People Who Get Vaccines, Loans, and Government Aid to Help Them Get Over a Pandemic Get Better
In January, coronavirus infections and mortality hit new highs, although there appeared to be a light at the end of the tunnel at the time. Vaccines were being delivered, despite their scarcity, and President-elect Joe Biden was discussing another round of stimulus spending.
Vaccines are now available to everyone who wants them, and some economists are questioning whether Biden provided more “relief” to Americans, corporations, and local governments than was required after becoming office last spring.
Overall, the pandemic, infections, and deaths persisted, but things seemed to be improving — at least until the omicron form emerged over the holiday season.
Cobb County recorded its highest-ever number of new COVID-19 infections Thursday, documenting more than 1,700 new cases in a single day, just a year after the first batch of vaccinations were distributed in Georgia. Georgia set a new record on Thursday, with more than 17,000 new lawsuits filed in a single day.
It’s unclear what this signifies. According to preliminary evidence, omicron is less severe than previous versions, although being more transmissible. Will the unprecedented influx of cases, as it did in January, overwhelm hospitals and morgues? Or are we dealing with a flu-like illness? We’ll find out soon enough.
Vaccination, according to public health professionals, is the best defense against infection. Gov. Brian Kemp stated in March that all Georgians would be able to receive vaccination against the coronavirus; previously, only those who were most likely to contract the virus or become extremely ill from it were eligible.
Millions of individuals were vaccinated in the spring, and cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities were at their lowest levels since the epidemic began. We’d triumphed.
That was how it felt at the moment, at least. Delta, a variety initially discovered in India, spread faster than others before it and ravaged the uninfected populace. At the same time, the vaccine program was lagging, with many Americans refusing to “be poked.”
As the summer progressed, the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increased. They fell throughout the fall, especially in Georgia. However, the decrease in instances was only temporary: omicron was discovered in South Africa shortly before Thanksgiving.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, around 53% of Georgians are completely vaccinated nowadays. Cobb has a rate of 58 percent. COVID-19 boosters have been authorized for practically all patients who have been vaccinated after researchers discovered that vaccination protection fades after four to six months.
As of Dec. 30, more than 1,384,600 persons in Georgia had tested positive for COVID-19, with more than 407,415 positive antigen testing suggesting likely positive findings. The virus has claimed the lives of 26,358 Georgians.
Meanwhile, the federal government pumped another $1.9 trillion into the economy, on top of the $3.1 trillion planned by Congress in 2020. Unemployment benefits were extended until September, most Americans received a $1,400 check, local governments received $350 billion in relief, and the Paycheck Protection Program continued to help small companies across the country.
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Some analysts believe the government spent too much money as a result of all this money. Prices are increasing, businesses are having difficulty finding workers, and Republicans are criticizing Democrats for “paying people to remain at home rather than work.” Others believe the pandemic is to blame for both of these problems.
Whatever the situation may be, local governments now have a large sum of money at their disposal.
The American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by Biden in March, provided more than $147 million in direct federal funding to Cobb County’s administration. In June, the Cobb Board of Commissioners received a cheque from the federal government for $73.8 million. The remaining $73.8 million will be paid to the county in June 2022. According to statistics from the House Oversight Committee, Cobb’s six communities earned a total of $56.5 million in federal funding.
The Board of Commissioners is debating how to best spend the funds. It spent millions in federal stimulus funds from previous rounds to help county residents facing eviction earlier this year.
In the meanwhile, the Cobb County School District got $182 million from the most recent round of federal coronavirus assistance but has yet to say how it would be spent.