Even as we reopen our businesses across the state and country, COVID-19 continues to spread and wreak havoc on our lives and our economy. Restarting the economy is critical, but we must do it in the safest way possible, or we risk a resurgence of the virus that again threatens our hospital systems and, perhaps, a renewed call for quarantine. This is truly a situation where we are all in this together, and if each of us does our part, we can create success. If we fail, there will be financial as well as human health consequences.
There are two ways you can get infected with the virus. You can pick it up by touching an infected surface and touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. You can inhale the virus that someone else has placed in the air around you through a cough, sneeze, or exhaling breath. If everyone does these four things, we can help minimize the spread of this disease and the financial impact it will cause:
- Maintain social distancing. Six feet of separation (minimum!) reduces the risk of you receiving enough of a load of the virus to cause infection. I have noticed that since Governor Ivey announced the reopening of businesses, many people are now mixing and mingling as if the crisis is over. That is a monumental mistake.
- Wear face covering when in public. The coronavirus can float in the air for hours, especially in enclosed spaces. If you are going to be in a public building, a face covering is your best defense. It provides some protection for you and those around you.
- Practice extreme personal hygiene. As my wife is constantly reminding me, “You can not wash your hands too often!” Everyone needs to be hyper-aware about touching public surfaces such as store doors, carts, check-out machines. Also, retrain yourself not to touch your face with your hands. After being in a public space, sanitize your hands immediately.
- Support local businesses. There has never been a moment in our lives when our restaurants and retailers needed support more than right now. What has happened to our economy is unprecedented in our lifetime. No matter where you live, shop local. Please do not shop online unless it is with a local business. All our restaurants and retailers are going to great lengths to keep you and their employees safe and to make your dine-in and shopping experience a good one.
A special note to parents
These guidelines apply especially to your children who are likely to be carriers of the disease and infect our older, more vulnerable population. I have noticed that children and young adults have been among those who are ignoring the guidelines. As parents, it is your job to hold them accountable.
What does all of this have to do with personal finances? If you, or a family member, become sick, hospitalized, it is bound to have a negative financial impact on your family. If collectively, we ignore the guidelines, it will almost certainly have a negative impact on our economy and the stock market…a negative impact that could last for years. If everyone does their part, we can create success for ourselves, our local economy, our state, and our country.
Follow The Welch Group every Tuesday morning on WBRC Fox 6 for the Money Tuesday segment.
FOX 6 TALKING POINTS
What Success Looks Like Under COVID-19?
4 Ways to Avoid the Financial & Human Impact of COVID
- Maintain social distancing
- Wear face covering
- Wash hands often
- Support local businesses
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by The Welch Group, LLC (“Welch”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this article will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. More information about The Welch Group and important Disclosures can be found on our website. Consult your financial advisor before acting on comments in this article.