The Unprecedented Epidemic: The Response

by Rowan Gnepper

Unprecedented might just be the best way to sum up the Coronavirus.  No one expected its spread or effects to be as drastic as the climate that now is being endured, new twists unveiled each day.

University of Findlay sophomore and soccer player Garrett Arbogast is taking the virus day-by-day.

“I don’t think anyone really knows how long this will last,” Arbogast said.

UF Findlay Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance, Dr. Gregory Arburn, says uncertainty plays into consumer behavior.

“We just don’t know, so psychologically we go out and stock up on toilet paper,” Arburn said.  

Carina Colvin, a University of Findlay senior said that she too was forced to stock up just so she wouldn’t run out and not be able to get it later if it was out of stock.

“Normally I’m not concerned because I drive past Walmart every day, but now who knows if what I need will even be in stock, that and right now I don’t really like risking getting sick by going out more than I have to,” said Colvin.  “I bought more groceries this time but with driving less it will probably even out.”

Colvin urges people to not stockpile supplies.

“Some people can only get their groceries from the store [compared to online], possibly while living paycheck to paycheck, so please don’t stockpile,” Colvin said. “Yeah, suppose everything goes apocalyptic Karen and Susan will be glad they bought out Walmart but at the same time, grocery stores aren’t the only way to get groceries but not everyone can do other ways especially due to cost.”

“9/11 is really the last big even that actually changed how people lived, but this is the one that our generation will remember,” said Colvin.

“Everything just kind of stopped [after the attack],” said Arburn about 9/11.

For some time, people lived in fear of many things including flying and attending large events.  Today, people are again making changes to daily living Arbogast stated, such as no large social gatherings.

However, just like after 9/11, things will have to start again. 

“I think it’s going to be a very hard upcoming for a lot of different companies for the next couple of years after this all passes,” Arbogast said. “Because they’re going to lose a lot of money and there is going to be a lot of little stores that are going to end up closing because they don’t have the ability to run anymore.”

A step in trying to help people financially has been the government lowering interest rates, not once, but twice.

“They took interest rates down to effectively zero and I was a little bit shocked by that,” said Arburn.

While Arbogast is glad steps are being taken, he says more needs done.

“Banks need to come together, and they need to take it into their own hands,” Arbogast said about suspending payments while income is not coming in for a lot of people.

Colvin, Arburn, and Arbogast said they were unsure of what the closing of borders and effected trade will mean for reliance of other countries for goods. But they all hope that this virus spurs some new ways of thinking and efforts towards being more self-reliant within the United States.

With so many questions still up in the air, Arburn tries to stay positive.

“One would expect that in four or five years we’ll look back on this and say ‘Wow, that happened but things are going great today’,” Arburn said. “That’s what we hope happens depending on how long we’re shut down, one would expect that we grow beyond the point we were before.”

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