Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on whether COVID-19 effects on business will last
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed differences in how society values and treats workers and has led to a few temporary measures to modify the inequities baked into the system. Many relatively low-wage workers were deemed essential and have had to continue showing up at work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Marick Masters, a Wayne State University business professor, has his doubts that the current moment will have significant lasting impact on things like sick leave. “People’s memories are short,” Masters said. “In … that time period during the Spanish flu, 50 million people in the world died, 675,000 in the United States died, and we had just a fraction of our population back then. And you know, I don’t remember my grandparents ever talking about the Spanish flu.” Masters noted that economic realities, with the current extraordinary level of unemployment, will affect how individual businesses react. Cost calculations will come into play, he said. “I think the harsh reality, unfortunately, is that lots of business are going to be very hard hit by this, and they’re not going to be able to bring everybody back,” he said.