Ordinarily, thousands of people descend on Chicago for St. Patrick's Day weekend. Most stayed away yesterday, but I still saw quite a few revelers in beads and St. Pat's gear, in some cases hanging all over one another. One Irish bar just down the street had a line out the door. The guy checking IDs was wearing a mask. I wish these people would just take a pause on the partying until we have a better idea how this thing is going to go. They're not just making decisions about risk for themselves; they've making decisions that affect the rest of us.
Meantime, I know of one college with a staff member infection and two quarantined students presumed to have the virus. Late in the week, this college ordered all students off campus by the end of the weekend. Some left right away, but many stayed to "party." I'm not shocked but, still, SMH.
I appreciate that there are hardships involved in the measures being taken. I'm personally taking a big financial hit over the next 6-7 weeks, about $30k. I keep saying it to get used to the idea. I'll still have work, but a big chunk went up in smoke. I know some people are living close to the edge and this situation will be a disaster for them, so the sooner we get it under control, the better.
I was pleased when I heard Trump announce a suspension of student loan interest. It's a big deal for some people, but today I learned that borrower's payments won't be reduced, which I understood to be the point suspending interest. The relief was supposed (I thought) to help those with short-term financial problems. Instead, the payments go to the principle, which pays off in the long run, possibly years down the road, but it does nothing for relief in the short run. Worse still, this means that debtors will lose their student loan interest deduction, so over the next year, the relief will actually place a greater burden on most borrowers. I don't know if it was simply an ill-conceived plan or something else, but what I do know is that it will not help young people who strain to pay their loans due to loss of income associated with virus containment.