Anger, Anticipation, Disgust, Joy, Sadness, Surprise, Trust. Seven of the eight basic emotions.

FEAR is the eighth and considered the most powerful because it can simply take over and if ever there was a time that many face the feeling of being afraid, frightened and scared it is now.

Most people I have spoken with this week admit to being more fearful of the economic problems that will come from the spreading coronavirus then getting sick.  Of course none of those people have or know anyone dealing with COVID-19 and as I said yesterday once that happens reality that this is nothing to take lightly will set in.

However in just a few short days we have watched the economy self-destruct in front of our eyes and the greatest FEAR comes from not knowing what is next. Around the Jersey Shore hundreds of those who work in the restaurant and bar business have lost their jobs and they have been or will be joined by many in other businesses who have also shut down or drastically cut hours which means a reduction in force.

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor about 60% of the workforce in this country are paid on an hourly basis and they are the most vulnerable in the weeks and months ahead.

We FEAR today but even more so is not knowing what lies ahead.  Even our top medical experts admit to not being able to speculate how deep the virus will spread in this country.  Before long New York City may have to do what is already being done in Italy: choosing who gets a hospital bed and ventilator and who doesn’t.

All of this was unimaginable just a week ago but it’s not any longer.

I was with a good friend yesterday who happens to be in the restaurant business.  He said to me when this is all over FEAR may have claimed more lives than the coronavirus.

With that said let me remind you about CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties, a non-profit organization that provides trained telephone listeners who offer free confidential crisis intervention 24 hours a day.  Depressed, hopeless or frightened, there is someone at the other end who cares and will help.  The number is 732-240-6100 and for more visit contactoceanmonmouth.org.