Letter to the Editor: Coronavirus has side effects even for those that aren’t ill

By Gary McCollum/Opinion

The Pandemic that is the Corona Virus Disease 19 is affecting our local communities as well as our nation. Quarantine to stop the spread of the disease is a challenge that not all are sure they can meet.

Thousands of people in our community are out of work. Hundreds of businesses are closed. This affects many downstream. Hotels, restaurants, grocers, automakers, home builders, tourist attractions and the banking industry.

Many employees are working reduced hours or not working at all. Layoffs are prevalent. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is forecast to set a record for the second straight week following 3.28 million last week. It is believed that these numbers are underrepresented due to the difficulty navigating overloaded websites and phone lines.

We’ve all heard about the Covid-19 relief fund that was passed by Congress and stimulus payments are on the way. Unfortunately, April’s bills are coming and the funds, albeit generous, probably won’t make it before the due dates. What can you do?

Communication is the key here to protect your credit rating and your bank account. Many lending institutions are extending payment deferments. Some may only grant you 1 month while others are granting up to 4 months deferment. If you have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, (loss of income) you may be able get some relief while the country takes a pause and quarantines to prevent any further spread of infection.

Contact your mortgage lender, credit card companies, automobile finance companies and explain your situation. We may not be able to cure a disease with a telephone call or an email, but with communication we can possibly save our credit and protect our bank accounts during this trying time.

Remember to self-quarantine and practice social distancing. Stay at home. Don’t panic buy, don’t touch your face, wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.