At Bourke Accounting, I am often accused of leaning towards the “dark side.” While my co-workers are now dressed in summery pastels and floral prints, I’m still favoring mostly black. Bookkeeper Mary regales us with funny stories about her grandchildren; I wonder aloud if the bubonic squirrel found in Colorado is a harbinger of the apocalypse. Even though I am terribly mysterious and macabre (but fun at parties!), I hate to be stereotyped. Walk with me while I channel my inner Mary Poppins, won’t you?
The Black Death did a lot of good for the world. While it’s true that bubonic was responsible for the decimation of one third of Europe, that doesn’t mean it was all bad. For example, it made the population stronger. People who survived it had “their genes altered to make them more resistant to disease” (Listverse.com). In addition, researchers have discovered that, pre-plague, only ten percent of folks lived past 70; after, that number was up to 20 percent (Listverse.com). Also, just look what it did for art. Before bubonic, if art wasn’t based on religious concepts, it was considered “devil’s work” (Listverse.com). During the plague, artists realized that the citizens needed a laugh. Since there weren’t that many great religious one-liners, writers winged it and we all applaud.
While it’s difficult to see the good while the bad is still happening, there might be some positive to come out of our current situation. For instance, the coronavirus has shown how much power the “little” people actually have. The Independent Restaurant Coalition reports that about 85% of non-chain restaurants could close by next year because of poor sales related to the virus (Restaurantdive.com). While this prediction is dismal, the implication is stunning. Imagine if we all got together and said, “We’re tired of using gasoline in our cars – make us one that only uses air.” Obviously, the entire country agreeing on anything as a bloc is something out of a sci-fi fairytale, but the concept remains. The citizens hold the purse strings, and the power, not the corporations or the government.
Another good thing to come out of all of this (which I hope becomes permanent) is that restaurant servers and 1099 contract workers were able to share in unemployment benefits. Also, while I didn’t agree with handing out that extra $600 a week, I know that many were very pleased to have received it. Between that and the stimulus checks, there’s no doubt that a lot of Americans were able to stay fed and in their homes. Although there were quite a few hiccups regarding the checks and $1,200 wasn’t going to make anyone independently and forever wealthy, it was an effort. Did our elected officials decide to do this to ensure that we didn’t revolt as one? Maybe. However, I’d like to think that the motivation was of a more humanitarian nature.
Finally, the coronavirus showed the country that the jobs that pay the least are also those that are the most important; most of us are still more interested in a loaf of bread than a Brazilian butt lift. Sadly, with our rocky economy and problems inherent in raising the minimum wage, I’m not sure how we could pay these workers what they’re really worth. While acknowledging how important they are is great, I think they’d like a more concrete “thank you” in the coming months.
We’ve lost so much to this virus. Nothing will change that. Perhaps if we really try, though, we can use this terrible time to bring about lasting and important good for all. It’s worth a try.
Like the Black Death, your Bourke Accounting expert can snatch something beneficial from the most negative circumstances. Whether your business is just reopening or the IRS is on your trail, your Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer is available to save your hide with a smile. Your Bourke Accounting pro is that silver lining you were looking for without knowing it.
Written by Sue H.