A number of people I know were furloughed today. The duration is unknown. My wife and I have somewhat more 'essential' jobs, but it still could have happened to us instead of our friends, and for all we know it still might.
I find this all extremely upsetting. I understand that companies only have so much money, and that they are losing it at a staggering rate at the moment. I understand that cutbacks are needed in a time of economic downturn. What I don't understand is how society doesn't really seem to care. Where is the safety net for the people who are being left behind in all of this?
We had to (temporarily) let our nanny go a few weeks back because of this crisis. We didn't really have a choice in the matter - it wasn't safe for her to keep coming, and moreover she has two kids of her own that she needs to care for with school not in session. Mercifully unemployment will cover her salary, maybe even a little bit more. But it hurts, I feel very responsbile for her well-being, and we all miss her terribly.
I feel like we are all just one bad day away from being in real financial trouble. That doesn't seem like something that's supposed to be able to happen in a functional Western society. But almost nothing that's happened in the last few years was supposed to be able to happen, so why am I surprised?