UNITED STATES—The global pandemic of 2020 has continued to spill over into 2021 and it is taking out businesses left and right America. I know many people are thinking now that we have 3 approved vaccines that everything will go back to normal, but that is not the case. People are getting vaccinated, but it still does not mean we can let our guard down. We still are being encouraged to wear a mask, continue social distance. However, I want to talk about the hit on the economy that the pandemic has caused particularly businesses. I mean wow I just don’t know what to say.

I have seen so many businesses in my regional shutter their doors and not on a temporary basis, but permanently. I mean the restaurant industry was hit the toughest. I mean the fact that you could not dine inside an establishment, but just mere feet away those in the entertainment industry could film a movie or TV show. Yeah, explain that logic to me please explain that logic because I don’t get it no matter HOW HARD I TRIED TO understand it.

It seemed like the pandemic was a ‘selective’ process for some industries more than others and that is an awful realization to have to come to terms with. You can dine and social distance, there are ways to be safe and to find some way to allow these industries to continue operation because the carryout option just isn’t the same even if you think it is.

I mean a lot of the time your food is cold, the portion size is much smaller or the order is incorrect. Totally understand the pandemic forced many industries to come up with creative ways to survive and stay afloat people. So it leaves me wondering if the restaurant industry will ever recover from the closures and fatal blows so many were dealt as a direct result of the pandemic.

Let’s turn our discussion to the retail industry because wow is the only thing I can say. I have never seen so many retailers forced to close their doors as a result of the pandemic. Businesses that had been around for years, decades, close to a century were forced to call it quits after being hit so hard by the pandemic. Lord & Taylor is one of those businesses, Payless was another, Justice shuttered a vast majority of its stores, the list goes on and on. Hell, I just learned this week that Best Buy will lay off more than 5,000 employees and is expected to shutter a number of its stores to restructure as a result of the pandemic.

That was a direct result of many people shopping online, which I totally understand. However, we can go back into stores now America, c’mon let’s get off the couch or from the desk and get our bodies moving and try to get back some level of normalcy. I mean think about it, there was some online shopping back in the late 90s, but it started to explode as we entered a new century and technology advanced.

We didn’t always have online shopping, and there is something about seeing the item you’re purchasing, touching it that makes a difference. You can’t do that with online shopping people, no matter how much you might want to convince yourself otherwise. I mean I was at the mall the other day (yes, they still exist people) and I couldn’t believe the number of store closures. I mean literal stores that were there a month ago, were boarded up and gone. Not just temporarily closed, but permanently closed, out of business and that’s it.

I guess I would understand if there was a sign up noting a closure was imminent. That was NOT the case with a  lot of retailers, there one day gone the next and that is the worst part. So many people have lost their jobs as a result of this pandemic in industries that employ a vast majority of American workers. So the only question left to ask is how to we expect to boost the economy back up? Vaccinations are great, but there are businesses that are gone, they’re not coming back people, so check that reality.

Written By Zoe Mitchell