Facing another month of costs in the coronavirus economy
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The start of June marks a new round of mandatory payments for things like rent, credit card bills and car loans. We checked in with two people who we spoke to at the start of April and May about how their economic lives have changed in the past month.
Oliver was set to start a job at an environmental consulting firm in Boseman, Montana, when the crisis hit. Her offer was delayed because of the coronavirus, but she started working in May and is now moving to full-time.
“It’s definitely been a roller coaster,” Oliver said. “Even two months ago, I felt so despondent and hopeless. I thought that surely I’d stay unemployed for the rest of the year.”
Even with her new employment situation, Oliver is still being cautious with her spending.
Barillas, a waitress and barista in Brooklyn, New York, has been out of work since mid-March, when her restaurant closed. It has since reopened for takeout, but she hasn’t been called back in to work.
“I feel like at the beginning of the pandemic, I thought for certain that we’d be back to work by mid-May, early June,” Barillas said. “Now it feels less certain that jobs are gonna be there waiting for us.”
Barillas has been looking for other jobs but hasn’t found many places hiring. She said her unemployment insurance is helping her feel stable right now.
“The extra $600 [per week] that the government has allotted to people who have lost their jobs to coronavirus is very helpful,” she said. “But I think as June turns into July, that’ll be when I start feeling a little more anxious, when that emergency fund runs out.”
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What do vaccines mean for economic recovery?
COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon, according to expert witnesses who testified at a recent hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee. Put simply, we can’t eradicate the virus because it infects other species, and there will also be folks who choose not to get the vaccine or don’t mount an immune response, according to Dr. Céline Gounder at NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital. “That means we can’t only rely on vaccination,” Gounder said. She said the four phases of recovering from the pandemic are ending the emergency, relaxing mitigation measures, getting to herd immunity and having long-term control.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
What do I need to know about tax season this year?
Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.
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