Chuck Bentley Answers: How to Encourage Someone Affected by the Coronavirus?

Dear Chuck,

Many we know have been hurt financially due to the coronavirus shelter-in policies. What should I know to encourage others as they try to survive this?

Trying to Help My Neighbor

Dear Trying to Help,

The coronavirus has created a lot of uncertainty in every sector of the population. I cannot address them all, but here I will address some segments that you can be prepared to help.

Students and Graduates

Our students and soon-to-be-graduates have seen internships and fellowships vanish before their eyes. Some positions have changed to work-from-home scenarios. Summer employment may be limited but there will be opportunities for those who are creative, flexible and patient. Some can continue their education this summer or seek certification in skills for future work.

“The coronavirus could change where students go to college, if they go at all,” one report states. Moody’s Investors Service predicts that college enrollment will drop next year because of the coronavirus. The impact of that will affect several sectors of the economy. It is possible that more students will stay home, attend community college, or postpone college. Trade schools may become more and more appealing.

How You Can Help Them

If your children or grandchildren are looking for a summer job, an internship or just a way to get volunteer experience this summer, take the time to interview them to find out what they hope to find. Once you have something specific, seek out opportunities within your network to help them succeed.

If all else fails, consider what I have done in the past. Call a friend and ask them to interview your loved one and give them a part time job or internship. Privately and confidentially offer to pay for their salary if hired. This will help the company and your child/grandchild alike. While it may cost you more than you wanted to pay, you have invested in their much needed development for the future. In my case, I have opened doors for interviews this way; my sons were hired but I never paid for their salary since the employer was very happy with their work.

Older Workers

There are 54 million U.S. workers aged 50-plus. According to AARP’s Public Policy Institute, 51% of Americans over 50 have no emergency savings. Laid-off older workers who are less educated or skilled, with no experience in telework, may find it difficult to find jobs soon reports Chris Farrell at

The Urban Institute’s Age Disparities in Unemployment and Reemployment During the Great Recession and Recovery said that half of people age 25 to 34 who lost their jobs during the last recession were reemployed within six months, while it took more than nine months, on average, for the unemployed ages 51 to 60 to get hired.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley