COVID-19

Shipping in the age of COVID-19

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 1, 2020
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A tug pushes a barge down the Mississippi River through St. Paul, Minnesota. Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Shipping in the age of COVID-19

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 1, 2020
A tug pushes a barge down the Mississippi River through St. Paul, Minnesota. Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images
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While many of us are staying inside to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, some people are are still heading to work, to supply the economy with essential products. For many barge workers shipping products along America’s waterways, dangerous conditions can arise on the job even without an global pandemic.

Austin Golding is the president of Golding Barge in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about how his barge crews are navigating the coronavirus outbreak.

“The good news is while the guys are on the boat, they’re isolated,” Golding said. “The bad news is they can’t stay out there forever. So we have to have people come and go, and they know that they’re carrying a lot of the products that are going towards the fight against this virus.”

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.

Which states are reopening?

Many states have started to relax the restrictions put in place in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Although social-distancing measures still hold virtually everywhere in the country, more than half of states have started to phase out stay-at-home orders and phase in business reopenings. Others, like New York, are on slower timelines.

Is it worth applying for a job right now?

It never hurts to look, but as unemployment reaches levels last seen during the Great Depression and most available jobs are in places that carry risks like the supermarket or warehouses, it isn’t a bad idea to sit tight either, if you can.

You can find answers to more questions here.

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