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.

Why Did Hundreds Of CEOs Resign Just Before The World Started Going Absolutely Crazy?

In the months prior to the most ferocious stock market crash in history and the eruption of the biggest public health crisis of our generation, we witnessed the biggest exodus of corporate CEOs that we have ever seen.  And as you will see below, corporate insiders also sold off billions of dollars worth of shares in their own companies just before the stock market imploded.  In life, timing can be everything, and sometimes people simply get lucky.  But it does seem odd that so many among the corporate elite would be so exceedingly “lucky” all at the same time.  In this article I am not claiming to know the motivations of any of these individuals, but I am pointing out certain patterns that I believe are worth investigating.

One financial publication is using the phrase “the great CEO exodus” to describe the phenomenon that we have been witnessing.  It all started last year when chief executives started resigning in numbers unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  The following was published by NBC News last November

Chief executives are leaving in record numbers this year, with more than 1,332 stepping aside in the period from January through the end of October, according to new data released on Wednesday. While it’s not unusual to see CEOs fleeing in the middle of a recession, it is noteworthy to see such a rash of executive exits amid robust corporate earnings and record stock market highs.

Last month, 172 chief executives left their jobs, according to executive placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It’s the highest monthly number on record, and the year-to-date total outpaces even the wave of executive exits during the financial crisis.

By the end of the year, an all-time record high 1,480 CEOs had left their posts.

But to most people it seemed like the good times were still rolling at the end of 2019.  Corporate profits were rising and the stock market was setting record high after record high.

Yes, there were lots of signs that the global economy was really slowing down, but most experts were not forecasting an imminent recession.

So why did so many chief executives suddenly decide that it was time to move on?

The following are just a few of the big name CEOs that chose to step down in 2019

United Airlines — Oscar Munoz

Alphabet — Larry Page

Gap — Art Peck

McDonald’s — Steve Easterbrook

Wells Fargo — Tim Sloan

Under Armour — Kevin Plank

PG&E — Geisha Williams

Kraft Heinz — Bernardo Hees

HP — Dion Weisler

Bed, Bath & Beyond — Steven Temares

Warner Bros. — Kevin Tsujihara

Best Buy — Hubert Joly

New York Post — Jesse Angelo

Colgate-Palmolive — Ian Cook

MetLife — Steven Kandarian

eBay — Devin Wenig

Nike — Mark Parker

Of course the mass exodus of chief executives did not end there.

In fact, a whopping 219 CEOs stepped down during the month of January 2020 alone.

By then, it was starting to become clear that the coronavirus that was ripping through China could potentially become a major global pandemic, and I certainly can understand why many among the corporate elite would choose to abandon ship at that moment.

Some of these CEOs have made absolutely absurd salaries for many years, and it is much easier to take the money and run than it is to stick around and steer a major corporation through the most difficult global crisis that any of us have ever experienced.

The following are just a few of the well known CEOs that have resigned so far in 2020

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney

Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich

T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga

Keith Block, co-CEO of Salesforce

Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse

Hulu CEO Randy Freer

It is important for me to say that I do not have any special insight into the personal motivations of any of these individuals, and every situation is different.

But I do think that it is quite strange that we have seen such an unprecedented corporate exodus at such a critical moment in our history.

Meanwhile, top corporate executives were dumping billions of dollars worth of shares in their own companies just before the market completely cratered.  The following comes from the Wall Street Journal

Top executives at U.S.-traded companies sold a total of roughly $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies between the start of February and the end of last week, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows.

The selling saved the executives—including many in the financial industry—potential losses totaling $1.9 billion, according to the analysis, as the S&P 500 stock index plunged about 30% from its peak on Feb. 19 through the close of trading March 20.

In the stock market, you only make money if you get out in time, and many among the corporate elite seem to have impeccable timing.

Perhaps they just got really lucky.  Or perhaps they were reading my articles and understood that COVID-19 was going to cause the global economy to shut down.  In any event, things worked out really well for those that were able to dump their stocks before it was too late.

And it turns out that several members of Congress were also selling stocks just before the market went nuts…

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and three of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.

The data is listed on a U.S. Senate website containing financial disclosures from Senate members.

Of course most ordinary Americans were not so “lucky”, and the financial losses for the country as a whole have been absolutely staggering.

The good news is that there was a tremendous rally on Wall Street on Tuesday, and that will provide some temporary relief for investors.

But the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to escalate at an exponential rate all over the globe, and this crisis appears to be a long way from over.

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.

It’s Not “Just The Flu”: Here Is Why You Definitely DO NOT Want To Catch This Coronavirus…

Can you imagine being in “blinding pain” for weeks, constantly gasping for air as you feel like you are being suffocated, and screaming for mercy because you are in so much constant torment?  As you will see below, coronavirus survivors are telling us about their hellish ordeals, and they are warning us to do everything that we can to avoid this virus.  Of course they are the lucky ones.  As I detailed in another article, the global death toll has doubled over the past six days, and so far the very high death rate in the United States is extremely alarming.  So those that survive should consider themselves to be very fortunate, but many of those same individuals will be left with permanent lung damage.  This virus attacks the respiratory system with a ferocity that is shocking doctors, and those that are still attempting to claim that COVID-19 is “just like the flu” need to stop, because they are just making things worse.

Researchers have found that this virus has an incubation period of up to 24 days, and people can spread it around long before they are showing any symptoms.

And you don’t even have to encounter someone with the virus to catch it.  According to Bloomberg, new research has discovered that this virus can remain on surfaces “for as many as 17 days”…

Traces of new coronavirus were found on surfaces in cruise-ship cabins for as many as 17 days after passengers left, researchers said, though it wasn’t possible to determine whether they caused any infections.

Researchers looked at the rooms of infected passengers aboard the Diamond Princess, both those who showed symptoms and those who didn’t, according to a study Monday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

When you combine those two factors, it makes COVID-19 nearly impossible to contain.

This is a major emergency, and it makes me angry that there are prominent voices out there that are still trying to downplay this pandemic.  As a result, many people are not taking proper precautions, and a lot of them are going to end up catching the virus.

If you are reading this and you still don’t think that COVID-19 is a big deal, please take a moment to consider the following five stories about coronavirus survivors…

#1 26-year-old Fiona Lowenstein

That night I woke up in the middle of the night with chills, vomiting, and shortness of breath. By Monday, I could barely speak more than a few words without feeling like I was gasping for air. I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without panting as if I’d run a mile. On Monday evening, I tried to eat, but found I couldn’t get enough oxygen while doing so. Any task that was at all anxiety-producing — even resetting my MyChart password to communicate with my doctor — left me desperate for oxygen.

#2 55-year-old Kevin Harris

“Imagine your lungs turning solid. It’s like suffocating without holding your nose,” said Harris, who owns an auto body shop and typically runs 5 miles every day.

“Every time I lay down, my breathing gets lower and lower. I thought my lungs would fail me. I was screaming for mercy and praying to God.”

#3 25-year-old Connor Reed

A Welshman who caught the coronavirus in China has described how the deadly disease hit him “like a train” leaving him “suffocating” and in blinding pain for weeks.

Connor Reed, from Llandudno, got ill while working as an English teacher in Wuhan.

The 25-year-old described how it started as “just a sniffle” on November 25 – a month before authorities officially announced the virus – but over the next three-and-a-half weeks he got increasingly ill and was unable to move.

#4 39-year-old Tara Jane Langston

‘It’s like having glass in your lungs, it’s hard to explain, but every breath is a battle.

‘It’s absolutely horrible and I wouldn’t want to go through anything like this ever again. I’d been ill for about five days before I was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

‘I’d originally been diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics and advised to take ibuprofen and paracetamol. I was taking about eight ibuprofen a day and they now think that that exacerbated the problem.

#5 A 12-year-old girl in Georgia named Emma

Emma, a 12-year-old girl, is “fighting for her life” in an Atlanta hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to her cousin.

Justin Anthony told CNN that Emma was diagnosed with pneumonia on March 15 and tested positive for coronavirus on Friday night. As of Saturday, she was on a ventilator and is currently in stable condition, Anthony said.

As you can see, this virus is not just hitting “old people” extremely hard.

But if you are above the age of 60, please understand that you at very high risk, and you need to stay away from public places for the foreseeable future.

I know that it can be hard to stay home day after day, but this is truly a very, very deadly virus.

At this point, even doctors and nurses are “scared to go to work”

Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus in the United States say it’s “the first time” they’ve been scared to go to work. With a shortage of personal protective equipment, some have resorted to using bandanas to cover their faces.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been truly scared to come to work, but despite being scared we are trained to save lives and we’re committed to doing that,” Dr. Cornelia Griggs, a surgeon in New York City, told “CBS This Morning.” “I’m embarrassed to say, but prior to this, my husband and I had never gotten around to writing a will, but this weekend that became one of our to-do list items.”

As I have been writing this article, over 2,000 more confirmed cases were added to the rapidly growing total here in the United States.  And as I discussed yesterday, it looks like the U.S. is going to have a very high death rate just like we are seeing in western European countries such as Italy and Spain.

So please take this pandemic very seriously.  A lot of Americans are going to die, and it is going to be a great national tragedy.

Please pray for those that have caught the virus and are deeply suffering.  It is in our darkest moments that we need a miracle the most, and there are a whole lot of people out there that need one right now.

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.

Experts Warn Of A Complete And Utter Economic Meltdown As The Global Coronavirus Death Toll Explodes

Everyone that tried to tell us that this pandemic would fade away quickly has been proven dead wrong.  Right now, approximately 187 million Americans are under “shelter-in-place” orders as COVID-19 sweeps across the nation like wildfire.  There are now more than 43,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., but by the time many of you read this article that number is likely to be far higher.  But what is even more concerning is what we are seeing with the cases that have come to a final resolution one way or the other.  Of all U.S. cases that have been officially resolved, 553 patients have died and only 295 patients have recovered.  Over time, the number of patients that have officially recovered will eventually surpass the number that have died for a couple of reasons.  For one, some victims are dying in just a few days while it can take weeks for some patients to fully recover.  Secondly, more widespread testing will start to reveal more mild cases, and most of those mild cases will ultimately recover.  But without a doubt it is starting to appear that the U.S. will have a very high death rate like we are seeing in Italy, Spain and other western European nations.  Monday was the very first time that more than 100 Americans died in a single day, and it looks like the days ahead could be much, much worse.

Overall, the global death toll is rising at a pace that is very alarming.  It hit 16,000 on Monday, and that means it only took six days to double from 8,000.

If the death toll keeps doubling like that, we are going to be in very big trouble.

The number of confirmed cases is rising at an exponential rate as well, and on Monday the head of the WHO warned that this pandemic “is accelerating”

The coronavirus “pandemic is accelerating,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday.

Almost every country in the world has reported cases, he announced in a Geneva press conference.

“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases. Eleven days for the second 100,000 and just four days for the third 100,000,” he said.

As I write this article, there are 260,133 open cases around the world and 118,947 closed cases.

Out of the closed cases, 86 percent of the victims have recovered and 14 percent of the victims have died.

To put that into perspective, the Spanish Flu pandemic that stretched from 1918 to 1920 had a death rate of less than 3 percent.

But even after everything that has transpired, there are still lots of Americans that are not taking this pandemic seriously.  I don’t understand this, because all of our medical authorities are warning us that the worst is yet to come.  In fact, Surgeon General Jerome Adams just told us that “it’s going to get bad” …

Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Monday that the coronavirus outbreak will worsen this week and said people across the country are not taking the threat seriously enough.

“I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said in an interview on the “TODAY” show.

And as I have been warning for weeks, this pandemic is going to plunge the United States and the entire globe into a horrifying economic nightmare.

At this point, even CNN is using “the d-word”….

A global recession, once unthinkable in 2020, is now a foregone conclusion and some experts warn that the pandemic could drag the world’s economy into a depression. More bad news: The coronavirus outbreak may just be getting started.

Central banks and governments are now unleashing a tsunami of interest rate cuts, loan guarantees and new spending, tapping emergency powers to reassure investors, cushion the shock to companies and workers and preserve the foundations of a functioning economy for the future.

A month ago, most Americans wouldn’t have imagined that such a thing could be possible.

But now “the everything bubble” has burst and we have just witnessed the fastest 30 percent decline for the S&P 500 in all of U.S. history

Twenty-two days.

That’s all it took for the S&P 500 to fall 30% from its record high, the fastest drop of this magnitude in history.

The second, third and fourth quickest 30% pullbacks all occurred during the Great Depression era in 1934, 1931 and 1929, respectively, according to data from Bank of America Securities.

In the short-term, the good news for investors is that we should see a substantial bounce in stock prices this week, and that could especially be true when Congress finally gets around to passing their “stimulus” package.

But whether the market goes up or down in the short-term, it isn’t going to stop the complete and utter economic meltdown that is now unfolding.

According to billionaire Tom Barrack, the commercial mortgage market is on the precipice of a historic collapse…

Real estate investor Tom Barrack said the U.S. commercial-mortgage market is on the brink of collapse and predicted a “domino effect” of catastrophic economic consequences if banks and government don’t take prompt action to keep borrowers from defaulting.

Barrack, chairman and chief executive officer of Colony Capital Inc., warned in a white paper and in a subsequent interview on Bloomberg Television of a chain reaction of margin calls, mass foreclosures, evictions and, potentially, bank failures due to the coronavirus pandemic and consequent shutdown of much of the U.S. economy.

Sadly, Barrack is 100 percent correct.

All of the dominoes are going to fall, and it is going to be horrifying to watch.

Meanwhile, we could be on the verge of a shutdown “of virtually all passenger flights across the U.S.”

Major U.S. airlines are drafting plans for a potential voluntary shutdown of virtually all passenger flights across the U.S., according to industry and federal officials, as government agencies also consider ordering such a move and the nation’s air-traffic control system continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus contagion.

No final decisions have been made by the carriers or the White House, these officials said. As airlines struggle to keep aircraft flying with minimal passengers, various options are under consideration, these people said.

To me, this is something that is exceedingly difficult to imagine, but we will see things a lot stranger than this in the days ahead.

As America literally shuts down from coast to coast, the job losses are going to be absolutely staggering.  In fact, we are being warned to expect numbers that are unlike anything we have ever seen before

Upcoming weekly jobless claims will shatter the standards set even during the worst points of the financial crisis and the early-1980s recession, with Bank of America forecasting a total of 3 million when the number is released Thursday. Those figures are expected to be so bad, in fact, that the Trump administration, according to several media reports, has asked state officials to delay releasing precise counts.

If this pandemic stretches on for an extended period of time, we will very quickly surpass the unemployment levels that we witnessed during the Great Recession.

Back then, the unemployment rate didn’t exceed 10 percent, but now the head of the St. Louis Fed is warning that we may see a 30 percent unemployment rate in the second quarter

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, with an unprecedented 50% drop in gross domestic product.

Could things actually deteriorate that rapidly?

I sure hope not, because most American families are just barely scraping by

How long could you sustain your household if you were to stop earning income? If you are like most Americans, the answer is not for long. Only 40 percent of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 expense with their savings. In fact, nearly 80 percent of workers are living paycheck to paycheck. It is no surprise that the probability of an economic recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic caused many to worry.

For years, many of us have been begging and pleading with people to get ready.  We warned that when things finally broke loose that events would move very quickly.  I even co-authored an entire book entitled “Get Prepared Now”, but now it is too late to get prepared in advance because a day of reckoning is now upon us.  I really like how Mike Adams of Natural News made this point

Over the last several days, I’ve been called by many people I haven’t heard from in years. Suddenly they’re interested in what I have to say, even though they ignored everything I said for the last decade. And they want to assure me they’re “fully prepared” with 2-3 weeks of food.

These are the same people who probably have four months’ worth of toilet paper, but only a 3-week supply of food.

I’m not even trying to educate them at this point. That day is long gone. Anyone who thinks “2-3 weeks of food” is going to carry them through a national food supply line collapse, a global consumer goods supply line collapse and a systemic, cascading finance and banking collapses is living in a land of sheer delusion.

A lot of the same people that didn’t listen and didn’t get prepared in advance are now trying to convince us that this crisis will soon be gone.

And it would be wonderful if they are right.

But at this moment the global numbers are rising rapidly with each passing hour, and the global economy is literally imploding all around 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.

So Far, The Number Of Americans That Have Died From The Coronavirus Is Greater Than The Number That Have Recovered

The information that I am about to share with you is quite disturbing, and it has some very alarming implications.  One of the great mysteries of this coronavirus pandemic has been the widely varying death rates that we have been witnessing all over the world.  For example, South Korea has had 8,981 confirmed cases so far.  Of those cases that have been resolved one way or the other, 111 victims have died and 3,166 victims have recovered.  So that would seem to indicate a very low death rate in that nation.  But in Italy, things are very different.  Up to this point, there have been 59,138 confirmed cases.  Of the cases that have been resolved, 5,476 victims have died and 7,024 have recovered.  Needless to say, that would seem to indicate a very, very high death rate in Italy.

Nobody really knows why this is happening.  Scientists in China claim that there is more than one strain of the coronavirus and that one is more deadly than the other.  So it has been theorized that the strain hitting Italy and other European countries is different than the strain that is affecting South Korea.

Alternatively, there are some that believe that certain pain killers used in the western world greatly accelerate the multiplication of the virus, and this is something that I wrote about a few days ago.

But the truth is that we really don’t know for sure why death rates in different countries are so vastly different.

With that being said, let me share with you the latest numbers from the United States.

At this moment, there are 34,717 confirmed cases, but the vast majority of them will not be resolved for some time.

Of those cases that have reached a final resolution, 452 have died, and only 178 have recovered.

Over time, I expect the number that have recovered to eventually greatly surpass the number that have died, and there are a couple of reasons why I believe this.

For one, it can take many weeks to recover, but those that die can do so relatively quickly.

Secondly, expanded testing will ultimately reveal a lot more mild cases, and most of those mild cases will eventually recover.

Having said that, the numbers that the U.S. is reporting so far are nothing short of horrifying.

If most of the country eventually catches this virus, it looks like the death toll could be in the millions.  And at this point, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is warning that 80 percent of the population of his state will eventually become infected…

NEW York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned that 80% of New York state’s population could become infected with the coronavirus and said the crisis could last as long as nine months.

Cuomo’s stark assessment came hours after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned that the lockdown, currently impacting 80 million people across the country, could last 12 weeks.

Over the past few days, victims in New York City have been dying at a rate of more than one person an hour, and we are being told that New York hospitals are “like a war zone” right now.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

Over on the west coast, things have gotten so bad in L.A. County that they have mostly given up on testing people

Los Angeles County health officials advised doctors to give up on testing patients in the hope of containing the coronavirus outbreak, instructing them to test patients only if a positive result could change how they would be treated.

The guidance, sent by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to doctors on Thursday, was prompted by a crush of patients and shortage of tests, and could make it difficult to ever know precisely how many people in L.A. County contracted the virus.

In other words, we will no longer really have any idea how bad the outbreak is in the Los Angeles area from now on.

And without identifying those that are infected and making sure they are isolated, all hope of containing the pandemic in California is completely dead.

Of course many are hoping that the current “shelter-in-place” order in California will help slow down the spread of COVID-19, but what will happen when it ends?

At this point, many Californians are already getting restless.  In fact, Governor Gavin Newsom’s wife seems quite concerned that her family will “run out of toilet paper, paper towels, and Kleenex tomorrow”

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the actress wife of Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, sent out a tweet on Wednesday complaining that “we run out of toilet paper, paper towels, and Kleenex tomorrow.”

Her husband on Thursday ordered that all Californians stay in their homes except for certain essential excursions—on pain of being arrested.

The truth is that most Americans are simply not equipped to handle any sort of an extended crisis, and that appears to be what we are heading for.

On Sunday, the entire country was stunned when we learned that U.S. Senator Rand Paul has tested positive.  Let us be in prayer for him and his entire family.

But pretty soon so many famous people will be testing positive that we won’t be able to keep track of them all.  The attending physician of Congress believes that up to 150 million Americans will eventually become infected, and if that happens the virus will literally be everywhere.

That doesn’t mean that you should give up on trying to avoid COVID-19.  If you doubt the deadliness of this virus, I would like for you to consider what a medical worker in Louisiana is saying

“Reading about it in the news, I knew it was going to be bad, but we deal with the flu every year so I was thinking: Well, it’s probably not that much worse than the flu. But seeing patients with COVID-19 completely changed my perspective, and it’s a lot more frightening.”

“I have patients in their early 40s and, yeah, I was kind of shocked. I’m seeing people who look relatively healthy with a minimal health history, and they are completely wiped out, like they’ve been hit by a truck. This is knocking out what should be perfectly fit, healthy people. Patients will be on minimal support, on a little bit of oxygen, and then all of a sudden, they go into complete respiratory arrest, shut down and can’t breathe at all.”

I have heard from so many people out there that believe that this coronavirus is about the same as the flu.

What a huge mistake.

Coronavirus victims have told us stories of being curled up in a fetal position crying for mercy as “blinding pain” roars through their bodies.  As their lungs fill up with fluid, many report feeling like they can barely breathe for days on end.

The unlucky ones end up dead, but even many of the “lucky ones” end up with permanent lung damage.

Please do whatever you possibly can to boost your immune system now, because it looks like a large percentage of the population will be grappling with this virus at some point.

When New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli was asked if she was worried about catching the virus, she warned that everyone will be infected eventually

“Are you worried,” I ask, “that you’ll get the coronavirus eventually?”

She smiles.

“I’m definitely going to get it. We all are,” Persichilli says matter-of-factly. “I’m just waiting.”

I don’t believe that is true, and I believe that there are many Americans that will never catch the virus.

But without a doubt it is sweeping across America at a speed that is absolutely breathtaking, and the death toll is ahead of even the most pessimistic projections that were originally issued.

A great plague has hit America, and we are still only in the very early chapters.

This is the moment in our history when everything starts changing, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.

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 Why People All Over America Are Scared To Death Of Being Tested For The Coronavirus…

How would you feel if you received a bill for more than $34,000 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus?  This pandemic is showing the entire world that the U.S. healthcare system is deeply, deeply broken, and there is no way that we can continue to go on like this.  If coronavirus testing is quick, inexpensive and widely available all over the rest of the globe, why can’t that be the case here too?  Democrats and Republicans have been fighting about fixing our healthcare system all the way back to the 1990s and they haven’t gotten the job done.  Now we have a system that is a complete and utter embarrassment, and it is about to be overwhelmed by the greatest public health crisis that any of us have ever seen.

Even under normal circumstances, most Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital because of what it will cost.

I have written about this numerous times before, but not even I would have imagined that getting tested and treated for coronavirus would cost more than $34,000

A woman in the United States says she was billed $34,927.43 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus, Time magazine reports.

When Danni Askini first came down with the symptoms of the virus — shortness of breath, a fever, a cough and migraines — she was told by a doctor to go to the emergency room. There, she was told she had pneumonia and could go home. She visited the emergency room two more times as her symptoms persisted and worsened before she was finally tested for the coronavirus. Three days later her results showed she had COVID-19.

How in the world is it possible for a bill to get that high?

As Danni pointed out, she now owes the hospital more than she paid for both of her college degrees.

Sadly, she is going to be far from alone.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, coronavirus victims all over America are going to get hit with extremely high medical bills…

A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average cost of COVID-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance—and without complications—would be about $9,763. Someone whose treatment has complications may see bills about double that: $20,292. (The researchers came up with those numbers by examining average costs of hospital admissions for people with pneumonia.)

What this means is that if even a single member of your family catches the virus it could instantly wipe you out financially, and this is especially true if you do not have health insurance.

Congress has passed a bill which will now cover the cost of coronavirus testing, but the bad news is that “it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment”

Public health experts predict that tens of thousands and possibly millions of people across the United States will likely need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future. And Congress has yet to address the problem. On March 18, it passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing costs going forward, but it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment.

For those that catch the virus, and officials are warning that will eventually be most of us, treatment is going to cost far, far more than testing will.

You may think that you will just tough things out at home, but if this virus hits you hard enough you will either go to the hospital or you will die.

For a moment, I would like for you to consider what a medical worker in Louisiana is saying about the patients that he is treating

“With our coronavirus patients, once they’re on ventilators, most need about the highest settings that we can do. About 90% oxygen, and 16 of PEEP, positive end-expiratory pressure, which keeps the lung inflated. This is nearly as high as I’ve ever seen. The level we’re at means we are running out of options.

“In my experience, this severity of ARDS is usually more typical of someone who has a near drowning experience — they have a bunch of dirty water in their lungs — or people who inhale caustic gas. Especially for it to have such an acute onset like that. I’ve never seen a microorganism or an infectious process cause such acute damage to the lungs so rapidly. That was what really shocked me.”

Many coronavirus victims have described being in a state where they constantly feel like they are drowning.

And this medical worker in Louisiana says that there is a really good reason for that, because the severe cases that he is treating are “essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full”

“When someone has an infection, I’m used to seeing the normal colors you’d associate with it: greens and yellows. The coronavirus patients with ARDS have been having a lot of secretions that are actually pink because they’re filled with blood cells that are leaking into their airways. They are essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full. So we’re constantly having to suction out the secretions every time we go into their rooms.”

For the moment, there are still enough ventilators in the U.S. for everyone, but we are still in the very early chapters of this pandemic.

Over in Europe, many hospitals are already being completely overwhelmed.  In Italy, one doctor is reporting that patients over the age of 60 are now being refused access to artificial respiratory machines

Peleg said that, from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60 as such machines are limited in number.

When things get bad enough, doctors are going to have to make choices about who lives and who dies here too.

It is hoped that the measures that are being taken all over the nation will start to slow down the spread of this virus.

But millions of Americans continue to go to work each day, and many of them simply can’t afford not to work.

In fact, it is being reported that many delivery drivers continue reporting for work each day even though they are clearly very sick…

An increasing number of the workers sorting those boxes, loading them into trucks and then transporting and delivering them around the country have fallen sick.

They have coughs, sore throats, aches and fevers — symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Yet they are still reporting for their shifts in crowded shipping facilities and warehouses and truck depots, fearful of what will happen if they don’t.

So the next time a delivery truck comes to your home, you may want to keep your distance.

We have never seen anything like this before.  The entire western world is shutting down simultaneously, and it is being estimated that nearly a billion people are now under lockdown orders

Close to one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes on Saturday as the global coronavirus death toll shot past 11,000 and US states rolled out lockdown measures already imposed across swathes of Europe.

The pandemic has completely upended lives across the planet, restricting movement, shutting schools and forcing millions to work from home.

Needless to say, this is going to be absolutely devastating for the economy.

If you can believe it, Morgan Stanley is now projecting a 30 percent decline in U.S. GDP on an annualized basis during the second quarter…

We now see 1Q GDP dropping by 2.4% as economic activity has come to a near standstill in March, followed by a record-breaking drop of 30.1% in 2Q. We estimate that March will also mark the first drop in nonfarm payrolls, down 700k. We expect a record-high unemployment rate, averaging 12.8% in 2Q.

We assume sharp declines in areas of consumer discretionary spending like travel, dining out, other services and motor vehicle spending among others. This will leave a large hole in consumer spending in 2Q, when we expect real personal consumption expenditures to contract at a 31% annualized pace.

And the president of the St. Louis Fed is being even more pessimistic

In an interview with Bloomberg, the president of the St. Louis Fed, predicted that U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, coupled with an unprecedented 50% drop in US GDP. That would be an outcome worse not only than every prior war the US has (officially) waged, but more than twice as dire as the worst days of the Great Depression.

It sure didn’t take much to plunge the U.S. into a horrifying economic depression.

Two months ago, everything seemed just fine to most people.

But now financial markets are crashing, workers are losing jobs at an unprecedented rate, and many of the businesses that are now being closed down will never open again.

Fear of the coronavirus has collapsed “the everything bubble”, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning…

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.

More Than 70 Million Americans Have Been Locked Down So Far, And This Is Just The Beginning…

It seems like just yesterday that I was warning that the same sort of lockdowns that were occurring in Italy and China would soon be instituted here, and now it is actually happening.  As you will see below, more than 70 million Americans have already been locked down, and more states will likely follow suit in the days ahead.  Of course our politicians are attempting to put a positive spin on their directives by referring to them as “shelter-in-place” orders, and they are promising us that they are only “temporary”.  But less than 300 Americans have died during this pandemic so far, and many medical experts are warning that this is only the very beginning of this crisis.  As long as the number of confirmed cases and the death toll are both rising at an exponential rate, these “shelter-in place” orders will remain in effect, and Americans will become increasingly frustrated about having to remain in their own homes.

On Friday, two of the biggest states in the entire country decided that it was time to shut virtually everything down

The Governor of Illinois has announced a stay at home order, making it the latest state to shut down after New York and California as President Trump refuses to issue a national quarantine in the battle against coronavirus.

On Friday, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a total ban on non-essential businesses and warned there would be strict fines for any businesses that do not comply. It will go into effect on Sunday evening and is indefinite.

But of course some businesses will remain open.  The following is a list of some of the businesses in New York that are exempt from the order

  • Hospitals and medical services
  • Grocery Stores
  • Pharmacies 
  • Government workers 
  • Mass transit 
  • Some food services and restaurant delivery 
  • News organizations 
  • Cuomo said he does not know if laundromats apply 

The effectiveness of such an order is definitely open to debate.  As thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers circulate through local grocery stores and pharmacies, it is inevitable that the virus will continue to spread.

But at least doing this is better than nothing.

These orders by the governors of New York and Illinois came about 24 hours after California instituted similar measures

The stay home order is in place till further notice.

All dine-in restaurants, bars and clubs, gyms and fitness studios will be closed, according to the order. Public events and gatherings are also not allowed. Essential services will stay open, however, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, and banks.

This means that in just those three states alone, approximately 70 million Americans “are now under stay-at-home orders”

It means that between the three states, 70 million Americans are now under stay-at-home orders.

They are being told to only go out for exercise, to the grocery store or to seek medical care, and can pick up take-out from restaurants – so long as those restaurants can keep themselves afloat. Many have already closed their doors.

Wow.

In addition to California, New York and Illinois, the state of Connecticut has decided to lock down their citizens starting on Monday night, and Pennsylvania has ordered all businesses that are not “life-sustaining” to completely shut down.

We haven’t reached the point of a total “national lockdown” just yet, but it will sure start to feel like it as one state after another issues similar orders.

I am really struggling to find the words to describe how utterly devastating that this is going to be for the U.S. economy.  The number of people filing for unemployment benefits is absolutely exploding all over the country, and financial markets have been plunging as investors anticipate the economic nightmare that is coming.  For much more on this please see the article that I just posted entitled “This Was The Worst Week For The Stock Market Since 2008, And “Jobless Filings Are Growing Geometrically”.

Many are hoping that the lockdowns that are being instituted now will last for only a few weeks and then life can start to get back to normal.

But Italy has already been locked down for an extended period of time, and the number of people dying in that country just hit another daily record

Italy has recorded its highest day-to-day-rise in the number of deaths of people infected with the new coronavirus.

Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli said Friday the country recorded 627 more deaths in the 24 hours since Italy surpassed China on Thursday as the nation with the most COVID-19-related deaths. The total now stands at 4,032.

And many Americans are simply too stubborn to follow these lockdown orders.

In fact, many Americans are too stupid to even use basic common sense.  Just check out the following example

The latest incident occurred in the Washington exurb of Purcellville, Virginia, some 55 miles from the White House.

According to a Purcellville Police Department report, “An incident occurred at a local grocery store involving juveniles reportedly coughing on produce, while filming themselves and posting it on social media.”

Are you kidding me?

Coughing on produce and then posting it on social media?

Some people will do anything to get attention.

I really do hope that more Americans start taking this pandemic seriously.  The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. will pass the 20,000 mark this weekend, and we just learned that a member of Vice-President Mike Pence’s staff has tested positive

A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has tested positive for coronavirus, the White House said Friday, marking the first such infection within the top rungs of the administration.

Katie Miller, a spokeswoman for Pence, did not identify the staffer, nor did she say specifically where the individual worked. Pence is leading the administration’s coronavirus task force and has been a regular presence at the president’s side in recent weeks.

This pandemic is going to change life in America permanently, and the truth is that COVID-19 is just one element of “the perfect storm” that is now upon us.

Economic activity is coming to a screeching halt all over the nation, anger and frustration were already at extremely dangerous levels before this pandemic started, and if these lockdown orders stretch on for many months to come it is only a matter of time before we see tremendous civil unrest start to erupt.

Everything that we have been warning about for so long is starting to come to fruition, and the days ahead are going to be extremely challenging for all Americans.

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 Was The Worst Week For The Stock Market Since 2008, And “Jobless Filings Are Growing Geometrically”

Just a few weeks ago everything seemed completely normal to most people, but now fear of the coronavirus has caused U.S. stock prices to absolutely implode.  The stock market crash of 2020 will forever be mentioned alongside the crashes of 1929, 1987 and 2008, and by the time it is over it could potentially end up being the largest of them all.  Close to a third of all stock market wealth in the entire country has already been wiped out, and many experts are warning that the worst is yet to come.  Of course the authorities are going to do their very best to try to prop up the market, but despite the most dramatic intervention by the Federal Reserve that we have ever witnessed, U.S. stocks just had their worst week since 2008

The Dow dropped more than 17% for the week, its biggest one-week fall since October 2008, when it slid 18.2%. The S&P 500 lost more than 13% week to date after dropping another 11.5% last week. The Nasdaq fell 12.6%. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also had their worst weekly performances since the financial crisis in 2008.

And when you look at the numbers for the entire month so far, they are even more depressing

The Dow is down more than 24% for March and is currently on pace for its biggest one-month fall since September 1931. The S&P 500 has dropped 22% month to date and is headed for its worst monthly performance since May 1940.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen a whopping 35.2 percent from the all-time record high that we witnessed in February, and the S&P 500 has fallen 32.1 percent from the all-time record high that it set earlier this year.

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a market crash of such speed and ferocity.

At this point, all of the stock market gains that we have witnessed since Donald Trump became president have been completely wiped out.

Ouch.

I know that many of you may find this difficult to believe, but stock prices are still substantially overvalued.

According to historical norms, stocks valuation ratios are still way too high, and so stocks still have a lot further to fall until they get back to “normal”.

Of course these aren’t “normal” times, and so there is no telling how far prices could eventually fall.

As financial markets continue to go wildly up and down, an increasing number of financial firms are inevitably going to get into very serious trouble.

On Friday, many were absolutely stunned when Ronin Capital completely imploded

Well, no more: according to CNBC’s Scott Wapner, one of the CME’s direct clearing firms was unable to meet its capital requirements on Friday, forcing the exchange to step in and invoke its “emergency protocols” to auction off the firm’s portfolios.

The firm in question: Ronin Capital, which on its website says “seeks the best and brightest people who embrace our Firm’s culture, and can thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial trading environment.” Apparently, that also meant being unable to quantify your risk exposure.

Sadly, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Meanwhile, the greatest corporate debt bubble in history appears as though it is about to burst in a major way.  According to Bloomberg, “the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled” over the past couple of weeks…

In less than two weeks, the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. alone has doubled to a half-trillion dollars as the collapse of oil prices and the fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries.

In all, U.S. corporate bonds that yield at least 10 percentage points above Treasuries, as well as loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar, have swelled to $533 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

But most ordinary Americans are not really too concerned about such matters.

What many Americans are worried about these days is whether or not they will actually have jobs next week.

As the U.S. literally shuts down from coast to coast, Americans are losing jobs at a pace that is mind blowing, and we are being told that state jobless claims “are growing geometrically”

State jobless filings are growing geometrically, a signal of how the national numbers will change when we have them. Last Monday, Colorado had 400 people apply for unemployment insurance. This Tuesday: 6,800. California has seen its daily filings jump from 2,000 to 80,000. Oregon went from 800 to 18,000. In Connecticut, nearly 2 percent of the state’s workers declared that they were newly jobless on a single day. Many other states are reporting the same kinds of figures.

When I first read those numbers, they took my breath away.

And since most workers in this country are living paycheck to paycheck, large numbers of them will almost instantly be struggling to pay their basic expenses once they are let go.

Sadly, more layoffs are coming, and we are now being warned to brace ourselves for job loss numbers that once would have been unthinkable

The first real bad U.S. economic data from the coronavirus outbreak was released on Thursday, as initial jobless claims surged 70,000 to 281,000, the highest level in 2.5 years.

But that is not anything compared with what is in store.

David Choi, an economist from Goldman Sachs, says initial claims for the week ending March 21 may jump to a seasonally adjusted 2.25 million.

Please pray for those that are losing their jobs, because most of them will not be able to find work for the foreseeable future.

What we are dealing with is not just another economic downturn.  In her most recent article, Annie Lowrey described this as an economic “shock” that is “more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced”…

What is happening is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced. The unemployment rate climbed to its apex of 9.9 percent 23 months after the formal start of the Great Recession. Just a few weeks into the domestic coronavirus pandemic, and just days into the imposition of emergency measures to arrest it, nearly 20 percent of workers report that they have lost hours or lost their job. One payroll and scheduling processor suggests that 22 percent of work hours have evaporated for hourly employees, with three in 10 people who would normally show up for work not going as of Tuesday. Absent a strong governmental response, the unemployment rate seems certain to reach heights not seen since the Great Depression or even the miserable late 1800s.

So how bad could things ultimately get?

Well, Goldman Sachs is now forecasting that on an annualized basis U.S. GDP will plunge 24 percent in the second quarter

Goldman Sachs economists on Friday forecast an unprecedented 24% decline in second quarter gross domestic product, following a 6% decline in the first quarter, based on the economy’s sudden and historic shutdown as the country responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

If that projection is anywhere close to accurate, we are about to see economic suffering that will be off the charts.

Needless to say, cries for help from the federal government will soon become overwhelming.  At this point, even billionaires such as Ray Dalio are pleading for the government to do more

As the coronavirus spread Thursday, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio said the outbreak will cost U.S. corporations up to $4 trillion, and “a lot of people are going to be broke.”

“What’s happening has not happened in our lifetime before. … What we have is a crisis,” the Bridgewater founder said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There will also be individuals who have very big losses. … There’s a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money.”

So a broke government that is already 23.5 trillion dollars in debt is supposed to borrow and spend trillions more to bail everyone out?

Good luck with all that.

We have reached the beginning of the end.

We have reached a time when everyone and everything is going to be shaken, and life is never going to go back to the way it was before.

But as I keep stressing, now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help we can get through this, but God’s plan for your future may end up looking radically different from what your plan for the future would have looked like.

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 In Italy Dying Of The Coronavirus?

One of the great mysteries of this coronavirus pandemic has been the widely varying death rates that we have been witnessing all over the globe.  For example, the death rate in Italy has been many times higher than the death rate in South Korea, and that has greatly puzzled the experts.  Initially I thought that perhaps Italy was dealing with a different strain of the virus than South Korea was, and that may still turn out to be true once we learn more.  But another potential factor has emerged that I wanted to share with my readers, because it has to do with something that might be in your medicine cabinet right now.  Health authorities in Europe are now warning that ibuprofen may accelerate the multiplication of the virus, and they are instructing everyone not to use it.

On Saturday, the health minister of France sparked headlines all over the globe when he tweeted the following

“The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone … ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor’s advice.”

Unfortunately, many people in Europe have been immediately reaching for ibuprofen once they get the virus because they want something that will help them deal with the pain.

In fact, researchers discovered that most Italians that developed serious complications once they caught the coronavirus had been taking ibuprofen at home

They studied why the disease pathway in Italy is more serious, finding that most patients took ibuprofen at home. Researchers joined the virus and ibuprofen in the laboratory and came to the conclusion that administering ibuprofen accelerates multiplication of the virus and is related to a more serious course of the disease. They recommend to avoid ibuprofen and to administer paracetamol, aspirin, diclofenac.

Consultant Pediatrician in London John Greenwood was quoted as saying: “We have just been sent a medical alert that no one is to use anti-inflammatories (e.g. Ibruprofen, Voltarol, naproxen, and others) for pain or high temperature. Use paracetamol instead. There seems to be a link between severe cases of COVID-19 affecting young people with no underlying illnesses and taking anti-inflammatories. Initial reports started coming from French doctors on Friday. This has been confirmed by infectious diseases consultants here – there are four young people in ICU in Cork who have no underlying illnesses – all were taking anti-inflammatories and there are concerns this has caused a more severe illness.”

This information needs to get out to everyone as quickly as possible, but so far the mainstream media in the United States has been very slow to pick up on this story.

And that is extremely unfortunate, because accurate information could make the difference between life and death in a lot of cases.

On Facebook, a British man named Dan Collins shared what happened when he gave his very young daughter ibuprofen to treat her coronavirus infection…

To those of you that have children please read

If your child has symptoms of corona virus, DO NOT give them ibuprofen

Amelia’s been unwell since Tuesday, cough, fever, cold. This morning she came into my room and got into my bed burning hot and not wanting to get up. Anyone that knows Amelia knows that this isn’t like her at all! Once she’s awake she’s awake and spends the day bouncing off the walls! We took her temperature and it was 38, along with every other symptom of corona virus, so called 111 who said they’d send out paramedics within 2 hours to check on her

We couldn’t get calpol anywhere in staple hill yesterday so got nurofen instead thinking nothing of it, within an hour of giving her nurofen she dropped dramatically. She was panting while trying to breathe, her heart rate was very rapid, she couldn’t keep her eyes open, couldn’t lift her head up, her body was shaking, she started being sick on herself and her temperature had risen to 39.4!

We called back up and they sent out an emergency ambulance, once the paramedics got here they managed to bring her temp and stats down a bit, they’re still higher than normal but not dangerous high anymore. Now she’s back on calpol she’s back to just being her poorly self. The paramedics only told us while here that were not to give her ibuprofen!

The paramedic said about self isolating and calling back if her temp rises that high again, so I asked if it’s just for the 7 days as it’s already been 5 days but they said that as she has all symptoms were to keep her isolated until all symptoms are gone.

So please don’t give them ibuprofen!

For those that aren’t familiar with “Nurofen”, the primary active ingredient it contains is ibuprofen.

If we don’t get the word out about this, a lot of otherwise mild cases could become very serious, and our hospitals will be even more overwhelmed.

In the United Kingdom, one doctor is already warning of a complete and utter national nightmare.  The following comes from an article entitled “I’m a Doctor in Britain. We’re Heading Into the Abyss.”

Ten days ago, I was asked to see a patient. I’m a respiratory specialist in an intensive-care unit at a hospital in London, so it wasn’t surprising that the patient needed a ventilator. It seemed fairly typical. But the patient turned out to have the coronavirus — our hospital’s first case and one of nearly 2,000 people who have so far tested positive in Britain. I hadn’t worn a mask. Soon I developed a cough.

Though I experienced neither fever nor breathlessness, I was told to self-isolate for 14 days. That’s where I am now, in self-isolation. And I’m not the only one from my hospital. After just one patient with Covid-19, a quarter of our junior staff are off with coughs and sniffles we would normally work through. A single case of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc in our hospital.

Of course the U.S. is facing a similar scenario.

In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio just warned that his city “will run out of medical supplies” in just a matter of weeks…

New York City has recorded 1664 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day, taking the total number to 3615.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the shocking statistic in a press conference held Thursday afternoon, with the official number soaring by over 1000 in the hours since state Governor Andrew Cuomo updated the public earlier in the morning.

He later told CNN that the city will run out of medical supplies in between two and three weeks if infections continue at the current rate.

And New York City pediatric surgeon Cornelia Griggs just wrote an open letter to the New York Times in which she proclaimed that “the sky is falling”, and she ominously warned that we are about to face an absolutely unprecedented public health crisis that we are not ready for

Alarmist is not a word anyone has ever used to describe me before. I’m a board-certified surgeon and critical care specialist who spent much of my training attending to traumas in the emergency room and doing the rounds at Harvard hospitals’ intensive care units. I’m now in my last four months of training as a pediatric surgeon in New York City. Part of my job entails waking in the middle of the night to rush to the children’s hospital to put babies on a form of life support called ECMO, a service required when a child’s lungs are failing even with maximum ventilator support. Scenarios that mimic end-stage Covid-19 are part of my job. Panic is not in my vocabulary; the emotion has been drilled out of me in nine years of training. This is different.

We are living in a global public health crisis moving at a speed and scale never witnessed by living generations. The cracks in our medical and financial systems are being splayed open like a gashing wound. No matter how this plays out, life will forever look a little different for all of us.

Anyone that is not taking this outbreak seriously at this point is just being delusional.

One patient that survived the virus says that she constantly felt like she had glass in her lungs, the Washington Post is projecting that 1.1 million Americans could die in a “worst-case scenario”, and the virus is now starting to make a big time comeback in countries where it was thought to be contained.

It appears that we are going to be fighting this virus for a long time to come, and it is absolutely critical that we get people the information that they desperately need.

Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media appear to be more concerned about what their advertisers will think, and that is extremely unfortunate.

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 This Be “Just A Recession” Or Will It Be “The Next Great Depression”?

As America slowly but surely shuts down from coast to coast, everyone is acknowledging the fact that we are heading into a very serious economic downturn.  Originally, many experts were warning that this coronavirus pandemic could spark a recession, but now some are actually starting to use the “d” word.  Yesterday, I wrote about the government planning document that envisions an 18 month pandemic, multiple “waves” of infections, and “critical shortages” of important supplies.  If that scenario actually plays out, what we will experience will be far, far worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009.  So let us hope that a way can be found to slow down the spread of this virus.

At this point, many of our top minds are fearing the worst.  On Thursday, former White House economist Kevin Hassett warned CNN that we could actually see a repeat of the Great Depression…

The widespread shutdown of the American economy because of the coronavirus could spark a repeat of the Great Depression, former Trump economist Kevin Hassett told CNN on Thursday.

The startling warning from a former White House adviser comes as Wall Street banks say the United States faces an historic collapse in GDP and mounting job losses.

Just a few weeks ago, the mainstream media was full of talk about how bright the future looked for the U.S. economy.

But now Hassett is telling us that we could be about to witness the “worst jobs number you ever saw”

Hassett, who left the White House last year and is now a CNN commentator, predicted that when the April jobs report comes out it will be the “worst jobs number you ever saw,” with perhaps two million jobs lost.

That would easily surpass the worst jobs report of the Great Recession, when payrolls plunged by 800,000 during March 2009.

Could you imagine the panic that would cause on Wall Street if we actually do see a job loss of that magnitude?

Of course Hassett is not the only one using such strong language.  A former economic adviser to Barack Obama says that this pandemic “could do more damage to the economy than the financial crisis did”

Jason Furman was a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, serving as deputy director of the National Economics Council from 2009 to 2013, and as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2017. He played a key role in designing the administration’s response to the financial crisis and Great Recession. He’s now a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

I’ve spoken with Furman often over the years, and to put it bluntly, I’ve never heard him as alarmed as on Thursday. He believes the coronavirus could do more damage to the economy than the financial crisis did, and that policymakers aren’t even close to designing a large enough response.

Sadly, he is likely to be entirely correct.

In fact, if this pandemic stretches on for many more months it will make what happened in 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

For a long time I have been warning that a recession is coming, but I don’t have to warn about that any longer.  On Thursday, Bank of America boldly declared that the next recession is already here

Bank of America warned investors on Thursday that a coronavirus-induced recession is no longer avoidable — it’s already here.

“We are officially declaring that the economy has fallen into a recession … joining the rest of the world, and it is a deep plunge,” Bank of America U.S. economist Michelle Meyer wrote in a note. “Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed.”

If you can believe it, Bank of America is actually projecting that the U.S. economy will shrink by 12 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter, and they are warning that more than 3 million jobs will be lost during this crisis…

Bank of America looked at the labor market as a way to understand the “magnitude of the economic shock.” The firm expects the unemployment rate to nearly double, with roughly 1 million jobs lost each month of the second quarter for a total of 3.5 million.

Actually, if we only lose 3.5 million jobs during the course of this pandemic that should be considered to be a rip-roaring success.

Never before in U.S. history have we witnessed such a widespread economic shutdown.  On Thursday, the governor of Pennsylvania actually ordered almost every business in the entire state to close up shop

Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations by 8 p.m. Thursday in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close their physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the Wolf administration said in a press release.

That means that almost everyone is going to be staying home and virtually all economic activity in the state is going to come to a grinding halt.

There is a good chance that this will slow down the spread of the virus in Pennsylvania temporarily, but unless every other state does the same thing simultaneously, people from other states are just going to keep bringing the virus back in.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott just instituted a whole host of restrictions, but most businesses will continue operating normally

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order limiting public gatherings to 10 people, shutting schools, prohibiting visitors to nursing homes and retirement communities and limiting bars and restaurants to take-out through April 3 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. He also recommended that non-essential state employees telework.

In California, about a third of the state is currently locked down, but the COVID-19 has just continued to spread.

In fact, Governor Gavin Newsom just told the press that he expects more than 25 million people to eventually become infected in his state alone

California estimates that more than half of the state — 25.5 million people — will get the new coronavirus over the next eight weeks, according to a letter sent by Gov. Gavin Newsom to U.S. President Donald Trump.

“In the last 24 hours, we had 126 new COVID-19 cases, a 21 percent increase. In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days,” Newsom wrote in a letter dated Wednesday. Newsom asked Trump to dispatch the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles through Sept. 1 to help with the influx of expected cases.

Overall, the number of confirmed cases in the United States has dramatically escalated over the last 48 hours.

As long as the number of confirmed cases continues to explode, the lockdowns will persist and the restrictions on our freedoms will become more severe.

And if this pandemic does end up lasting for 18 months as the government is now projecting, it will paralyze our society to an extent that we have never seen before.

The U.S. economy has fallen off a cliff, and I have a feeling that it has a long, long way to go before it hits bottom.

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.

Are You Ready To Have Your Civil Liberties Severely Restricted? Because That Is Where This Thing Is Headed…

One of the things that sets the United States apart from the rest of the world is that we are supposed to have certain civil liberties guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution.  Of course the U.S. Constitution has been absolutely trampled on by many of our leaders for decades, but most Americans still deeply cherish the basic rights which are enshrined in our founding document.  Unfortunately, many of our politicians are convinced that all of those rights can be taken away during a “national emergency”, and these days the bar for declaring a “national emergency” has been set very low.  Yes, this coronavirus pandemic is a major threat, and experts are warning that millions of Americans could die.  But in the process of fighting this virus, we don’t want to relinquish the freedoms that previous generations of Americans fought so hard to secure for us.  As history has demonstrated, once certain freedoms are gone they can be exceedingly difficult to get back.  We are now being warned that this pandemic could last 18 months or longer, and losing any of our freedoms for that long is absolutely unthinkable.

Unfortunately, some of our politicians are apparently thinking about the unthinkable.

I would like for you to consider something that California Governor Gavin Newsom just told the media very carefully

California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a Sunday presser said that martial law was not necessary to combat coronavirus in his state.

“If you want to establish a framework of martial law, which is ultimate authority and enforcement, we have the capacity to do that, but we are not feeling at this moment that is a necessity,” Newsom said.

At this moment?

Does that mean that later on it may become “a necessity”?

And why would he even dare to use the term “martial law” anyway?

Less than 200 Americans have died during this pandemic so far.  Yes, the numbers are rising rapidly, but no politician in their right mind should be allowing the term “martial law” to escape from their lips.

That is just going to freak everyone out and cause even more panic.

Without a doubt, citizens of California are already on edge due to the severe restrictions that have already been implemented.  In southern California, Orange County officials have decided to ban virtually all “public and private gatherings”

Orange County officials Tuesday took unprecedented action by banning all public and private gathers beyond those of a single household as jurisdictions across the world grapple with the spread of coronavirus.

County health officer Dr. Nicole Quick issued the order effective immediately prohibiting “all public and private gatherings of any number of people, including at places of work, occurring outside a single household or living space.”

And in northern California, nearly 8 million people have essentially been “locked down”

In Northern California, about 8 million people have been ordered to shelter in place. The Southern California city of Palm Springs issued a similar mandate.

In all one in four Californians live in an area where there is a stay at home when possible order.

Hopefully these measures will slow the spread of the virus.

But what if they don’t?

And unless the other 49 states enact similar lockdowns at the same time, people are going to keep bringing the virus back into the state.

At this point COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire all over the nation.  If you can believe it, even a couple members of Congress have now caught the virus

Two members of Congress, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams, have tested positive for coronavirus in one day, causing other members who may have been exposed to go into self-quarantine and raising the question of whether there are more cases on Capitol Hill.

But most Americans still seem to believe that this pandemic isn’t actually that serious.

In fact, one new survey found that a whopping 62 percent of all Americans believe that the mainstream media “has exaggerated the threat of coronavirus”

62 percent of Americans believe that the media has exaggerated the threat of coronavirus, according to a new Pew Research poll.

The results of the survey found that 63 percent of Americans believe the CDC and public health officials have got the risk of COID-19 about right, with just 21 percent believing they have exaggerated the risks.

To me, the mainstream media was actually very slow to recognize the seriousness of this story.

If they had started warning people much earlier, we would be in far better shape today.

I keep trying to get people to understand that you do not want this virus.

If you doubt this, just consider the immense suffering that one survivor went through

“Imagine your lungs turning solid. It’s like suffocating without holding your nose,” said Harris who owns an auto body shop and typically run 5 miles every day.

“Every time I lay down my breathing gets lower and lower. I thought my lungs would fail me. I was screaming for mercy and praying to God.”

Does that sound like it is “just like the flu” to you?

Sadly, the truth is that we are just in the very early chapters of this pandemic.  According to Dr. Deborah Birx, it is likely that the number of confirmed cases inside the U.S. will “dramatically increase” over the next several days…

“We will see the number of people diagnosed dramatically increase over the next four to five days,” Dr. Deborah Birx, of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said at a news conference.

The number of cases in New York state grew by more than 1,200. More than 500 of those were in New York City.

And even though there are now more than 3,000 confirmed cases in the state of New York alone, Governor Andrew Cuomo is warning that he believes that the virus “is much more widespread than any of these numbers suggest”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are likely “tens of thousands” of COVID-19 cases in the state by residents who never knew they had the illness.”

An increase in testing is “revealing more cases,” Cuomo said Wednesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer. “I think it is much more widespread than any of these numbers suggest.”

So yes, this virus is a very serious threat and this pandemic requires a very strong national response.

However, we have got to find a way to fight this virus and maintain our constitutional rights at the same time.

I understand that it isn’t always going to be easy to find the right balance, and the temptation for our leaders to overreact is going to be overwhelming at times.

But defeating this virus won’t be any sort of a “victory” if we lose what it means to be Americans while we are doing it.

So let us battle COVID-19 with great courage, but let us also carefully guard our constitutional rights whenever they are threatened.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

The U.S. Government Is Preparing For An 18 Month Pandemic And “Critical Shortages”

Are you prepared for the nationwide shutdown that is happening now to last for the next 18 months?  You may not believe that such a thing will happen, but the federal government apparently does.  A 100 page government plan marked “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release” was obtained by the New York Times, and it paints a very bleak picture of what is coming.  If the projections in this document are anywhere close to accurate, large numbers of Americans will die, the U.S. economy will completely implode, and we will see widespread civil unrest.  So let us pray that the assessments in this government plan turn out to be dead wrong.

According to the document, this coronavirus pandemic “will last 18 months or longer”

A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves,” resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system.

The 100-page plan, dated Friday, the same day President Trump declared a national emergency, laid out a grim prognosis for the spread of the virus and outlined a response that would activate agencies across the government and potentially employ special presidential powers to mobilize the private sector.

I can’t even imagine what our country would look like if current conditions stretched into the middle of 2021.

As a nation, I don’t believe that we would be able to handle it.

The document also envisions that there will be “critical shortages”

“Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure,” the plan warned. “This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations.” P.P.E. refers to personal protective equipment.

Of course there are already shortages of some drugs and of many basic consumer products such as toilet paper.

Sadly, things could soon get much worse.

Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to collapse at a staggering pace.  A former economic adviser to President Trump is now warning us that the U.S. economy could lose up to a million jobs this month alone

Kevin Hassett, who served as a top economic adviser to President Trump until last summer, said Monday that the United States economy could shed as many as one million jobs in March alone because of layoffs and hiring freezes related to the coronavirus.

“If you have normal job disruption, and hiring just stops,” Mr. Hassett said, “you’ll have the worst jobs number ever.”

But if this pandemic continues to escalate, a million jobs lost will just be a drop in the bucket.

In fact, the National Restaurant Association is now projecting that their industry will lose “between five and seven million jobs”

The National Restaurant Association is predicting the unprecedented carnage is only just beginning, on Wednesday writing a letter to the White House and Congress detailing an estimated $225 billion in sales will be wiped out over the next three months, crucially prompting the loss of between five and seven million jobs.

Remember, that is just one industry.

The retail industry is also being completely devastated as well, and we just learned that the largest operator of shopping malls in the United States is shutting them all down

Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the nation, is closing all of its malls and retail properties because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The closings start at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday and the malls are expected to end March 29, the Indianapolis-based company said in a news release.

Of course they won’t actually open back up on March 29th if this pandemic continues to get worse.

So far, COVID-19 has killed less than 200 Americans.

If our society is being this disrupted now, what will things be like if the death toll becomes 1,000 times larger?

For years, I have warned that our economy was extremely vulnerable, and now that is becoming exceedingly obvious to everyone.  It certainly didn’t take too much of a push to burst all the bubbles and send everyone into a severe panic, and now the economy is collapsing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

According to NBC News, state unemployment websites all over the nation are crashing because so many people are suddenly applying for unemployment benefits…

Workers who have suddenly found themselves without a paycheck because of the growing coronavirus pandemic in the United States are now dealing with another frustration — state unemployment websites crashing because of high traffic.

From Oregon to New York and Washington, D.C., officials and Twitter users have highlighted the problem after the mass closing of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tomorrow morning most Americans will wake up assuming that their jobs are safe.  But right now an increasing number of people are being let go without any advance warning whatsoever.  Here is one example

Eileen Hanley was wrapping up her weekend and getting ready for the week ahead on Sunday evening when an email popped up in her inbox with the subject line “COVID-19 uncertainty.” It was from her boss at the small Manhattan law firm where she worked part time as a receptionist.

“We hope you are feeling well during this time,” the email began. Then it cut to the chase: The firm was losing revenue because of the outbreak, and it would have to eliminate “a number of positions,” including hers, “effective immediately.”

We have never seen anything like this before.

Things were tough during World War II, but it was actually a time when the country geared up and worked extremely hard to defeat the enemy.

But now economic activity all over America is being brought to a screeching halt.  In fact, we just learned that the three largest automakers have shut down all of their U.S. factories

Detroit’s Big Three automakers plan to temporarily close all U.S. factories as the coronavirus sweeps across the country.

The companies bowed to pressure from union leaders and employees who called for protection from the pandemic that’s spread to more than 212,000 people in nearly every country across the globe.

As a nation, we would survive a 30 day shutdown.

But if life doesn’t get back to normal for “18 months”, we are going to witness a societal meltdown of epic proportions.

This week, investor Bill Ackman told CNBC that “hell is coming”, and he warned that unless the entire country is shut down simultaneously for an extended period of time “America will end as we know it”…

“What’s scaring the American people and corporate America now is the gradual rollout,” Ackman told Scott Wapner on “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “We need to shut it down now. … This is the only answer.”

“America will end as we know it. I’m sorry to say so, unless we take this option,” he said. Ackman added that if Trump saves the country from the coronavirus, he will get reelected in November.

I believe that he makes an excellent point, but I would take it one step further.

If the entire world shut down for 30 days, this pandemic would quickly be brought under control.  If only the U.S. shuts down, it is inevitable that the virus would keep coming back into the country as the pandemic continues raging elsewhere on the globe.

Of course we aren’t going to get the entire globe to agree to shut down simultaneously for 30 days.

So this outbreak will continue to spread and the case numbers will continue to grow.

For a long time I have been warning that something would come along that would burst all the bubbles and trigger a horrifying economic meltdown.

Now it is upon us, but now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help, we will get through this.

But life is not going to go back to the way it was before.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

What Is Our Country Going To Look Like If Millions Of Americans Start Dying From The Coronavirus?

Experts are warning that hundreds of millions of people around the globe could eventually catch COVID-19, and if that actually happens, millions of people are going to die.  Globally, less than 10,000 people have died during this pandemic so far, and the level of fear we are witnessing is off the charts.  The entire western world is shutting down and people are freaking out like we have never been before.  So what is going to happen if the global death toll soon gets 100 times higher?  According to the CDC, in a “worst-case scenario” more than 200 million people could become infected in the United States alone…

According to The New York Times, a closed-door meeting was held last month among CDC officials and dozens of epidemic experts from around the world.

One of the CDC’s leading epidemiologists presented four scenarios – named A, B, C and D – to show possible ways the virus could spread throughout the US population.

The federal health agency projects that in the worst-case scenario, between 160 million and 214 million people would be sickened.

Do you think that our society is equipped to handle a crisis of that magnitude?

I certainly don’t.

Hopefully the measures that are now being taken will slow the spread of this virus.  Because if that does not happen, researchers at Imperial College London are projecting that 2.2 million Americans could die

The report is also influencing planning by the Trump administration. Deborah Birx, who serves as the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, cited the British analysis at a news conference Monday, saying her response team was especially focused on the report’s conclusion that an entire household should self-quarantine for 14 days if one of its members is stricken by the virus.

The Imperial College London group reported that if nothing was done by governments and individuals and the pandemic remained uncontrolled, 510,000 would die in Britain and 2.2 million in the United States over the course of the outbreak.

I really don’t understand why some people out there still refuse to take this pandemic seriously.

Now that this outbreak is completely out of control, it won’t be too long before COVID-19 is virtually everywhere.

According to a new study that was just conducted by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this virus can remain “in the air for hours” and it can remain on surfaces for days…

The highly contagious novel coronavirus that has exploded into a global pandemic can remain viable and infectious in droplets in the air for hours and on surfaces up to days, according to a new study that should offer guidance to help people avoid contracting the respiratory illness called COVID-19.

So once this virus has spread to every community in the United States, there won’t be any public places that are safe.

It could be on the next surface that you touch, the next hand that you shake or in the next gulp of air that you breathe in.

According to the researchers, COVID-19 could still actually be detected on plastic and steel surfaces “after three days”

On plastic and stainless steel, viable virus could be detected after three days. On cardboard, the virus was not viable after 24 hours. On copper, it took 4 hours for the virus to become inactivated.

In terms of half-life, the research team found that it takes about 66 minutes for half the virus particles to lose function if they are in an aerosol droplet.

That means that after another hour and six minutes, three quarters of the virus particles will be essentially inactivated but 25% will still be viable.

Some people that get this virus only experience minor symptoms the entire time, and that is definitely good news.

But many others have been hit extremely hard.  Some survivors experienced “blinding pain” for weeks, and many felt like they were constantly being suffocated.

And even if you survive after going through all that, there is a good chance that your lungs could be permanently damaged for the rest of your life.  In fact, one Belgian doctor says that the lung damage that he has been witnessing is “nothing short of terrifying”

A Belgian doctor working to battle the coronavirus says he’s treated several seriously ill young patients — and their lung scans were “nothing short of terrifying,” according to reports.

Dr. Ignace Demeyer, who works at a hospital in Aalst, said an increasing number of people between the ages of 30 and 50 have presented with severe symptoms, despite having “blank medical records” that show no underlying conditions that would make them high-risk, the Brussels Times reported.

So please stay at home as much as possible in the coming days.

You do not want this virus.

Just like other countries, it appears that our medical system will soon be overwhelmed.  Already, hospitals across America are setting up tents and bringing doctors out of retirement in order to get ready for the expected surge in patients.

But if this virus starts spreading as wildly as it has in Italy, it won’t be nearly enough.  Just check out what is currently taking place in one northern Italian city

Funeral services are overwhelmed in Bergamo, the northern Italian city hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, with a crematorium operating 24 hours a day, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

There is now a waiting list for burials there, and coffins of the deceased awaiting services have overflowed two hospital morgues and a cemetery morgue, The Post reported.

Many would like to believe that the same thing won’t happen here, but the truth is that the United States is on the exact same trajectory as Italy.

We have maintained a pace that is approximately 10 days behind what is happening over there, and we had better hope that the measures that are being implemented now will alter this trend.

Back on March 5th, Mike Adams of Natural News released a model that projected that this virus will cause more than 2 million deaths in the U.S. by July 4th.

Instead of being too pessimistic, so far the actual numbers are exceeding the projections of his model by as much as 25 percent

Remember the original pandemic projection model we released on March 5th? That model, with details shown below, projected 2.1 million deaths in the United States by July 4th if aggressive steps weren’t taken to achieve strong social isolation (i.e. halting all domestic air travel, blocking public transport, etc.).

Fortunately for us all, President Trump and local mayors and governors have all taken various forms of action since that day, helping achieve some measure of social isolation. That means the original projection of 2.1 millions deaths is now obsolete, and that President Trump, through his actions, has probably saved many hundreds of thousands of lives.

However, we’re not out of the woods yet. And the number of fatalities being reported right now across America is actually exceeding my original projections by as much as 25%.

Personally, I think that we will see a complete and total national lockdown before the death toll gets to 100,000.

And a complete and total national lockdown would definitely change the trajectory of these numbers.

But for a moment, let’s consider what would happen if the model that Mike Adams released on March 5th continues to be accurate

By April 4th, 2020, if no travel restrictions are put in place:

  • 8,645 actively infected and transmitting on this day
  • 580 cumulative dead since day one, with 58 deaths on this day
  • 5,432 cumulative recovered since day one

By May 4th, 2020, if no travel restrictions are put in place:

  • 122,529 actively infected and transmitting on this day
  • 10,432 cumulative dead since day one, with 910 deaths on this day
  • 85,332 cumulative recovered since day one

By June 4th, 2020, if no travel restrictions are put in place:

  • 1.7 million actively infected and transmitting on this day
  • 153,000 cumulative dead since day one, with 12,960 deaths on this day
  • 1.2 million cumulative recovered since day one

By July 4th, 2020, if no travel restrictions are put in place:

  • 24.3 million actively infected and transmitting on this day
  • 2.16 million cumulative dead since day one, with 183,000 deaths on this day
  • 17.1 million cumulative recovered since day one

I don’t know if I have the words to describe the extreme fear and chaos that we would see if this many Americans really did end up dying in the months ahead.

We are talking about the potential for a societal collapse of epic proportions.

So let us pray for mercy, because right now we desperately need 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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

The Coronavirus Collapse Is Here: Get Ready For The U.S. Unemployment Rate To Hit 20 Percent (Or Higher)

As communities all over America shut down in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, job losses are already starting to rise to extremely alarming levels.  As you will see below, almost one out of every five households in the U.S. has already experienced “a layoff or a reduction in work hours” because of this pandemic.  Unfortunately, many experts are now anticipating that we could see one of the most dramatic spikes in the unemployment rate in American history in the months ahead.  In fact, it is being reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just told members of Congress that this crisis could actually push our unemployment rate up to 20 percent…

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic could drive up US unemployment to 20%, a Republican Senate source told CNN.

Mnuchin’s comments came as he urged Republican senators to act on economic stimulus measures totaling $1 trillion designed to avert that kind of worst case scenario.

If this coronavirus pandemic is over by the end of this calendar year, I think that Mnuchin’s projection may be accurate.

But if if this pandemic stretches into 2021 or beyond, the U.S. unemployment rate will likely go quite a bit higher.

If you doubt this, just look at what has already happened

The coronavirus pandemic has already started to hit American pocketbooks, with nearly 1 in 5 households experiencing a layoff or a reduction in work hours, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

As people stay home, avoid crowds and cancel plans to avoid spreading the disease, it’s rapidly causing a contraction in economic activity that is hurting a wide range of businesses.

To be more precise, the survey found that 18 percent of U.S. households have lost income already because of this pandemic.

But we are still only in the very early chapters of this crisis.  If employment is being hit this hard now, what is going to happen if millions of Americans eventually catch this virus?

And it could happen.  As I have discussed previously, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress believes that up to 150 million Americans will ultimately become infected.

Sadly, lower income Americans have been hit the hardest by this crisis so far

Lower-income workers were the most affected: A quarter of households making less than $50,000 had experienced cut hours or a job loss.

Most lower income Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are just barely scraping by each month.

So if this pandemic doesn’t end relatively soon, it won’t be very long before millions of them are really, really hurting financially.

Needless to say, we are about to see a colossal spike in the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits.  In fact, so many New Yorkers have been trying to apply that it actually crashed the website

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

So many people tried to apply that the website crashed several times throughout the day — while the DOL’s hotline was so jammed up that callers seeking aid could not get through to someone who could handle their claim.

And according to U.S. Senator Rob Portman, the number of people in Ohio filing for benefits jumped 592 percent in just one week

Senator Rob Portman, and Ohio Republican, said on Tuesday that he received new data on Ohio’s unemployment claims showing 45,000 claims this week compared to 6,500 last week, according to journalist Liz Skalka.

That’s a one-week increase of 592 percent.

Please let that number sink in for a moment.

592 percent.

We are going to see things that we have never seen before in the weeks and months to come, and the economic suffering is going to be off the charts.

At this point, even Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are acknowledging that a recession has probably already begun, and one economist is now projecting that U.S. GDP will decline at a 10 percent annualized rate during the second quarter

We are only just beginning to see what the economic fallout from coronavirus will be.

And Wall Street economists are now throwing out some brutal forecasts for what economic data in the quarters ahead might hold.

“We now guesstimate that second quarter GDP will drop at a 10% annualized rate, after a 2% fall in Q1,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note to clients on Monday night.

In a desperate attempt to prop up the economy, the Trump administration is proposing a stimulus package that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars.

The following is how CNBC summarized what may be in that package…

  • $500 billion to $550 billion in direct payments or tax cuts
  • $200 billion to $300 billion in small business assistance
  • $50 billion to $100 billion in airline and industry relief

If Congress ultimately approves this package, apparently quite a bit of the money will be used to make direct payments to U.S. households.

According to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, the American people “need cash now”

Potentially $250 billion of the package could go toward making direct payments to Americans, a White House official told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Mnuchin said earlier Tuesday that the administration wants to get emergency funds in Americans’ pockets “immediately.”

“Americans need cash now,” Mnuchin said during a White House press briefing on the administration’s latest efforts to combat the disease. “I mean now in the next two weeks.”

Of course this would set an extremely dangerous precedent, and the federal government can’t afford this because it is already drowning in debt, and “helicopter money” is likely to cause significant inflation, but very few policy makers in Washington seem to be alarmed by such concerns.

If the federal government is going to do this during the very early chapters of this crisis, they better keep on doing it month after month, because the suffering is going to greatly escalate the longer this pandemic lasts.  If we get to the point where the payments are eventually cut off, it is likely that we will see a really big national temper tantrum.

And instead of sending out $1,000 to each adult, why not send out $10,000?  Better yet, why not make it $100,000?

I don’t know anyone that couldn’t use an extra $100,000 right now.

Needless to say, once we start going down this road it is just a matter of time before our money is completely and utterly worthless.

Our national economic nightmare has begun, and it is going to be absolutely horrifying.  I really like how Peter Schiff recently made this point…

This is the beginning of the end. This is how it starts. And believe me, when you see how this finishes, this is going to be unlike anything we have experienced.  I think we have passed that point of no return. It’s like we’ve already jumped off the top of the building, off the top of the Empire State Building. There’s no way to change our minds now. We’re going to hit that pavement. I can’t see any way we can avoid that. All we can do is brace for impact ourselves.”

For so long, so many of us have been warning that “the everything bubble” would burst and that the consequences would be extremely severe.

It turns out that fear of the coronavirus is the “black swan event” that finally burst that bubble, and now everything that we have been warning about is starting to unfold.

The coronavirus collapse is here, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.  We are about to experience the consequences of decades of exceedingly foolish decisions, and those consequences are going to shake our society to the core.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

“Do Not Call 9-1-1 Just Because You Ran Out Of Toilet Paper”

Did you ever imagine that you would see the day when police are being called out to protect trucks that are unloading shipments of toilet paper?  Well, in California this is actually happening.  At the Costco in Santa Maria, California police were seen guarding a truck as it unloaded a shipment of toilet paper on Saturday.  Thanks to the tremendous fear that the coronavirus pandemic is creating, toilet paper has become one of the hottest commodities in America all of a sudden.  Many retailers have already started to limit the amount of toilet paper that each customer can purchase, and shortages are becoming increasingly common.

So what should you do if you run out of toilet paper and can’t get anymore?

Well, apparently some people in Oregon have been calling 9-1-1 to voice their concerns.  The Newport Oregon Police Department posted the following message on their Facebook page two days ago…

It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.

In fact, history offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra plush two-ply citrus scented tissue.

Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in salt water. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of salt water available. Sea shells were also used.

Mayans used corn cobs. Colonial Americans also used the core of the cob. Farmers not only used corn cobs, but used pages from the Farmers Almanac. Many Americans took advantage of the numerous pages torn from free catalogs such as Sears and Roebuck. The Sears Christmas catalog, four times thicker than the normal catalog, could get a family of three wiped clean from December through Valentine’s Day; or Saint Patrick’s Day if they were frugal.

Then, of course, there are always alternatives to toilet paper. Grocery receipts, newspaper, cloth rags, lace, cotton balls, and that empty toilet paper roll sitting on the holder right now. Plus, there are a variety of leaves you can safely use. Mother Earth News magazine will even tell you how to make your own wipes using fifteen different leaves. When all else fails, you have magazine pages. Start saving those catalogs you get in the mail that you usually toss into the recycle bin. Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper.

I am glad that they approached this “crisis” with a sense of humor, but the reality of the matter is that this is starting to become a full-blown national problem.

At this point, even Amazon is having a very difficult time finding enough toilet paper

Those toilet paper and water shortages at your local markets and big-box retailers have affected Amazon, as well.

The company said over the weekend that it, too, is out of stock on many items, “especially in household staples categories,” and is working “around the clock” and bringing on “additional capacity” to deliver orders.

Ultimately, toilet paper is not essential for survival, and we could do just fine without out.

But what will happen if this pandemic stretches on for many more months and national food supplies start getting really tight?

Let us hope that we don’t get to that point any time soon, because it would spark nationwide panic on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.

Sadly, most Americans could not last very long on what they currently have stored up in their homes.  If we have to go through an extended national lockdown like we have already seen in China or Italy, a lot of the exact same people that mocked us for “preparing” are going to find themselves in a very precarious position.

And in some areas, a lockdown has already occurred.  In fact, more than 6 million residents of northern California have now been ordered to “shelter in place”

Six Bay Area counties announced a “shelter in place” order for all residents on Monday — the strictest measure of its kind yet in the continental United States — directing everyone to stay inside their homes and away from others as much as possible for the next three weeks as public health officials desperately try to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus across the region.

The directive begins at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and involves San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties — a combined population of more than 6.7 million.

Most Bay Area residents will be just fine for a few days.

But what happens if this “shelter in place” order lasts for several months?

Over on the east coast, New York City has not been locked down yet, but the latest measures are a big step in that direction

The city that never sleeps has been forced to shut down its bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms, including those in New York City’s iconic Times Square, in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Photos of one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Big Apple show a relatively quiet scene with only a handful of people walking under Times Square’s bright lights on Monday.

The state of New York now has the most confirmed cases in the entire nation, and if this outbreak continues to spread wildly it is just a matter of time before a total lockdown is instituted.

At this point, the United States is on the exact same trajectory as Italy.  If this continues, the same things that are happening there will start happening here.

In the northern portion of the country, the death toll is becoming truly frightening.  In fact, we just learned that six Catholic priests have died from the virus in the city of Bergamo alone

At the heart of the European coronavirus crisis in northern Italy’s city of Bergamo, six Catholic priests have died during the past week from the disease and, as of Sunday, over 20 priests were hospitalized.

The Bishop of Bergamo, Francesco Beschi, confirmed this numbers speaking with the Italian TV news network Rainews24.

Anyone that has to deal with the public is going to be at great risk during this pandemic, and so it is vital not to underestimate the deadliness of this virus.

Just a few weeks ago there were zero cases in Bergamo, but now the city’s crematory has so many dead bodies it is unable to keep up

An Italian mayor says that his city’s crematory is now “unable to dispose of all the work it has to do,” as there have been so many bodies of those who have died due to the coronavirus.

Giorgio Gori — the mayor of Bergamo, Italy — says that it is no longer only the hospitals that are in a state of emergency but also the crematorium responsible for managing the bodies, according to a report by Il Giornale.

Doesn’t that sound eerily similar to what happened in Wuhan?

If we don’t get this outbreak under control somehow, the same thing will eventually happen in the United States too.

But most Americans still seem to believe that this virus is not a serious threat to them personally.  In fact, a brand new survey discovered that only 19 percent of Americans expect to catch COVID-19…

The survey of 502 people at least 18 years old shows that fear and panic doesn’t seem to be completely overtaking most households, but plenty of Americans are worried. In all, 19% of respondents think they’ll be diagnosed with coronavirus at some point.

Interestingly, nearly one in ten (9%) people went as far to admit they believe they have coronavirus right now.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is projecting that half the U.S. population will eventually become infected.

A lot of people that are not taking this seriously will eventually get sick and die.

And this is especially true for those that are openly mocking this pandemic.  Right now, “the coronavirus challenge” is getting a lot of attention on social media for all the wrong reasons.

As a part of this challenge, people are literally licking toilet seats and doorknobs

No matter what’s at stake, please don’t try this challenge, folks.

There’s a brand new challenge introduced on TikTok where people are licking everyday items that are often for public use.

Yes, these include toilet seats and doorknobs.

How unbelievably stupid do you have to be to do something like that?

Unfortunately, this is yet another perfect example of how far our society has degenerated.

We have literally become an “idiocracy”, and we are sitting ducks for a deadly virus that is not going to show us any mercy whatsoever.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

For The 3rd Time This Month, We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Point Crash In Stock Market History

We are literally witnessing history in the making.  For the third time in the last six trading sessions, we have witnessed the largest single day point crash in stock market history.  Let that sink in for a moment.  On March 9th, the Dow set a new record by falling 2,013 points.  Then on March 12th, the Dow set a new record again by falling 2,352 points.  Of course what happened on Monday was the biggest whopper of them all.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,997 points, and words like “carnage” and “devastation” don’t seem to be strong enough to convey that horror that took place.  To put all of this into perspective, the largest single day point crash during the last financial crisis was just 777 points.  That means that the crash that we witnessed on Monday was nearly four times as large as the worst single day point crash in 2008.

Of course all of this volatility is being driven by fear of the coronavirus.  Even though less than 100 Americans have died so far, investors are completely freaking out.

So what will happen if thousands or even millions of us start dying?

On a percentage basis, the nightmare that we watched unfold on Monday was the worst day for stocks since “Black Monday” in 1987

Stocks fell sharply Monday — with the Dow suffering its worst day since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987 and its third-worst day ever — even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,997.10 points lower, or 12.9%, at 20,188.52. The 30-stock Dow was briefly down more than 3,000 points in the final minutes of trading. The S&P 500 dropped 12% to 2,386.13 — hitting its lowest level since December 2018 — while the Nasdaq Composite closed 12.3% lower at 6,904.59 in its worst day ever.

Overall, the Dow is now down more than 31 percent from the all-time high set earlier this year.

If you can believe it, all of the tremendous stock market gains that we have witnessed over the last three years have been completely wiped out in just 18 trading days.

Ouch.

Banking stocks were hit particularly hard once again on Monday.  Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were each down more than 14 percent, Morgan Stanley was down more than 15 percent, and Citigroup was down more than 19 percent.

Remember, those are not figures for the entire year.

Those are figures for one day.

Of course the utter carnage was not just limited to stocks.  The following is how Zero Hedge summarized some of the other losses that we witnessed…

  • STOXX EUROPE 600 ENDS DOWN 4.9%, LOWEST CLOSE SINCE MID-2013
  • SOUTH AFRICA’S FTSE/JSE INDEX FALLS AS MUCH AS 12.2%, MOST EVER
  • MUNI BONDS EXTEND WORST ROUT SINCE 1987
  • COPPER SLUMPS AS MUCH AS 5.2% AMID WEAKENING RISK APPETITE
  • BRENT CRUDE OIL PLUNGES BELOW $30 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2016
  • SILVER PLUNGES TO 2011 LOWS
  • U.S. WHOLESALE GASOLINE PRICES PLUNGE 21%
  • HYG WORST DROP SINCE 2008
  • LQD WORST DROP SINCE 2008

The good news is that there is often a hefty rebound after a historic decline of this magnitude.  It appears that stock prices will likely shoot back up a good bit on Tuesday, and that will temporarily soothe a lot of frazzled nerves.

But this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the past couple of days, restaurants and bars have been shut down across the nation, schools have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, and it has been announced that the entire city of San Francisco will be locked down.

As virtually all forms of activity come to a standstill all over America, our economic numbers are going to absolutely collapse.

In fact, on Monday we got a sneak preview of what is coming

The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index plunged a record 34.4 points to -21.5 in March, the regional Fed bank said Monday. Economists had expected a reading of 4.8, according to a survey by Econoday. This is the lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009.

As we plunge into a truly horrifying economic downturn, businesses all over the country are already crying out for bailouts.

We are now being told that many airlines could be bankrupt by May, and a 50 billion dollar aid package for the industry has already been requested

US airlines slammed by the coronavirus are requesting an aid package from the federal government that could amount to about $50 billion, according to industry group Airlines for America.

The requested aid would be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The airlines are looking for up to $25 billion in grants for passenger air carriers and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers, and the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees, Airlines for America outlined in a briefing document.

Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of ordinary U.S. citizens are already losing their jobs.  For example, just check out what is currently transpiring in New York

New York’s unemployment website was overwhelmed Monday as the coronavirus pandemic put tens of thousands of people across the state out of work.

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

This will soon be happening all over the nation.

So how many jobs could ultimately be lost if this pandemic stretches on for quite a while?

According to Moody’s Analytics, millions of jobs are potentially at risk…

Nearly 80 million jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to analysis in the last week from Moody’s Analytics. That’s more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy overall.

That doesn’t mean that all those jobs will be lost. But it’s probable that as many as 10 million of those workers could see some impact to their paychecks — either layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Needless to say, there is going to be enormous pressure for the federal government to “do something”, and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has “joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists” in calling for $1,000 to be given to every adult in America

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists are lining up behind a proposal published in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Obama, that calls for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult.

Why not make it $10,000?

We could all use some extra cash.

Of course once this sort of thing starts happening, it won’t be too long before a loaf of bread costs ten dollars and a gallon of milk costs 20 dollars.

Flooding the system with money at a time when economic activity is contracting very sharply will inevitably cause very painful inflation.

Unfortunately, at a moment like this short-term considerations are all that policy makers are really concerned about, and the American people will be demanding “relief”.

So we should fully expect lots of free money to be thrown around.  In fact, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that her city will provide “$5 million in grocery vouchers to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

But I must once again stress the fact that less than 100 Americans have died during this pandemic so far.

If things are getting this crazy already, what is our society going to look like a few months down the road?

According to the New York Times, nearly 7 million Americans could die in a “worst-case scenario”…

So far, the illness – known as COVID-19 – has sickened more than 4,200 people and killed 74.

But as a graphic from The New York Times shows, things could be much bleaker should overall infection rates and fatality rates rise.

In the worst-case scenario 6.99 million Americans would die from coronavirus – 2.74 million of them being those aged 80 and above.

We are just in the very early chapters of this “perfect storm”, and what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

If we can’t even handle the leading edge of this storm, what are we going to do when it really starts raging?

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

“Where You Stop Is Where You Stay” – Domestic Travel Restrictions Are Being “Considered”

Is the United States on the verge of a complete and total “lockdown” like we have already seen in China, Italy and elsewhere?  As you will see below, the Trump administration has repeatedly brought up the possibility of “domestic travel restrictions”, and that means that this is something that is very seriously being considered.  The first step may be simply banning all non-essential domestic air travel, and that would be a major inconvenience for many Americans.  But beyond that, there is the possibility that we could see restrictions on all travel between states or even draconian restrictions on going out in public at all like we have already seen in China and Italy.  If we get to that point, where you are at that moment is where you will be staying, and I will be sharing more about this below.

But first, let’s review what the Trump administration has been telling the public about the possibility of “domestic travel restrictions”.  The following comes from a USA Today article that was posted on Saturday

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday said the government is considering domestic travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic and added United Kingdom and Ireland to the Europe travel restrictions that went into effect late Friday.

They did not offer specifics on domestic flight restrictions but Trump said earlier in the week that they would be considered if “an area gets a little bit out of control” in terms of coronavirus cases.

I think that the phrase “is considering domestic travel restrictions” is pretty clear, and it should definitely send a chill up your spine.

Then on Sunday, a member of the administration said that officials are weighing “an outright halt to domestic air travel”

The Trump administration is weighing “all options” to curb the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., including an outright halt to domestic air travel, a senior official said Sunday.

Such a drastic step hasn’t been taken since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and it would raise questions about U.S. airlines’ chances for survival without government support.

This came directly from acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, and he went on to add that “all options remain on the table”

“We continue to look at all options and all options remain on the table,” said Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in a press briefing when asked about the possibility. He said the administration is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So would “all options” also include banning all travel in and out of states where this pandemic is the worst?

Apparently so, and this is something that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is actually asking for

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the White House should consider restricting domestic travel from states that are seeing a rapid increase in coronavirus infections, saying the flow of people has made containment difficult.

He made the plea shortly before the state on Saturday announced its fourth death from the disease, a 77-year-old man from Lee County.

Could you imagine getting into your car and driving toward the next state only to be stopped at the border?

It could soon happen.

Hopefully we won’t get to that point, but this outbreak continues to spiral out of control.

And if the numbers just keep going up, it is inevitable that we will see things happen that would have been unthinkable only a few weeks ago.

At this point, even Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to be advocating some sort of a “national lockdown”

Asked by CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union” if he’d like a “national lockdown” where people are being told they need to stay home and out of restaurants and bars, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he’d “like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see” in those places.

“Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see,” Fauci added.

As Americans, we don’t like to have our movements restricted.

And hopefully the Trump administration will choose not to go in that direction, but they have already restricted domestic travel for members of the military

A memo released Friday evening announced a ban on government-funded domestic travel for military members, Department of Defense civilians and their families, according to Stars and Stripes.

The Pentagon says Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist has approved new travel restrictions on service members and Defense Department civilians assigned to military installations and surrounding areas within the United States and its territories.

And similar restrictions have been put into place for federal workers

As the coronavirus outbreak continues across the U.S., the White House has told federal agencies and executive departments to suspend all work travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

The White House Office of Management and Budget issued new guidance on Saturday telling federal workers that “only mission-critical travel is recommended at this time.”

With all that in mind, I would like for you to watch this video.  According to John Grimm, a Republican candidate for Kootenai County Sheriff, it appears quite likely that we could potentially see some sort of travel restrictions in the near future.  And if there is eventually some sort of a total lockdown, he is warning that “where you stop is where you stay”

So I hope that you are already at the place where you plan to ride out this pandemic.

If not, I would get there as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, we continue to see major institutions shut down all over the country.

On Sunday, we learned that all schools in New York City will be shutting down “until at least April 20”

In a decision he described as “extraordinarily painful,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that he is closing the city’s public schools on Monday until at least April 20.

The mayor said the city would make every attempt to reopen schools at that point, but that it’s possible schools could remain closed for the rest of the school year.

Also, several states announced on Sunday that all restaurants and bars will be forced to shut down for the foreseeable future.  Ohio was one of the first to make such an announcement

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that he will be issuing an order to close all restaurants and bars beginning at 9:00 p.m. Sunday night.

“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers,” he said in a tweet. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering. It is our goal to get everyone through this.”

Most restaurants in this country are just barely scraping by financially, and many of those that are now being forced to close down may not ever open back up again.

Illinois is another one of the states that is closing down all restaurants and bars

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Sunday afternoon that all restaurants and bars in Illinois will be closed effective at the end of the business day on Monday, continuing through March 30, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I cannot let the gravity of the choices prevent us from taking the actions that the science and the experts say will keep people safe,” Pritzker said.

In areas of the country where this outbreak is already wildly out of control, the restaurants and bars might as well be closed down anyway.  Restaurant traffic in New York City and Seattle is down more than 60 percent, and the more this virus spreads the more people are going to be afraid to go out into public to do anything.

Just a few weeks ago our lives seemed so normal, but now our entire country is steadily shutting down from coast to coast.

And life is not going to return to normal any time soon, because the CDC just issued guidelines calling for the cancellation or the postponement of “any events with 50 or more attendees for the next eight weeks”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people across the U.S. to cancel or postpone any events with 50 or more attendees for the next eight weeks, the agency said in revised guidance issued Sunday.

The CDC said individuals and organizations should reschedule large events and that gatherings of any size should be reconsidered unless organizers can protect vulnerable populations, ensure proper hand hygiene and social distancing.

In other words, everything that is being shut down right now is going to remain shut down for at least eight weeks.

I cannot even begin to describe how damaging that is going to be to our economy.

And what happens if this pandemic is still raging after eight weeks have passed?

The Spanish Flu pandemic lasted for three entire years.  There is no way that authorities could keep us all locked down for that long.

This pandemic is rapidly becoming a national nightmare, and it appears that our freedoms are about to be restricted in ways that most of us never thought possible.

America is on the verge of being locked down, and for many of us it truly will feel like we have been put in prison.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Did The Federal Reserve Just Purposely Try To Crash The Stock Market?

Unless the Federal Reserve is purposely attempting to spread panic on Wall Street, the decisions that the Fed just made don’t make any sense at all.  Back on March 3rd, the Federal Reserve announced an unscheduled emergency interest rate cut for the very first time since 2008.  Wall Street immediately interpreted that as a “panic move” and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 785 points.  So Fed officials had to know what was going to happen once they announced an even bigger unscheduled emergency interest rate cut on Sunday.  Predictably, stock futures hit “limit down” very rapidly, and now investors are bracing for a week of tremendous carnage.

But this didn’t have to happen.  Yes, we witnessed three of the worst trading days in U.S. stock market history last week, but on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1,985 points.  It was an absolutely epic rally, and if the Fed had not caused so much panic there may have been a good chance that the rally could have continued into next week.

In other words, U.S. stocks just had one of their best days ever, and there didn’t appear to be a need for any “emergency intervention” by the Fed.

If the Federal Reserve had just waited a couple of days until their normally monthly meeting, and if the Fed had just cut rates a quarter point, that would have likely been greeted by the markets with warm enthusiasm.

But instead, Fed officials decided to load up their bazooka and go for broke on Sunday.  In addition to using up all of their “interest rate ammunition” in one epic volley, the Fed also officially restarted quantitative easing

The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to essentially zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.

The new fed funds rate, used as a benchmark both for short-term lending for financial institutions and as a peg to many consume rates, will now be targeted at 0%-0.25% down from a target range of 1% to 1.25%.

These moves have “panic” written all over them, and investors immediately responded accordingly

Stock market futures hit “limit down” levels of 5% lower, a move made by the CME futures exchange to reduce panic in markets. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

Dow Jones Industrial average futures were off by more than 1,000 points, triggering the limit down level. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also at their downside limits.

As I mentioned above, Fed officials saw what happened immediately after their March 3rd emergency rate cut, and so this sort of response by the markets should have been foreseeable.

As Wolf Richter has noted, these latest moves by the Fed were “the opposite of being confidence inspiring”…

The whole Sunday afternoon maneuver, on top of the mega shock-and-awe maneuvers Thursday and Friday reek of sheer and outright panic – and they’re the opposite of being confidence inspiring. That stock futures plunged after the Fed had effectively put its biggest tools to work shows how obvious this panic is.

So then why did the Fed pull the trigger if this was going to be the result?

It would seem that there are two obvious conclusions.  Either Fed officials are completely and utterly incompetent, or they were purposely trying to crash the stock market.

And now that the Federal Reserve is completely out of interest rate ammunition to fight any future economic downturn, the only weapon they have left is “helicopter money”.

As economic activity comes to a grinding standstill due to fear of the coronavirus, it appears to be inevitable that we will see tremendous inflation as the Fed floods the system with money.

In other words, there is going to be a whole lot more money chasing a lot fewer goods and services in the months to come.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see a run on U.S. banks.  On Thursday, so many people were taking money out of a Bank of America branch in midtown Manhattan that it actually ran out of cash

As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

So many people sought huge sums that the bank branch, at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, temporarily ran out of $100 bills to fulfill large withdrawals, according to three people familiar with the branch’s operations. The shortage hit after a rash of requests for as much as $50,000, said two people who witnessed the rush.

And according to Zero Hedge, wealthy individuals in the Hamptons are doing the same thing…

As the ultra rich Snake Plisken out of the soon-to-be quarantined Manhattan – where at least one bank has are already run out of $100 bills – to fortify themselves against the viral zombie peasant hordes in their impregnable castles in the Hamptons, one thing they’re looking to hoard is cash, which has caused some substantial pressure on financial institutions in the area, according to Bloomberg. At least one New Yorker had his $30,000 cash withdrawal request denied at a Chase bank after being told the limit was $10,000. Meanwhile, bank employees said they were waiting on a “shipment of cash” to fulfill other requests that have been made exceeding the $10,000 amount.

Other branches in the area were unable to help in fulfilling the request, with the East Hampton branch reportedly telling the Southampton branch that it had “two massive withdrawal orders” of its own that it was trying to deal with.

Hopefully we won’t see similar scenes all over the country in the weeks ahead.

But without a doubt, panic continues to spread all over the globe.  The following examples come from CNN

A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.

The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.

Yes, this virus is definitely bringing out the worst in humanity.

Here in the United States, two “panic shoppers” became so enraged with one another that they began hitting each other with broken wine bottles

A brawl erupted in a Georgia Sam’s Club packed with shoppers during which two feuding men slashed each other with broken wine bottles.

A second incident in a Costco in Brooklyn saw an employee pleading with two women to calm down after a screaming match began when carts collided in the mobbed store.

This is why it was so important to get prepared in advance.

For years I have been mocked for telling my readers to “get prepared”, but now those that did are going to be very thankful for the things that they have stored up.

If you are not prepared, you can go brave the giant crowds storming the stores if you wish, but at this point the big stores are going to be one of the very best places in the entire country to catch the virus.

I don’t know about you, but I am not eager to experience the “blinding pain” that survivors of COVID-19 have told us about.  So I would highly recommend avoiding big stores and other major public gathering places as much as possible.

We need to accept that life has changed for the foreseeable future.  According to Newt Gingrich, it is time for us to adopt a wartime mindset…

We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. Getting enough ventilators, masks, intensive care units, treatment medications and aggressive community-wide testing are the minimum steps to saving lives and stopping the pandemic.

The Pence-led Coronavirus Task Force has begun to pull things together, but it should have a planning group that creates a worst-case projection and then devises the steps necessary to smother the pandemic and minimize its impact.

And this is also a time for prayer.  In fact, President Trump designated Sunday as a “National Day of Prayer”

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared Sunday, March 15, a “National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts.”

“I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones,” Trump said in his statement announcing the day of prayer.

Let us all hope that this pandemic passes as quickly as possible.

But the CDC just issued new guidelines that recommend that gatherings of 50 people or more not be held for the next eight weeks.

Of course most decision makers in this country will follow those guidelines, and so that means that our lives will not be getting back to normal for at least the next two months.

And it could be a whole lot longer than that.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Medical Expert: “There Are Probably 25 To 50 People Who Have The Virus For Every One Person Who Is Confirmed”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to explode all over the globe, and authorities are warning that it is going to continue to get worse.  The number of confirmed cases outside of China roughly tripled once again this week, and if this outbreak continues to escalate at this pace there will be more than a million confirmed cases in less than a month.  But as bad as the official numbers are, the truth is that there are a whole lot more people walking around out there that have caught the virus but have not been tested.  In fact, a medical professor at Johns Hopkins University named Marty Makary believes that there are “probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed”

“Don’t believe the numbers when you see, even on our Johns Hopkins website, that 1,600 Americans have the virus,” he said. “No, that means 1,600 got the test, tested positive. There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed.”

He added: “I think we have between 50,000 and half a million cases right now walking around in the United States.”

If he is correct, and considering how easily this virus spreads from person to person, it isn’t going to be too long before this virus is everywhere.

Other health experts are also warning that the number of Americans that have become infected is already extremely high.  As I pointed out yesterday, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton is convinced that the number of victims in her state is now above 100,000

Ohio health officials announced Thursday that the state has five known cases of the coronavirus, but one expert said that the number is likely much higher and estimated 100,000 undiagnosed cases.

Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the state’s health department, told reporters that the virus is “among us, but we can’t see it yet,” WBRB reported.

But of course what we have seen so far could just be the tip of the iceberg.

According to the New York Times, the CDC is projecting that up to 214 million Americans could eventually become infected…

Between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to one projection. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.

Can you imagine how overwhelmed our healthcare system will be if that actually happens?

According to an analysis that was just conducted by USA Today, we could soon see 17 seriously ill coronavirus patients competing for each open hospital bed…

A USA TODAY analysis shows that if the nation sees a major spike, there could be almost six seriously ill patients for every existing hospital bed.

That analysis, based on data from the American Hospital Association, U.S. Census, CDC and World Health Organization, is conservative. For example, it assumes all 790,000 beds will be empty.

Since two thirds are not, the reality could be far worse: about 17 people competing for each open bed.

And we still have no idea how long this pandemic will last.

Many officials are hoping that it will be over in a matter of months, but what if lasts for three full years like the Spanish Flu pandemic did?

At this point, the entire western world is literally in the process of shutting down as fear of the coronavirus spreads like wildfire.  Many people are going to be deathly afraid to go out in public for the foreseeable future because this virus is so easy to catch.

It could be on the next surface that you touch, it could be on the next hand that you shake, and there is even the possibility that you could breathe it in during the next breath that you take.

Considering how many people our national leaders interact with on a daily basis, they are particularly vulnerable.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife has already tested positive for the virus, and Trudeau himself has gone into voluntary self-quarantine.

Here in the United States, President Trump says that he will “most likely” get tested soon after being exposed to someone that had the virus.  The following comes from ABC News

He also said he “most likely” will get tested himself, although he said he had no symptoms. “I think I will be,” he said. “Fairly soon, we’re working on that, we’re working out a schedule,” he responded to a reporter’s question, saying not because of any exposure he might have had, “but because I think I will do it anyway.” He had been photographed last weekend standing next to a Brazilian official who tested positive.

In addition, we just learned that Ivanka Trump is staying home for now after meeting with an Australian official that has tested positive

Ivanka Trump self-isolated at home on Friday, not going into the White House, after she was photographed with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton days before he tested positive for coronavirus.

The White House said Dutton was ‘asymptomatic’ during his interaction with the first daughter and Ivanka Trump, who serves as an adviser to President Donald Trump, is showing no symptoms, doesn’t need to self-quarantine and stayed home out of an abundance of caution.

Things are really starting to get crazy out there.

When COVID-19 originally starting sweeping across China, most Americans weren’t really too concerned about it, but now a brand new survey has found that about two-thirds of all Americans are worried about catching the virus…

Two-thirds of Americans are concerned that they or someone they know will be infected with the novel coronavirus, but in a country with a growing partisan divide, political tribalism is having a large impact when it comes to anxiety over the disease, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday.

Although unease over the coronavirus is high, it also strongly breaks along partisan lines. Among Democrats, 83% are concerned about getting coronavirus, including 47% who are very concerned, and among Republicans, 56% are concerned, including only 15% who are very concerned. Only 17% of Democrats are not concerned while a larger 44% of Republicans are not concerned.

Now that President Trump has officially declared a state of national emergency, hopefully that partisan divide will start to diminish.

This virus should not be treated like a political issue.  This is the biggest public health crisis of our time, and we all need to be taking it very seriously.

Of course some Americans are responding to this pandemic by completely “freaking out”

A panic-buying fever swept through the Big Apple Thursday, as mobs of freaked-out New Yorkers frantically scoured store shelves for any remaining supplies amid spreading coronavirus fears.

“We’re freaking out about it,” Monica Gang, 27, said as she braved the crowds at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan. “We came in here looking for rice, and there is no rice left. Rice crumbs are the only thing left. We don’t even know what to stock up on.”

But so far there are only about 2,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and less than 100 people have died.

If this virus is causing this much fear now, what will our society look like if thousands (or even millions) of people start dying?

Let us continue to hope that this pandemic will eventually start to subside, but so far it has just continued to escalate week after week.

If something is not done to dramatically slow this virus down in the United States, soon the level of fear will be absolutely unprecedented.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

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