Killed By The Coronavirus Lockdowns: 1000s Of U.S. Businesses That Were Shut Down Will Be Closed Permanently

This economic downturn is turning out to be far deeper and far more severe than most experts were originally anticipating.  More than 22 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits, and economists are telling us that the U.S. economy is contracting at the fastest rate that we have seen since the Second World War.  We are already starting to see some high profile companies move toward bankruptcy, but the real story is what is happening to thousands upon thousands of small and mid-size businesses because of the lockdowns.  Many of them were barely surviving even before this pandemic, and now these lockdowns have delivered a death blow.

The restaurant industry is a perfect example.  Prior to the pandemic, there were more than a million restaurants in the United States, and about half of them were independent.  Those independent restaurants employed approximately 11 million workers, and now the vast majority of those workers have been laid off.

Once the lockdowns are over, it would be wonderful if all of those independent restaurants would spring back to life, but the results of a recent survey suggest that simply is not going to happen.  In fact, that survey found that 28 percent of all independent restaurants are probably not going to survive if the lockdowns last for another month…

A survey released Thursday by the James Beard Association found independent restaurants laid off 91% of their hourly employees and nearly 70% of salaried employees as of April 13 – double-digit increases in both categories since March. The poll of 1,400 small and independent restaurants found 38% of have closed temporarily or permanently, and 77% have seen their sales drop in half or worse.

Perhaps most troubling: 28% of restaurants said they don’t believe they can survive another month of closure, and only 1 out of 5 are certain they can sustain their businesses until normal operations can resume.

28 percent of 500,000 is 140,000, and so if these lockdowns are not lifted soon we could be facing a scenario is which tens of thousands of independent restaurants are lost forever.

Of course a lot of restaurants that do reopen will face a really tough struggle because fear of the coronavirus is going to keep customers away for the foreseeable future.  So even if all of the lockdowns were lifted tomorrow, the restaurant industry would still not fully recover.

Sadly, the same could be said for the fitness industry.  In fact, we just learned that one of the biggest fitness chains in the nation is getting ready to file for bankruptcy

Gym chain 24 Hour Fitness is working with advisors at investment bank Lazard and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to weigh options including a bankruptcy that could come as soon as the next few months, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

The chain is grappling with a heavy debt load, deteriorating performance and a coronavirus pandemic that forced it to shut its more than 400 clubs.

Yes, a certain segment of the population is quite eager to resume all of their normal pre-pandemic activities, but even a 20 or 30 percent drop off in revenue will be fatal for many gyms.

And the truth is that a lot of people are simply not going to be in the mood to share exercise equipment with others for a long time to come.

The entertainment, tourism and retail industries have also been hit extremely hard by this pandemic.  The other day I was quite stunned when I learned that Neiman Marcus “is reportedly ready to file bankruptcy”

Neiman Marcus Group, one of the largest retailers in the United States, is reportedly ready to file bankruptcy amid the COVD-19 pandemic after defaulting millions in bond payments last week and furloughing 14,000 employees.

Neiman Marcus would become the first major US department store to crumble amidst the economic set backs from the coronavirus outbreak.

No, things are definitely not going to be returning to “normal” in America, and there will be a lot more big corporate names among the victims in the days to come.

At this point, even some of the most prominent corporations in the entire country are “indefinitely” sidelining their workers

Indefinite furloughs began this weekend for more than 100,000 Disney, Best Buy and CarMax workers as businesses make cuts to survive the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent mandatory closures.

But most Americans are not in any position to handle “indefinite furloughs”.

In fact, one survey discovered that a whopping 50 percent of all Americans will run through their savings “by the end of April”

One of the largest concerns on most homeowners minds right now is how they are going to pay bills — specifically their monthly mortgage payments. 50% of Americans reported their savings will run out by the end of April. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 30% of homeowners had less than $1,000 in an emergency fund, with 22% reporting they didn’t have enough in savings to cover their mortgage payment for one month.

Just like during the last recession, countless numbers of Americans will go from living a comfortable middle class lifestyle to being desperately needy in just a matter of weeks.

I have been writing a lot about the absolutely massive lines that we have been seeing at food banks all over the nation, and we just witnessed another example in Miami.  In one of the wealthiest areas of the entire city, vehicles were lined up for a mile as people waited patiently to receive handouts from a local food bank…

Talk about a Norman Rockwell painting idea come to life — a parade of cars filled with hungry people in Miami … smack dab in the middle of two of the city’s ritziest hotels.

Check out this surreal scene down in Miami Beach, where a MILE-long line of cars were arranged in a giant U-curve in between the W Hotel and Setai Hotel — two of MB’s most high-end go-to spots for celebrity out-of-towners … like Kim K, Justin Bieber and more.

You can see photos from that event right here, and if you look closely you will see that some of those vehicles are quite nice.

As I have warned so many times over the years, if you don’t have any sort of a financial cushion you can “suddenly” find yourself in a whole lot of trouble when disaster finally strikes.

Unfortunately, we have now entered a time when there will be one crisis after another, and every new crisis will significantly escalate our woes.

For a very long time, there have been very loud warnings that our debt-fueled economic bubble would burst, and now it has happened.

The road ahead is going to be filled with immense pain, and most Americans are not going to be able to handle it.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

What Will You Do If They Try To Extend Coronavirus Lockdowns Into Next Year?

We are seeing a massive backlash against the coronavirus lockdowns all over the United States, and it is likely that the protests against these lockdowns will only intensify in the days ahead.  But some elected officials are doubling down and are insisting that “shelter-in-place” orders will remain in effect in their jurisdictions for quite a few months to come.  I honestly do not know how that is possibly going to work, because after just a few weeks millions upon millions of Americans have become deeply frustrated with these lockdowns.  Trying to confine people to their homes for the foreseeable future is likely to spark tremendous explosions of anger, but that appears to be exactly what authorities intend to do in some of our largest urban areas.  For example, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio just told Fox News that he expects his city will be shut down until July or August

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Bill Hemmer today on FOX News Channel.

The mayor told Hemmer he does not expect New York City to open until July or August.

Does he honestly believe that New York City residents will put up with being confined to their homes for another three or four months?

Over on the west coast, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently told the press that there probably will not be mass gatherings in his state “until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine”

“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine,” Newsom told reporters at his press briefing.

“Large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers … [are] not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations,” he said.

It is exceedingly unlikely that we will get to the point of “herd immunity” in the United States this year, and most experts do not anticipate a vaccine until some time in 2021.

Would he really try to keep his state locked down for that long?

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti appears to be on the exact same page, and he has already pretty much ruled out all large gatherings in his city “until 2021”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that large gatherings like sporting events and concerts are unlikely to occur until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a major blow for one of the world’s major sports and entertainment capitals.

Considering the fact that the NFL has two teams in Los Angeles, this is potentially an absolutely devastating blow for football fans.

Of course it is possible that the Rams and the Chargers could play their games elsewhere, but that is probably not likely.

Especially in liberal bastions on the east and west coasts, fear of large gatherings is likely to persist for a long time to come.  Facebook has already canceled all large company events until 2021, and other big tech firms will almost certainly follow suit.

Without a doubt, everyone should be in favor of reasonable measures to help prevent the spread of the virus, but the hysteria that we are seeing in some areas of California right now is off the charts.

For instance, Mendocino County has actually banned people from singing in online worship services.  The following is an excerpt from their absurd social distancing directives…

No singing or use of wind instruments, harmonicas, or other instruments that could spread COVID-19 through projected droplets shall be permitted unless the recording of the event is done at one’s residence, and involving only the members of one’s household or living unit, because of the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Of course we aren’t just seeing this sort of insanity here in the United States.

Over in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seriously considering extending his nation’s social distancing measures for many months to come

Australian public life could be constrained for another year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned on Friday, as the country’s most populous state mulled sending children to school in shifts.

Australia has so far avoided the high numbers of coronavirus casualties reported around the world after closing its borders and imposing strict “social distancing” measures for the past month.

These lockdowns may be slowing down the spread of the virus to a certain extent, but they are also absolutely crushing economic activity.

Thousands of businesses have been either crippled or destroyed, and tens of millions of jobs have been lost in the United States alone.

Needless to say, business owners and workers all over the nation are sick and tired of not being able to make a living, and President Trump added fuel to their frustration when he called for several states to be “liberated” on Friday

President Trump made himself the star of the ‘lockdown rebellion’ on Friday by tweeting ‘LIBERATE Minnesota’ and then adding Michigan and Virginia to the list of states that should be freed.

The tweets came one day after the president’s coronavirus taskforce rolled out guidelines that would give governors broad power to decide when states’ economies would open back up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And instead of waiting for permission, some business owners across the country have decided that they are going to reopen anyway

Summit Motorsports Park owner Bill Bader Jr. vowed to start holding events with or without government permission, in a Facebook live post earlier this week.

“I’m not asking, I’m opening,” he said in the video and said that he thought that business closures were an overreaction. “If in Huron County, for example, we are able to save every life and limit and ultimately mitigate any outbreaks of Covid-19, but in the process of that we all starve to death, what have we accomplished.”

As I have warned all along, Americans are simply not going to have much patience with these sorts of lockdowns, and this is particularly true in areas of the nation that tend to lean conservative.

But those on the left are pointing out that we are already starting to see a huge surge in confirmed cases in parts of the country that haven’t been locked down

The bump in coronavirus cases is most pronounced in states without stay at home orders. Oklahoma saw a 53% increase in cases over the past week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over same time, cases jumped 60% in Arkansas, 74% in Nebraska, and 82% in Iowa. South Dakota saw a whopping 205% spike.

Once restrictions start being lifted nationwide, it is probably inevitable that we will see another huge wave of new cases and new deaths.

However, it is important to point out that this virus is going to eventually spread through most of the population no matter what measures we take.  Yes, we want to keep our hospitals from being completely overwhelmed, but we also don’t want to completely destroy our economy at the same time.

Our policy makers are going to have some very, very tough decisions in the days ahead, and the truth is that this coronavirus pandemic is just the very beginning of our problems.

The months in front of us are going to be extremely challenging, and life as you have known it will never be the same again.

The good news is that some of the coronavirus lockdowns will start to be lifted in the weeks ahead, and that will enable millions of Americans to start making a living once again.

But in other areas, politicians are warning that the lockdowns could last for many months to come.

If the politicians in your state tried to do that, what would you do?

Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

U.S. Economy Contracting “At Its Sharpest Pace Since World War Two” And “The Worst Is Yet To Come”

Fear of COVID-19 has unleashed economic chaos on a scale that has already surpassed anything that we witnessed during the last recession, and as you will see below, we are now being warned that “the worst is yet to come”.  Many Americans are hoping that things can start to return to normal as the U.S. economy “reopens” in the weeks ahead, but the truth is that we are still in the very early chapters of this crisis.  In fact, it is being estimated that we are only one-tenth of the way through this pandemic, and by “flattening the curve” we have actually extended the economic pain.  You see, the truth is that most Americans are going to end up catching this virus one way or another.  All of the “shelter-in-place” orders have temporarily slowed down the spread of this coronavirus, but once they are lifted it is inevitable that we will see new waves of people becoming infected.  And if you think that a vaccine will be the golden ticket that gets us out of this mess, you might want to reconsider that belief, because there has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus.  Of course it is possible that scientists could come up with something this time around, but if the virus mutates significantly that could render any potential vaccine absolutely useless.

In the days ahead, there will be a tremendous amount of debate about the correct way to fight this virus, but meanwhile the U.S. economy will continue to deteriorate.

In fact, Reuters is reporting that economists are now projecting that the U.S. economy is contracting “at its sharpest pace since World War Two”…

The deepening economic slump was also amplified by other data on Thursday showing manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region plunged to levels last seen in 1980 and homebuilding tumbling by the most in 36 years in March.

The reports followed dismal reports on Wednesday of a record drop in retail sales in March and the biggest decline in factory output since 1946. Economists are predicting the economy, which they believe is already in recession, contracted in the first quarter at its sharpest pace since World War Two.

Yesterday, I documented the fact that we are in the midst of the largest tsunami of job losses in U.S. history by a very wide margin.

In fact, we are absolutely obliterating the old records, and that truly puts us in unchartered territory.  And as bad as things have already gotten, one prominent expert told Reuters that “the worst is yet to come”…

Economists are estimating the economy contracted as much as 10.8% in the first quarter, which would be the steepest drop in gross domestic product since 1947. They say the massive fiscal package will likely provide little cushion for the economy.

“The economy is in a downward spiral where job losses beget job losses and the federal government emergency relief checks will not be enough to turn the tide,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “The recovery is looking less V-shaped by the day as the deeper we fall, the harder it will be for the nation to climb back out of this deep hole the pandemic has dug for the economy. The worst is yet to come.”

As areas around the country start “reopening for business”, some of the jobs that were lost will come back.

But the truth is that millions of those jobs are gone permanently, and large numbers of the businesses that were closed down will never open again.

For the foreseeable future, a lot of Americans are going to avoid going to restaurants, bars, movie theaters, shopping malls and other businesses that require close human interaction.  One expert that was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times says that for the next few years we need to accept the fact that the world “will be totally different than what we are used to”…

“The world that we are going to live in for at least the next two to three years will be totally different than what we are used to,” said Sung Won Sohn, president of SS Economics and professor at Loyola Marymount University.

“Because of the psychological shock that we have experienced, we are going to be more cautious, and we will probably spend less and save more, and we will have fewer contacts with other individuals,” he said. “We are going to be suspicious about things, [such as] whether people we are meeting have the virus and will the economy fall back down again.”

The fear that this pandemic has created is going to be with us for a very long time, and it is going to cause enormous shifts in economic behavior even after the U.S. starts “reopening”.

In an environment like this, very few people are buying vehicles, the housing market is already imploding all over the nation, and retailers are having a very difficult time envisioning any sort of a positive future for their industry at this point.

But at least we will all be getting big, fat socialist bailout checks from the government, right?

Actually, they won’t be that big, and for most Americans the checks will only get them through about one month.

So once that money is gone, will the federal government send us another round of “universal basic income” checks?

Now that they have gone down this rabbit hole, the federal government is in danger of sparking civil unrest if they don’t keep the checks coming.  In fact, Jim Rickards is entirely convinced that large scale “social disorder” is on the way…

Looting, burglary and violence in the midst of a state of emergency are the shape of things to come.

The veneer of civilization is paper-thin and easily torn. Most people don’t realize how fragile it is. But they’re going to learn that lesson, I’m afraid.

Expect social disorder to get worse long before it gets better.

Unfortunately, Rickards is right on point, and I have also been warning about “great civil unrest” for a very long time.  The delicately balanced debt-fueled prosperity that we had been enjoying for so many years has now been shattered, and things are going to get really ugly in this country.

And this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the last 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has jumped by more than 30,000 and the death toll has risen by more than 2,400 even though most of the nation is currently shut down.

Ending the lockdowns will give a boost to the economy, but it will also cause the virus to start spreading faster, and once that happens we could see another round of lockdowns.

In the end, our battle with COVID-19 will not be over until the virus has swept through most of the population, and we are not going to reach that point for quite a while.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

This Is The Worst Employment Collapse In U.S. History By A Very Wide Margin

We have never seen an “employment apocalypse” in the United States like we are witnessing right now, and it is not going to end any time soon.  Over the past several days, “coronavirus shutdowns” have officially been extended all over the nation, and the longer these shutdowns last the more jobs our economy is going to lose.  And because most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before this pandemic hit us, many unemployed workers are already unable to pay their bills.  Yes, our authorities may be slowing down the spread of the virus, but in the process they have absolutely killed the economy.  On Thursday, I was stunned to learn that another 5.2 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That brings the grand total for the last four weekly reports “to a staggering 22 million”

About 5.2 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.  Jobless claims provide the best measure of layoffs across the country. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated that 5.5 million Americans would file initial applications for unemployment insurance last week.

That brings the total claims over the past four weeks to a staggering 22 million. By comparison, the labor market added 21.5 million jobs since the Great Recession.

Just think about that.

22 million jobs wiped out in one month.

And the true number of jobs lost is actually even higher, because not everyone that loses a job files for unemployment benefits.

Prior to this year, the highest number of initial claims for unemployment benefits during any four week period that we had ever witnessed was 2.7 million during the fall of 1982.

So 22 million in four weeks truly puts us in uncharted territory.  Just look at this chart.

We aren’t just beating the old records, we are absolutely obliterating them.

You know that things are really, really bad when even NBC News sounds just like The Economic Collapse Blog…

“The labor market is obviously very, very important, and has a high correlation with what is going on in the economy,” Jay Bryson, the acting chief economist at Wells Fargo, told NBC News. “It is showing us what I think we all know, that the economy is falling off a cliff at an unprecedented rate.”

In other words, the chief economist at Wells Fargo is saying that the U.S. economy is completely and utterly collapsing.

According to Zero Hedge, “we have lost 710 jobs for every confirmed US death from COVID-19 (30,985).”  Our politicians have prioritized saving lives over saving the economy, and many people out there seem convinced that was the right choice, but the economic devastation has been immense.

The socialist “stimulus payments” and unemployment benefits will help all of these unemployed workers temporarily, but the payments from the federal government are supposedly just a one time deal, and it won’t be too long before many states start running out of unemployment money

Six states — including New York, which has the highest number of cases in the US — can only fund up to 10 weeks of unemployment benefits from their state coffers before money runs out and they have to turn to the federal government for additional funding, according to a recent estimate from the Tax Foundation.

Another 15 state trust funds don’t meet the federal Department of Labor’s recommended minimum solvency standard, which requires being able to pay benefits for a year in an economic downturn similar to the Great Recession.

So what will the federal government do once we get to that point?

I imagine that Congress will eventually want to borrow and spend trillions more dollars that we don’t have, and it is likely that “conservatives” and “liberals” will both be quite eager to vote for another pork-filled bill.

But it is probably going to take some time for Congress to get through the process of passing another crazy spending package, and meanwhile deep economic suffering is erupting all over the nation.

On Thursday, vehicles were lined up for two miles in Miramar, Florida as needy individuals waited for hours to get handouts from a local food bank.  We are starting to see food lines like this all over the country, and if things are this bad already, what will things look like a few months from now?

The chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago is calling this “the deepest, fastest, most broad-based recession we’ve ever seen”, and I can’t argue with that assessment one bit.

For a moment, I would like for you to consider just a few of the economic news items that we have seen over the past few days…

-United Airlines has reduced its schedule of flights for May and June “by about 90%” as demand for air travel has absolutely plummeted.

-U.S. retail sales were down 8.7 percent in March.

-J.C. Penney is “considering bankruptcy”.

-Housing starts just collapsed by the most that we have seen in 36 years.

-The mayor of Los Angeles says that large gatherings in his city will likely be banned until 2021.

-Facebook has canceled all large events until June 2021.

-Chinese GDP just experienced the largest drop ever recorded.

Of course nearly every nation will soon report absolutely staggering declines in GDP.  The shutdowns have brought economic activity to a standstill all over the globe, and no region is immune.

The following is how the Daily Mail is describing the current state of global trade…

The coronavirus pandemic is crippling global trade because crews on transport ships have been stranded at sea for months and food processing plants have been forced to close, threatening to bring the world’s supply chain to a grinding halt.

Shipping workers at sea are denied entry into ports, truckers can’t get to work in some countries or are confronted with complications at borders, food plants are closing and farm harvests going to waste in the crisis.

Does that sound like a “perfect storm” to you?

Well, the truth is that it is just getting started.

Eventually this pandemic will subside, but now that all of the economic dominoes are starting to tumble it will be exceedingly difficult to reverse that momentum.

And as I pointed out the other day, most Americans are not likely to resume all of their normal daily activities once the restrictions are finally lifted, and fear of this virus is going to be a dominant economic force for the foreseeable future.

What all of this means is that we are facing incredible economic pain for the short-term, the mid-term and for a long time to come.

At this point, we should no longer speak of “economic collapse” as something that will happen in the future.

It is here.

It is now.

And it is going to get a lot worse.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

COVID-19 Has Become The (Second) Leading Cause Of Death In The United States

Despite all of the “shelter-in-place” orders that have been instituted all over the country, COVID-19 continues to kill an alarming number of Americans.  If you visit the official CDC website, it will tell you that heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the United States by a wide margin.  But as Mike Adams of Natural News has pointed out, this week COVID-19 has actually been killing more people on a daily basis than heart disease and cancer normally do.  In fact, on April 14th a staggering 2,407 coronavirus victims died in the United States, and that was more than 24 times higher than the average number of Americans that normally die from the flu each day.

But the good news is that the number of Americans dying from the coronavirus appears to be leveling off.  Over the most recent 24 hour period, 2,174 coronavirus victims died in the U.S., but that would still keep COVID-19 at the top of the chart when it comes to leading causes of death.

However, there is one cause of death that the CDC never mentions.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, 862,000 abortions were performed in the United States in 2017

The report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. That’s down from 926,000 tallied in the group’s previous report for 2014, and from just more than 1 million counted for 2011.

The Guttmacher Institute is a pro-abortion group, and other organizations believe that the true number of abortions each year is significantly higher, but for purposes of this article we will use their number.

If you divide 862,000 by 365 days, you get an average daily death toll of 2,361, which would be even higher than the 2,174 Americans that died from the coronavirus over the most recent 24 hour period.

So at this point, COVID-19 is just the second leading cause of death in the United States.

Overall, approximately 125,000 abortions are performed each day around the world.

Let that number sink in for a moment.

Over the course of this entire coronavirus pandemic, just over 145,000 people all over the globe have died, and much of the planet is currently shut down because this virus has created so much fear.

Authorities keep telling us that life will not “return to normal” until they can roll out a vaccine and inject it into all of us, and most projections currently put that somewhere in 2021.

But if the virus mutates, that could completely mess up their timeline.  And according to one new study, a significant COVID-19 mutation has now been discovered in India

A coronavirus strain isolated in India carried a mutation that could render current international vaccine efforts useless, researchers in Australia and Taiwan warned.

A vaccine that targets one version of a virus could potentially be utterly useless against another strain, and Fox News says that this new mutation could potentially throw the effort to produce a vaccine “off course”…

Scientists have been targeting the same process that allowed the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to infect people but the mutation found throws them off course.

The scientists claim that the change had occurred in part of the spike protein that allows the novel coronavirus to bind with certain human cells. The structure targets cells containing ACE2, an enzyme found in the outer surface cells in the lungs, which allowed the SARS virus to infect people, the South China Morning Post first reported.

This is huge news, but so far Fox News is the only major network that I have seen report on it.  The following excerpt comes directly from this new study

Monitoring the mutation dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for the development of effective approaches to contain the 21 pathogen. By analyzing 106 SARS-CoV-2 and 39 SARS genome sequences, we provided direct genetic evidence that 22 SARS-CoV-2 has a much lower mutation rate than SARS. Minimum Evolution phylogeny analysis revealed the putative original status of SARS-CoV-2 and the early-stage spread history. The discrepant phylogenies for the spike protein and it receptor binding domain proved a previously reported structural rearrangement prior to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Despite that, we found the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 is particularly more conserved, we identified a mutation that leads to weaker receptor binding capability, which concerns a SARS-CoV-2 sample collected on 27th January 2020 from India. This represents the first report of a significant SARS-CoV-2 mutant, and raises the alarm that the ongoing vaccine Development may become futile in future epidemic if more mutations were identified.

Needless to say, Dr. Anthony Fauci and his minions are going to try to assure everyone that nothing has changed, but as Zero Hedge has pointed out, mutant strains of the virus could potentially force scientists “to start the vaccine clock from zero”…

Asked about the possibility of viral mutation during one of the White House’s inaugural task force press briefings, Dr. Fauci assured the public that scientists have found “no evidence” of any concerning mutations, though the prospect that a mutated version of the virus might return during next year’s flu season has kept some virologists up at night with nightmares about needing to start the vaccine clock from zero.

The problem is that vaccines often aren’t as effective against viruses that mutate, like the flu does every season (that’s why you need to keep getting that flu shot year after year). And now, a new scientific paper that – like most of the coronavirus research being cited in the press – has yet to be peer reviewed claims to have identified a mutation in a sample of the virus collected in India that could create serious problems for researchers working on a vaccine.

Of course there are millions upon millions of people that won’t take any vaccine that is produced no matter when it comes out.

On another front, there had been hope that chloroquine would be proven to be safe and effective for treating people that catch the virus, but a new study that was conducted in Brazil had to be stopped because the drug was so dangerous…

A double-blind research study of a drug touted by President Donald Trump early on to treat coronavirus found it to be so dangerous at high doses the trial was shut down after six days.

The study on chloroquine, conducted in Brazil, found one-quarter of the patients taking the anti-malaria medication developed potentially deadly changes in the electrical system regulating their heartbeats.

It has been known for a long time that chloroquine can cause major heart problems, and so this wasn’t too much of a surprise.

But it does appear that some good news is coming out of Israel.  The following comes from Charisma

An Israeli coronavirus drug that claims to have a 100% success rate among severely ill patients is being tested in the United States for the first time.

The trial comes after Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., a biotech company based in Haifa, reported last week that seven patients who were at a high risk of death due to respiratory failure survived after receiving the medication.

To me, this sounds very promising, and hopefully this treatment will prove to be both safe and effective after additional study.

But for now, COVID-19 continues to spread all over the globe, and the shutdowns that have been instituted to slow it down have crashed economies all over the planet.

The months ahead will be very challenging, and if this virus continues to mutate this pandemic could potentially stick around a lot longer than any of the experts originally envisioned.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Will You Resume Normal Daily Activities Once The Coronavirus Restrictions Are Finally Lifted?

COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down, and most people are quite eager for a return to normalcy.  But as you will see below, fear of the coronavirus is going to prevent the vast majority of Americans from immediately resuming all of their normal daily activities once the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.  Every day there are more stories in the news about prominent individuals that have died from the virus, and the chilling testimonies of those that have wrestled with the virus and survived are extremely sobering.  Yes, most people that catch this virus will ultimately recover, but the fact that tens of thousands of Americans are dying is seriously scaring a lot of people.  And even though the “shelter-in-place” orders appear to be slowing the spread of the virus to a certain extent, the official U.S. death toll has actually doubled over the past week

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 25,000 on Tuesday, doubling in one week, according to a Reuters tally, as officials debated how to reopen the economy without reigniting the outbreak.

The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, has recorded more fatalities from COVID-19 than any other country. There were a total of nearly 597,000 U.S. cases – three times more than any other country – with nearly 2 million reported cases globally.

And according to Worldometers.info, more than 2,200 Americans have died over the last 24 hours, and that would make this the deadliest day of this pandemic so far.

So it is easy to understand why so many people out there are deeply afraid of this virus.  Most of us don’t want to die, and COVID-19 can kill you.

In recent days, there has been a whole lot of talk about “reopening America”, and many are assuming that life will start to look somewhat normal once that happens.

But Gallup just conducted a survey in which they asked people if they would be “resuming their normal daily activities” once the restrictions are lifted, and these were the results

Americans remain hesitant about resuming their normal daily activities amid the COVID-19 outbreak according to a Gallup question first asked in late March and repeated in early April.

When asked how quickly they will return to their normal activities once the government lifts restrictions and businesses and schools start to reopen, the vast majority of Americans say they would wait and see what happens with the spread of the virus (71%) and another 10% would wait indefinitely. Just 20% say they would return to their normal activities immediately.

In other words, about 80 percent of the country is going to take a hesitant approach, and that has huge implications for our economy moving forward.

Of course all of the coronavirus restrictions are not going to be lifted any time soon anyway, and this is something that I discussed yesterday.

Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom set forth six specific conditions which must be met before the restrictions will be lifted in his state…

  1. The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed.
  2. The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19.
  3. The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges.
  4. The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand.
  5. The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing.
  6. The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

Needless to say, California may continue to be locked down for an extended period of time to come.

But the longer that these shutdowns persist, the more impatient many Americans are going to become.

Already, we are starting to see protests pop up all over the nation.  For example, just check out what is happening in Michigan

At least 15,000 cars and trucks are expected to descend on Michigan’s state capital on Wednesday to protest what they’re calling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s tyrannical new guidelines to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.

The so-called “drive-by” demonstration – in order to maintain social distancing — aims to bring traffic to a gridlock in Lansing and protest the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by Whitmer, a Democrat, mandating what businesses could stay home, what some businesses could sell and ordering people in her state against any gatherings – no matter the size or family ties.

I am seeing a lot of anger out there right now.  Business owners, workers and entrepreneurs are not being allowed to make a living and provide for their families, and I can certainly understand their frustration.

And the longer that things are shut down, the worse this economic downturn is going to become.  At this point, the IMF is projecting the worst performance for the global economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s

The global economy will this year likely suffer the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, as governments worldwide grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Washington-based organization now expects the global economy to contract by 3% in 2020. By contrast, in January it had forecast a global GDP (gross domestic product) expansion of 3.3% for this year.

Actually, I believe that the IMF’s projection is way too optimistic.

If global GDP only declines by 3 percent in 2020, that should be considered a rip-roaring success.

Now that the U.S. has become the epicenter for this pandemic, our nation is being hit particularly hard economically, and we are being warned that more than 2,000 cities “are anticipating major budget shortfalls this year”

More than 2,100 U.S. cities are anticipating major budget shortfalls this year and many are planning to slash programs and cut staff in response, according to a new survey of local officials released Tuesday, illustrating the widespread financial havoc threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bleak outlook — shared by local governments representing roughly 93 million people nationwide — led some top mayors and other leaders to call for greater federal aid to protect cities now forced to choose between balancing their cash-strapped ledgers and sustaining the public services that residents need most.

Of course this is just only the beginning of the end.  All of the economic and financial bubbles are bursting, and this is going to cause severe distress on the national, state, local and community levels.

And as long as COVID-19 is still spreading somewhere, fear of the coronavirus is going to cause a lot of people to greatly alter their normal economic patterns.

So the truth is that we have a very long and very painful road ahead of us, and the months to come are going to make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Coronavirus Is Hitting The Homeless And The Poor Particularly Hard

It is really hard to “shelter-in-place” when you don’t have a home at all.  Prior to this pandemic, there were more than half a million homeless individuals in this country, and now that the economy is utterly collapsing that number has undoubtedly been pushed even higher.  Without the protective bubble of a home to escape to, homeless Americans are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and authorities all over the nation are racing to get them off the streets.  But stuffing them all in shelters is definitely not the answer, because once the virus gets into a shelter it can start spreading like wildfire.  Just check out what has been happening in San Francisco

At one of the largest homeless shelters in San Francisco, California, 70 people tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.

Mayor London Breed announced on Friday that 68 homeless people and two staffers of the MSC South shelter contracted the coronavirus and have been placed in quarantine at the facility.

And things are even worse in New York City.  At this point 371 shelter residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 23 shelter residents have already died

Officially as of Sunday, 23 shelter residents have died in hospitals, among them 14 men and two women from assessment centers and shelters for single adults where multiple, unrelated people share rooms, according to the Department of Homeless Services.

And 371 people from shelters had tested positive for the virus, about 80 percent of them from the single-adult facilities, though those adults represent less than a quarter of the homeless population. The rest are mostly families who often stay in studio-like units by themselves.

Some cities are starting to move the homeless into hotels on a temporary basis, and that will hopefully help.

But of course many among the homeless are fiercely independent, and even if they are in hotels at night it is likely that they will be continuing their normal social patterns during the day.

And in a densely packed urban environment, one “super spreader” can spread this coronavirus to countless others very easily.

It isn’t an accident that New York City has become the epicenter for this global pandemic, and now other urban communities across the nation are becoming hotspots as well.

For example, so many coronavirus victims are dying at one hospital in Detroit that authorities are running out of space for all the dead bodies

Harrowing photos allegedly taken at a Detroit hospital where coronavirus patients have died in emergency room hallways show bodies stored in vacant rooms and piled on top of each other in a mobile morgue, CNN reports.

An emergency room worker at Sinai-Grace Hospital shared the shocking images with the outlet, which published them on Monday.

Sadly, we are likely to see scenes like this all over the U.S. as this pandemic rolls on.

But even after everything that has already transpired, a lot of people out there are still not taking this virus seriously.  I don’t understand this, because the reality of what we are facing should now be clear to everyone.

Personally, I was deeply saddened when I heard that one woman in Michigan lost her husband and her only child “in a span of three days”

A Michigan woman lost her entire family to coronavirus as her husband and her only child died within days of each other, according to a report.

Sandy Brown of Grand Blanc said she’s suffering indescribable grief after losing her husband and son, Freddie Lee Brown Jr. and Freddie Lee Brown III, in a span of three days, the Detroit News reported.

“There’s not even a word created to describe my pain. It’s unimaginable,” she said.

Yes, if you catch this virus there is a better than 90 percent chance that you will survive.

But if you are poor, don’t have a lot of resources and haven’t been eating a healthy diet, your odds go down significantly.

In recent days we have seen an alarming escalation in the number of confirmed cases in both South America and Africa.  If this virus starts hitting those two continents as hard as it has already hit the U.S. and China, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic.  The following bit of commentary comes from Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Investments

The emerging markets soon will be hit very hard by the global pandemic. The pandemic will be followed by goods and food shortages, and social unrest. Before the virus hit them directly, EM countries had already been adversely affected by falling commodity prices and the economic impact of the shutdown in China and other parts of the developed world. Most EM countries have very weak healthcare systems, nowhere near enough hospital beds and respirators, crowded cities and slums, and large numbers of workers in the economy who are paid daily wages or work in the informal economy and can’t work remotely. For many EM countries, this pandemic will quickly escalate from a health crisis to a humanitarian crisis, and ultimately to a solvency crisis. Political stability will be the last domino to fall.

When you are living in utter poverty and are barely surviving from month to month, you can’t just hop on a laptop and “work from home”.

In many parts of the globe, “sheltering in place” just isn’t going to work, and their healthcare systems are simply not designed to handle a pandemic of this magnitude.

So I honestly do not know what they are going to do.

Here in the U.S., people are getting very, very tired of being confined to their homes, and efforts will be made soon to get people back to work.

But that could just spark another “wave” of new cases, and authorities may ultimately decide that more temporary shutdowns are necessary.

In fact, one Fed official is actually warning that we could potentially be facing “rolling shutdowns” for the next 18 months.

So no, the truth is that this crisis is not going to be resolved any time soon, and what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

As long as there is still one person in your community with the virus, a major outbreak could erupt at any moment.  This virus spreads from person to person with exceptional ease, and those that catch it can be spreading it around for quite a while before any symptoms start manifesting.

This pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down, and life is not going back to normal any time soon.

This virus will slowly but surely run through most of the population and hopefully most people will eventually have at least some immunity to it, but until that day arrives we are in for quite a battle.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Now They Are Telling Us That Life In America Will Definitely Not Be Returning To Normal “For The Foreseeable Future”

If you thought that this pandemic would pass quickly and that life in America would soon return to “normal”, I am afraid that you are in for quite a shock.  Some of the restrictions currently in place will eventually be lifted, and efforts will be made to get people back to work, but life is still going to be radically different from what we had become accustomed to before COVID-19 started sweeping across the globe.  Authorities are telling us that there may be “rolling shutdowns” for up to 18 months, that social distancing guidelines will be necessary for a long time to come, and that this crisis will not ultimately be resolved until they can inject everyone with a vaccine.  If all of this greatly alarms you, please be assured that you are not alone.

In recent days there has been a tremendous amount of debate about when to “reopen the U.S. economy”, and organizations all along the political spectrum have drafted plans for how to do that.

Ezra Klein actually read quite a few of those plans, and he discovered that none of them would return our lives to normal “for the foreseeable future”

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the major plans for what comes after social distancing. You can read them, too. There’s one from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer.

I thought, perhaps naively, that reading them would be a comfort — at least then I’d be able to imagine the path back to normal. But it wasn’t. In different ways, all these plans say the same thing: Even if you can imagine the herculean political, social, and economic changes necessary to manage our way through this crisis effectively, there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the United States either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness.

Over and over again, a “vaccine” is being touted as the golden ticket that will get us out of this mess.

The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, is another prominent voice that is warning that there won’t be a return to normalcy until a vaccine comes along.  And until that time comes, he believes that we are potentially facing “an 18-month strategy of rolling shutdowns”

Kashkari, while acknowledging the downside of what a prolonged shutdown could mean for the economy, said the U.S., “barring some health-care miracle,” is looking at an 18-month strategy of rolling shutdowns based on what has happened in other countries.

“We could have these waves of flare-ups, controls, flare-ups and controls, until we actually get a therapy or a vaccine,” he said. “We need to find ways of getting the people who are healthy, who are at lower risk, back to work and then providing the assistance to those who are most at risk, who are going to need to be quarantined or isolated for the foreseeable future.”

In other words, Kashkari believes that all or part of the nation will be shut down over and over again whenever the number of coronavirus cases starts to spike too high.

Of course the WHO is eagerly looking forward to global vaccination as well, and the head of the WHO just told the media that he believes that this virus is ten times deadlier than the swine flu pandemic of 2009…

Coronavirus is ten times deadlier than the 2009 swine flu pandemic and a vaccine will be needed to halt it, the World Health Organisation has said.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from Geneva the organisation was constantly learning about the bug sweeping the globe.

Over and over again, officials are telling us that we are facing an 18 month timeframe until a vaccine will be ready.  Just check out what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his press conference earlier today…

On Monday, governor Cuomo was joined on a conference call by the other Northeast governors. The recovery must be careful, incremental and guided by experts rather than politics, Cuomo said, and the pandemic won’t be truly “over” until a vaccine is available, which could take as long as 18 months. Ideally, a plan would also involve widespread testing, he said, to allow those without the virus – and those who have recovered and may now be resistant to it – to return to work first.

By the time 18 months goes by, most of the general population will be so desperate to feel safe from this virus that they will race out to get the vaccine as fast as they possibly can.

And until then, we can expect economic conditions to steadily deteriorate.

Yes, hopefully most businesses in the country will be allowed to reopen in a matter of weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the customers will come back.

Prior to this pandemic, we were already witnessing the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history, and now one research firm is warning that an all-time record 15,000 stores could be permanently shuttered in 2020

Coresight Research predicts that 15,000 U.S. stores will permanently close this year, setting a new record and nearly doubling its earlier forecast of 8,000 store closings.

‘Retail has hung a closed sign on the door literally and metaphorically,’ Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said.

Pretty soon, our communities are going to be absolutely littered with abandoned buildings, and “space available” signs will start popping up everywhere.

Meanwhile, millions upon millions of U.S. consumers will be falling on very hard times.  We are in the midst of the greatest spike in unemployment in all of American history, and the number of people taking advantage of the federal government’s mortgage forbearance program has gone through the roof

With unemployment claims hitting nearly 17 million over the last three weeks, the number of Americans applying for the government’s mortgage forbearance program under the COVID-19 relief plan spiked 73% for the week ending April 5 vs. the previous week – jumping from 2.73% to 3.74%, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

For context, the total number of loans in forbearance was just 0.25% for the week of March 2 – an increase of 1,496% in just six weeks, with the number of borrowers in forbearance now topping 2 million according to CNBC.

Realizing that we are on the verge of another massive wave of mortgage defaults, mortgage lenders all over the nation are rapidly tightening standards.  JPMorgan is just one example

Over the weekend our skepticism was confirmed when Reuters reported that JPMorgan, the country’s largest lender by assets and which will kick off earnings season tomorrow, will raise borrowing standards this week for most new home loans as the bank “moves to mitigate lending risk stemming from the novel coronavirus disruption.”

Starting Tuesday, customers applying for a new mortgage will need a credit score of at least 700, and will be required to make a down payment equal to 20% of the home’s value (something which we thought was the norm after the last financial crisis, but apparently lending conditions had eased quite a bit in the past decade).

For a very long time I have been warning that the flow of credit would get really tight when the next crisis hit.

Now we are here, and Americans are going to have a much harder time getting loans to buy homes, vehicles or anything else.

Everything that I have been warning about in my books is beginning to transpire, and a tremendous amount of pain is ahead.

My hope is that all of the pain that is ahead will cause a mass awakening and America will turn in a more positive direction.

But to most people, the immediate future looks really bleak right now, and that is not going to change any time soon.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Deep Economic Suffering Has Erupted All Over America, But Guess Who The Federal Reserve Is Helping?

As millions upon millions of Americans lose their jobs in the greatest wave of unemployment in U.S. history, the Federal Reserve has decided that now is the time to spend trillions of newly created dollars in a desperate attempt to protect financial asset values.  In other words, as much of the country suddenly plunges into poverty, the Federal Reserve is working exceedingly hard to protect the wealth of the elite.  Approximately fifty percent of all stock market wealth is owned by the wealthiest one percent of all Americans, and the amount of stock market wealth owned by the poorest 50 percent of all Americans is so small that it really doesn’t matter.  And those running the Fed certainly understand that their reckless policies will create very painful inflation that will hit average American families extremely hard, but they don’t seem to care.  At this point, they figure that asset values must be protected at all costs, and that is going to continue to expand the absolutely massive gap between the rich and the poor in this country.

Over the past 3 weeks, more than 16 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.

Prior to this year, the highest number that we had ever seen in any 3 week span in all of American history was about 2 million.

It is a collapse of unprecedented magnitude, and things have already gotten so bad that even “the Happiest Place on Earth” is conducting mass layoffs

Walt Disney World Resort will furlough 43,000 union workers while its theme parks remain closed as authorities restrict large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Service Trades Council Union.

Because most U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck, many of the newly unemployed have fallen on hard times very rapidly.  Food banks all over the nation are seeing an alarming surge in demand, and in many cities people are literally lining up before the sun rises in order to ensure that they will get some food

In many cities, lines outside food pantries have become glaring symbols of financial precarity, showing how quickly the pandemic has devastated working people’s finances.

In San Antonio, 10,000 families began arriving before dawn on Thursday at a now-shuttered swap meet hall to receive boxes of food. Normally, 200 to 400 families might show up during a normal food distribution.

For many other similar examples, please see my previous article entitled “America’s ‘Food Lines’ Are Being Measured In Miles As Desperation Sets In All Over The Country”.  Yes, things got bad during the last recession, but they were never as bad as we are witnessing now.  In fact, the CEO of Feeding America says that demand is already at the highest level that she has ever seen

‘I’ve never witnessed a system being more strained,’ Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said.

‘For the first time probably in our history, we’ve had to turn some people away,’ she said, not that ‘We don’t want to do that, ever.’

Unfortunately, this economic collapse is still in the very early chapters.  If you can believe it, JPMorgan is actually projecting that U.S. GDP “will fall by 40 percent” on an annualized basis during the second quarter

According to CNBC, JPMorgan economists are forecasting that the GDP will fall by 40 percent through the spring months. They also predict unemployment will reach 20 percent in April, with 25 million jobs lost overall.

Such a drop would be, by far, the worst in U.S. history. For context, according to Credit Suisse (via Business Insider), the worst quarterly drop of the 2008 crash was 8.4 percent.

And even once the “shelter-in-place” orders are finally lifted, that will not mean that things will go back to normal.  As Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller has noted, fear of the coronavirus is going to cause many Americans to avoid restaurants, sporting events and other businesses where public interaction is required for a long time to come…

“The shortage of supplies is generating horrible news stories that put us all on edge,” said Shiller. “It may mean people won’t go to restaurants or sporting events in good numbers for years. You know the disease might not well be eradicated for several years from now.”

So the truth is that we are heading into a very deep economic depression, and the economic suffering in this country is going to be off the charts.

As events have begun to spiral out of control, the Federal Reserve has sprung into action on a scale unlike anything that we have ever seen before, and this has pushed the Fed’s balance sheet above 6 trillion dollars

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet increased to a record $6.13 trillion this week as the central bank used its nearly unlimited buying power to soak up assets and keep markets functioning smoothly, even as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic cut deeply into employment and economic output.

In the four weeks since the Fed slashed interest rates to zero, restarted bond purchases and rolled out an unprecedented range of programs to limit the economic damage from the outbreak, the central bank’s balance sheet has jumped by about $1.7 trillion.

Let me try to put those numbers in perspective.

During QE3, the Fed’s balance sheet increased by 1.7 trillion dollars over the course of an entire year, and now the Fed has achieved that same feat in just four weeks.

What the Fed is doing is completely and utterly insane, but to a certain extent it is working.

Even though we are in the midst of the most dramatic unemployment spike in American history, last week was the best week for the stock market in decades thanks to the Fed.

Isn’t that nuts?

I know that this also sounds incredibly absurd, but last week’s surge actually pushed P/E values back near record highs.

In other words, stock prices are incredibly overvalued at this moment.

And if everything that we have already witnessed was not enough, on Thursday the Fed announced that it will now be spending trillions of dollars to voraciously buy up bonds of all types

The Federal Reserve is not leaving any corner of the U.S. bond market behind in this crisis.

There’s no other way to interpret the central bank’s sweeping measures announced Thursday, which together provide as much as $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. It will wade into the $3.9 trillion U.S. municipal-bond market to an unprecedented degree, can now purchase “fallen angel” bonds from companies that have recently lost their investment-grade ratings, and has expanded its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to include top-rated commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized loan obligations.

In other words, moving forward we will no longer have a “bond market”.  What we will have is a Fed-manipulated sham in which the Fed picks winners and losers.

Of course many believe that it is only a matter of time before the Fed starts buying stocks as well.

Those that love free markets should be absolutely disgusted by all of this, because the Fed is coming up with lots of new ways to give handouts to the very wealthy.

Meanwhile, the poor are rapidly getting poorer.

But don’t worry too much, because you will soon receive your $1,200 socialist handout from the federal government.

Try not to spend it all in one place.

Needless to say, $1,200 won’t last very long in the hands of most Americans, and one recent survey found that “63% of respondents said they will need another check within the next three months”.

Like I warned from the very beginning, these sorts of direct payments set a very dangerous precedent, and if a Democrat wins the presidency in November they may become permanent.

That may sound really good to you, but what are you going to do when it gets to the point where you have to spend 500 dollars a week just to feed your family?

At that point many of you will also be lining up at the crack of dawn to receive whatever the food banks have available to give you

Outside of Pittsburgh, Danielle Small pulled up 90 minutes early to a food distribution, but found two long rows of cars already ahead of her. Money was getting tight after her boyfriend had to take a pay cut, and she decided to make her first trip to a food bank this week.

She said the line moved efficiently as cars pulled ahead in clusters of 10. After Ms. Small, 32, received a box filled with chicken fajita strips, preserved peaches, fruit, nuts and juice, she mouthed, “Thank you,” to the volunteers and drove away.

Millions of Americans driving nice vehicles and wearing nice clothes are suddenly being forced to spend hours waiting in food lines because fear of the coronavirus has crashed our economy.

A day of reckoning has finally arrived, and a lot more pain is on the way.

Sadly, many Americans will just go along with whatever “solutions” are proposed as long as it looks like they may provide short-term relief.  What remains of our free markets is being obliterated, Congress is openly embracing socialism, and our rights are being stripped away at a staggering rate, but most people don’t seem concerned by any of this.

Most people just want the pain to end and for life to go back to normal, but that is simply not going to happen.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

America’s “Food Lines” Are Being Measured In Miles As Desperation Sets In All Over The Country

When I repeatedly warned that a large portion of the population was completely and utterly unprepared for any sort of a serious economic downturn, I was not exaggerating one bit.  A survey that was taken last August found that 59 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck at that time, and that wasn’t going to be a major problem as long as the paychecks kept rolling in.  But now we have seen the biggest spike in unemployment in the history of our country, and millions of workers suddenly don’t have paychecks coming in anymore.  In just a matter of weeks, economic desperation on a massive scale has erupted from coast to coast, and the stress that this is putting on food banks and other charities that work with the poor has been unprecedented.

Everyone has seen photos of the “bread lines” during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but in many instances the lines of vehicles that are lining up for free food here in 2020 are even longer.

For example, just yesterday vehicles lined up for “about a mile” at a “pop-up food pantry” in Van Nuys, California…

A pop-up food pantry in Southern California on Thursday drew so many people that the line of cars waiting for free groceries stretched about a mile (1.6 km), a haunting sign of how the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the working poor.

Hundreds of other people, many wearing trash bags to shelter from the rain, arrived at the one-day grocery giveaway on foot, forming a blocks-long queue in Van Nuys, in the central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.

Further south, vehicles were “lined up 14 deep” at a Feeding San Diego food distribution event last weekend, and all of the food was completely gone in less than an hour

At Feeding San Diego’s emergency drive-thru distribution Saturday, vehicles lined up 14 deep in the SDCCU Stadium parking lot for boxes filled with produce and nonperishable food. About 1,200 vehicles were served until the food bank ran out in just under an hour.

I can’t recall ever seeing anything quite like this.

Yes, things got really bad during the last recession, but not this bad.

Over the last two and a half weeks, Feeding San Diego has purchased more food than it normally does in an entire year, but it hasn’t been nearly enough to meet the crushing demand.

Of course scenes like this aren’t just happening in California.  On Thursday morning, a line of vehicles that was “miles” long formed outside of a food distribution event in Las Vegas…

Food distribution for Las Vegans in need prompted a line of cars to form for miles Thursday morning in central Las Vegas.

Cars stretched from Rancho Drive, where food was being handed out at Palace Station, all the way past Valley View Boulevard.

And the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has been making headlines for quite a while now because the demand for food has been so great.  The National Guard has actually stepped in to help distribute food there, and NBC News is reporting that the line of vehicles waiting for food on Monday afternoon was “over 2 miles long”…

On Monday afternoon, at one of its drive-thru distribution operations, over 15,785 pounds of food were handed out every hour. The line of vehicles wrapped down a nearby highway and stretched over 2 miles long.

Isn’t it crazy how much things have changed in America in just a matter of a couple months?

The very first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was announced in late January, and now here in early April we are seeing extreme desperation all over the nation.

Just yesterday, “thousands of cars lined up” at a food distribution event in San Antonio, Texas…

The San Antonio Food Bank distributed one million pounds of food to roughly 6,000 families in a single day as millions across the country turn to charity organizations to avoid going hungry amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Stunning aerial photos show thousands of cars lined up at Trader’s Village in San Antonio, Texas, during the massive food distribution event on Thursday.

Families in need waited hours to get their hands on fresh fruit, vegetables and other non-perishable goods that have become hard to find in traditional stores as panic-buying leaves shelves empty.

Distributing a million pounds of food on a single day is definitely an impressive feat, and they should be congratulated for their efforts.

But will they be able to do it over and over again as the economic suffering intensifies in the months ahead?

As donations from major retailers dry up, and as demand continues to escalate, food banks all over America are going to have to raise staggering amounts of money.

Even in rural areas, food banks are having to spend crazy amounts of money just to keep up with demand…

In an average month, Brian Barks, the CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland, spends about $73,000 buying food to distribute to people in need across Nebraska and western Iowa.

Last month, as the coronavirus was spreading across the U.S., he spent $675,000.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 is starting to cause some food production facilities here in the United States to completely shut down.  Here is one example

Tyson Foods was forced to suspend operations at a pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa this week, after more than 24 employees there tested positive for coronavirus.

And Smithfield Foods is closing down a very large facility in South Dakota after more than 80 employees tested positive

On Thursday, Smithfield Foods announced that it will close its processing plant near Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after state officials said more than 80 employees there had tested positive for coronavirus.

The company will suspend operations in a large section of the plant on Saturday and completely shutter on Easter Sunday and Monday, the company said. During the shutdown, the plant will be thoroughly sanitized, and more physical barriers will be erected around workstations to isolate employees.

This is just one of the reasons why it was so important to get prepared in advance, because things can get very chaotic in a crisis situation.  As I have discussed previously, food distribution systems are becoming extremely stressed around the country, farmers are having a very difficult time getting enough temporary workers during this pandemic, food production facilities are being hit hard by this coronavirus, and food banks are being overwhelmed by a tsunami of desperate people.

And of course other nations all over the globe are dealing with similar issues.

At the same time, the plague of locusts that has been hammering Africa and the Middle East has reached a dangerous new stage.  According to PBS, a new wave of “billions” of young locusts are voraciously eating crops…

Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years.

Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving. Billions of the young desert locusts are winging in from breeding grounds in Somalia in search of fresh vegetation springing up with seasonal rains.

As I have discussed before, some of these locust swarms are the size of major cities, and once they descend on a farm they can literally eat all of the vegetation in as little as 30 seconds.

Without a doubt, this is going to cause widespread famine, and in some areas the food riots have already begun.  For example, check out what just took place in Kenya

In the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, people desperate for food stampeded, pushing through a gate at a district office in the Kibera slum. Police fired tear gas, injuring several people.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

The global economy is collapsing, global food production and global food distribution systems are under an extraordinary amount of stress, and COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time to come.

Anyone that assumes that things are going to go back to “normal” soon is just being delusional.  A nightmare scenario is unfolding right in front of our eyes, and we are still just in the very early chapters.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

They Shut Down America To Slow Down The Coronavirus, But In The Process They Killed The Economy

Will our economy ever be the same again?  At this moment, we are still in the midst of the most comprehensive nationwide shutdown in American history, and nobody knows when it will finally end.  The primary reason why governors all over the country issued “shelter-in-place” orders was because they wanted to “flatten the curve”, and this was done to keep millions of people from getting the virus all at once so that our hospitals would not be completely overwhelmed.  But these “shelter-in-place” orders are not going to completely end this pandemic.  In order to do that, a complete and total national “lockdown” would be needed, and that is not going to happen.  So the coronavirus is going to keep cycling through our population for an extended period of time until we get to the point where the vast majority of the population has built up immunity and the pandemic naturally burns itself out.  So in the end, the total number of people that will catch this virus will be about the same whether the “shelter-in-place” orders were issued or not.  But if the number of cases at any one time isn’t enough to overwhelm our medical resources, the overall death toll could potentially be less than it otherwise would have been.

In other words, these “shelter-in-place orders” are likely saving lives, but they are also killing the economy.

On April 3rd, it was announced that more than 6 million Americans had filed new claims for unemployment benefits the previous week, and I told my readers that we would probably never see a week like that ever again.

I was wrong.

This Thursday, it was announced that another 6.6 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week…

Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Department of Labor, as American workers continue to suffer from devastating job losses, furloughs and reduced hours during the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the second largest number of initial unemployment claims in history, since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967.

Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.

So what we are witnessing right now is completely nuts.

Overall, a total of approximately 16.8 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 3 weeks

Altogether, about 16.8 million American workers, making up about 11% of the US labor force, have filed initial claims for jobless benefits in just the prior three weeks alone. About 7.5 million workers filed for their second week of benefits or more last week.

We already have more unemployed workers than we did at any point during the last recession, and it is only going to get worse with each passing week.

Meanwhile, other economic numbers have been absolutely abysmal as well.  National demand for gasoline has declined to the lowest level since 1968, and U.S. vehicle sales have plunged to levels that are absolutely catastrophic

For the whole month of March, total new vehicle sales plunged 37.9% year-over-year, with fleet sales (rental, commercial, and government) down 27.6% and retail sales down 40.5%. In terms of daily retail sales volume, according to estimates by Cox Automotive, early March sales had been well above the sales on the same day of the week, same week last year.

But by March 13, they were below the year-ago-level and then plunged. By April 1, they were down 71% from a year ago.

I am having difficulty finding the words to describe how bad those numbers are.

If things are this horrific already, what will happen if the U.S. stays shut down for another month or two?

With millions upon millions of Americans out of work and businesses all over the nation currently shuttered, rent payments are not being made on a scale that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Previously we described that over 30% of US renters didn’t pay their April apartment rent as the fallout of coronavirus-induced mass unemployment claims continues to ripple across various key sectors. Despite that some tenants will receive temporary protection from evictions “by a patchwork of federal and local laws” the reality is that as unpaid rents pile up, so will mortgage defaults as landlords struggle to satisfy their obligations – which will in turn affect fixed-income investments backed by said mortgages.

On the commercial side, Bloomberg estimates that about $81 billion in commercial rent comes due on average each month, but of course this is anything but a typical month, resulting in “The delay of a sizable portion of that will put an enormous strain on the complex systems for financing real estate and highlight how quickly the pain caused by social distancing has spread,” as Bloomberg observes.

Domino after domino is going to fall, and the economic pain is going to be off the charts.

And with each passing week, the economic forecasts by the big banks just continue to get even worse.

At this point, JPMorgan is projecting that U.S. GDP will plunge at a 40 percent annualized rate during the second quarter

JPMorgan economists issued an even more dire forecast, now foreseeing a 40% decline in the nation’s gross domestic product for the second quarter and a surge in April’s unemployment rate to 20% with 25 million jobs lost.

In an earlier forecast, they said second-quarter GDP would be down 25%.

The only period in all of U.S. history when we witnessed anything that even comes close to resembling this was during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Of course Congress has tried to help by passing several relief bills, but in many instances they aren’t working quite as anticipated.

For example, a loan program for small businesses was originally supposed to provide up to 2 million dollars in emergency help for each business, but there has been so much demand that loans are now being capped at $15,000

A federal disaster loan program offering up to $2 million in relief is now capping out at $15,000 — and is leaving some borrowers wondering if they’ll even get that.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, an offshoot of the Small Business Administration’s emergency funds system, has faced an unprecedented number of requests amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and is having trouble keeping up and following through with promised loan amounts, The New York Times reports.

As this pandemic stretches on, it is probably inevitable that Congress will pass even more emergency measures, and needless to say the Federal Reserve is going completely bonkers when it comes to flooding the system with money.

Ultimately, what they are doing will create inflation like we have never seen before, but most Americans aren’t worrying about that right now.

What most Americans really want is to get back to work, but Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical “experts” are warning that may not happen for some time.

The longer the economy is shut down, the deeper this economic downturn is going to become.  And we certainly don’t want it to get too much deeper, because the IMF is already warning that it looks like this economic downturn will be the worst since the Great Depression

The International Monetary Fund sees the world economy suffering its worst recession since the Great Depression this year, with emerging markets and low-income nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia at particularly high risk.

With half of the IMF’s 189 member countries seeking aid, the executive board has agreed to double access to its emergency financing to meet expected demand of about $100 billion, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a speech on Thursday.

Needless to say, I have been warning of an economic crisis of this magnitude for a very long time.

Let us hope that the “shelter-in-place” orders will be lifted as soon as possible, because that would certainly give the economy some relief.

But things will not be going back to “normal”.  COVID-19 will start spreading faster once again once the restrictions are lifted, and a large percentage of the population will remain huddled in their homes because they will be extremely afraid of catching the virus.

So economic activity will remain depressed for an extended period of time no matter what else happens, and meanwhile Congress and the Federal Reserve are absolutely flooding the system with fresh money.

That is a recipe for an inflationary disaster, and our standard of living will experience a very painful adjustment as a result.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

These Very Alarming Numbers Show How People Are “Coping” With The Coronavirus Pandemic

It is during times of great crisis that we find out who we really are.  Now that strict “shelter-in-place” orders have been instituted all over the world, most people have a lot more free time than usual.  Of course some are using all of this extra free time for constructive purposes, but many others have decided that “self-medicating” is the best way to “cope” with this coronavirus pandemic.  When under great pressure, people tend to gravitate to whatever is most important to them, and that is why what we are witnessing during this pandemic is so alarming.  Just check out these new numbers

The virtual-sex trade has got a lift: Pornhub, the leading adult entertainment website, saw a near-12% increase in global traffic from Feb. 24 to March 17. British lingerie chain Ann Summers said sex toy sales were up 27% in the last week of March compared to the same period a year ago, with its quietest vibrator fast becoming its best seller.

Self-medicating is all the rage. U.S. states including California, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska where cannabis is legal have reported 50% sales increases from March 16 and March 22, according to Flowhub. Online booze sales in the United States rose 243% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Binge buying drove British alcohol sales up 22% in March, according to Kantar.

Of course some of the sales increases can be explained by the fact that people have been stocking up on just about everything in recent days.

At this point, most Americans have suddenly become “preppers”, and online grocery delivery services have been absolutely overwhelmed

As the crisis hit, delivery orders surged as millions of Americans stayed home. During the week of March 2, even before some cities and states imposed “stay at home” orders, Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart grocery delivery sales all jumped by at least two-thirds from the year before, according to Earnest Research. Instacart, a platform that partners with more than 25,000 stores in North America, says orders in more recent weeks have surged 150%.

As a result, customers in hard-hit New York City are waiting days to schedule deliveries that usually take just hours.

Needless to say, the law of supply and demand tells us that as demand for basic essentials goes up it is inevitable that prices will rise as well.

And we are already starting to see this.  In fact, it is being reported that the wholesale price of eggs has shot up 180 percent…

If you’re used to starting your day with coffee, orange juice, bacon, toast and some eggs, brace yourself – the price of wholesale eggs in the U.S. has skyrocketed to a shocking 180 percent from its regular price. And reports reveal that increased buying due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is to blame.

As long as fear of the coronavirus persists there will continue to be more “panic buying”, and shortages will begin to emerge.

In fact, Johnson & Johnson is publicly admitting that there is already a serious shortage of Tylenol

A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol, acknowledged the shortage and said the company is working to overcome it.

“We are experiencing record high demand for Tylenol, and despite our producing and shipping product at historic highs, we are experiencing a temporary shortage in some regions in the US,” said Kim Montagnino, Global Corporate Media Relations Senior Director. “We are committed to maintaining our increased production, including running lines up to 24/7 to maximize supply.”

And this may come as a surprise to many of you, but according to USA Today we are also facing a very serious shortage of webcams as well…

Logitech, the company that dominates webcam sales, is sold out of every one it makes. Amazon and Best Buy are out of stock. And price gougers on eBay are selling used models for as high as $420, or more than twice as much as the most expensive Logitech model, the $199 Brio.

“Global demand for webcams is needed from all remote workers, students and in the health care space,” notes analyst Jeremiah Owyang, who himself was able to snag a unit in early March, before they sold out.

With so many people working from home now, demand for webcams has spiked like never before, and it is unclear when they will be widely available again.

Now that most of the country has been locked down, economic activity has come to a standstill, and many Americans are starting to become very desperate for things to return to “normal”.

But even though most Americans are staying home, this virus continues to spread.

In New York City, nearly 20 percent of the entire police force was out sick on Monday…

On Monday, April 6, 2020, 6,974 uniformed members of the NYPD were on the department’s sick report which accounts for 19.3% of the uniformed workforce.

1,935 uniformed members and 293 civilian members of the NYPD have tested positive for the coronavirus.

And on Tuesday the death toll in New York City surged to the highest level yet even though a “shelter-in-place” order has been in place for quite some time now.

That is not good at all.

What makes this even more frightening is that the number of deaths in New York is actually being substantially undercounted because the only coronavirus victims that are included in the official death toll are those that were tested before they died

Only those tested before they die are counted as COVID-19 victims, a New York City councilman said Monday, sparking fears the actual death toll could be far higher than the 3,400 already recorded.

Mark Levine tweeted: ‘Now only those few who had a test confirmation *before* dying are marked as victims of coronavirus on their death certificate. This almost certainly means we are undercounting the total number of victims of this pandemic.’

So what is the true death toll?

We don’t really know, but what we do know is that the number of people “dying at home” in New York City is now close to 10 times higher than normal

But another 200 city residents are now dying at home each day, compared to 20 to 25 such deaths before the pandemic, said Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. And an untold number of them are unconfirmed.

Overall, the number of confirmed deaths continues to rise all over the country at a very disturbing pace.

The very first confirmed death from the coronavirus in the United States was announced at the very end of February, and now just over a month later the numbers are really getting crazy

The number of Americans who have died from coronavirus has nearly doubled in the first week of April alone compared to last month’s entire death toll.

The death toll from the pandemic now stands at 11,000 with more than 368,000 confirmed infections across the United States.

Figures show the number of fatalities has increased drastically by 7,000 in the first six days of April.

Of course most people are assuming that this pandemic will eventually fade (true) and that life in America will soon return to normal (definitely not true at all).

We have entered a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and our world will never be the same again.

Some will respond to adversity by becoming the best people that they can possibly become, while others will “cope” by wallowing in depression, despair and very self-destructive addictions.

You can’t control global events as they spin out of control, but you can control how you respond to them.

You were born for such a time as this, and I encourage all of you to embrace the great challenges that have now been put in front of us.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Why Are So Many People That Have “Recovered” From The Coronavirus Testing Positive Again?

The mysteries surrounding this COVID-19 pandemic just keep getting deeper and deeper.  When you catch a virus, you are not supposed to test positive, fully recover and test negative, and then some time later start testing positive again.  But this is actually happening in an alarming number of cases, and scientists are absolutely baffled by this.  The information that I am about to share with you is quite disturbing, and hopefully scientists will eventually be able to explain to us precisely why this is taking place.

On Monday, headlines all over the globe breathlessly declared that 51 coronavirus patients in the South Korean city of Daegu had “tested positive again” after supposedly fully recovering…

FEARS have been raised that the coronavirus may be able to remain in the body and “reactivate” later after 51 recovered patients tested positive again.

The patients, from the city of Daegu, South Korea, had all spent time in quarantine while recovering from the virus, but were diagnosed again within days of being released.

At this point, nobody knows how to explain this.

Could it be possible that the tests were faulty?

Could it be possible that these patients became infected a second time?

The researchers that studied these patients are rejecting both of those explanations and instead are floating the theory that the virus “reactivated” in these particular victims…

The 51 cases were identified as part of a study conducted in Daegu, the epicentre of the outbreak in South Korea, by a team of epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The center said it did not believe the patients had been reinfected, but that the virus had remained at undetectable levels in their cells and later “reactivated”.

But of course the truth is that they don’t really know why this is happening.

And similar cases have been popping up all over China for quite some time.  In fact, “second-time infections” have been documented “in many regions”

As China releases more patients who have recovered from the coronavirus, there are an increasing number who are testing positive for the second time. The State Council ’s Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism said last Saturday that second-time infections have been reported in many regions, including Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan, and Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital city.

Needless to say, it is likely to have a tremendous impact on public policy if scientists are able to confirm that “second-time infections” can happen very rapidly following a full recovery, and so it is absolutely imperative that scientists get to the bottom of this mystery as rapidly at possible.

So far, researchers in China are reporting that “between 3 and 10% of cured patients became reinfected” shortly after fully recovering from the virus.  The following comes from Fox News

As many as 10% of recovered coronavirus patients in China tested positive again after being discharged from the hospital, according to a report.

Doctors on the front lines of the outbreak in Wuhan, China — where the virus emerged — reported that between 3 and 10% of cured patients became reinfected with the illness, though it’s unclear whether they were contagious the second time, the South China Morning Post reported.

In the western world, there has been a lot of talk about how it will be “safe” for those that have had the virus to go back to work once they recover because of the immunity that they will have supposedly acquired.

But that may not be a safe assumption to make.

This virus appears to behave very unusually, and making a wrong choice can be the difference between life and death.

In one very alarming case in Wuhan, China, a 36-year-old man that became a confirmed coronavirus case was admitted to the hospital on February 12th.  Two weeks later he was released after he was deemed to have “fully recovered”, but that was not the end of the story

A 36-year-old man has died of respiratory failure in Wuhan, five days after being discharged from one of the makeshift hospitals built to contain the outbreak, according to a report by Shanghai-based news portal The Paper.
The report, which was later removed, said Li Liang had been admitted to the hospital – built to treat patients with mild and moderate symptoms – on February 12, according to his wife, surnamed Mei. He was discharged two weeks later with instructions to stay in a quarantine hotel for 14 days.

On March 2nd, Li Liang died, and the death certificate clearly stated that COVID-19 was the cause.

But that wasn’t supposed to happen.  He was supposed to have made a complete recovery.

Something isn’t adding up.

Hopefully our scientists will be able to unravel this mystery very soon, because the death toll is rapidly rising.

The very first coronavirus death in the United States happened on February 29th, and now here we are just over a month later and more than 10,000 Americans have perished

There were 10,335 deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard, which tracks the numbers.

That total surpasses the number of battle deaths from six U.S. wars combined, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA data says a total of 9,961 soldiers died on the battlefield during these six wars: The American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War and Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

This pandemic has escalated so dramatically in the U.S. that nearly the entire nation is currently shut down and creepy drones that are barking orders to “maintain social distancing” are hovering over parks in New York City

Our society has been fundamentally transformed in just a matter of weeks by this pandemic, and many believe that our problems have just begun.

But at this moment there is a lot of optimism in America because the numbers are not growing quite as rapidly as they were last month.

That is definitely a promising sign, but it is only happening because most people are confined to their homes right now.

Once people start resuming their normal activities, that will give the virus a lot more opportunities to spread, and we shall see what happens at that point.

Hopefully these mysteries surrounding COVID-19 can quickly be resolved, because it looks like we will be fighting this virus for a long time to come, and we need the best information that we can possibly get.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Worse Than 2008: We Are Being Warned That The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market”

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

Millions upon millions of American workers are now facing a future with virtually no job prospects for the foreseeable future, and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen believes that the unemployment rate in the U.S. is already up to about 13 percent

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday the economy is in the throes of an “absolutely shocking” downturn that is not reflected yet in the current data.

If it were, she said, the unemployment rate probably would be as high as 13% while the overall economic contraction would be about 30%.

If Yellen’s estimate is accurate, that means that unemployment in this country is already significantly worse than it was at any point during the last recession.

And young adults are being hit particularly hard during this downturn…

As measures to slow the pandemic decimate jobs and threaten to plunge the economy into a deep recession, young adults such as Romero are disproportionately affected. An Axios-Harris survey conducted through March 30 showed that 31 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 had either been laid off or put on temporary leave because of the outbreak, compared with 22 percent of those 35 to 49 and 15 percent of those 50 to 64.

As I have documented repeatedly over the past several years, most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck even during “the good times”, and so now that disaster has struck there will be millions upon millions of people that will not be able to pay their mortgages.

It is being projected that up to 30 percent of all mortgages could eventually default, and when you add the fact that millions upon millions of Americans will be deferring payments thanks to the CARES Act, it all adds up to big trouble for the mortgage industry

A broad coalition of mortgage and finance industry leaders on Saturday sent a plea to federal regulators, asking for desperately needed cash to keep the mortgage system running, as requests from borrowers for the federal mortgage forbearance program are pouring in at an alarming rate.

The Cares Act mandates that all borrowers with government-backed mortgages—about 62% of all first lien mortgages according to Urban Institute—be allowed to delay at least 90 days of monthly payments and possibly up to a year’s worth.

Needless to say, many in the mortgage industry are absolutely furious with the federal government for putting them into such a precarious position, and one industry insider is warning that we could soon see the “collapse” of the mortgage market

“Throwing this out there without showing evidence of hardship was an outrageous move, outrageous,” said David Stevens, who headed the Federal Housing Administration during the subprime mortgage crisis and is a former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The administration made a huge mistake bringing moral hazard in and thrust extraordinary risk into the private sector that could collapse the mortgage market.”

Of course a lot of other industries are heading for immense pain as well.

At this point, even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is admitting that the U.S. economy as a whole is plunging into a “bad recession”

Jamie Dimon said the U.S. economy is headed for a “bad recession” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but this time around his company is not going to need a bailout. Instead, JPMorgan Chase is ready to lend a hand to struggling consumers and small businesses.

“At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008,” Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders.

And the longer this coronavirus shutdown persists, the worse things will get for our economy.

In fact, economist Stephen Moore is actually predicting that we will be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if normal economic activity does not resume in a few weeks…

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” economist Stephen Moore weighed in on the potential impact of the coronavirus to the United States economy.

Moore warned the nation could be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if the United States stays on lockdown much past the beginning of May, as well as an additional amount of deaths caused by the raised unemployment rate.

The good news is that the “shelter-in-place” orders all over the globe appear to be “flattening the curve” at least to a certain extent.

The bad news is that we could see another huge explosion of cases and deaths once all of the restrictions are lifted.

And the really bad news is that what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

But in the short-term we should be very thankful that the numbers around the world are starting to level off a bit.

Of course that is only happening because most people are staying home, but having people stay home is absolutely killing the economy.

And if people stay home long enough, a lot of them will no longer be able to pay the mortgages on those homes.

Our leaders are being forced to make choices between saving lives and saving the economy, and those choices are only going to become more painful the longer this crisis persists.

Let us pray that they will have wisdom to make the correct choices, because the stakes are exceedingly high.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

For A Glimpse Into Your Dystopian Police State Future, Just Visit Your Local Walmart

Things are really starting to get crazy out there.  All over the country, “non-essential” businesses have been forced to shut down, but because Walmart sells food and other basic supplies it gets to be one of the “essential” businesses that stays open.  However, a trip to your local Walmart now will be far different from what you remember previously.  When you arrive, you will find that a very narrow entry corridor has been taped off with yellow security tape, and only a very limited number of shoppers are being allowed in at any one time.  And once you get inside, you will discover that there are very strict limits on what you are permitted to purchase.

I know that all of this sounds incredibly bizarre, but it is really happening.  The following is what one of my contacts reported when she visited her local Walmart…

Wow, so we just got back from walmart in Pine Bluff, AR….they herded us in, like cattle…I kid you not….we had to go through a taped-off line and they had only one door open instead of the two they normally have. They have a 5 person limit in Magnolia, AR…..and security guards at the door as well…armed security guards. You can only buy one loaf of bread and the store closed at 7PM…normally open 24 hours. It is CRAZY….someone opened a side door by accident and alarms started going off. I joked to the lady next to me “Oh crap, someone must have taken more than a dozen eggs!”

You can see some video of what these taped off entry corridors looks like right here.  Obviously a lot of the customers are quite concerned about potentially catching the virus because they are wearing masks or other coverings over their mouths.

And it is also being reported that very creepy social distancing instructions are being repeatedly broadcast over the speakers as shoppers circulate through the stores.

Just days ago, Walmart stores all over the nation were operating normally.  But then on Friday, draconian new restrictions were suddenly announced

Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.

To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning.

Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.

Once shoppers do get inside, they will find that their choices have been significantly narrowed.

In fact, in some Walmart stores entire aisles have been completely sealed off

Walmart stores in New England are sealing off entire aisles with products deemed “unnecessary” in attempts to combat the scourge of shoppers wandering around to relieve coronavirus quarantine fatigue.

According to CBS Boston, Walmart in addition to Home Depot and BJ’s Wholesale stores in the town of Chicopee, Massachusetts, worked with the city health department to “reduce unnecessary roaming around aisles and putting others at risk.”

Unfortunately, in some stores garden seeds have actually been deemed “non-essential”, and so many that were hoping to grow their own food during this time will be out of luck.

Hopefully once this pandemic is behind us we will see these ridiculous restrictions at Walmart locations go away.

But as we have seen during other moments of crisis in the past, once “emergency measures” get implemented they have a way of sticking around.

And right now many Americans seem to be in the mood to sacrifice their liberties and freedoms for an illusion of safety.  If you can believe it, one recent survey actually found that 67 percent of us actually want restrictions put on interstate travel

Although America has a reputation for being rather libertarian with regards to personal rights and one’s freedom of movement, a new opinion poll by Rasmussen Reports shows that Americans are turning hardline in the face of the new and deadly Chinese coronavirus. Two out of three want to ban interstate travel and fine those who violate social distancing guidelines.

To be precise, 67% of likely U.S. voters say they want to ban all out-of-state travelers from entering their state — except for emergencies. A mere 21% are opposed, 12% are undecided. As for fining those who break social distancing guidelines: 68% support such a measure, while 20% oppose it and, again, 12% are not sure.

Yes, we should all work together to defeat this virus, but once we lose our most cherished liberties and freedoms they will be exceedingly difficult to get back.

So we should definitely take common sense precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we must also diligently guard our rights wherever they are threatened.

As this pandemic stretches on, people all over the world are going to be clamoring for a “solution”, and without a doubt the elite will gladly give us one once it is ready.

We are being told that life will not get back to “normal” until a vaccine arrives, and we are also being told that the elite are feverishly working toward that goal.

In fact, it is being reported that Bill Gates is spending billions of dollars building seven different vaccine factories…

Bill Gates is plugging money into building factories for seven promising coronavirus vaccine candidates, even though it will mean wasting billions of dollars.

On Thursday’s episode of “The Daily Show,” the Microsoft billionaire told the host Trevor Noah that his philanthropic organization, the Gates Foundation, could mobilize faster than governments to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Our society is being transformed at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking, and life as you have known it will never be the same again.

These are perilous times, and things are only going to get stranger from this point forward.

So work hard, pray hard and hold on tight, because the road ahead is going to be really bumpy.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Food Banks Warn They Will Soon Run Out Of Food As Economic Suffering Explodes All Over America

What are hungry Americans going to do when the food banks don’t have any more food for them?  Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history.  Since most of those workers did not have any sort of a cushion to fall bank on, a lot of of them have been forced to seek out emergency assistance for themselves and their families almost immediately.  Of course our national network of food banks was not built to handle this sort of a scenario, and as you will see below, many of them are already starting to run out of food.  But if things are this bad at the very beginning of this new economic downturn, what are things going to look like a few months from now?

It is imperative for people to understand that we are now in uncharted territory.  At this point, even the head of the IMF is warning that this new economic crisis will be “way worse” that the last recession…

The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other” — one that is “way worse” than the 2008 global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s top official said Friday.

“Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said at a news conference.

And of course we are already seeing economic numbers in the United States that absolutely blow away anything that we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009.  I don’t know that any of us ever anticipated seeing a single week when 6.6. million Americans would file new claims for unemployment benefits.

As this “coronavirus shutdown” continues all over the nation, U.S. economic numbers will continue to be nightmarish for the foreseeable future.  In fact, what Morgan Stanley is projecting for the second quarter is nothing short of terrifying

Following Friday’s report, Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at the New York-based investment bank Morgan Stanley, lowered her growth forecast for second-quarter gross domestic product to -38 percent on an annualized basis. She says the U.S. economy will lose 21 million jobs, running the unemployment rate up to 15.7 percent, a level not seen since the Great Depression.

Of course the people that are going to feel the most pain are those on the lowest rungs of the economic food chain.

According to Bloomberg, “bread lines are forming” even in some of the wealthiest areas of the country…

With more than 10 million people across the nation suddenly unemployed, bread lines are forming in the shadows of privileged enclaves like this one in Florida.

For the past two weeks, the kitchen staff at Howley’s has been cooking up free meals—the other day it was smoked barbecue chicken with rice and beans, and salad—for thousands of laid off workers from Palm Beach’s shuttered restaurants and resorts. The rows of brown-bag lunches and dinners are an early warning that the country’s income gap is about to be wrenched wider as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and the deep recession it has brought with it.

Elsewhere, vehicles are lining up at the crack of dawn at food banks all across the United states.

Feeding America is the largest food bank network in the nation, and the demand that they are seeing right now is unprecedented

Millions of people newly unemployed mean food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens are seeing a flood of new clients appearing at their doors, just as supplies are dwindling because of growing demand from consumers stuck at home.

Food banks are reporting a 40% increase in demand, on average, said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer at Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide. Some say they are seeing double to quadruple the number of people asking for help.

Unfortunately, this is happening at the same time that donations to food banks are way, way down.  Feeding America locations are usually heavily supplied by major retailers, and right now those retailers are having a really difficult time keeping their own shelves stocked.

As a result, Fitzgerald is warning that some Feeding America locations may soon “not have enough food to distribute”

“Food banks could very well get so low on their inventories that they would not have enough food to distribute,” she said.

Louisiana has become one of the national hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak, and things there are particularly dire.

In fact, the head of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank says that his facility only has “a few weeks left of food”

Mike Manning, president of the food bank, said its usual sources of food for the needy in 11 parishes are drying up, as residents stock up their refrigerators and shelves at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our inventory is down significantly,” Manning said Thursday. “We’re looking at a few weeks left of food, unless we can find relief from the federal government and Feeding America,” a national network of more than 200 food banks.

But at least they haven’t had to turn anyone away yet.

At the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, hundreds of vehicles have been turned away in recent days…

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provided food to about 4,000 vehicles at three recent events, but had to turn hundreds away. Traffic was backed up for miles, said Lisa Scales, the agency’s CEO.

On Monday, 40 cars had already lined up by 9 am ET, even though distribution didn’t start until noon. More than 800 vehicles ended up receiving boxes of groceries.

The longer this “coronavirus shutdown” lasts, the deeper the desperation is going to become.

And even once the “shelter-in-place” orders have finally been lifted, one recent survey found that most Americans plan to continue to hunker down

A majority of Americans are hunkering down and say they will continue to social distance or stay at home even if lockdown orders are lifted, according to a new poll.

While 87% of the American public is staying home — regardless of whether or not it’s mandated by state or local municipalities — most plan on continuing to do so for all of April, according to the poll taken by the Huffington Post/YouGov survey.

So the truth is that there will not be a return to “normal” any time soon.

As long as a substantial portion of the population is afraid of the coronavirus, economic behavior is simply not going to go back to old patterns.

And the same survey that I just quoted found that a staggering 62 percent of all Americans believe that this pandemic will have “lasting effects on the nation”

“Only about one-quarter of Americans say they expect things will soon go back to normal in the country, with 62% foreseeing lasting effects on the nation. The rest are unsure what will happen.”

In the days ahead, there will be economic ups and downs, and financial markets will continue to fluctuate wildly, but the truth is that the “good times” are gone for good.

And remember, this coronavirus is just the beginning, and a lot more challenges are on the way.

As “the perfect storm” unfolds, please don’t forget those that warned you about all of these things in advance.

These are truly unprecedented times, and the level of economic suffering that we are already witnessing is off the charts.

Sadly, the pain for ordinary Americans in only just getting started, and that is going to have enormous implications for our society as a whole.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Prime Minister Of Australia Warns That Life Will Not Return To “Normal” Until A Coronavirus Vaccine Arrives

It is starting to look like there will not be a return to normalcy for a very long time.  Even though about half of the world is currently under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order, COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate.  Of course the U.S. is seeing far more newly confirmed cases than anyone else at this point, and that is a huge concern.  The United States now has more confirmed cases than Italy and China combined, and the daily death toll in our nation just hit another new high.  Sadly, one of the big reasons why the U.S. is having such a problem is because a whole lot of people are completely disregarding the “shelter-in-place” orders.  As a result, a lot of them are getting sick and spreading the virus.

But even if everyone all over the planet was strictly following the “shelter-in-place” orders, the virus would still continue to spread, it would just be at a slower pace.

Needless to say, many of those that have been confined to their homes are very much looking forward to resuming their normal lives, but that may not happen for quite a while.

This week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned the people of his country that it will be “at least six months” before this pandemic is behind us…

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated that life as we know it will not return for months as global leaders race to find a coronavirus vaccine.

He said he had been “very upfront” with all Australians “to say you’re looking at least six months for this, and that’s why we have to adapt”.

Does that mean that the entire nation of Australia will continue to be locked down until then?

Morrison went on to say that once a coronavirus vaccine arrives it will finally allow “everybody to go back to life as it was”

Morrison told The Latest that while many states have managed to “push the curve down”, ultimately, “there needs to be a vaccine”.

“And there are some promising signs in a number of these, and we’ll continue to work with other countries along those lines.”

“A vaccine ultimately enables everybody to go back to life as it was,” he said.

Wow.

As I read that, a couple of thoughts immediately came to mind.

First of all, U.S. officials are telling us that a vaccine will probably not be available for the general public until 2021.

Will all of our lives continue to be radically disrupted until we get to that point?

Secondly, a whole lot of us are not going to get that vaccine under any circumstances.

Will those of us who don’t want the vaccine be allowed back to work, back to school and back into public gathering places?

If not, how will that be enforced?

Already, fear of the coronavirus is causing decision makers to institute restrictions that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

For example, check out what Wal-Mart just announced

Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.

To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning.

Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.

Can you believe that?

Of course most retailers across the nation have been completely shut down indefinitely, and many of them are boarding up their storefronts

A growing scene for those who venture out into the streets of Manhattan these days is boarded up storefronts. From luxury retailers to small bars, establishments that have no idea when they are going to be allowed to reopen are putting up protection over their glass doors and windows.

The businesses have taken the unsightly measure in an effort to defend against the potential for civil unrest caused by the coronavirus and a lack of officers on the streets.

Sadly, many of those stores will never open up again.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of churches in America have been shut down as well.  In fact, one new survey found that only 7 percent of America’s churches are still gathering as usual…

The study by LifeWay research found that on March 1, some 99% of churches were still gathering as usual. The following weekend, roughly 95% held services. By March 15, the number had dropped down to 64%, and by March 22, 11% of pastors say their churches gathered in person.

By March 29, just 7% of church leaders report meeting with their congregations in a face-to-face setting.

Did you ever think that you would see the day when such a thing would happen?

The reason why such extreme measures are being taken is because this virus is exceedingly dangerous.

It spreads from person to person with exceptional ease, the death rate has been higher than anticipated, it can absolutely destroy your lungs if you catch it, and now scientists have discovered that it can even cause brain damage

Coronavirus could cause brain damage in some patients by triggering inflammation that can lead to bleeds and the killing of cells, doctors have warned.

The virus appears to have resulted in neurological complications in some of those infected – including one Florida man in his 70s who temporarily lost the ability to speak.

In addition, a new study that was just conducted in China found that even cats can spread the virus

The rapidly-spreading coronavirus can be transmitted between your feline pets, according to a new Chinese study.

Researchers at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute found that cats are not only susceptible to contracting COVID-19 but can pass it on to their furry friends as well.

If cats can spread COVID-19, it is possible that many other types of animals can spread it as well?

If that turns out to be true, it is going to be nearly impossible to ever completely defeat this virus.

Already, coronavirus has become the third leading cause of death in the United States on a daily basis, and Mike Adams of Natural News is reporting that COVID-19 now has a daily mortality rate that is “ten times higher than daily regular flu deaths”

Remember just two weeks ago when a long list of conservative publishers (and even some doctors) rolled out “bad math” articles that claimed the seasonal flu had a ten times higher fatality rate than coronavirus? They all now look strangely disconnected from reality as the real coronavirus death numbers continue to climb, debunking their bizarre theories rooted in mathematical illiteracy.

With the coronavirus pandemic now killing over 1,000 Americans per day, it has achieved a daily mortality total that’s ten times higher than daily regular flu deaths, on average.

Things are particularly bad in New York City.

According to the Daily Mail, an average of 23 people are dying from the coronavirus every single hour in NYC right now…

Overnight, the death toll rose from 2,373 to 2,935 – the single highest increase in a day yet and the equivalent of 23 people dying every hour. The number of cases went up by 10,482 to 102,863.

More people have now died across the state of New York as a result of the coronavirus than were killed in New York City in the Twin Towers attacks on 9/11. That day, 2,753 died in New York and an additional 224 died in the attacks on the Pentagon and on United Flight 93.

We have never seen anything like this before, and many believe that the numbers will soon get a lot worse.

For a long time I have been warning that a “perfect storm” is coming to America, and now that it is here a lot of people are getting mad at me.  It is almost as if they think that I am helping to cause all of the bad stuff that is happening because I am reporting on it.

Of course the truth is that we were warned in advance about these things, watchmen such as myself have been strongly urging people to get prepared for a very long time, and now all of the things that we have been warning about are starting to unfold.

Now is not a time to wallow in denial.  A deadly virus really is sweeping across the globe, and the dead bodies are really beginning to pile up.

We need to get our emotions under control and act wisely during this time, because the decisions that we are making now could literally be the difference between life and death for ourselves and our families.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

New York City Is Running Out Of Places To Put All The Dead Bodies

It wasn’t supposed to happen this rapidly.  It seems like the coronavirus pandemic has been raging in New York for a really long time, but it was only just over a month ago when the first case in the state was confirmed.  Of course now the entire state has been put under a “shelter-in-place” order and New York City is quieter than it has ever been in modern American history.  And just like we saw in China and in northern Italy, dead bodies are piling up so quickly that authorities don’t know what to do with them all.  In both China and Italy it got to the point where cremation centers were running around the clock, and now that is happening in New York City too

New York City crematories are extending their hours, burning bodies into the night. The state has started a running tally of all cremations and burials. City officials are surveying upstate cemeteries for temporary interment sites.

The destructive spread of the coronavirus through New York has not yet reached its peak, but those who put the dead to rest have never been busier.

It is hard to believe that this is actually taking place in the United States.

We are supposed to have the greatest healthcare system on the entire planet, and yet we are unable to keep people from dropping dead left and right.

In fact, so many New Yorkers are dying in Brooklyn that their hospitals are being compared to “a conveyor belt”

Bodies of coronavirus victims are flowing through Brooklyn hospitals ‘like a conveyor belt’ and as many as 130 more mobile morgues are on their way to New York City to store them as experts warn that the death toll in the US pandemic epicenter could reach 16,000.

Hospitals and healthcare professionals are struggling to bring the crisis under control and the city is becoming overwhelmed with dead bodies as the pandemic is poised to kill more New Yorkers than 9/11.

Hopefully all of those mobile morgues will arrive in NYC very quickly, because at this point authorities are running out of places to put all the dead bodies.

If you can believe it, the media is actually reporting that some dead bodies have been “left lying in refrigerated trucks for days”

A domino effect has meant victims’ bodies are left lying in refrigerated trucks for days as there is not enough space in hospital morgues, funeral homes can’t keep up with demand and cemeteries are operating less than usual due to the city’s lockdown and social distancing rules.

Mobile morgues have been drafted in to plug the gap and the city’s medical examiner’s office has taken control of the disposal of bodies and started taking in bodies to its five facilities.

If things are this badly already, what is going to happen if the daily death toll doubles or triples?

Images of medical workers transferring dead bodies into refrigerated trucks outside of New York hospitals have captivated the entire nation, and let us pray that this pandemic doesn’t get this bad in the rest of the country.

Over the past 24 hours, about 29,000 more confirmed cases have been added to the rapidly growing U.S. total.

That is the largest daily increase so far.

As the number of infected people rises, the strain on our healthcare system is only going to get worse.

In New York City, first responders are already stretched so thin that they have been ordered to no longer take heart attack victims that cannot be revived on the scene to the hospital

Cardiac arrest victims whose hearts cannot be restarted at the scene are now being left there — rather than being brought to coronavirus-strained hospitals for further revival attempts, according to a new guidance for medical responders.

The Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York, which oversees the city’s ambulance service, issued the guidance on Tuesday in a letter obtained by The Post.

Can you believe that?

Unfortunately, more very difficult policy decisions will have to be made if this virus keeps spreading like wildfire.

It is stunning how much things have changed in New York City in just over a month.  Over a thousand members of the NYPD have tested positive, and even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s brother has caught the virus

“This virus came at me, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Cuomo said, telling viewers that he was racked with a fever of around 103 degrees “that wouldn’t quit.”

“It was like somebody was beating me like a piñata,” he continued. “I was shivering so much . . . I chipped my tooth.”

Thankfully, not everyone that is infected has that sort of an experience, but there have been enough severe cases in New York that the state is on the verge of a ventilator shortage

“Right now, we have a burn rate of about six days in the stockpile,” Cuomo said. “We have extraordinary measures in place that can make a difference if we run into a real ventilator shortage.”

The governor said just 2,200 ventilators remain in the state’s stockpile. An additional 350 a day are needed to save coronavirus-stricken patients.

Once there aren’t enough ventilators to go around, doctors will be faced with making grim choices about who lives and who dies.

This is yet another reason why you want to avoid getting this virus at all costs.  You don’t ever want to find yourself in a position where a doctor that you don’t even know decides if you get to live or not.

Of course some people never make it to the hospital at all.  On Thursday morning, authorities found a 62-year-old man dead on the floor of a subway train

It was a grim discovery on a subway train in the Astoria section of Queens early on Thursday morning. Passengers reported an unconscious person on an ‘N’ train at the Ditmars Boulevard Subway Station on 35th St.

Police got the call just before 4:30 a.m. and when they got there they found that the 62-year-old victim was dead on the floor of the train.

At this point we don’t know if that man had coronavirus or not.

But considering the fact that we have seen videos of people dropping dead from the virus all over the world, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if he did.

Scientists kept warning us that someday a major pandemic like this would happen, but most Americans didn’t take those warnings seriously.

Now COVID-19 has become the third leading cause of death in the United States, and some experts believe that it will actually take the top spot in a few weeks.

Hopefully the measures that have been taken all over the nation will start to “flatten the curve”, but even if that happens it appears that we are in for a very, very long battle with this virus.  Just consider what Dr. Anthony Fauci told the media earlier this week

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci says that the United States will not come out of lockdown until there are no “new cases” of coronavirus, prompting some to question precisely how long that will be.

During yesterday’s White House briefing, Fauci, who has become the face of America’s response to the coronavirus, was asked by a reporter whether social distancing measures will be imposed until there is a drug or vaccine to treat COVID-19.

“I think if we get to the part of the curve that Dr. Birx showed yesterday when it goes down to essentially no new cases, no new deaths at a period of time. I think it makes sense that you will have to relax social distancing,” Fauci said.

So how long will it take to get to “essentially no new cases”?

And will our economy be allowed to continue to collapse until that happens?

Of course this coronavirus pandemic is not the only major crisis the world is dealing with right now, and the truth is that “the perfect storm” is just heating up.

Unfortunately, most Americans are still completely clueless about what is transpiring, and most of them are still desperately hoping that things will eventually return to “normal” somehow.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

This Is What Economic Collapse Looks Like

Approximately ten million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past two weeks.  To put that in perspective, the all-time record for a single week before this coronavirus pandemic hit was just 695,000.  So needless to say, 6.6 million claims in a single week puts us in uncharted territory.  Just check out this chart.  We have never seen a week like this before, and we may never see a week quite this bad again.  Of course millions more jobs will be lost in the months ahead as this pandemic stretches on, but it is hard to imagine another spike like we just had.  When you add the last two weeks together, somewhere around 10 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims during that time period…

The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance skyrocketed last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That brings to 10 million the total Americans who filed over the past two weeks.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 3.1 million for last week, one week after 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks. The previous week’s total was revised higher by 24,000.

As I have documented repeatedly in my articles, survey after survey has shown that most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck even during the “good times”.

Now that those paychecks aren’t coming in anymore for millions of Americans, a lot of bills aren’t going to get paid.

Just like we witnessed in 2008, mortgage defaults are about to skyrocket, and Wall Street is bracing for the worst

Borrowers who lost income from the coronavirus, which is already a skyrocketing number as the 10 million new jobless claims in the past two weeks attests, can ask to skip payments for as many as 180 days at a time on federally backed mortgages, and avoid penalties and a hit to their credit scores. But as Bloomberg notes, it’s not a payment holiday and eventually homeowners they’ll have to make it all up.

According to estimates by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, as many as 30% of Americans with home loans – about 15 million households – could stop paying if the U.S. economy remains closed through the summer or beyond.

As I noted yesterday, the St. Louis Fed expects the unemployment rate to eventually hit 32 percent.  That won’t happen immediately, but if we do get there it will be worse than anything that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Because of all the shutdowns that have been instituted nationwide, economic activity has already dropped to levels that we have never seen before in our entire history.

Personally, I was absolutely astounded when the latest box office numbers were released

The Domestic Box office (movie theaters) brought in a whopping $5,179 for the week of Mar 20-26. Down 100% from $204,193,406 the same week a year ago… These numbers are just incredible.

And even once all the “shelter-in-place” orders have finally been lifted, a substantial portion of the population will not want to go to movie theaters anymore due to fear of catching the virus.

Many movie theaters that have closed down will simply never open up again.

Another thing that has really surprised me is how rapidly many Americans have run out of food.  A Daily Mail article that documented a line of vehicles a half mile long at a church in Orlando that was giving out food received a lot of attention today…

Today, the hundreds of families flocking to a church parking lot across town from Orlando’s iconic resorts and theme parks are here for a starkly different reason: survival.

‘In the amusement parks, the purpose or the outcome is about having joy or a thrill,’ says mom-of-three Glenda Hernandez, winding down her window to speak with a DailyMail.com reporter.

‘This is about having a child’s belly full for the night or the next couple of nights on whatever they give us.’

How is it possible that so many families are out of food already?

And apparently charities and food banks all over the country are seeing similar surges in demand.  Here are just a few examples that were shared by the Guardian

  • In Amherst, home to the University of Massachusetts’ largest campus, the pantry distributed 849% more food in March compared with the previous year. The second-largest increase in western Massachusetts was 748% at the Pittsfield Salvation Army pantry.
  • The Grace Klein community food pantry in Jefferson county, which has the largest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Alabama, provided 5,076 individuals with food boxes last week – a 90% increase on the previous week.
  • In southern Arizona, demand has doubled, with pantries supplying groceries to 4,000 households every day – double the number supplied in March 2019. “We saw an increase during the federal government shutdown but nothing as rapid, massive or overwhelming as this,” said Michael McDonald, CEO of the Community Food Bank of South Arizona.

If things are this bad already, how much worse will the suffering be a month or two down the road?

Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are facing problems of their own.

Because of all the shutdowns, it has been difficult for farmers to get enough workers into their fields.  The following comes from CNN

April and May are critical planting and harvesting times for many US farmers. They need skilled laborers to work their fields, and a reliable supply chain to deliver their goods. And they don’t have any time to waste.

If farmers can’t find enough workers or if their farming practices are disrupted because of the pandemic, Americans could have less or pricier food this summer. And because international farmers and their supply chains face similar problems, we could receive fewer food imports, potentially limiting supply and driving up prices.

Of course the main thing that is going to drive up prices is the fact that the system is being absolutely flooded with new money.  Many Americans have applauded the recent moves by the Federal Reserve, and just about everyone seems thrilled that big government checks are coming, but they won’t be so thrilled when a loaf of bread costs five dollars and a gallon of milk costs ten dollars.

As the virus spreads, many are concerned that it will sweep through low wage communities particularly hard, and that is a huge problem because low wage workers are absolutely vital all along the food chain

By law, food manufacturers must prevent anyone who is sick or has a communicable disease from handling, processing or preparing food for human consumption. But much of the food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.

So what are we going to do if there are not enough healthy workers to get our food from the farms to our dinner tables?

Already, confirmed cases are starting to pop up at quite a few food production facilities

The first case of a worker at a major U.S. meat producer testing positive for the virus was reported last week at poultry giant Sanderson Farms Inc. Since then, infections have cropped up everywhere from JBS SA plants in Iowa to Harmony Beef in Alberta.

While scattered factories have closed temporarily or cut output, generally companies are keeping plants running when workers get sick. Rather than shutting entire plants, they’ve focused on identifying areas where infected people have had direct contact.

Fear of the coronavirus is going to paralyze even “essential” industries such as food production.

We are now being told that authorities hope that cases peak in April and that this crisis will hopefully be behind us by June.  Let us pray that is true, but what most Americans don’t realize is that this pandemic is just the beginning.

Even before any of us ever heard of “COVID-19”, our world was already descending into madness, but now this pandemic has certainly accelerated things.

Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and it is just getting started.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Coronavirus Is Now The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The United States

More than 1,000 Americans died from the coronavirus on Wednesday.  As you will see below, that now makes COVID-19 the third leading cause of death in the United States on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, the number of Americans dying from the coronavirus is expected to rise even more in the weeks ahead.  As the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally gets ready to cross the one million mark, many of those that initially attempted to downplay this pandemic are now changing their tune.  I think that it really startled a lot of people when President Trump warned that 240,000 U.S. citizens could potentially die during this pandemic.  Trump is taking COVID-19 very seriously, and everyone else should be as well.  This is truly a major national crisis, and it is just getting started.

But even though I have been writing about this pandemic day after day, I didn’t realize that coronavirus had already become the third leading cause of death in the entire country

A physician in San Diego, California, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting that the coronavirus is now the third leading cause of death, killing 748 people a day in the United States.

This is only outranked by deaths from heart disease (1,774 a day) and cancer (1,641 a day).

And as I noted above, more than 1,000 people died from the coronavirus on Wednesday, and so this pandemic is catching up to heart disease and cancer very rapidly.

In fact, there are some that believe that coronavirus will actually become the leading cause of death in the U.S. “by mid-April”

Some researchers say the daily death toll could more than double – to 2,200 or more – by mid-April. That figure would eclipse heart disease, the nation’s No. 1 killer with about 1,772 deaths per day, according to the CDC.

To say that we were unprepared for a pandemic of this nature is a major understatement.

There are shortages of essential supplies all over the nation, and the federal government has almost entirely depleted the inventory of personal protective equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile

The Strategic National Stockpile is deploying the last round of shipments in its inventory, depleting the bulk of its protective gear, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The official added that the stockpile was never meant to serve as the only source of protective gear for the entire coronavirus response and said the states would need to get more supply from the private market.

We are supposed to have the greatest healthcare system in the whole world, but some of the things that we have been witnessing as this crisis has unfolded have been nothing short of horrifying.

There have been stories of doctors using the same mask over and over again, and in some hospitals nurses are being instructed to only use masks under very limited circumstances

There’s a perception among hospital nurses that our employers are not doing enough to protect us during this pandemic and that this puts our patients and the public at risk. Multiple hospitals across the country have insisted that nurses not use protective equipment except for those patients who have been placed on isolation precautions, even for patients who show symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but have not been diagnosed with it.

And if you can believe it, in some cases nurses have even been disciplined for wearing masks when they are not personally interacting with patients…

As a result, some health care workers are facing the threat of disciplinary action for wearing masks in the hallways, elevators and shared clinical and nonclinical areas of hospitals—in some instances even if they come from the worker’s own supply.

And a number of doctors and nurses are distraught over this, says Megan Ranney, associate professor of emergency medicine, Brown University. “I have heard multiple anecdotes from colleagues in other states who report they were personally disciplined or lectured when seen wearing procedural masks in the halls of their hospitals,” she remarks.

Is this really happening?

In one particularly disturbing incident, a nurse was actually asked to deal with very sick patients without wearing a mask at all, and that made national headlines when she quit her job and ranted about it on social media.

I don’t know why every doctor and nurse in America is not wearing a mask at all times at this point, and those that are knowingly putting them in danger should be completely and utterly ashamed of themselves.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is still having a major problem getting coronavirus tests processed in a timely fashion.  The following comes from CNN

As the US health care system has scrambled to track the spread of coronavirus, one of the nation’s largest commercial labs has faced a backlog of tests that ballooned in the last two weeks, and has delayed results in some cases up to 10 days.

New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics had about 160,000 coronavirus test orders waiting to be processed on March 25, which amounted to about half of the 320,000 total orders for the tests the company had received up to that date, according to Quest internal materials obtained by CNN.

Officially, the U.S. has more than 215,000 confirmed cases as I write this article, but if results were being processed in a timely manner that number would likely be far, far higher by now.

Of course there are still many people out there that are insisting that this pandemic is being overblown, but if that is the case then why did FEMA just put in a request for 100,000 body bags?

The Pentagon is seeking to provide as many as 100,000 military-style body bags for potential civilian use as the U.S. warns that deaths could soar in the coming weeks from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested 100,000 body bags, known as Human Remains Pouches, through an interagency group that directed it to the Defense Department. The Pentagon is looking into buying more bags and will draw some initially from a stockpile of 50,000 it maintains, according to two people familiar with the request.

And if this pandemic is not really that much of a threat, then why is New York City having prisoners dig mass graves?

NEW YORK CITY is offering prisoners at Rikers Island jail $6 per hour — a fortune by prison labor standards — and personal protective equipment if they agree to help dig mass graves on Hart Island, according to sources with knowledge of the offer. Avery Cohen, a spokesperson for the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the general arrangement, but said that it was not “Covid-specific,” noting that prisoners have been digging graves on Hart Island for years.

For those that are still doubting, it is time to wake up.

People are dying all around us, the economy is collapsing, millions of Americans are losing their jobs, and “the perfect storm” has finally arrived.

Approximately 75 percent of the country is shut down right now, and the “shelter-in-place” orders are not likely to be lifted for quite some time.

In anticipation of being cooped up in their homes for an extended period, many Americans stocked up on toilet paper, and now we have learned that sales of alcoholic beverages have also gone through the roof

U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales.

Nielsen said online alcohol sales were up 243%. Danelle Kosmal, a Nielsen vice president, suspects growth rates peaked that week as people loaded up their pantries before state stay-at-home orders went into effect.

It is during times of great crisis that we find out who we really are, and the weeks ahead are going to greatly test all of us.

Pray for those that are sick, pray for those that are dying, and let us all hope that this pandemic will pass as quickly as possible.

But at this moment it appears that we still have a long battle ahead of us, and that battle is going to change America permanently.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

What Is America Going To Look Like With Tens Of Millions Of Unemployed Workers?

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a spike in unemployment like we are witnessing right now.  Last Thursday it was announced that more than 3.2 million Americans had filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week, and many believe that the number that will be announced this Thursday will be even larger.  By the way, the previous all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So what is happening right now is absolutely nuts.  49 percent of U.S. companies anticipate conducting layoffs within the next 3 months, and the St. Louis Fed is projecting that the unemployment rate in this country will soon rise to 32 percent.  Before the coronavirus pandemic started shutting virtually everything down, approximately 158 million Americans were employed, and so we could soon have tens of millions of unemployed workers on our hands if the St. Louis Fed’s projection is accurate.

How are we possibly going to take care of them all?

To call this a “tsunami of unemployment” would be a massive understatement.  According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, more than 1.6 million residents of his state have filed for unemployment in recent weeks

It took the coronavirus pandemic less than a month to triple California’s unemployment rolls and plunge the state’s economy into a tailspin comparable to the Great Recession.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his daily update on the fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday, said “well over 1.6 million Californians” have filed for unemployment. A record 150,000 Californians filed claims Monday alone, he said.

Over on the east coast, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is claiming that there are times when “hundreds of thousands of people” are trying to access his state’s unemployment website simultaneously…

New Yorkers are struggling to file claims for unemployment benefits, as applications have inundated the state’s Department of Labor. At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, acknowledged the state is having problems processing claims.

“I apologize for the pain—it must be infuriating to deal with,” he said. “The site is so deluged that it keeps crashing because you literally have hundreds of thousands of people at any time trying to get on the site.”

It is hard to imagine things “getting back to normal” in New York any time for the foreseeable future.  The number of cases in the state continues to explode, and this is starting to really affect even basic social services.  For example, more than 15 percent of all police officers in New York City “were out sick on Tuesday”

The novel coronavirus outbreak in New York City has taken a major toll on workers in health care, mass transit, and public safety, including the New York City Police Department.

The department reported on Tuesday that 1,048 uniformed members and 145 civilian employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 5,600 officers (about 15.6% of its uniformed workforce) were out sick on Tuesday—more cops than serve in the entire Houston Police Department.

And the death toll is rising so rapidly in New York City that they are actually using a forklift to lift dead bodies into refrigerated trucks…

On Tuesday, a forklift was used to help lift dead bodies onto a refrigerated truck outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center. The COVID-19 death toll in the city is 1,139 and 47,439 confirmed cases and hospitals have been using bed sheets to wrap bodies because they no longer have body bags.

There is no way that America is going to “open for business again” as long as this virus continues to spread so rapidly.

The total death toll in the United States just crossed the 5,000 mark, and President Trump says that it could go as high as 240,000.  So it looks like we may have a long way to go before this pandemic is finally behind us.

Meanwhile, more Americans are losing their jobs with each passing day.  In fact, a brand new survey just discovered that 28 percent of Americans have already “lost wages or other personal income” during this crisis…

More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve already lost wages as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic broadens, according to a new Grinnell College poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said they’d already “lost wages or other personal income.” Another 16 percent said they were laid off or furloughed from work, and an additional 28 percent said they lost what they considered a “substantial amount” from a retirement account.

Without a doubt, the number that we are going to get from the Labor Department on Thursday is going to be bad.

Could it be even worse than the number that we saw last week?  Apparently that is what quite a few of the “experts” are anticipating

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimate a Labor Department report Thursday morning will show 3.5 million Americans filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, up from the record 3.3 million who sought benefits the prior week.

Some economists expect a far bigger total. Nomura forecasts 4.1 million; Morgan Stanley, 4.5 million; and Bank of America, 5.5 million. Such first-time jobless claims represent the best measure of layoffs across the country.

And it appears that we could keep getting more bad numbers for many weeks to come as vast portions of the country remain shut down.

At this point, some of our biggest corporations are bracing for a very, very long pause in operations.  This week, we learned that Ford has decided to keep their North American factories closed indefinitely

With what are sure to be ugly March sales numbers looming, Ford has now decided it is cancelling plans to re-start production in the U.S. and Mexico over the next two weeks. 

Citing risks associated with the coronavirus, the automaker has said the the suspension is “indefinite” and has not set a timeline to bring its facilities back online, according to Bloomberg. The company is currently working with the UAW to establish new guidelines for safety procedures before re-opening.

Of course someday those factories will come back to life, and someday the entire country will try to resume normal activities.

But when that happens, it is likely that we could see another new wave of coronavirus cases.  Just look at what is happening over in China.  For a while they have been claiming to have the virus under control, but this week they had to put an entire county in lockdown mode

A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.

The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China’s epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.

Officials all over the world are going to be balancing the need to protect life with the need to resume economic activity for a long time to come.

But even if every “shelter-in-place” order was immediately lifted all across America, a large portion of the population would still be deathly afraid of the coronavirus and economic activity would still be greatly depressed from previous levels.

Everyone needs to understand that the unsustainable debt-fueled prosperity that we were enjoying is not coming back, and our day of reckoning has finally arrived.

The “everything bubble” has finally burst, and Egon von Greyerz is warning that we are heading straight into “a collapse”…

I have for years warned about the enormous risks in the financial system that inevitably would lead to a collapse. As the bubble continued to grow for over ten years since the 2006-9 crisis, very few understood that the last crisis was just a rehearsal with none of the underlying problems resolved. By printing and lending $140 trillion since 2006, the problem and risks weren’t just kicked down the road but made exponentially greater.

So here we are in the spring of 2020 with debts, unfunded liabilities and derivatives of around $2.5 quadrillion. This is a sum that is impossible to fathom but if we say that it is almost 30x global GDP, it gives us an idea what the world and central banks will have to grapple with in the next few years.

All of the dominoes are going to be falling, and we are going to see financial chaos like we have never seen before.

We could have avoided this scenario if we had learned our lessons from the last financial crisis and had fundamentally rebuilt our financial system from the ground up using sound economic principles.

But instead our authorities simply inflated all of the bubbles far larger than before, and now we will all have to live with the consequences.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

As The U.S. Economy Collapses, Authorities Warn That The Unthinkable May Soon Become Reality

With each passing day, it seems like the forecasts for the rest of 2020 are just getting worse.  Initially, most of the “economic experts” on television were warning that the coronavirus pandemic may push our country into a recession, but now we are being warned that we could soon see economic numbers that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  And initially we were told that the death toll in the United States would probably not be that high, but now that the death toll has already surpassed the number of Americans that died on 9/11 the message has changed.  At this point, our national officials are warning us that up to 240,000 Americans could die “by the end of the year”

Members of President Donald Trump’s administration laid out dire estimates Tuesday to underscore the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, a grim prediction they said was at the center of the president’s decision to extend strict social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

Federal public health officials said that between 100,000 and 240,000 could succumb to the virus by the end of the year – making it one of the nation’s worst public health crises – said Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.

As I write this article, the U.S. death toll is closing in on the 4,000 mark.

That means that the number of dead bodies in the U.S. could get almost 60 times higher by the end of 2020.

If that projection is anywhere close to accurate, do you think that there is any possibility that America will “reopen for business” any time soon?

This is a national crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever experienced before, and we all need to work together to try to defeat this virus.

Fortunately, our national health authorities are finally realizing that if everyone was wearing masks that it may greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19.  On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed that the coronavirus task force is “seriously considering” asking all Americans to wear masks when they are out in public…

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed on Tuesday that the White House coronavirus task force is seriously considering guidance that Americans wear masks to help thwart the rapid spread of COVID-19.

But the country’s top infectious disease expert also acknowledged that such a directive has been complicated by the nationwide dearth of personal protective equipment.

Of course this would represent a 100 percent reversal from earlier this year when our national health leaders and the mainstream media were openly discouraging everyone from wearing masks.

If everyone would have been wearing masks from the beginning, we could have saved a lot of lives, but at least they are finally realizing their mistake.

Yes, having everyone wear a mask would raise the level of fear among the general public, but it would also be a big step in getting this pandemic under control.

Every day we hesitate, the longer this pandemic is likely to persist, and one of China’s top health officials says that the fact that we have waited this long to make a move is a “big mistake”

A prominent public health leader in China also argues for widespread use of masks in public. The director general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, George Gao, told Science that the U.S. and Europe are making a “big mistake” with people not wearing masks during this pandemic. Specifically, he said, mask use helps tamp down the risk presented by people who may be infected but aren’t yet showing symptoms.

If those people wear masks, “it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others,” Gao told Science.

Without a doubt, wearing masks is inconvenient and they look awkward.

But if everyone is doing it nobody will stand out, and as President Trump has noted, it will hopefully only be “for a short period of time”

“We are not going to be wearing masks forever, but it could be for a short period of time after we get back into gear. I could see something like that happening for a period of time,” President Trump said during Monday’s White House briefing.

A couple of months ago, it would have been crazy to suggest that most people in America would be wearing masks by the middle of 2020 because of a horrible pandemic, but now we are on the verge of that actually happening.

Of course the big problem with asking everyone to wear masks is that we still have a national shortage.  The following comes from Tucker Carlson

From the beginning of the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, mask shortages have been a major problem. Some people hoarded hundreds or thousands of them. Manufacturers couldn’t keep up.

In some cases, apparently, they were sent overseas. The foreign countries who we outsourced our factories to prudently decided to keep the masks for themselves. Nationalism is real in a crisis. And of course, here in the United States, our own government didn’t have nearly enough mass stockpiled to cope with what has happened.

And even though this mask shortage has now been glaringly apparent for many weeks, the problem still has not been fixed.

In fact, mask shortages are still being reported all over the nation

But there is still a big concern about mask shortages in the United States. A survey released Friday from the U.S. Conference of Mayors finds that about 92% of 213 cities did not have an adequate supply of face masks for first responders and medical personnel.

At this point, experts emphasize that the general public needs to leave the supply of N95 medical masks to health care workers who are at risk every day when they go to work.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to collapse at a speed that is absolutely breathtaking.

U.S. stocks just closed out their worst first quarter ever.  During the months of January, February and March, an all-time record 19.6 trillion dollars of stock market wealth was wiped out, and many believe that the worst is still yet to come.

Currently, approximately 75 percent of the country is under some sort of a “shelter-in-place order” and this has brought economic activity to a crashing halt.  The following is how CNN is describing the current state of the U.S. economy…

The economy is cratering deeper than we have seen in our lifetimes. Layoffs are coming so quickly, the state unemployment offices can’t keep up. Banks are flooded with calls about upcoming mortgage and loan payments. Downtowns are deserted, malls are closed, bars are empty, and airplanes are grounded.

When even CNN starts sounding like The Economic Collapse Blog, then you know that things have gotten really, really bad.

All Across America, retailers are boarding up stores, and Bloomberg is reporting that some areas of the nation are seeing a “barter economy” start to emerge…

Barter, the trade system prevalent in the Middle Ages, is back in the time of coronavirus pandemic, with a modern twist. Social networks Facebook and Nextdoor are flooded with posts from neighbors and friends seeking to swap eggs for toilet paper. Small and midsized businesses, whose cash trade has dried up from the economic fallout of shelter-in-place orders, are turning to online barter exchanges.

It is crazy how much things have changed in just a matter of weeks.

At the beginning of the year the mainstream media was full of reports about how well the economy was doing, but now Goldman Sachs is projecting that the U.S. economy will shrink at an annualized rate of 34 percent in the second quarter…

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects the U.S. economy to experience a far deeper slump than previously anticipated as the coronavirus pandemic hammers businesses, causing a wave of mass unemployment.

The world’s largest economy will shrink an annualized 34% in the second quarter, compared with an earlier estimate of 24%, economists led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a report. Unemployment will soar to 15% by mid-year, up from a previous forecast of 9%, they wrote.

Of course many industries will see a decline far greater than 34 percent during the second quarter.

At this point, we are being told that there are “basically no U.S. auto sales right now”

The coronavirus lockdowns across the nation will also put a damper on April, which is traditionally a good month for auto sales. Ford is all but shutting down and names like Fiat and GM are expected to release extremely weak numbers later this week.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas put it simply: “There are basically no U.S. auto sales right now. Investors have fully embraced the reality that the U.S. auto industry may be shut down for one or two full months. We’re now being asked to run scenarios of six-month or nine-month shutdowns.”

Have you seen the new car commercials where they are promising to take care of your car payments if you lose your job because of the coronavirus?

Well, I hope that they have really big pockets, because millions of Americans are losing their jobs right now.

And just like we have seen during every other economic downturn, some Americans will respond to economic misfortune by taking their own lives

Wilson police say a man shot his longtime girlfriend and killed himself because he was extremely upset about the coronavirus pandemic and losing his job. Police say 38-year-old Roderick Bliss IV shot his longtime girlfriend in the back before turning the gun on himself.

Police say officers responded to a resident on North 17th Street in Wilson Borough for shots fired and found Bliss unresponsive and not breathing. A semi-automatic pistol was near his body.

This should never happen, and we need to try to get people to understand that there is always hope.

No matter how bad things get, God can take the broken pieces of your life and turn them into a beautiful thing.  There is always hope if you know Jesus, and this is a time when we should all be sharing the message of the cross with as many people as we possibly can.

Right now things look really bleak to most people, and we are seeing things that we have never seen before.

For example, the top of the Empire State Building has been made to look like a “spinning” red siren light

The Empire State Building debuted what appeared to be a spinning red ‘siren’ light atop the iconic structure in what many observers saw as a dystopian sign of the times.

Scientist Rita J. King explained that the light was not actually spinning but was made to look that way.

So many people are going to fall into depression and despair in the weeks ahead, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

But it is critical to remember that God knew about all of this in advance, He is in control, and He has a plan to bring us through this.

It is during times of great crisis that we find out who we really are.

The past several weeks have been very challenging, and President Trump is warning that we are heading into “a hell of a bad two weeks”

President Donald Trump prepared Americans for a coming surge in coronavirus cases, calling COVID-19 a plague and saying the U.S. is facing a “very, very painful two weeks.”

“This could be a hell of a bad two weeks. This is going to be a very bad two, and maybe three weeks. This is going to be three weeks like we’ve never seen before,” Trump said at a White House press conference Tuesday. White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks. “When you look at night, the kind of death that has been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible.”

It will be very interesting to watch how the American people respond to this nightmare.

Will we respond with humility and brokenness, or will we stubbornly remain on the same path that we were going down before this pandemic started?

This is one of the most critical junctures in our history, and nothing will be the same from this point forward.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Supplies Are Starting To Get Really Tight Nationwide As Food Distribution Systems Break Down

All across America, store shelves are emptying and people are becoming increasingly frustrated because they can’t get their hands on needed supplies.  Most Americans are blaming “hoarders” for the current mess, but it is actually much more complicated than that.  Normally, Americans get a lot of their food from restaurants.  In fact, during normal times 36 percent of all Americans eat at a fast food restaurant on any given day.  But now that approximately 75 percent of the U.S. is under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order and most of our restaurants have shut down, things have completely changed.  Suddenly our grocery stores are being flooded with unexpected traffic, and many people are buying far more than usual in anticipation of a long pandemic.  Unfortunately, our food distribution systems were not designed to handle this sort of a surge, and things are really starting to get crazy out there.

I would like to share with you an excerpt from an email that I was sent recently.  It describes the chaos that grocery stores in Utah and Idaho have been experiencing…

When this virus became a problem that we as a nation could see as an imminent threat, Utah, because of its culture of food storage and preparing for disaster events seemed to “get the memo” first. The week of March 8th grocery sales more than doubled in Utah, up 218%. Many states stayed the same with increases in some. Idaho seemed to “get the memo” about four days later. We were out of water and TP four days after Utah. Then we were out of food staples about four days later. Next was produce following a pattern set by Utah four days earlier.

The problem for us in Idaho was this. The stores in Utah were emptied out then refilled twice by the warehouses before it hit Idaho. Many of these Utah stores have trucks delivering daily. So when it did hit Idaho the warehouses had been severely taxed. We had a hard time filling our store back up even one time. We missed three scheduled trucks that week alone. Then orders finally came they were first 50% of the order and have dropped to 20%. In normal circumstances we receive 98% of our orders and no canceled trucks. Now three weeks later, the warehouses in the Western United States have all been taxed. In turn, those warehouses have been taxing the food manufacturers. These food companies have emptied their facilities to fill the warehouses of the Western United States. The East Coast hasn’t seemed to “get the memo” yet. When they do what food will be left to fill their warehouses and grocery stores?

Food distribution and resources for the Eastern United States will be at great peril even if no hoarding there takes place. But of course it will.

Additionally the food culture of the East Coast and other urban areas is such that people keep very little food on hand. They often shop several times weekly for items if they cook at home. They don’t have big freezers full of meat, home canned vegetables in their storage rooms, gardens, or beans, wheat, and rice in buckets in the their basements.

With most of the country locked down, normal economic activity has come to a standstill, and it is going to become increasingly difficult for our warehouses to meet the demand that grocery stores are putting on them.

Meanwhile, our farmers are facing severe problems of their own.  The following comes from CNBC

The U.S.-China trade war sent scores of farmers out of business. Record flooding inundated farmland and destroyed harvests. And a blistering heat wave stunted crop growth in the Midwest.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has dealt another blow to a vulnerable farm economy, sending crop and livestock prices tumbling and raising concerns about sudden labor shortages.

The chaos in the financial markets is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and it is going to remain difficult for farm laborers to move around as long as “shelter-in-place” orders remain in effect on the state level.

Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt told reporter Emma Newburger that “we’ve stopped saying it can’t get worse”, and he says that this coronavirus pandemic looks like it could be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”

“We were already under extreme financial pressure. With the virus sending the prices down — it’s getting to be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt.

“We were hoping for something good this year, but this virus has stopped all our markets,” he said.

Of course this comes at a time when millions of Americans are losing their jobs and unemployment is shooting up to unthinkable levels.  Without any money coming in, many people are already turning to alternative sources of help in order to feed themselves and their families.

On Monday, hundreds of cars were lined up to get food from a food bank in Duquesne, Pennsylvania.  To many, this was eerily reminiscent of the “bread lines” during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

And it is also being reported that the number of people coming for free meals on Skid Row in Los Angeles has tripled since that city was locked down.

Sadly, these examples are likely only the tip of the iceberg of what we will see in the months ahead.

And it won’t just be the U.S. that is hurting.  The following comes from a Guardian article entitled “Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, UN warns”

Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given Donald Trump’s eagerness for a trade war in other commodities.

If this pandemic stretches on for an extended period of time, food supplies are inevitably going to get even tighter.

So what can you do?

Well, perhaps you can start a garden this year if you don’t normally grow one.  Apparently this pandemic has sparked a tremendous amount of interest in gardening programs around the country…

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, more people are showing an interest in starting home gardens. Oregon State University‘s (OSU) Master Gardener program took notice of the growing interest.

To help citizens who want to grow their own food, the university kindly made their online vegetable gardening course free until the end of April. OSU’s post on Facebook has been shared over 21,000 times.

Food is only going to get more expensive from here on out, and growing your own food is a way to become more independent of the system.

But if you don’t have any seeds right now, you may want to hurry, because consumer demand is spiking

“It’s the largest volume of orders we have seen,” said Jere Gettle of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri. Peak seed-buying season for home gardeners is January to March, but the normal end-of-season decline in orders isn’t happening.

Customers are gravitating to vegetables high in nutrients, such as kale, spinach and other quick-to-grow leafy greens. “Spinach is off the charts,” said Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms of Kitchen Garden Seeds in Bantam, Connecticut.

For years, I have been warning people to get prepared for “the perfect storm” that was coming, but of course most people didn’t listen.

But now it is upon us.

Desperate people have been running out to the grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper only to find that they are limited to one or two packages if it is even available.

And now that “panic buying” of seeds has begun, it is probably only a matter of time before many stores start running out.

We have reached a major turning point in our history, and things are only going to get crazier.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is ahead of us…

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

49 Percent Of U.S. Companies Expect Layoffs “In The Next Three Months” As Unemployment Heads To Great Depression Levels

If the U.S. economy remains in shutdown mode for the next several months, we are going to witness layoffs like we have never seen before in U.S. history.  Of course what we have already witnessed is difficult to believe.  Last week more than 3.2 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, and that was more than four times higher than the previous all-time record.  This week another massive surge is expected, and we will continue to see lots more layoffs for as long as this pandemic persists.  It is going to be a very challenging time for the country as a whole, because we haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Yes, shutting down most of the nation is saving lives, but it is also absolutely crippling our economy.  According to a survey that was conducted from March 20th to March 26th by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, almost half of all U.S. companies say that it is likely that they will be conducting layoffs at some point “in the next three months”

Forty-nine percent of companies told Challenger, Gray & Christmas they are very or somewhat likely to conduct layoffs in the next three months, while 11% reported they have conducted permanent layoffs; another 7% have conducted temporary layoffs.

If that actually happens, can you imagine what that will do to our unemployment rate?

I know that this may sound really crazy, but at this point the St. Louis Fed is projecting that we will soon see a 32 percent unemployment rate

Millions of Americans already have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis and the worst of the damage is yet to come, according to a Federal Reserve estimate.

Economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, according to a recent analysis of how bad things could get.

Could things really get that bad so quickly?

If we do see a number that high, it would surpass even the highest unemployment rates that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The only way to avoid this sort of a nightmare scenario would be to put America back to work as quickly as possible, but that is simply not going to happen.  President Trump just extended the federal coronavirus guidelines until at least April 30th, and that means that it is exceedingly unlikely that any state will end their lockdowns before then.

And actually more states continue to join the “shelter-in-place” party.  For example, check out what just happened in Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey is ordering all Arizona residents to remain in their homes for the next month except for essential needs to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the state.

The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order is set to take effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. and remain in place at least until April 30.

It would be wonderful if the pandemic had subsided so much by April 30th that most Americans would be able to get back to work, but many states are already anticipating that this crisis will run much longer than that.

Officials in New York City are warning that the city may stay closed down for the next two months, and in Virginia the current “shelter-in-place” order doesn’t expire until June 10th

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order that’s effective immediately and will remain in place until June 10, unless the governor amends or rescinds it.

In the end, officials will be watching the raw numbers in order to determine when it is finally safe to resume normal activity.

Right now, the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths is still increasing, but at least the rate at which they are rising is starting to slow down.

Hopefully that means that the “shelter-in-place” orders are having a positive effect.

But if everyone is allowed to resume normal activity a couple of months from now, we could see a “second wave” erupt as the number of cases starts to explode once again.

The only way to truly defeat this virus would be to conduct a complete and total nationwide lockdown for at least 28 days at the same time that the rest of the world is also conducting simultaneous lockdowns, and there is no way that is going to happen.

So it looks like we will be dealing with this virus for a long, long time to come.

As Americans brace for the economic collapse that is now unfolding all around us, they are hoarding cash “at the fastest pace since Y2K”, and retailers are boarding up their stores all over the country

High-end stores across the country have been boarding up their stores in anticipation of civil unrest due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows according to TMZ.

Meanwhile, stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Paris, Vancouver and elsewhere were similarly boarded up.

If I was in their shoes, I would probably be doing the same thing.  As unemployment soars and people get sick and tired of being confined to their own homes, it is probably only a matter of time before we see civil unrest, rioting, looting, and an unprecedented spike in the crime rate.

Of course there are still a lot of people out there that are hoping for a “V shaped recovery” once this pandemic begins to fade, but I wouldn’t count on that happening.

Scientists are warning that there could be multiple “waves” during this pandemic, and fear of this coronavirus is going to persist for a very long time to come.  And now that all of the economic bubbles are starting to burst, experts such as Egon von Greyerz are convinced that “there will be no recovery at all”

No one should believe for one moment that once CV is gone we will experience a V shaped recovery. There will be no V, there will be no U and nor will we see a hockey stick recovery. What few people understand, including the so called experts, is that there will be no recovery at all. An extremely rapid decline of the world economy has just started and will be devastating in the next 6-12 months, whether CV ends soon or not.

Personally, I do believe that there will be ups and downs throughout this process, but overall we are facing a “great unraveling” that will be more painful than most Americans would dare to imagine.

This coronavirus is not going to be the only challenge that we will have to face.  We have entered a time when there will be one crisis after another, and there will be no way to reinflate the bubbles this time.

Sadly, so many Americans today have come to take such great pride in our debt-fueled “national prosperity”, and now that prosperity is going to be smashed into a thousand pieces.

Our day of reckoning has finally arrived, and it is going to be really, really painful for the American people.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Some States Are Now Intercepting Travelers From Other States And Forcing Them Into Quarantine

All of a sudden, people all over the country are very afraid of travelers from New York, Louisiana and other COVID-19 “hotspots” across the nation.  In fact, as you will see below, some states are now trying to intercept travelers from other states and force them into quarantine.  Measures that would have been unthinkable just a few short weeks ago have now become a reality, and things are likely to get even crazier in the days ahead.  If this pandemic is causing this much fear already even though less than 3,000 Americans have died so far, what will the level of fear be if 30,000 or 300,000 Americans die?

Unfortunately, many experts are now warning that the death toll will eventually get very high in this country.  For example, on Sunday Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that he expects to see more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. alone

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert on infectious diseases, predicted Sunday that the United States will end up with “millions” of cases of coronavirus and up to 200,000 deaths by the time the pandemic ends, though he cautioned that any projection of mortality statistics could “easily” end up being wrong.

“Looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000-200,000 [deaths],” Fauci said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

This virus spreads so easily from person to person, and once it gets loose in a city it can spread like wildfire.

Right now, New York City is being hit harder than anywhere else in the country.  At this point close to 700 members of the NYPD have tested positive for the virus, and the public transportation system is being flooded with calls from sick employees

The MTA’s 24-hour hot line for workers with coronavirus symptoms is constantly crashing because it’s being flooded with calls — and higher-ups are bracing for a mass sickout, transit insiders told The Post.

Bus and subway employees already called out sick at three times the normal rate last week, prompting the MTA to dramatically reduce service.

Overall, the death toll in New York has reached nearly 1,000, and many believe that what we have seen so far is just the beginning.

Needless to say, hospitals are rapidly being overwhelmed, and basic medical supplies are being used up fast.

Fortunately, a lot of outside help is coming in.  On Sunday, I was greatly encouraged to learn that Samaritan’s Purse is actually putting up a field hospital in Central Park

Dozens of people worked in a drizzle to erect the facility for an expected influx of COVID-19 patients at the epicenter of the US coronavirus pandemic.

Samaritan’s Purse, a US-based Christian global relief agency, is setting up the hospital on the park’s East Meadow lawn, where workers in face masks unloaded a white tarp and other equipment on the grass. The site is right across from one of the facilities in the Mount Sinai hospital group.

But as other states have watched the nightmare that is currently unfolding in New York, they have become greatly alarmed, and some have even taken measures to try to prevent New Yorkers from spreading the virus to their communities.

Beginning on Friday, authorities in Rhode Island started stopping vehicles “with New York plates”, and any New Yorkers that were discovered were forced into “14 days of self-quarantine”…

Rhode Island police began stopping cars with New York plates Friday. On Saturday, the National Guard will help them conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.

“Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “That risk is called New York City.”

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo found out about this, he went ballistic, because it specifically discriminated against citizens of his state.

So Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo later expanded the directive to include anybody coming into Rhode Island from any other state…

Gov. Gina Raimondo instead has expanded the order to include ‘any person’ coming to Rhode Island from another state to ‘immediately self-quarantine for 14 days’.

The directive, signed late Saturday, does not apply to health workers or those working in public safety. It reads: ‘Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.’

Of course Rhode Island is basically the size of a postage stamp, and so not that many people are too worried about what they are doing.

But Florida is a much bigger deal.

Florida has already been forcing anyone flying in from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days, and on Friday Governor Ron DeSantis expanded that directive to include anyone traveling into the state from Louisiana

New Orleans is experiencing a coronavirus surge of more than 1,000 infections linked to the Mardi Gras celebration in February, sending Louisiana’s total number of cases past 3,300 as of Saturday. DeSantis wants to intercept any Louisiana travelers from “seeding” the virus in Florida.

It’s about a three-hour drive from New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida, and panhandle officials had expressed concerns to him about travelers fleeing the Bayou State and carrying the virus into Florida.

In fact, a highway checkpoint has already been set up on Interstate 10 so that police can monitor who is coming into the state…

“Look, we’re either trying to fight this virus or we are not,” DeSantis said of his plan that includes a checkpoint on Interstate 10 at the Alabama line and National Guard members greeting travelers from the New York City area at airports.

In the days ahead, more states may start implementing such measures.

So if you are still not where you want to be to ride out this pandemic, you need to get there as quickly as possible.

We still don’t know how bad this crisis is going to become.  It may fizzle out with just a few hundred thousand deaths globally, or we may end up with a nightmare scenario in which millions die.

We just don’t know yet.

But those that are running things are starting to act like we are facing a worst case scenario, and that should deeply alarm us all.

For instance, I was quite surprised to learn that officials from U.S. Northern Command have isolated themselves inside the giant Cheyenne Mountain facility in Colorado

‘To ensure that we can defend the homeland despite this pandemic, our command and control watch teams here in the headquarters split into multiple shifts and portions of our watch team began working from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, creating a third team at an alternate location as well,’ Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, said during a Facebook Live town hall with those under his command.

Perhaps such a move is warranted during a time of great crisis, but what really got my attention was the following statement that O’Shaughnessy made…

‘My primary concern was … are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there,’ O’Shaughnessy added.

Ummm, what?

Apparently so many people were clamoring to get inside Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station that he was concerned that there wouldn’t be room for them all?

I don’t like the sound of that at all.

We live in very strange times, and they are about to get even stranger.

I hope that you are somewhere safe, and I hope that you are well stocked up for the long, dark months that are ahead of us.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Economic Depression Of 2020: Many Of The Restaurants, Bars And Retailers That Have Closed Will Never Open Again

It appears that we are heading into the worst economic downturn of the post-World War II era, and that is going to be true no matter how this coronavirus pandemic ultimately plays out.  There are some that believe that this virus will only kill thousands, and there are others that are warning that it could kill millions, but everyone can agree that this outbreak is causing an unprecedented amount of fear.  And even once this pandemic starts to fade, a certain percentage of the population will continue to be afraid to go to restaurants, bars and other small businesses that are open to the public.  Of course many restaurants, bars and small businesses were just barely scraping by during the “good times”, and so many of them will simply not be be able to survive if a substantial portion of the population is literally petrified to step through their doors for the foreseeable future.

As long as fear of the coronavirus persists, the U.S. economy is going to be in for a world of hurt, and it looks like we may still be in the very early stages of this pandemic.

In fact, we are now being told that the death toll in the U.S. “could reach 100,000 or more”

President Donald Trump acknowledged Sunday for the first time that deaths in the United States from coronavirus could reach 100,000 or more, adding that if the death toll stays at or below 100,000, “we all together have done a very good job.”

Trump’s assertion came after he was asked about comments the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made earlier Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that based on models, 100,000 Americans or more could die from the virus.

Of course the death toll could ultimately be much lower than that if effective treatments are made widely available to the general public.

We shall have to wait and see if that actually happens.

But meanwhile, fear of the coronavirus is absolutely devastating the economy.  According to the National Restaurant Association, our restaurant industry has lost 25 billion dollars in sales so far this month…

The U.S. restaurant industry has lost $25 billion in sales since March 1, according to a survey of 5,000 owners by the National Restaurant Association. Nearly 50,000 stores of major U.S. retail chains have closed, according to the companies.

An estimated $20 billion in monthly retail real estate loans are due as early as this week, according to Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real-estate services and consulting firm. Many retailers and restaurants have said they are not going to pay their April rents, which in turn poses a threat to the $3 trillion commercial mortgage market.

As this crisis stretches on, all of the dominoes in the commercial mortgage market are going to begin to fall.

What we are watching is deeply tragic, because those that work in our restaurants are some of the hardest working people in the entire country.  At this point, 3 percent of our restaurants “have already permanently closed”, and another 11 percent “anticipate they will permanently close within 30 days”

Three percent of restaurants have already permanently closed due to the coronavirus crisis, according to research from the National Restaurant Association. Forty-four percent of operators have temporarily closed their restaurants, and 11% anticipate they will permanently close within 30 days.

Can you imagine that?

By the end of next month, 14 percent of all restaurants in America could be gone for good.

And the longer this pandemic lasts, the higher that number will go.

We didn’t see anything like this back in 2008.  What we are now facing is truly unprecedented, and there is going to be a whole lot of vacant buildings in the days ahead.

Of course it isn’t just restaurants that are being hit extremely hard.  According to the Wall Street Journal, a wide variety of businesses all over the country are already in very serious trouble…

Companies of all sizes are feeling the squeeze, especially retailers and restaurants that have closed their doors during the outbreak. Nike Inc. is asking to pay half its rents. TJ Maxx is delaying payments to its suppliers. Victoria’s Secret and Men’s Wearhouse have furloughed thousands of workers. Cheesecake Factory Inc. closed 27 of the company’s locations and furloughed 41,000 hourly workers, nearly 90% of its total staff.

Even if all of the lockdowns all over the U.S. were immediately lifted, economic activity would not return to “normal”, because millions upon millions of Americans would still be deeply afraid of the virus.

And that isn’t going to happen anyway.  In fact, President Trump just extended the national “social distancing guidelines” through April 30th

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that the White House would be extending its social distancing guidelines through April 30 – a month longer than an initial 15-day timeline when they were implemented on March 16.

“The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump said. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”

So that means that it is probably unlikely that any of the lockdowns on the state level that we have witnessed will be lifted before April 30th.

Across the Atlantic, citizens of the United Kingdom are being warned that life may not get back to normal “for six months or even longer”

Britons should not expect to get back to ‘normal life’ for six months or even longer, the government’s deputy chief medical officer warned today.

Dr Jenny Harries told a Downing Street press conference that people should not be viewing the coronavirus crisis as something that will blow over soon.

Would they really try to keep people inside for that long?

I can promise you that people do not have that much patience.

If you doubt this, just look at what is happening in China

Angry crowds rioted near the Chinese city of Wuhan after the region’s two-month coronavirus lockdown was lifted but residents were told they could not travel elsewhere in China.

Shocking footage showed a mob overturning a police van on a bridge linking Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei Province, and neighbouring Jiangxi.

Here in the U.S., I have been seeing people all over social media clamoring for a return to normalcy.

Sadly, that is simply not going to happen for the foreseeable future, and the consequences for the U.S. economy are going to be extremely, extremely bitter.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Pace At Which The Coronavirus Is Changing Life In America Is Absolutely Breathtaking

Fear of COVID-19 has fundamentally transformed our entire country in a matter of weeks, and as long as people are afraid of this virus life is definitely not going to return to normal.  In fact, every “shelter-in-place” order in America could be lifted tomorrow and economic activity would not rebound even close to previous levels because a large percentage of the population would still be extremely hesitant to leave their own homes.  As coronavirus survivors tell us stories of the hellish ordeals that they have endured, an increasing number of Americans are finally realizing how dangerous this crisis has become.  If you have asthma, a history of respiratory problems or other serious underlying health conditions, I strongly recommend that you do everything in your power to avoid catching this virus.  The global death toll is more than nine times larger than it was back on March 1st, and you do not want to become a statistic.

Here in the United States, we now have more confirmed cases than anywhere else in the world.  If you would have told me at the beginning of this month that the U.S. would be the first nation to 100,000 confirmed cases, I would have laughed at you.  And even though about half the country is currently under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order, the virus just keeps on spreading.  In fact, the number of confirmed cases in the United States has doubled in just three days

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 Friday, doubling in just three days as the pandemic accelerates and the U.S. rolls out broader testing measures.

Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the total number of coronavirus cases as 101,707 and the total number of deaths in the U.S. as 1,544.

We had better hope that the measures that have already been implemented will start to slow down this rate of growth, because otherwise every healthcare system in America will soon be completely overwhelmed.

Of course this has already happened in New York, and now other hotspots across the country are starting to become major problems.

For example, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is openly admitting that his state is on pace to become “the next New York”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has warned that the state ‘doesn’t have long’ to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control, as he admitted the state is on track to become ‘the next New York’.

Speaking at a press conference Friday, Edwards announced that the number of cases in Louisiana had surged in the last 24 hours, rising to 2,746 as of noon – a spike of 441 in a single day.

Sadly, it looks like we will soon be seeing similar numbers virtually everywhere.

The very first coronavirus case in the U.S. was confirmed by the CDC on January 20th.  Just a little over two months later, we are in the middle of the biggest economic shutdown in U.S. history and according to one recent survey 11 percent of all Americans personally know someone that has caught the virus.

At first, a lot of Americans were mocking this pandemic, but now people are starting to understand that once you catch this virus you can go from being “perfectly healthy” to dead in just a matter of days

A “perfectly healthy” father of six from Texas died Thursday from the coronavirus — two days after he received his positive diagnosis, a report said.

Adolph Mendez, known as TJ, was 44-years-old.

Please pray for that family, and hopefully that community will rally and provide what they need now that their father is gone.

But if hundreds of thousands of fathers start dying, who will provide for all of those mourning families?

And millions of Americans all across the country are already trying to figure out how they will provide for themselves now that they have lost their jobs.

On Thursday, we learned that more than 3.2 million workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and unfortunately next week is going to be really bad as well.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

And it’s going to get worse. The five largest counties of the San Francisco Bay Area were the first major region in the US to go into lockdown on March 17. The State of California followed on March 20, toward the end of the unemployment-claims reporting week (through March 21), and many other states followed within days – and many of those claims were filed after this reporting week had ended.

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen anything like this.

Many experts are projecting that we will shoot past the peak unemployment rate during the last recession very rapidly, and I agree with that assessment.

In the months ahead, we are going to see things that most Americans never imagined were possible.  If you can believe it, one new survey has found that 23 percent of U.S. adults say that they are no longer working as a result of this economic downturn…

Twenty-three percent said they have already lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, or that their employer was forced to close and “I no longer go to work, but I am still employed by them.”

Many economists expect the U.S. unemployment rate will surpass the 10% level that the country experienced more than a decade ago during the Great Recession. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said it may rise as high as 30%.

Of course many Americans are already losing patience and are quite eager to get back to work.

If the “shelter-in-place” orders stretch on for months, it is probably inevitable that we will see civil unrest and rioting like we are witnessing in China right now.

Unfortunately, it appears that vast sections of the country will remain shut down for the foreseeable future.  On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio openly acknowledged that his city will almost certainly be closed down “through May”

New Yorkers should be prepared for the city to remain in “pause” due to coronavirus through May even as President Trump gives Americans “false hope” the country will reopen by Easter next month, Mayor de Blasio said Friday.

“We have to be ready for that and I think it’s going to spread in the country,” de Blasio said when asked if the city would be closed through May on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “This idea of Easter is, unfortunately, a false hope. It would be better for the president to be blunt with people that we’ve got a really tough battle ahead.”

I would never suggest that the decisions that our leaders are facing are going to be easy.

On the one hand, if extreme measures are not taken it is likely that millions could die.

On the other hand, shutting everything down is going to take us directly into complete economic collapse and the next Great Depression.

And actually even if they do everything right we might end up with both results anyway.

At a time like this, we need more prayer than ever, but right now churches all over America are being shut down.  In fact,Virginia Governor Ralph Northam just made it a crime “for more than 10 people to gather in a church”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday that is aimed at stopping the new coronavirus — and, in the process, makes it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people.

Yes, his order makes it a crime for more than 10 people to gather in a church.

But meanwhile, the abortion clinics in Virginia just keep humming along.

I think that says a lot about where we are as a society today.

Nobody should really be surprised that the time of “the perfect storm” has arrived.  We have been slowly but surely committing national suicide for decades, and now the consequences of our very foolish decisions are rapidly catching up with us.

In the short-term, let us pray that this pandemic will start to subside as quickly as possible and that some sense of normalcy can soon be restored.

But if we just go back to the way that we were doing things, it really won’t matter, because the path that we were on doesn’t lead anywhere good.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

America Is Now The COVID-19 Epicenter: The U.S. Just Had 17,224 Newly Confirmed Coronavirus Cases In A Single Day!

As I write this article, headlines all over the globe are announcing the fact that the United States now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than anybody else in the world.  Two weeks ago anyone that would have predicted that the U.S. would be the world leader in confirmed cases by the end of the month would have been relentlessly mocked, but now it has actually happened, and experts are warning that the worst is yet to come.  On Thursday, 17,224 newly confirmed cases were added to the rapidly growing U.S. total.  If you can believe it, only six other countries have had more than 17,000 total confirmed cases over the course of this entire pandemic.  So the explosion of cases that we are witnessing in the U.S. right now is exceedingly alarming.

On March 1st, we learned that the state of New York had their very first confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Now there are tens of thousands of confirmed cases in the state, and things have already gotten so bad that more than one patient is being put on a single ventilator machine

At least one New York hospital has begun putting two patients on a single ventilator machine, an experimental crisis-mode protocol some doctors worry is too risky but others deemed necessary as the coronavirus outbreak strains medical resources.

The coronavirus causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19 that in severe cases can ravage the lungs. It has killed at least 281 people over a few weeks in New York City, which is struggling with one of the largest caseloads in the world at nearly 22,000 confirmed cases.

What we have watched transpire in New York over the past couple of weeks is absolutely unprecedented, and a top CDC official is warning that what we have seen there could soon start happening all over the country.

Just like in New York, cases in California have been doubling “every three to four days”, and this has officials in the state enormously concerned

If that rate holds, California hospitals could see a surge in patients in one to two weeks, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services, said during a Facebook news conference.

“We originally thought that it would be doubling every six to seven days; we see cases doubling every three to four days,” Ghaly said. “[We’re] watching that trend very, very closely.”

Sadly, the rate of growth is even faster in New Orleans, and it is expected that their hospitals will be completely overwhelmed by early April

New Orleans is on track to become the next coronavirus epicenter in the United States, dimming hopes that less densely populated and warmer-climate cities would escape the worst of the pandemic, and that summer months could see it wane.

The plight of New Orleans – with the world’s highest growth rate in coronavirus cases – also raises fears that the city may become a powerful catalyst in spreading the virus across the south of the country. Authorities have warned the number of cases in New Orleans could overwhelm its hospitals by April 4.

But so far less than 2,000 Americans have died during this pandemic.

If our healthcare system can’t handle what is taking place now, what is going to happen if tens of thousands of people start dying

The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis done by University of Washington School of Medicine.

The number of hospitalized patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.

Actually, I think that this projection is quite optimistic, but it sure would be nice if it was accurate.

So far, there have been no signs that this global pandemic is abating.  In recent days the numbers have actually accelerated, and many are wondering what will happen if we continue to see exponential growth in the weeks ahead.

On Thursday, the total number of confirmed cases in the entire world crossed the 500,000 mark for the first time.  As we race toward a million confirmed cases, it seems likely that lockdown orders will remain in place all over the globe.

This is the greatest public health crisis of our time, and it is already taking a tremendous emotional toll on people all over the planet.  On Thursday, I was absolutely horrified to read about a great tragedy that just happened in the United Kingdom

A 19-year-old woman in the UK has committed suicide after being “unable to cope with her world closing in” following the coronavirus lockdown.

Emily Owen, who suffered from high functioning autism, gave an eerily prescient warning to her family days before her death, saying that “more people will die from suicide during this than the virus itself.”

She died in hospital on Sunday after attempting suicide on March 18th. Owen’s family said that the suicide attempt was driven by the teen’s fears over social isolation.

Sadly, calls to suicide hotlines are absolutely soaring in the United States too.

This shouldn’t be happening, but right now so many people out there feel like they don’t have any hope.

If only they understood that hope is just a prayer away.

On March 6th, a Georgia man named Clay Bentley tested positive for the coronavirus.  At first it wasn’t too bad, but then his symptoms really started to get quite severe.

Eventually he felt like he “couldn’t breathe at all”, and he feared that “he was not going to survive”.

But when he was at his lowest moment, a miracle arrived

“I got to the point I couldn’t breathe at all. I had cold chills. I had no energy,” Bentley told Insider. “I’d go to stand up to walk up across the room, I couldn’t even go from a sitting to a standing position.”

Bentley said that by Wednesday night, he felt like he was not going to survive. He was in pain and struggling to breathe.

Then at 3 a.m., he felt a heavy pressure on his chest, Bentley described.

“I felt this man breathe life into my lungs,” he said.

Bentley says that God completely and totally healed him, and now he has a renewed passion to tell others about Jesus Christ.

If you believe that you have caught the virus, start praying and ask others to start praying for you as well.

God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He will bring us through this horrible, horrible pandemic.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

A Massive Surge Of Unemployment Like America Has Never Seen Before

The pace at which Americans are losing their jobs is absolutely breathtaking.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the largest number of new claims for unemployment benefits ever recorded in a single week prior to this year was 695,000 during the week that ended October 2nd, 1982.  So that means that what we are now witnessing is completely unprecedented.  About half the country is currently under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order, and there has never been a nationwide shutdown of businesses anything like what we are currently experiencing.  Many are hoping that America will be able to “get back to normal” soon, but that all depends on the progression of this pandemic.  The number of newly confirmed cases in the U.S. spiked by more than 11,000 on Wednesday, and the number of new deaths continues to escalate at a very alarming rate.  Until those numbers start to improve, life is definitely not going to “get back to normal”.

In recent days, so many newly unemployed Americans have been trying to file for unemployment benefits that it has been crashing websites all over the country.  For example, a newly unemployed worker in Michigan named Aaron Garza never was able to file for benefits through Michigan’s unemployment website although he kept on trying throughout Monday and Tuesday

When Aaron Garza was dismissed this week from his job as a parts specialist at a Toyota dealership in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he joined a tidal wave of unemployed people swamping systems to help them and straining state finances to the breaking point.

On Monday, Garza went to Michigan’s unemployment website and tried logging on to apply for benefits electronically. After 30 minutes, he was able to sign on, but by the time a verification code was sent to his phone 25 minutes later, he had already given up. As of Tuesday afternoon, he still hadn’t been able to get through.

Last week, 108,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the state of Michigan.

That is 20 times more than normal.

Ouch.

In Louisiana, things are even worse.  If you can believe it, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits is more than 40 times higher than usual

In Louisiana alone, 71,000 people filed new unemployment applications last week, compared to the usual 1,400 or 1,500 people per week, said state labor secretary Ava Dejoie.

Louisiana has one of the highest per capita counts of coronavirus cases in the U.S. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has ordered nonessential businesses to close, limited restaurants to takeout and delivery, banned gatherings over 10 people and directed residents to remain at home.

And in California, Governor Gavin Newsom says that a million residents of his state have filed for benefits “just since March 13”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state has seen 1 million unemployment claims in less than two weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has led to businesses being shut down across the state.

“We just passed the 1 million mark, in terms of the number of claims, just since March 13,” Newsom said.

On Thursday, we will get the latest weekly total for the nation as a whole.

At this point nobody is quite sure what to expect, but most forecasts are ranging between one million and four million

Economists have issued widely varying estimates of Thursday’s jobless claims total based on anecdotal reports by about 40 states to news outlets for the first few days of last week. Goldman Sachs estimated the national count will be about 2.25 million but said it could be as low as slightly more than 1 million. Morgan Stanley reckons about 3.4 million. Oxford Economics says about 4 million.

If we even hit the lowest edge of that range, it will absolutely shatter the old record that was set back in 1982.

Of course similar things are happening all over the world.  Approximately one-third of the entire population of the globe is currently under some sort of a lockdown order, and that means that hundreds of millions of workers are sitting at home not working.

Here in the United States, so many people are already absolutely sick and tired of being idle at home, but the truth is that it looks like this pandemic is just getting started.

In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio believes that more than half of the residents of his city will eventually get the virus

More than half of New York City’s population can expect to be infected by the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Most will suffer only a “mild experience,” but many will become very sick, and “we are going to lose some people,” he said. April will be tough and May tougher before the virus crisis eases, he said. The city has seen 192 deaths so far, and there are more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

“The world we knew is gone,” de Blasio said in a social media post. “And it’s not coming back, not for the next few months. That’s the blunt truth.”

If his projection is even close to accurate, that means that we are in for a very, very long battle with COVID-19.

A lot of people out there are still trying to downplay this pandemic, and that is a huge mistake.  The dead bodies are starting to pile up just like we saw in China, Iran and Italy, and already “New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity”

The Department of Homeland Security has been briefed that New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity, according to a department official and a second person familiar with the situation.

Officials were told that morgues in the city are expected to reach capacity next week, per the briefing. A third person familiar with the situation in New York said some of the city’s hospital morgues hit capacity in the past seven days. And a FEMA spokesperson told POLITICO that New York has asked for emergency mortuary assistance. Hawaii and North Carolina have asked for mortuary help as well, and the disaster response agency is currently reviewing the requests, according to the spokesperson.

You may have noticed that I have not said too much about what Congress is doing, and that is because any “stimulus package” is really not going to make that much of a difference.

Congress is not going to be able to make this pandemic go away, and they aren’t going to be able to convince people that are deathly afraid to leave their own homes to go out and spend money normally.

But thanks to Congress there will be a lot more money chasing a rapidly dwindling pool of goods and services in the days ahead, and that will eventually cause very painful inflation.

And if they are going to start handing out giant checks to everyone, they better keep on doing it all throughout this crisis.  Because as Gerald Celente has warned, what we are heading for is “the Greatest Depression”

“People are going to go bankrupt. You are going to see suicide rates increase. You are going to see crime escalate and people OD’ing on drugs because of depression…

Our leaders are totally closing down the economy. Again, this has never been done before. It’s not only Wall Street going down, Main Street went down simultaneously. That is unprecedented. Usually, the markets go down and then the ripple effects start hitting Main Street. This time–boom, they are both down…

It’s going to be worse than the Great Depression. It’s going to be the Greatest Depression.”

Sadly, one element of Celente’s warning is already coming to pass.  It is being reported that calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline have risen 300 percent

Isolation and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic are taking a toll, with calls to a National Suicide Prevention Hotline call center rising 300 percent, KVLY reports.

Other suicide prevention services across the United States also have seen spikes in calls since the COVID-19 virus threw everyday life askew for millions.​​​​​

In this hour, people are going to need hope.

But trying to convince them that this virus does not exist is not giving them hope.

And those that are boldly proclaiming that this virus will magically go away very quickly are only giving people false hope.  When they later realize that they were lied to, that false hope will give way to even deeper depression and despair.

This virus is very real, and we are going to be battling this pandemic for an extended period of time.  But God knew all about this in advance, He is in control, and He will accomplish His purposes.

And God specifically has a plan for you and your family, but you have got to be willing to embrace it.  Your future is likely to look far different than you originally imagined, but with God’s help it can also be far greater than you originally imagined as well.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Here Are The Very Alarming Things That Scientists Have Just Discovered About This Coronavirus…

The biggest public health crisis of our time just continues to get worse.  The global death toll is rapidly approaching 20,000, and approximately a third of the world is currently under some sort of a lockdown order.  Needless to say, this is going to be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Here in the United States, the spread of this virus continues to track along a trajectory that is very similar to what we witnessed in Italy.  If you doubt this, just check out this chart.  At this hour, the official death toll in the United States is up to 782, and only 378 victims have officially “recovered”.  But of course the vast majority of the 54,867 confirmed cases will not come to a final resolution for quite some time.  Sadly, the numbers that I just shared with you are likely to be much higher by the time most of you actually read this article.  This is a full-blown national emergency, and a lot of people out there are still not taking this crisis very seriously.

This is no ordinary virus.  It moves from person to person with incredible ease, and it is rapidly changing.  In fact, it has just been announced that scientists in Iceland “have found 40 mutations of the coronavirus”

Scientists in Iceland claim they have found 40 mutations of the coronavirus, which has left the world gripped in fear.

The mutations were discovered by analysing swabs of COVID-19 patients in Iceland, where almost 600 cases have been reported so far.

Using genetic sequencing, the researchers identified how many mutations the virus had accumulated.

Those sentences should send a chill up your spine, and this discovery may help to explain why we are seeing far higher death rates in the western world than we have in Asia so far.

Meanwhile, a professor in the United Kingdom is warning that a single person that has the virus can potentially infect “up to 59,000 others”

An intensive care specialist has described how one person with coronavirus could infect up to 59,000 others – as the virus is more than twice as infectious as flu.

Dr Hugh Montgomery, a professor of intensive care medicine at University College London, explained how the virus could be passed from one person to thousands as he called on Britons to heed advice on social distancing.

Previously, we have been told that someone can spread COVID-19 for many days before they even start exhibiting any symptoms.

That makes this the perfect “stealth virus” to spark a horrifying global pandemic.

And as I have discussed in previous articles, you don’t even have to encounter someone with the virus in order to become infected.

In fact, scientists have now discovered that this virus can linger on surfaces “for up to 17 days”

Researchers have made the startling discovering that a form of the coronavirus can linger around for more than two weeks.

Traces of new coronavirus were found on the Diamond Princess cruise ship on surfaces in cabins where people who were infected with the virus had stayed, for up to 17 days after they had left, according to a study released Monday along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

I know that this information is hard to take.

But it is absolutely critical that we understand what we are dealing with.

Just like elsewhere, our healthcare system is about to be completely overwhelmed.  On his Twitter account, a New York City emergency room doctor named Craig Spencer has described what his shifts are already like each day

You’re notified of another really sick patient coming in. You rush over. They’re also extremely sick, vomiting. They need to be put on life support as well. You bring them back. Two patients, in rooms right next to each other, both getting a breathing tube. It’s not even 10am yet

For the rest of your shift, nearly every hour, you get paged:

Stat notification: Very sick patient, short of breath, fever. Oxygen 88%.

Stat notification: Low blood pressure, short of breath, low oxygen.

Stat notification: Low oxygen, can’t breath. Fever.

All day…

Sadly, this is what life is going to be like for emergency room doctors all across America for as long as this pandemic lasts.

And it is inevitable that a lot of those doctors will end up catching the virus themselves.  In fact, it is already happening

Healthcare workers across the United States are now testing positive for the coronavirus even as they man the front lines against the rapidly spreading pandemic.

The medical professionals who have tested positive for COVID-19 include two ER physicians at a Chicago suburban hospital, two doctors associated with Washington University, a doctor in Austin, Texas, as well as a doctor at a children’s hospital in Wisconsin.

I know that a lot of you out there are quite eager for life to return to “normal”, but that isn’t going to happen.

So far, the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths in the United States are both ahead of even the most pessimistic early projections.

We should definitely be hopeful that the “social distancing” measures that have been put in place will help to “flatten the curve”, but even if that happens we still have a very long battle ahead of us.

In some countries that had supposedly “contained” the virus, we are already starting to see a stunning resurgence in cases as people bring the virus back in from other areas.

Expert after expert has assured us that most of the U.S. population will eventually catch COVID-19, and if it hits you really hard it will be a nightmarish ordeal that you will never forget.

Like so many others, I wish that this pandemic had not happened.

But it is here, and we have to deal with it.

According to a survey that was just conducted, 19 percent of Americans think that they might already have the virus.  If you are one of those people, please get the medical help that you need, and please reach out to those around you for prayer.

So many people out there have been getting really angry, but this is a time when we need to work together and all pull in the same direction.  This is truly a great challenge for this generation, and with God’s help we can get through it.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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