Being grateful and why I'm looking forward to the new year
Nobody could have predicted the scale of the calamity that we experienced in 2020. The loss of jobs and lives as a result of the pandemic was only the beginning for some people. I'm grateful that I personally did not experience a lost loved one and my heart goes out to those who have. I'm also grateful for our economic system. Nevermind that joblessness scaled beyond any rational metric, the global monetary system was able to keep interest rates low enough to stimulate growth, albeit growth that we won't see for years to come, but I'm confident it will come.
2020 will be infamous in history. Covid-19 infected 20 million people in America, killing over 300,000; globally 86m and 1.82m, respectively. The challenge by the American populist government to contest a valid election result and the global subduing of descent in countries like Russia, Hong Kong, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Belarus, and the list goes on. It's amazing we survived 2020.
In America, $600 stimulus checks are on their way, possibly increasing to $2,000 per family member, pending Senate infighting results. The renewal of the pandemic unemployment assistance is continuing and interest rates will remain close to 1%, allowing for cheap loans to help struggling businesses. A second round of the PPP loan, which the loan could be forgiven in the future, will be offered to those who can show a 20% loss of revenue over any quarter last year.
As many of us continue to cope with the stress of insolation we must recognize that everyone is in the same boat. It was the advice of a U.C. Berkely Psychologist given to a group of judges on how to recognize and cope with the stresses of today: “Fogel and his colleague Dacher Keltner, a Berkeley psychology professor, teamed up to present a program to several courts designed to show judges how to use tools, like meditation and gratitude to help manage anxiety and deal with their emotions… Fogel said he hopes more judges will use mindfulness as a tool beyond the pandemic and that in the most positive light, maybe the pandemic helped focus more attention on self-care.” ^2 If judges can practice mindfulness, then so can we.
We have a lot to be thankful for and knowing that things will just get better makes me optimistic. Other than maintaining a positive outlook, continuing to practice financial wellbeing also is prudent during these times. If possible, use this time to save and invest the income you would normally be spending on dining and travel. Keep up with your annual medical checkups as the old saying goes, “Health is Wealth.”
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^2 “More Stress, Coping With Loss: Pandemic Exacts Toll on Judges” Bloomberglaw.com 12/28/20 link