Struggles continue as virus infections increase

The Virginia Department of Health says 290 residents of Virginia are infected after 4,470 tested and 45 are hospitalized. The death toll in the Old Dominion remains at 7.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread and add infections and death in Virginia, the nation and the world, most residents now must face a changed life and new struggles to survive.

Many workers stay in or close to their homes in Floyd County and surrounding areas as businesses shut down and layoffs increase.

“It’s rough,” says one Floyd Countian who is laid off from his job and asks that we not use his name. “Just paying the bills and putting food on the table are now constant worries.”

Some employers are trying to keep paying their employees. Red Rooster in Floyd has a program to keep employers on the payroll while helping get food to those who need it.

Gov Ralph Northam Monday extended mandated business closings to theaters, bowling allies, gyms, and spas. Restaurants can only do takeout or delivery but cannot let anyone dine at a table at their premises. More and more businesses are closed “to the public” while those on staff continue to work inside.

Homeowners with mortgages may find relief from lenders like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and others who are discontinued late fees and are not reporting missed payments to credit bureaus. In an email to customers of Atlantic Union Bank, which has a branch in Floyd, CEO John Asbury writes “we’re offering need-based support for consumer and business clients, including payment relief assistance for loans, penalty waivers for early CD withdrawals and select fee waivers and other concessions.”

Attempts to create an assistance program from the federal government continue in Washington with promises to give most Americans at least $1,200 in direct deposits to bank accounts for individuals and loans to businesses, large and small.

Partisan wrangling, however, dominated debate Monday but the Senate now claims it is back on track to cut a deal.

“Today, the Senate can get back on track. Today, we can make all of the Washington drama fade away,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday morning. “If we act today, what Americans will remember, and what history will record, is that the Senate did the right thing.”

“Doing the right thing,” however, may depend on finding a way to appease the demand of President Donald Trump that he be given credit for whatever deal emerges. After a rancid Trump tweet Monday that complained about Democrats in the House promoting a plan that might give them credit for a deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded with “No matter what the president may have tweeted last night or whatever, everyone is working in good faith.”

 

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