world wide and thinks the best solution is to ignore it. The economic suffering is awful, but it is only a symptom of the larger problem at hand. Normal is the reward of a functional society, and we cannot get back to normal until our society is functional, and in order for that to happen we have to start caring about other people.
You cannot build a life on an unstable foundation. Our lives are unstable in so many ways right now. We don’t know if we’re going to catch covid by going out or if our loved one will catch it or if our paycheck is goin to last or when our will and energy to keep fighting to stand on unsteady ground will run out. Life is exhausting and everyday in pandemic America is an uphill battle, and the saddest, most depressing, thought is it didn’t have to be this way. The HEROES Act sits in the Senate not being brought to the floor by Mitch McConnell. There are no negotiations going on for any further relief for the American public. Our government has betrayed there social contract. They can rush through a Supreme Court Justice without the consultation of the American people but cannot lift a finger to give aid to people living their lives on unsteady ground.
Through this I have come to believe that economic security is a human right, and by letting small businesses fail, letting people lose their homes, letting people go hungry and live on the streets, and refusing to provide aid to prevent it our government is denying us our basic human rights. It is impossible to pursue happiness when we are forced to live on unsteady ground. Our country has fallen into such disrepair because the foundation is cracked. We need to steady that ground, and the first step is by providing economic security to every American. Some people believe America is already the greatest country in the world, and I ask those people how much stronger could we be if our nation were built on a steady foundation?