The Struggle in Rural Communities

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The Struggle in Rural Communities

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The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly scary. We are currently faced with a time in which people are fighting for their lives, we can’t leave our homes, businesses are closed, and our lives have been completely uprooted. There is no doubt that this situation has affected every single person’s day to day life. However, from my personal experience I think that different communities are affected in different ways or perhaps hit slightly harder. Although everyone’s top priority at this time should be safety, I also think it is important to address the strain this pandemic is putting on communities like my own.
The first week of March I drove 600 miles from South Carolina to Pennsylvania to go home and visit my family for spring break. Little did I know that I would end up being in Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future. My hometown is the epitome of a rural community. If you are not one of the few small business owners, a farmer, working for a natural gas company, or a factory worker in the next town over then you most likely live in poverty. Therefore, my community was already economically struggling before this pandemic hit. Once it did hit, the small businesses deemed nonessential were shut down, hours of operation for essential businesses have been cut back, and those who were already wondering how they were going to pay their bills now have absolutely no idea how they are going to survive heading into the future.

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