During the coronavirus pandemic, the most repeated recommendation for preventing the spread of the virus is to wash hands and do so frequently. However, a new reporting project finds that millions of Americans are facing the prospect of rising water costs that can put the affordability and availability of clean, running water out of reach.
The Guardian US has taken up this issue and in partnership with Consumer Reports has embarked on a year-long investigative reporting project titled "America's Water Crisis." It looks at the challenges facing water customers in 12 American cities including Cleveland. The project launched with an examination on the rising cost of water bills that have--according to the Guardian's research--gone up by 80% between 2010 and 2018.
We will discuss water poverty with Environmental Justice Reporter for The Guardian US as well as the Alliance for the Great Lakes. We examine some of the reasons that water a necessity that some cannot afford even as we live in an area with a wealth of water resources.
Next, we turn our attention to the lingering effects that the coronavirus pandemic will have on our economic well-being.
Ohio took quick steps to curtail the coronavirus in March and "flatten the curve" to prevent cases from overwhelming medical resources. The rapid closure of businesses and schools cratered the state's economy and sidelined large sectors from the workforce. More than 1-point-4 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment benefits help as a result of the pandemic.
The state has been gradually reopening business sectors since May. But experts say all indications are that the economy will not bounce back as quickly as the shutdown and that in Northeast Ohio the climb back will be a slow one.
Team Northeast Ohio or Team NEO, a business development organization, says, in a recent report it will be 2022 before the region's economy recovers and employment levels may lag until 2025. We discuss the implications of the latest economic forecast with Team NEO and discuss how some businesses might use this time to better position for the future.