COVID-19

“Looking after children during the pandemic is uplifting”

Sean McHenry Jan 13, 2021
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Roopam Carroll runs a day care center in Nottingham, England. Courtesy of Roopam Carroll
COVID-19

“Looking after children during the pandemic is uplifting”

Sean McHenry Jan 13, 2021
Heard on:
Roopam Carroll runs a day care center in Nottingham, England. Courtesy of Roopam Carroll
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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Roopam Carroll runs a day care in Nottingham, England. She shared her pandemic story with our partners at the BBC.

I own a day care in the U.K., in Nottingham. On a daily basis, we look after up to 40 children, aged from 5 months up to 5 years.

Last year, we had a lockdown in the U.K., so I ended up closing altogether. Financially, it was just awful. This week, we’ve got a new lockdown. And actually, it feels a lot more manageable for me. We are allowed to stay open this time.

Looking after the children during the pandemic is uplifting. But also, it feels rewarding because last year, when the children weren’t able to come to nursery, it stopped a lot of parents being able to work. And things don’t get done. Doctors don’t do their rounds. We’re enabling all that kind of stuff.

I am generally worried about my finances. I’ve had to juggle such a lot. I’ve reduced the numbers of staff I’ve got. And that was really painful because they’re not just numbers. They are people who I work with on a daily basis. I know them. I know their families. So having to reduce staff numbers and make people redundant was really painful. It keeps me awake at night, but it’s what I have to do.

My job has shaped my thinking about money in that I don’t need as much of it as I used to. I plow money back into the business because it feels fulfilling and that’s the way that we develop and grow. Having my business has made me want less, but at the same time it’s also made me feel less secure. The problem now is if I don’t have money, then there are other people who are depending on me, so it’s increased my worry and my responsibility.

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COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues 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.

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