As the last region in the U.S to become a hot spot, the Midwestern states are severely struggling. They were able to avoid major surges in the first half of the year; however, Covid has more than made up for the delay. Let’s take a look at how these states are attempting to get a handle on this virus.
As with every state who has been heavily impacted by Covid-19, the Midwest has come to understand the difficult balance between keeping people safe and the economy thriving at the same time. An article written by Mike Bunge for kimt.com reviews the letter sent to the President by a collection of Midwestern states. It says, “The coronavirus is more than a public health emergency, it is also a continuing economic crisis for the residents and businesses in our states,” say the governors. “The coronavirus knows no state lines and prioritizing the health of our workers and residents is critical. Yet, as we continue our efforts to contain the virus and mitigate its economic fallout, we confront both declining state budget revenue and the looming cutoff of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars that have been critical to our states’ pandemic response plans and economic relief programs. We implore you to put differences aside and agree to another, much-needed COVID-19 relief bill.”
There are definitely some states that are taking their Covid-19 precautions more seriously than others, especially when compared to other regions of the country. There are a couple Midwestern states that continue to direct their restrictions specifically towards those 18-35. Restrictions include things like ‘no dine-in services between the hours of 10pm and 4am. Additionally, retail, sporting events and other outdoor activities such as festivals are required to cap their capacity at 50%. Among other things, most states are also attempting to implement aggressive forms of contact tracing through apps you can download on your smartphone.
The relief the Midwest is attempting to provide for its people is wonderful. They are working hard to expand all SNAP (food stamp) programs and unemployment benefits. They’re enrolling all essential workers into childcare assistance programs and implementing a free emotional support hotline. Many states have also allocated large amounts of funding to help stabilize small businesses and schools that have been impacted by Covid-19. Another way the Midwest is trying to make this easier for people is by working to improve the infrastructure to expand broadband internet. This will ultimately help with the surge of work from home positions as well as distance learning. Additionally, some states have issued decrees where students who have finished their coursework can apply for temporary licenses in order to help with the overwhelming medical demands.
There is no denying that despite taking different avenues, each state is doing their best to get the virus under control. They’re making real efforts to provide relief for all those suffering from physical, mental, social and financial effects of Covid-19.