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COVID-19

Some communities feel the pinch as U.S. and Canada close border to nonessential travel

Emma Jacobs Mar 27, 2020
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The U.S.-Canada border is closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Some communities feel the pinch as U.S. and Canada close border to nonessential travel

Emma Jacobs Mar 27, 2020
The U.S.-Canada border is closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The U.S. and Canada have closed their border to nonessential travel to limit the spread of COVID-19. That’s hit some border communities hard, especially where people normally cross frequently to shop for groceries and other basic needs.

Changes are already apparent in Canada and some communities in northern U.S. states, where small businesses say they have seen a drop in patrons who cross the border to shop. Normally, some customers cross for convenience because stores on the other side are closer. Others cross to find lower prices.

The travel restrictions were put in place for one month, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when he announced them that the measures “will last in place as long as we feel that they need to last.”

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?

Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.

How has the pandemic changed scientific research?

Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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