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Choosing Between Food and Medicine: Long-Term Health Consequences of the COVID-19 Induced Recession

Choosing Between Food and Medicine: Long-Term Health Consequences of the COVID-19 Induced Recession

Choosing Between Food and Medicine

The COVID-19 induced recession has taken another ominous turn as the Census Bureau recently reported that almost 30 million Americans responded in a survey that they did not have enough food to eat at some point during the week before July 21 [1]. A record number of people are also going to food banks [1]. The reason for this situation is the combination of COVID-19 mandated shutdowns with their resulting effects and the economic consequences from high unemployment generated from these business closures. This turn of events is not surprising as similar effects were seen during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 induced recession is much more severe, with the unemployment rate still above 10% (the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 10.2% rate for July 2020) [2]. This means people are increasingly having to make tough choices about where to spend scarce dollars for necessity items like food, medicine, rent/mortgage, or essential utility bills.

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