"Sorry, We Are Closed"The economic ruin caused by COVID-19 is out of control.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report dated August 7, 2020, unemployment is at approximately 10.2%.  However, the economic impact of COVID-19 does not stop at America’s unemployment rates.

In August 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Order that does not impact a tenant’s obligation to pay rent or make a housing payment but does temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The Order was silent on remedies for owners with other financial obligations to their lenders.  Without the remedy of eviction, owners are put at serious risk for default.

According to the World Bank, school closures have left students in academic purgatory.  Most students complete an average of approximately 11.2 years of schooling; however, given the restraints of remote learning, students will only receive approximately 7.9 years of schooling if the virus continues unabated.  These long-term closures will likely have serious social and economic impacts.

The popular phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” could not be more true than it is now for entrepreneurs behind burgeoning technologies that will allow our communities to reopen and mitigate the risks of COVID-19 before a viable vaccine is available.

For example, a local Washington business owner, Jim Mischel of Electric Mirror, recently pivoted and started Safeology, a company that specializes in the design, manufacture, and supply of UVC light towers and air systems that fight against pathogens and viruses like COVID-19.  Safeology’s products harness UVC and IoT technology to allow widescale disinfection of hotels, cruise ships, restaurants, commercial spaces, classrooms, healthcare facilities, and other common areas.  Mischel has collected a team of experts, including George Diaz, M.D., who treated the first U.S. case of COVID-19; chemical engineer Joseph Anderson, Ph.D.; microbiologist David Rockabrand, Ph.D.; and electrical engineer Rolf Bergman, Ph.D. to help perfect Safeology’s products.  More information about Safeology’s products can be found here and here.

Members of the construction industry seeking to reopen their businesses and continue forward with projects might consider implementing  similar technologies to help mitigate the risks associated with coming back to the workplace.