Americans Have Already Skipped Payments On More Than 100 Million Loans, And Job Losses Continue To Escalate

Those that have been hoping for some sort of a “V-shaped recovery” have had their hopes completely dashed.  U.S. workers continue to lose jobs at a staggering rate, and economic activity continues to remain at deeply suppressed levels all over the nation.  Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen now that states have been “reopening” their economies.  We were told that things would soon be getting back to normal and that the economic numbers would rebound dramatically.  But that is not happening.  In fact, the number of Americans that filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week was much higher than expected

Weekly jobless claims stayed above 1 million for the 13th consecutive week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the U.S. economy.

First-time claims totaled 1.5 million last week, higher than the 1.3 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The government report’s total was 58,000 lower than the previous week’s 1.566 million, which was revised up by 24,000.

To put this in perspective, let me once again remind my readers that prior to this year the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So even though more than 44 million Americans had already filed initial claims for unemployment benefits before this latest report, there were still enough new people losing jobs to more than double that old record from 1982.

That is just astounding.  We were told that the economy would be regaining huge amounts of jobs by now, but instead job losses remain at a catastrophic level that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.

With the addition of this latest number, a grand total of nearly 46 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

If you can read that statement and still believe that the U.S. economy is not imploding, I would like to know what you are smoking, because it must be pretty powerful.

Some of the things that we are seeing happen around the country right now are absolutely nuts.  For example, earlier this week in Kentucky it was being reported that people were waiting in line for up to 8 hours to talk with a state official face to face about their unprocessed unemployment claims…

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

By now, the U.S. economy was supposed to be roaring back to life and we were supposed to be entering a new golden age of American prosperity.

Unfortunately, the truth is that more bad economic news is hitting us on a continual basis, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Over the past few days, we have learned that Hilton is laying off 22 percent of its corporate staff, and AT&T has announced that it will be eliminating 3,400 jobs and closing 250 stores…

The wireless carrier AT&T is cutting 3,400 jobs and shutting down 250 stores over the next few weeks, according to a statement from the Communications Workers of America, a union representing AT&T workers.

The AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless retail closures will affect 1,300 jobs, while the other layoffs are said to be affecting technical and clerical workers.

Needless to say, all of these job losses are having a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy.

Without paychecks coming in, a lot of Americans are having a really tough time paying their bills, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that payments have already been skipped on more than 100 million loans…

Americans have skipped payments on more than 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt since the coronavirus hit the U.S., the latest sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on people’s finances.

The number of accounts that enrolled in deferment, forbearance or some other type of relief since March 1 and remain in such a state rose to 106 million at the end of May, triple the number at the end of April, according to credit-reporting firm TransUnion.

Wow.

To me, that is an almost unimaginable number, and it has become clear that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead for the financial institutions that are holding these loans.

A lot of people out there are going to keep hoping that there will be some sort of an economic rebound, but the cold, hard reality of the matter is that fear of COVID-19 is going to keep a large segment of the population from resuming normal economic activities for the foreseeable future.  And it certainly doesn’t help that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has been steadily rising over the past couple of weeks and that the mainstream media has been endlessly warning that a “second wave” is coming.

If you doubt what I am saying, just look at what is happening to the restaurant industry.  We had started to see a small bit of improvement in the numbers, but now fear of a “second wave” has caused restaurant traffic to start cratering again

After three months of slow but consistent improvement in restaurant dining data in the US and across the globe, in its latest update on “the state of the restaurant industry”, OpenTable today reported the biggest drop in seated restaurant diners (from online, phone and walk-in reservations) since the depth of the global shutdown in March.

As shown in the OpenTable graphic below, on Sunday, June 14, restaurant traffic suddenly tumbled, sliding from a -66.5% y/y decline as of June 13 to -78.8% globally.

This was mostly due to a sharp drop in US restaurant diners, which plunged by 13% – from -65% to -78% – the biggest one day drop since the start of the shutdown in the US, and the second biggest one day drop on record.

Business travel is another area where we are seeing signs of big trouble ahead.  The following comes from Yves Smith

Business travel is not coming back any time soon. People are getting accustomed to Zoom. And word may also get out that domestic flying is much worse than it used to be, which will be a deterrent to those who might be so bold as to want to get on a plane. That is a fundamental blow to airlines, airport vendors, hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. Hotel occupancy in April was 24.5% which if anything seems high based on my personal datapoints. The pricings I see say that hotel operators are not expecting much if any improvement through the summer.

Like many of you, I wish that economic conditions would go back to the way they used to be, but that simply is not going to happen.

Yes, we will see economic numbers go up and down over the coming months, but a return to “the good times” is not in the cards.

And what hardly anyone realizes is that this is just the beginning of our problems, and I am working on a new project right now which will explain why this is true in great detail.

So stay tuned, because things are about to get really, really “interesting”.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

2020 Has Been A Miserable Year, And Americans Are The Unhappiest They Have Been In Ages

What a year this has been so far.  First, the greatest public health crisis in 100 years hit us, then the U.S. economy imploded, and now the streets of many of our major cities resemble war zones after weeks of rioting, looting and violence.  It has been one thing after another, and this has taken a great toll on the mental health of the American people.  Of course we weren’t exactly in great shape coming into this year.  In 2019, it was being reported that the suicide rate in the U.S. was at an all-time record high, alcohol-related deaths were at an all-time record high, and drug overdose deaths were at an all-time record high.  So the truth is that we were already deeply miserable before 2020 came along, and now a brand new survey has discovered that as a result of everything that has happened so far this year we have become even more unhappy

Spoiler alert: 2020 has been rough on the American psyche. Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.

This bold – yet unsurprising – conclusion comes from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. It finds that just 14% of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018.

Would you say that you are “very happy” with your life?

I hope so, and I would like to think that most of my readers are more content with their lives than the general population as a whole.

Personally, I would definitely label myself as “very happy”, but it looks like most of the population definitely does not feel the same way.

According to the survey, the coronavirus lockdowns are one of the big reasons why Americans are feeling less happy these days.  Being forced to stay away from others has caused many people to feel increasingly lonely

About twice as many Americans report being lonely today as in 2018, and not surprisingly given the lockdowns that tried to contain the spread of the coronavirus, there has also been a drop in satisfaction with social activities and relationships. Compared with 2018, Americans also are about twice as likely to say they sometimes or often have felt a lack of companionship (45% vs. 27%) and felt left out (37% vs. 18%) in the past four weeks.

Humans are inherently social creatures, and we were created to love and be loved.

I think that our politicians greatly underestimated the damage that social isolation would cause for many people.  In some cases, the consequences have been absolutely devastating.

Meanwhile, a lot of Americans are also feeling unhappy these days due to economic reasons.

Up to this point in 2020, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently shut down, economic activity all over the planet has dropped precipitously, and more than 44 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits.

Initially, it was hoped that most of those jobs would eventually come back, but now it has become very clear that is not going to happen.  In fact, one new estimate is projecting that a whopping 42 percent of the job losses “will be permanent”

“50% of U.S. job losses come from the combination of lockdown and weak demand, 30% from the reallocation shock, and 20% from high unemployment benefits,” Bloomberg found.

A report by the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago estimated 42% of layoffs that occurred as a result of the pandemic will be permanent.

In other words, millions upon millions of Americans that have lost their jobs during this pandemic will never be getting their old jobs back.

When I first started telling my readers that a lot of these jobs would never return, I got some really nasty emails.

There were some people that were absolutely incensed that I would suggest such a thing, but now the truth of the matter has become obvious to everyone.

Unfortunately, a large portion of the population was not prepared for an economic shock of this magnitude.  In fact, another new survey has found that 33 percent of all Americans “do not feel prepared to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic”

Even before COVID-19 was a household name, many Americans struggled to build up an emergency fund. Now, for some, the need for such a foundation is painfully clear. A full third – 33% – of respondents said they do not feel prepared to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic.

“If our current financial situation gets worse before it gets better, Americans need to have money set aside that they can lean back on as a last resort,” Frerichs said. “If you don’t currently have an emergency fund, try to set aside as much as you can every month, and aim to build enough to cover between three and six months of living expenses.”

For years, I have been strongly urging my readers to build up their emergency funds, and hopefully most of them heeded that advice.

Because things are not going to be turning around any time soon.  The bad news is that much of the economic suffering that had been deferred by unprecedented government intervention is about to hit us in a major way, and the really bad news is that the economic problems that we are facing now are going to pale in comparison to what we will be facing in future years.

Needless to say, this is going to put even more stress on the mental health of Americans.

So if you think that people are going absolutely nuts right now, just wait until you see how bad things get when our society really starts to melt down.

But just because things will be falling apart all around you does not mean that you have to be personally miserable.

If you derive meaning and purpose in life from your career, your ambitions, your bank account, your social status and all of the things you have accumulated, then you will definitely have an exceedingly difficult time dealing with the things that are coming.

However, if instead you choose to derive meaning and purpose in life from the things that really matter, you will not be shaken even if all of your plans, programs and material possessions are taken from you.

All of human history has been building up to the moment that we are living in right now, and you were born for such a time as this.  So don’t crawl into a hole and complain about how bad things are as conditions deteriorate.  Instead, choose to stand up and become the person that you were created to be.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

This Is Why We Are Facing A 6 Week Countdown To Immense Economic Despair…

Many of the emergency economic measures that were put into place to support the American people financially throughout this pandemic are about to disappear, and that means that big trouble is on the horizon.  Right now, we are in the midst of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Economic activity has fallen dramatically, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed, and more than 44 million Americans have lost a job so far in 2020.  But up to this point most Americans are not feeling too much economic pain thanks to unprecedented intervention by the federal government.  Unfortunately, that short-term boost of artificial relief is about to wear off, and that is going to cause some major problems as we approach the end of this calendar year.

Earlier today, two sentences from a Buzzfeed article about the extreme economic despair that is ahead of us really got my attention…

The US economy right now is like a jumbo jet that’s in a steady glide after both its engines flamed out. In about six weeks, it will likely crash into the side of a mountain.

I think that is a perfect description of what we are facing, except that I would replace “U.S. economy” with “U.S. consumers”.

The truth is that the economy has already crashed, but consumers have been shielded from the effects of that crash by trillions of dollars in emergency government spending and other unprecedented measures

What’s kept us in the air so far is an extraordinary government relief effort. In most states, evictions have been temporarily banned, preventing a mass homelessness crisis. Most federal student loan payments have been put on hold, removing one of the largest recurring monthly expenses that millions of people face. Banks were ordered to give their customers a six-month break on mortgage payments if requested.

Most importantly, and counterintuitively, household income sharply increased in April as hundreds of billions of dollars in lost wages were replaced by trillions in government spending. The government sent out more than 159 million stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per adult (more if you have kids), and more than 20 million unemployed people became eligible for an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. The result, according to Bloomberg, was the largest monthly increase in household income ever recorded.

What we have witnessed has been a sudden transfer of wealth that is unlike anything we have ever seen in all of U.S. history, and this has allowed most Americans to get through the past few months without too much of a problem.  In fact, many unemployed workers have been bringing home more money than they did when they were actually working.

But on July 31st (about 6 weeks from now) that is all going to change.

The $600 unemployment bonuses are scheduled to end on that date, and President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have made it clear that they have no intention of extending them.

In addition, it looks like there will be no more direct checks from the government for ordinary Americans even if another “stimulus bill” is passed.

So tens of millions of Americans will soon be facing a future in which they are bringing in very little income.

In addition, the various bans on evictions around the country will soon be coming to an end, as will the grace periods for mortgage payments.

Without enough income coming in, a lot of Americans will soon be losing their homes, and this will likely really start ramping up as we head into the holiday season.

On top of everything else, the grace period on federal student loans will come to an end at the beginning of October.

Ouch.

Basically, all of the economic pain that had been deferred will come rushing back with a vengeance over the next several months.

Of course Congress could delay things a bit more by borrowing and spending trillions of more dollars that we simply do not have, but all of the reckless spending that they have done already has put us in very perilous territory

Trillions are now whooshing by at a breath-taking pace. The US gross national debt – the total of all Treasury securities outstanding – jumped by $1 trillion over the past five weeks, from May 4 through June 8, and by $2.5 trillion for the 11 weeks since March 23.

The total US national debt outstanding has reached $26 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

It took from the founding of the United States until 1981 for the U.S. national debt to reach one trillion dollars, and now we have added that same amount to the debt in just five weeks.

Wow.

Our elected officials are absolutely destroying our future, but most Americans don’t seem too alarmed by this.

Instead, many are clamoring for even more “free money”, because they say that what they have gotten so far is not nearly enough.

Of course the federal spending that has already taken place has not exactly had the desired effect.

Americans were supposed to take the money they were receiving and spend it.

But instead, one recent survey found that most Americans are actually cutting back on their spending right now…

  • Saving more money: 34% of survey respondents indicate they’ve upped their savings rate because of the novel coronavirus.
  • Reducing spending: During these turbulent times, 59% of Americans have cut their budgets so they aren’t spending as much money as they did pre-pandemic.
  • Re-evaluating their priorities: 48% of those surveyed indicate they are prioritizing living expenses, while 30% of respondents indicate their top priority is consumables, including food and drink.

No matter how much money Congress showers on the American people, they aren’t going to be able to eliminate the overwhelming fear that COVID-19 has created.

For the foreseeable future, a large portion of the population is simply not going to resume their normal economic patterns because they are scared of the virus.

And in many of our large cities, rioting, looting and violence has depressed economic activity even further.

A major economic downturn is here, and it looks like it is going to be very, very deep.

Congress was able to minimize the discomfort for a while, but those emergency measures were only intended to help for a short period of time, and in about six weeks the entire country is going to start feeling a tremendous amount of pain.

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

They Are Telling Us That The 2nd Wave Of The Coronavirus Is Here, And The Stock Market Is Totally Freaking Out

Are you ready for the next wave of COVID-19?  Actually, the mainstream media is telling us that it is already here, and that has sparked another round of fear and panic on Wall Street.  But the fact that the number of confirmed cases is rising again should not surprise anyone.  As restrictions were lifted, it was inevitable that the virus would begin spreading more rapidly, and that is precisely what we have witnessed.  During the 24 hour period that just ended, there were more than 136,000 new cases reported around the globe, and that is the highest one day total that I have seen so far.  Here in the United States, there were 23,300 newly confirmed cases, and that represented an increase of over 2,000 from the previous 24 hour period.  Concern that this could be the dreaded “second wave” that the mainstream media keeps talking about pushed stock prices dramatically lower on Thursday

Stocks suffered their biggest one-day pull-back in three months on Thursday as traders grew concerned about the number of coronavirus cases increasing in some states that are reopening up from lockdowns. Shares that have surged recently on hopes for a smooth reopening of the economy led the declines.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,861.82 points, or 6.9%, to close at 25,128.17. The S&P 500 slid 5.9% to 3,002.10 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.3%. to end the day at 9,492.73.

Of course stock prices have risen so much over the past couple of months that a drop of that magnitude is not any sort of a major problem.

But stocks could drop even further as it becomes increasingly clear to investors that the U.S. economy is not going to be returning to “normal” any time soon.

In fact, if COVID-19 cases continue to spike that could motivate officials in some states to institute another wave of lockdowns.

Hopefully that will not happen, but things are starting to get a bit crazy out there.

Texas has become one of the new hotspots for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and local hospitals are starting to fill up fast

Texas reported a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases in a single day one week after the state entered Phase III of its reopening plan.

The Department of State Health Services reported 2,504 new cases on Tuesday, surpassing the previous single-day record of 1,949 on May 31.

Texas has also reported three straight days of record hospitalizations, with 1,935 on Monday, 2,056 on Tuesday and 2,153 on Wednesday.

Things are particularly dire in Houston right now.  One official says that the city is “on the precipice of disaster” and it is being reported that authorities “may reopen a COVID-19 hospital at a football stadium”…

As Houston vies for LA and Phoenix to succeed NYC as America’s biggest COVID-19 hot spot, the Houston Chronicle reports that health officials may reopen a COVID-19 hospital at a football stadium while officials weigh whether to reimpose a stay at home order. Such a move would undoubtedly rattle stocks, even after Thursday’s massive dive. One local official described the situation as placing the city “on the precipice of disaster.”

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

The worst was supposed to be behind us.

But it is happening.

Meanwhile, the virus is rapidly sweeping across Arizona, and more than 80 percent of all hospital beds are now occupied

Arizona hospitals that are expected to be able to treat new cases of coronavirus without going into crisis mode were above 80% capacity, a milestone that should trigger an automatic stop to elective surgeries at affected hospitals as the state becomes a hotspot.

The report showing statewide bed capacity of 83%, released Wednesday by the Department of Health Services, comes as the state deals with a surge in virus cases and hospitalizations that experts say is likely tied to Gov. Doug Ducey’s ending of statewide closure orders in mid-May.

The good news is that doctors have become more proficient at treating coronavirus victims over time, but the bad news is that a lot of people are still dying.

In fact, one “Harvard expert” is warning that 100,000 more Americans could die from the virus “by September”

One hundred thousand more Americans will die from coronavirus by September, doubling the country’s current death toll, a Harvard expert has predicted.

Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, estimates that the COVID-19 death toll will surpass 200,000 within the next three months.

Needless to say, many on the left are insisting that U.S. states “reopened too soon”, but the truth is that the virus continued to spread even when virtually everything was locked down.

And after seeing the immense economic devastation that was caused, many Americans would be extremely resistant to another round of lockdowns.  More than 44 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits during this pandemic, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insists that we can’t risk causing even more economic damage

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US economy wouldn’t be shut down again despite the rising case count.

“We can’t shut down the economy again. I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage, and not just economic damage, but there are other areas,” he told CNBC in an interview.

But ultimately it is up to individual state governors to determine whether there will be more lockdowns or not.

And it isn’t just the U.S. that is experiencing a surge of new cases.  All over the globe, we are seeing very alarming outbreaks right now

It’s not just the USA. Globally, more than 7.4 million cases have been reported, and there have been more than 418,000 deaths. India reported a spike: nearly 10,000 new cases Thursday. South Korea, the world’s success story for its triumphant effort to flatten the curves for new cases and deaths, is seeing a worrisome infection boom.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said Thursday that it anticipates global deaths “into the millions” by October.

Over the past week, we have seen huge numbers of cases being reported in Brazil, Russia, India, Pakistan, Chile, Peru and Mexico.

Just when authorities seem to have things somewhat under control in one part of the world, the virus comes back even stronger somewhere else.

In the end, this pandemic is never going to be over until most of the global population is exposed to COVID-19, and that is going to take an extended period of time.

Meanwhile, the entire global economy will continue to deteriorate, and that is really bad news for all 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.

No, The U.S. Economy Will Definitely Not Be Returning To “Normal”. In Fact, Things Will Soon Get Even Worse.

2020 has been quite a year so far.  It has been one nightmare after another, and yet the economic optimists continue to insist that economic activity will soon snap back to normal levels somehow.  So the economic optimists aren’t really alarmed by the fact that the core areas of our major cities have been torched, gutted and looted by rioters, because they assume that all of this violence is just a temporary phenomenon and that any damage that has been done can be repaired.  And they aren’t really alarmed by the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to escalate again.  In fact, over the last seven days we have seen the number of newly confirmed cases around the globe hit levels that we have never seen before.  They just assume that “the worst is behind us” and that the vast majority of the businesses and jobs that have been lost during this pandemic will be quickly recovered.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were actually correct?

Sadly, the truth is that economic conditions will not be returning to normal.  Yes, some of the jobs that were lost will be recovered as states start to “reopen” their economies.  But more than 100,000 businesses have already permanently closed during this new economic downturn, and all of those jobs are lost forever.

And yes, the level of economic activity will rise as states end their lockdowns, but it will still be much lower than it was before COVID-19 started spreading like wildfire in the United States.

At this point, even the perpetually optimistic OECD is admitting that global economic activity as a whole will be way down in 2020

If a second outbreak is seen, the OECD forecasts global growth will plunge by 7.6% in 2020, and “remain well short” of its growth activity levels from 2019, suggesting no V-shaped recovery. If a second wave can be avoided, the OECD forecasts the world economy will still contract by 6% this year and again fail to recover to pre-corona levels by the end of 2021.

“Both scenarios are sobering, as the economic activity does not and cannot return to normal under these circumstances,” OECD chief economist Laurence Boone wrote in the report.

A 6 or 7 percent decline in worldwide GDP is definitely not “normal”.

Actually, if this OECD projection turns out to be accurate, we will be talking about a “global depression” by the end of the year.

Here in the U.S., a key measure of consumer optimism just dropped by 5.4 percent even though state economies all over the country are “reopening”…

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, a leading national poll on consumer confidence, declined by 5.4% in June. The index’s reading of 47.0 is at its lowest mark since September 2016. It also places the index in negative territory for the third consecutive month. For the IBD/TIPP indexes, a reading below 50.0 indicates pessimism.

But all of the optimists keep telling me that things are “getting better”.

In fact, they just keep on insisting that a new golden age for America is right around the corner.

Well, apparently the largest jewelry retailer in the U.S. doesn’t share that optimism, because they just announced that they will be closing at least 150 stores

The world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry says it will not reopen at least 150 of its North America stores that were temporarily shuttered in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signet Jewelers, which operates 3,172 stores globally primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry and Piercing Pagoda, also plans to close an additional 150 stores by the end of its fiscal year, which ends in February 2021.

Overall, the U.S. retail industry is facing a tsunami of store closings that is unlike anything we have ever seen before

As many as 25,000 U.S. stores could close permanently this year after the coronavirus pandemic devastated an industry where many mall-based retailers were already struggling.

The number would shatter the record set in 2019, when more than 9,800 stores closed their doors for good, according to a report from retail and tech data firm Coresight Research.

That sure doesn’t sound like an “economic recovery” to me.

Meanwhile, the reckless money creation that the Federal Reserve has been engaging in is starting to show up in our food prices.  According to Nielsen, we have seen some startling food inflation over the past three months…

Market-research firm Nielsen said food prices rose 5.8% in the 13 weeks from March 1 to May 30 compared with the year-ago period.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.  The cost of living is going to continue to rise aggressively, and this comes at a time when more than 42 million Americans have already lost their jobs.

Yes, some of those jobs are starting to come back.

But more Americans continue to lose jobs each week as well.

And economic activity will be higher than it was when virtually everything was closed down.

But more businesses are shutting their doors permanently and declaring bankruptcy on a daily basis.

This new chapter in our economic history is just getting started, and a tremendous amount of pain is ahead of us.

Of course Fed Chair Jerome Powell completely disagrees with that assessment, and he is trying really hard to convince all of us that a new economic depression has not begun

Sure, unemployment’s only comparison is the Great Depression. And businesses across the country are closed. And many people are struggling to buy food. But Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell doesn’t see any similarities.

“I don’t think that the Great Depression is a good example or likely outcome for a model of what’s happening here at all, I really don’t,” he said. “There are so many fundamental differences.”

And I would actually concur with Powell that what we are facing will not be very similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In the long run, what we are facing will be far worse.

The “perfect storm” is here, and our economy is being shaken to the core.  Many people continue to be hopeful that the worst is now behind us, but what they don’t realize is that what we have experienced so far is just a warm up act for what is still to come.

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.

Most U.S. States Have ‘Reopened’ Their Economies, So Why Does Unemployment Continue To Spiral Out Of Control?

This wasn’t supposed to happen.  Once states started to “reopen” their economies, the tsunami of unemployment was supposed to end.  But instead, we continue to see Americans lose jobs at a pace that is far beyond anything we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.  All the way back in 1982, there was a week when 695,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, and that all-time record was never broken until this year.  Of course we have seen monster number after monster number here in 2020, and we just learned that last week another 1.877 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits…

Filings for unemployment insurance claims totaled 1.877 million last week in a sign that the worst is over for the coronavirus-related jobs crisis but that the level of unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 1.775 million new claims. The Labor Department’s total nevertheless represented a decline from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 2.126 million.

So even though more than 40 million Americans had already lost their jobs in 2020, there were still enough people losing their jobs last week to surpass the old record from 1982 by more than a million.

Just think about that.

Overall, a grand total of 42.6 million Americans have now lost their jobs since the pandemic began, and that makes this the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin.

And when the monthly employment report comes out on Friday, the official U.S. unemployment rate is expected to surpass 20 percent

The numbers came the day before the Labor Department releases its nonfarm payrolls report for May. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are expecting a decline of 8.3 million and a 20.5% unemployment rate, more than double the highest previous level since the Great Depression.

By now, everyone pretty much understands that the official unemployment rate greatly understates the true level of unemployment in this country.

But even if we take it at face value, the unemployment rate is now far higher than it has been at any point since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

With tens of millions of Americans now out of work, a lot of people are now finding it extremely difficult to pay the bills.  The following comes from an NPR article entitled “Millions Of Americans Skip Payments As Tidal Wave Of Defaults And Evictions Looms”

Americans are skipping payments on mortgages, auto loans and other bills. Normally, that could mean massive foreclosures, evictions, cars repossessions and people’s credit getting destroyed.

But much of that has been put on pause. Help from Congress and leniency from lenders have kept impending financial disaster at bay for millions of people. But that may not last for long.

An “economic recovery” was supposed to have started by now, but that isn’t happening.

And now the horrifying riots that have erupted all over the nation are going to make things even worse.

Our urban areas contain countless numbers of small businesses, and economists are warning that all of this civil unrest will be “a death blow” for many of them…

Some economists are predicting a death blow to small businesses that were already under unprecedented financial strain. If they weren’t ransacked, looted, and destroyed by hooligans, they will feel the macro effects of urban decline and flight, plummeting consumer confidence, falling property values, and worsening budgetary crises for state and local governments.

Sadly, a lot of the businesses that the rioters are destroying are actually minority-owned businesses.

What we are watching unfold is truly a great national tragedy, and it isn’t going to end any time soon.

Needless to say, there are some big companies that are going to be severely tempted to give up on our core urban areas completely.  If there is a constant threat that your stores are going to be smashed, looted or set on fire, that doesn’t make for a profitable business environment.

For example, it is being reported that Walmart may consider leaving the city of Chicago, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pleading with them to stay

Mayor Lightfoot said she was on a conference call with Walmart and other major retailers that had stores looted or heavily damaged during the unrest in Chicago. She said she pleaded with them to not abandon Chicago.

“I think in the case of Walmart, what they were focused on was assessing the damage. They are doing an effort to donate fresh produce, to the extent of what’s left so it doesn’t perish, and other perishables, and they are talking their time, as I would expect.”

More violence is expected around the nation this weekend, and without a doubt all of this rioting is going to have a massive impact on the U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, more than 129,000 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported around the globe during the 24 hour period that just ended, and that is the largest one day total that I have seen so far.

In other words, the coronavirus pandemic is a long, long way from over.

Despite what the talking heads in the mainstream media are telling you, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to continue to crumble.  We have already plunged into a new economic depression, and bankers are now warning companies that the flow of credit is about to get a lot tighter

Bankers have a message for America’s debt-laden companies: raise money now, because things could get a lot worse.

The gradual reopening of businesses after months-long shutdowns and a pick up in manufacturing activity have given investors reason for optimism in recent weeks. But underwriters who cater to heavily indebted corporations are offering their clients a bleak preview of what may lie ahead.

There is so much fear in the air, and in such an environment financial institutions get very stingy with their money.

In the days ahead, it is going to become much more difficult for just about everyone to borrow money, and that is going to have very serious implications for our economic outlook.

Of course things are changing so rapidly that it has become virtually impossible to predict what U.S. economic numbers will look like in the months ahead.

So far in 2020, we have already been hit by a major global pandemic, an economic depression, and the worst civil unrest in decades.

It has been “one thing after another”, and the truth is that this “perfect storm” 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.

There Will Be A Lot More Rioting, Looting And Civil Unrest As The U.S. Economy Continues To Crumble

What we have been witnessing on the streets of Minneapolis is just the beginning.  Our nation is so deeply divided, and a large portion of the population is losing faith in the basic institutions that govern our society.  Personally, I don’t know how anyone can watch the video of what happened to George Floyd without having an emotional reaction.  Police brutality has been a massive problem in the United States for many years, and it has gotten to the point where most of the country no longer has faith in the police.  Of course the rioters are not helping their cause by burning down the communities that they are supposedly defending.  And after causing so much chaos on Wednesday night, protesters were back in the streets of Minneapolis on Thursday

Protests and, in some cases, violence, continued Thursday in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody after a white officer pinned him to the ground under his knee.

Hundreds of protesters flooded Minneapolis streets Thursday evening for a march through downtown. Traffic was halted as a crowd of people stretched for up to four blocks. Protesters shouted “I can’t breathe” and “no justice, no peace; prosecute the police” as volunteer marshals in highlighter-colored vests directed traffic.

Sadly, this is just a small preview of what is coming to major cities all over America.

If you think that these riots about police brutality are intense, just wait until the economic riots start.

We are moving into a time when millions upon millions of Americans will become increasingly desperate as we plunge even deeper into a new economic depression.  On Thursday, we learned that another 2.1 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week…

First-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 2.1 million last week, the lowest total since the coronavirus crisis began though indicative that a historically high number of Americans remain separated from their jobs.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 2.05 million. The total represented a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 2.438 million.

This was the 10th week in a row when the number of new claims for unemployment benefits has been above 2 million.

As I keep reminding my readers, prior to this year the highest that number had ever been for a single week was 695,000 in 1982.

So even after so many catastrophic weeks in a row, we are still at a level that is approximately three times higher than that old record.

Overall, 40.8 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 10 weeks.  That is the greatest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin, and it means that more than one-fourth of all the jobs in the United States have already been wiped out.

But for now, the impact of those job losses has been cushioned by the extremely generous $600 a week unemployment bonuses that the federal government has been handing out, but those benefits are set to expire at the end of July

Right now, many are able to take advantage of an additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits provided by the federal government on top of each state’s standard jobless benefit. But that benefit is set to expire at the end of July if Congress does not pass another stimulus bill to extend benefits.

If those benefits are not extended we will see a massive national temper tantrum, and right now President Trump and Republican leaders in the Senate do not plan to extend them.

We shall see what happens, but we may soon have tens of millions of very angry unemployed Americans that are unable to pay their bills anymore.

And with each passing day, more bad economic news just keeps rolling in.  We just learned that orders for durable goods were down 19.4 percent on a year over year basis last month, and we also just learned that pending home sales were down 34.6 percent in April compared to the same month a year ago.

As I discussed yesterday, we are watching a full-blown economic collapse begin to unfold, and the fact that many U.S. states are starting to “reopen for business” is not going to stop the momentum that has now been created.

During the first few weeks of the pandemic, there was just a trickle of major bankruptcies, but now that trickle has become a flood

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, it was just a trickle: companies like Alaskan airline Ravn Air pushed into bankruptcy as travel came to a halt and markets collapsed. But the financial distress wrought by the shutdowns only deepened, producing what is now a wave of insolvencies washing through America’s corporations.

In May alone, some 27 companies reporting at least $50 million in liabilities sought court protection from creditors — the highest number since the Great Recession. They range from well-known U.S. mainstays such as J.C. Penney Co. and J. Crew Group Inc. to air carriers Latam Airlines Group SA and Avianca Holdings, their business decimated as travelers stayed put.

And we are watching store closings occur at a rate that we have never seen before in our entire history.

At this point, Coresight Research is projecting that about 25,000 stores will permanently close by the end of this calendar year

Coresight Research, which tracks retail openings and closings, has upped its projected store closures for 2020 from 8,000 at the beginning of the year to 15,000 at the beginning of March to about 25,000 now.

“That’s unlike anything the industry has ever seen,” Coresight CEO and founder Deborah Weinswig said. “It’s the speed with which it’s all happening which has been a little surprising.”

So much anger was building up all over America during the “good years”, and now this new economic depression is going to make things much, much worse.

When there are no jobs available and people can’t even provide the basics for their families, we are going to see frustration on a scale that is unlike anything we have ever witnessed before.

So please take careful note of what is happening in the streets of Minneapolis right now, because that is what the future is going to look like in all of our major cities.

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.

Nobody Ever Imagined That The Job Losses Would Get This Bad So Quickly

If you tried to warn people in late 2019 that about 40 million Americans would lose their jobs by the middle of 2020, nobody would have believed you.  Personally, I operate a website called “The Economic Collapse Blog”, and I wouldn’t have believed you either.  Even though I have been loudly warning that this sort of an economic crisis was coming, I never imagined that we would lose so many jobs in such a short period of time.  As I discussed the other day, more than a quarter of all jobs in the United States have already been wiped out, and the job losses just keep on coming.  In fact, Boeing is currently in the process of laying off thousands of highly skilled workers

Nearly 13,000 Boeing workers, mostly in the US, are set to lose their jobs in the coming weeks, as cuts at the American aerospace giant take effect.

More layoffs are expected, some of which may affect the UK.

The reductions had been expected since Boeing revealed plans last month to slash its global workforce by 10% – or roughly 16,000 jobs.

A lot of those are very high paying jobs with good benefits, and they will not be easy to replace.

Meanwhile, major retailers all over America keep going down one after another.  On Wednesday, we learned that Tuesday Morning has decided to file for bankruptcy

Off-price retailer Tuesday Morning filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday with plans to close more than a third of its stores.

Tuesday Morning had been struggling when the coronavirus pandemic began and went into a free fall when it was forced to temporarily close its locations due to the crisis.

Just like the Boeing jobs, these are jobs that are never going to come back.

At this point, there is no way that I can write about all of the companies that are laying off workers, but one more example that I found to be quite notable is the fact that even CBS News is letting people go

“I’m really sorry,” network president Susan Zirinsky said Wednesday on an all-staff Zoom meeting about the cuts. “There is not a person who won’t be missed.”

CBS News was hit hard by a round of corporate cost-cutting that saw “a single-digit percentage” of the network’s news staffers laid off, according to an estimate given by network president Susan Zirinsky during a Wednesday afternoon all-hands conference.

The corporate elite that own CBS News have very deep pockets, and Americans are watching more news than ever right now, and so it is definitely not a good sign for the economy that even CBS News feels forced to lay off workers.

Of course many unemployed workers are not exactly “deeply suffering” yet because of the huge weekly bonuses that they are getting from the federal government right now.

Earlier today, I was directed to a post on a popular Internet forum where a newly unemployed worker was describing how great his life has become now that he is unemployed

Before COVID I was miserable.

I had a job working $14.75/hr and hated waking up most days. I’ve since been laid off (obviously) but am one of those who is making much more by NOT working.

I used to make $550-600 per week depending on my hours but since COVID began, I’m clearing just over $1000/week. My gf is in the same situation and she’s also clearing just over $1000.

Without any job to go to, he can now spend his days endlessly hanging out with his newly unemployed girlfriend, and he claims that he can’t even imagine ever going back to his old life

Today we plan to do some hiking since it’s going to be so nice out and I’ll be using my new grill to cook up some steak tonight. The gf is kind of a wine snob so she likes to splurge on really nice reds (which I’ll definitely be having later as well).

I really don’t understand people who say they’re more stressed or are fighting with their gf/wife more than before. It makes absolutely no sense to me. These have been the best 2 months I’ve had in a while. I can’t imagine going back to my old life and way of doing things. NOT HAPPENING!

The only thing that isn’t ideal right now is not being able to travel normally but I only vacationed once or twice a year before due to work/money issues. Now I’m able to save $800-1000/month with COVID stimulus and bonus so we’ll definitely be taking a nice vacation at some point this summer.

The bad news for this young couple and for tens of millions of other unemployed Americans is that President Trump and the Republicans in the U.S. Senate do not plan to extend the unemployment bonuses once they expire in July.

So from that point forward, there will be millions upon millions of Americans that are not able to pay their monthly bills.

In fact, the New York Times is already warning that we will soon be facing “a wave of evictions as government relief payments and legal protections run out for millions of out-of-work Americans”…

The United States, already wrestling with an economic collapse not seen in a generation, is facing a wave of evictions as government relief payments and legal protections run out for millions of out-of-work Americans who have little financial cushion and few choices when looking for new housing.

The hardest hit are tenants who had low incomes and little savings even before the pandemic, and whose housing costs ate up more of their paychecks. They were also more likely to work in industries where job losses have been particularly severe.

Initially, the generous unemployment bonuses that Congress passed were supposed to help tide unemployed workers over until this pandemic went away.

But what if it sticks around for multiple years like the Spanish Flu did?

And the Washington Post is now trying to convince us that there is “a good chance” that COVID-19 “will never go away”…

There’s a good chance the coronavirus will never go away.

Even after a vaccine is discovered and deployed, the coronavirus will likely remain for decades to come, circulating among the world’s population.

Yes, this virus could become a “permanent crisis”, and without a doubt the elite are already trying to use it to fundamentally reshape our society.

And as long as a certain percentage of the population is deeply afraid of this virus, economic activity will continue to be depressed at levels that are way below what we would consider to be “normal”.

As the New York Times has admitted, “an economic collapse” is already here, and it is going to be incredibly painful.

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 Perpetual Crisis: Now The WHO Is Telling Us That COVID-19 “May Never Go Away”

Are you ready for “the new normal” to become permanent?  Originally, most of us assumed that “shelter-in-place orders” and “social distancing restrictions” would just be temporary, but now top health officials are warning us that some of these temporary measures may have to remain in place for the foreseeable future.  That means that our lives could be severely disrupted for a long time to come.  In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci just told a Senate Committee that it may not be safe for schools all over America to reopen when the next school year begins in the fall.  Apparently Fauci and other medical “experts” believe that it will not be possible for us to fully go back to our normal lives as long as this virus keeps spreading.

But how long are we really supposed to wait?

The truth is that this pandemic could still potentially be in the early chapters.  The Spanish Flu pandemic lasted for three full years, and we could possibly be facing a similar scenario.

And this week WHO official Mike Ryan warned that this virus could even become “endemic”, and if that happens it “may never go away”

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told an online briefing.

“I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” he added. “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”

In other words, Ryan is saying that this virus could become like a flu that keeps reappearing year after year.

So what are we going to do if that happens?

Are we supposed to have shutdowns every year whenever a new wave of COVID-19 infections starts happening?

Of course the lockdowns haven’t really been that effective anyway.  They may have temporarily slowed down the spread of the virus, but eventually most of the U.S. population is going to get exposed to it anyway no matter what we do.

But instead of facing the reality of this pandemic, Fauci continues to stick to his guns.  And many Americans were completely outraged when he suggested that schools should continue to remain closed when the next school year is scheduled to begin.  The following bit of commentary comes from Tucker Carlson

So just to be clear, Fauci was not simply talking about certain workers or even all workers staying at home for the foreseeable future. He implied that schools and colleges will be able to reopen only if there is a cure for this virus or a vaccine. He said that prospect was a bridge too far.

In other words, no school until the coronavirus has been cured — stopped.

The problem is there is currently no approved vaccine for any of the several coronaviruses out there. We still don’t have one for SARS. So, that may never happen. Once again, it has never happened.

A lot of people out there didn’t seem to believe me when I first started talking about how difficult it will be for researchers to create a vaccine for COVID-19.

Just like Tucker Carlson has said, there has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history.

Despite all of our efforts, there is no vaccine for SARS.

And despite all of our efforts, there is no vaccine for MERS.

Needless to say, there isn’t such a thing as a “common cold vaccine” either, because such a thing does not exist.

Perhaps our scientists will beat the odds this time, and they will certainly do their best to do so.

But meanwhile many local officials all over the nation seem convinced that the best strategy for now is to continue keeping people at home.

For example, the “stay-at-home order” in Washington D.C. was just extended through June 8th

Washington, D.C., is extending its stay-at-home order through June 8, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced on Wednesday.

The mayor said that the city has not yet met all the required benchmarks to reopen.

And Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer just extended the “stay-at-home order” in Los Angeles County indefinitely

Meanwhile, Ferrer extended the county’s stay-at-home order, which was implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus and has barred gatherings and mandated physical distancing requirements. She said there is no end date to the revised health order and stressed that people should stay home as much as possible to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 1,600 people in the county.

“As I’ve said from the beginning, this will be a slow journey,” Ferrer said.

Following that announcement, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told Good Morning America that his city will “never be completely open until we have a cure.”

Good luck with all that.

I am so glad that I don’t live in Los Angeles, because residents of that city could be waiting for a “vaccine” or a “cure” for a very, very long time.

Are residents of L.A. just supposed to put their lives on hold indefinitely?  On Wednesday, we learned that the Hollywood Bowl has completely canceled their entire summer concert season

The Hollywood Bowl scrapped its entire summer concert season Wednesday due to the coronavirus crisis, in a “devastating” move that leaves the Los Angeles Philharmonic with an $80 million shortfall.

The famous open-air California venue has hosted acts from the Beatles to Yo-Yo Ma over nearly a century, and its concerts from June through September are a staple of Los Angeles cultural life.

I was really saddened when I first read about that.

Social gatherings are so central to the human experience, and now we are being told that most of our major social gatherings will need to be delayed, postponed or canceled for the foreseeable future.

And what makes all of this even more tragic is that we are now learning that these lockdowns were never necessary in the first place.  If we all had worn masks from the very beginning, kept our Vitamin D levels up and used basic common sense, we could have continued our normal lives all this time just like they have been doing in Japan and Sweden.

Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply in America today, and it looks like this pandemic will continue to greatly disrupt our lives for a long time to come.

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

They Want To Make “Social Distancing” A Permanent Part Of Our Lives

Humans are inherently social creatures, and that is never going to change.  Within each one of us there is a fundamental need for connection with others, but now these coronavirus lockdowns have separated us from one another like never before.  Thankfully, many states are now starting to end their lockdowns, but unfortunately this is definitely not the end for “social distancing”.  Just as 9/11 greatly altered our society on a permanent basis, many of our social engineers now intend to make “social distancing” a permanent part of our lives.  If they have their way, there will be written or unwritten rules about how close you can get to other people virtually everywhere that you go.

Can you imagine a world where you have to constantly be concerned about walking, standing or sitting too close to someone else?

Already, there is talk of putting physical markings on sidewalks in order to constantly remind all of us not to walk too closely to one another…

Arrows on the ground, and other physical markers to encourage and enforce distance. Imagine sidewalks with scoring every 6 feet so those walking could make sure they’re the human equivalent of a few car lengths behind. Or large sculptures deployed to separate people.

And Wal-Mart and other major retailers are already starting to put arrows on the floor to remind us which direction to shop so that we can maintain proper “social distancing”.

We are being told that restaurants may have to start putting empty tables between customers, sports stadiums may have to keep at least half their seats empty, and churches may have to start holding services in shifts.

Just like in the days after 9/11, we will be told that the changes are just “temporary measures”, but once we accept “temporary measures” long enough they have a way of becoming permanent.

When I was much younger, I loved to attend concerts.  And at first I was encouraged to hear that some states were going to start allowing live concerts once again, but then I learned about the new “fan pods”

Travis McCready, the singer of the country-rock band Bishop Gunn, will be performing what’s billed as an “intimate acoustic set” in Fort Smith at the city’s TempleLive venue — but with social distancing measures in place. The show will take place on May 15, three days before the scheduled reopening.

According to Billboard, assigned seats for the show will be at least six feet apart per grouping in what Ticketmaster is calling “fan pods.” As fans enter the venue, they’ll be required to wear face masks (including the venue’s employees), have their temperatures taken at the door and capacity for the 1,100 person venue will be capped at 229.

Are you kidding me?

I understand that they are trying to prevent the spread of the virus, but it isn’t going to work.

Look, unless you plan on locking yourself in your own home for the next couple of years, you are almost certainly going to be exposed to the virus no matter how careful you are.

And once you are exposed to the virus, what is really going to matter is the strength of your immune system, and so that should be your focus instead of trying to maintain “proper social distancing” at all times.

To me, some of the “social distancing” measures that we are now seeing are completely and utterly ridiculous.  For example, at one supermarket in Philadelphia cashiers are actually working in “tent-like” plastic enclosures

At a Philadelphia supermarket, the cashier’s side of each checkout line has been outfitted with a tent-like plastic enclosure, keeping essential workers safe while on the job.

Alexander Tavares, 19, captured now-viral footage of the new working conditions, constructed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at a store on March 25.

Those enclosures may protect those workers for a short period of time, but it is inevitable that they will eventually be exposed to the virus.

This pandemic is never going to burn itself out until herd immunity is achieved, and herd immunity is never going to be achieved until about 70 percent of the population catches the virus.

Of course it would be wonderful if someone could actually find a way to keep 70 percent of the population from becoming infected, but because this virus spreads like wildfire that simply is not going to be possible.

In the end, “social distancing” can temporarily slow the transmission of the virus, but roughly the same proportion of the population will eventually catch it whether we have “social distancing” or not.

Thankfully, some industries are already starting to push back against “social distancing”.  There has been an effort to require airlines to keep middle seats vacant on all flights from now on, and the airlines are fighting this really hard

Airlines are pushing back on proposals to require social distancing onboard aircraft. During a press briefing today, airline industry group IATA argued that leaving the middle seat vacant would hurt airlines’ ability to recover from the coronavirus crisis and potentially cause a spike of up to 54% in airfares.

If you get on an airplane, you pretty much have to assume that you are going to be exposed to all sorts of nasty bugs.  That has always been true, and there will never be a time when it isn’t true.

If you don’t want to be exposed to all sorts of nasty bugs, just don’t fly.

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, there are literally thousands of ways that you could potentially catch this virus, and anyone that believes that “proper social distancing” will keep people 100 percent safe is just being delusional.

Sadly, “social distancing” has been pounded into our heads so relentlessly in recent weeks that a big chunk of the population has become big believers in it.

In fact, one recent survey discovered that almost 60 percent of everyone living in Seattle intends to continue practicing social distancing “for a year or longer”…

Nearly 60 percent of people in Seattle say they plan on doing social distancing for a year or longer.

That’s according to a new survey recently released by a company in New York City called Elucd.

This company said they provide data to the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department on the public’s opinions on various topics.

And once you adopt a pattern for a whole year, there is a really good chance that it becomes permanent.

We can’t let them do this to us.

They fundamentally changed our society after 9/11, and now the social engineers want to do it again.

We must stop them this time, because the alternative is absolutely unthinkable.

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 Has Become “The Land Of The Snitches” During This Coronavirus Pandemic

For those that wondered if Americans would be willing to report on their neighbors on a widespread basis during a major crisis, you now have your answer.  All over the country, calls have been pouring in to authorities from “concerned citizens” that are quite eager to point a finger at their neighbors for violating the coronavirus lockdowns.  In fact, it has been reported that some very nosy people in the state of California were actually calling 911 to report that their neighbors were coughing inside their own homes.  Of course the mainstream media is not exactly helping matters when they use phrases such as “death sentence” to describe this pandemic.  Yes, we should all be taking this virus very seriously, but the truth is that this is not the end of the world and everyone needs to calm down.

Do we really want to have a society where everyone is spying on their neighbors?  When I read that a mother in Wisconsin had been visited by the police because she had permitted her daughter to go play at a friend’s house, it really touched a nerve with me

A Wisconsin mom videotaped two police officers who showed up at her home and accused her of “allowing” her daughter to play at a friend’s house, an act they deemed to be in defiance of Wisconsin’s “Stay at Home” order.

The officers are clearly agitated and condescending in their conversation with the mother, who is addressed as “Amy” when she opens the door upon their arrival.

So how did the police know that her daughter had gone to another house to play?

Needless to say, someone snitched on her.

And this next story is truly bizarre.  A Colorado woman named Heather Silchia was deeply alarmed when she discovered that her “neighbors” had put a really nasty note on her vehicle

The missive read, “PLEASE STAY HOME. I noticed a few days a week you leave home with your baby and return a short time later without it. Then I see the man of the house arrive with the baby later in the afternoon while your vehicle hasn’t moved all day. This leads me to believe that the kid is in daycare.”

The letter continued, “Stop. I am assuming that man has an essential job since he is gone all day but if you are home there is no reason for your child to be in daycare at a time like this. I also see you leave shortly after your husband (I assume) gets home. You aren’t wearing any sort of uniform and I have never seen you wear a mask. Bars are closed and you couldn’t possibly be getting groceries every night (which would also require you to wear a mask) so I again ask you to please stay home.”

Well, it turns out that Heather Silchia is actually a 911 dispatcher, and that is why she can’t watch her baby all day.

And we should be thankful for front line workers like her, because they are so greatly needed during a time like this.

Sadly, the examples that I have just shared with you are not isolated incidents.  In fact, it has been revealed that there are hundreds of people that have been snitching on their neighbors in the state of Missouri alone

Hundreds of people have been exposed for reporting people who have flouted social distancing rules and some are now scared they could receive a backlash. The names and addresses of approximately 900 people in Missouri were released as part of a media request under the Sunshine Law, which allows for the release of information submitted to a public agency (except for wrongdoing and abuse tips).

St. Louis County had urged the community to share details of anyone not following guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic and noted in the terms and conditions that information may be shared publicly. However some people may not have read the small print submitted tips via an online form and email from the end of March. Many had asked for their communications to remain private.

If things are this bad in Missouri, one can only imagine the level of snitching that is happening in New York or California.

And even though some states are starting to gradually lift their “shelter-in-place” orders, the truth is that our society is going to be dealing with “social distancing” for a long time to come.  In fact, the way that we share many of our public spaces is in danger of being permanently redefined

New designs for eating places. McDonald’s is already prototyping a socially distanced version of its restaurant that could be a template for fast-food spaces around the world.

Checkerboard grids on the grass in parks, with people allowed to occupy one square only if those surrounding it are empty.

Or time-sharing of public places: If you don’t show up for your 12:15 p.m. slot at the playground, you’re out of luck.

Are you kidding me?

Of course snitches will have a field day in this sort of an environment.  If you sit too close to a snitch in church or you walk too closely behind a snitch on the sidewalk, you may find yourself explaining your actions to the police.

And what is truly tragic is that none of this nonsense is even necessary.  Please take two and a half minutes and watch this video from Dr. Eric Berg.  It is the most important video about this pandemic that I have watched by a wide margin.

After watching the video, I think that you will understand why all of the coronavirus lockdowns should be ended as soon as possible.

Yes, this virus spreads incredibly easily.  But a lot of the people that catch it never show any symptoms at all, and it has become clear that there are things that we can do for those that do become sick to prevent a lot of the really severe cases.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media is not going to tell you the truth.  Instead, they are just going to keep telling you that the death toll projections are going up and that everyone should continue to stay home.

Look, the reality of the matter is that most of the population is eventually going to be exposed to this virus no matter if we have lockdowns or not.  So it is very important to be taking your vitamins and to be doing whatever you can to support your immune system.  And it is also very important to understand that this is not even close to the worst thing that we are going to face.

If we can’t even handle COVID-19, and if the mainstream media won’t even share the truth when scientific studies show absolutely amazing results, what is going to happen to our society when a really severe crisis comes along?

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

New Study Warns Up To 70% Of Americans Will Eventually Catch COVID-19 And The Pandemic Could Last 2 Years

Are we still going to be dealing with this coronavirus pandemic in 2022?  According to a shocking new study that was just released by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, the total duration of this pandemic “will likely be 18 to 24 months”, and “60% to 70% of the population” may need to catch the virus before we get to the point of herd immunity.  Of course I have been warning for quite some time that most people in the United States will eventually catch this virus because this pandemic will never be over until herd immunity is achieved.  But most of our politicians are carefully avoiding using the phrase “herd immunity” because they don’t want to alarm the general population.

These days, the mainstream media is full of talk about “reopenings” and “recovery”, but the raw numbers paint an entirely different picture.  Despite the fact that most of the country has been locked down for weeks, we just had our deadliest day so far.  The following comes from CNBC

The United States just had its deadliest day on record due to the coronavirus as states across the country begin to ease restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus, according to data published by the World Health Organization.

The U.S. saw 2,909 people die of Covid-19 in 24 hours, according to the data, which was collected as of 4 a.m. ET on Friday. That’s the highest daily Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. yet, based on a CNBC analysis of the WHO’s daily Covid-19 situation reports.

If this is happening even though most people are currently confined to their homes, what is going to happen once a whole bunch of states attempt to “reopen”?

I think that we all know the answer to that question.

But as long as our hospitals can handle it, we should allow people to go back to work, because the truth is that this virus is going to burn through our population whether there are lockdowns or not.

In fact, this alarming new study from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy is projecting that the virus will not finally burn itself out until about 70 percent of the population is immune

As coronavirus restrictions around the world are being lifted, a new report warns the pandemic that has already killed more than 230,000 people likely won’t be contained for two years. The modeling study from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota also says that about 70% of people need to be immune in order to bring the virus to a halt.

There are many that are hoping that a “vaccine” can get us to herd immunity a lot faster, but that is a false hope.

If you don’t believe me, go to Google and do a search for an instance where scientists have developed a successful vaccine for a coronavirus.

You won’t find one, because there has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history.

We can slow down this pandemic by implementing lockdowns, but that just kills the economy and extends the suffering.  In the end, there is no way that we are going to be able to stop this pandemic until herd immunity is achieved, and that is precisely what this new CIDRAP study is saying

“The length of the pandemic will likely be 18 to 24 months, as herd immunity gradually develops in the human population,” the report says. “Given the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2” — the virus that causes COVID-19 — “60% to 70% of the population may need to be immune to reach a critical threshold of herd immunity to halt the pandemic.”

Lockdowns were never going to end this pandemic, and anyone that thought that was not being realistic.

For now, we have survived the first wave of this virus, but CIDRAP is also warning us that we need to brace ourselves for more waves to come

The report lays out several possible scenarios, including one in which a larger wave of illnesses may happen in the fall or winter of 2020 and then subsequent smaller waves in 2021. The researchers say this model — similar to the pattern seen in the devastating 1918 Spanish flu pandemic — would “require the reinstitution of mitigation measures in the fall in an attempt to drive down spread of infection and prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed.”

If you work in a setting where you have any sort of interaction with the public at all, there is very high probability that you will catch this virus.

And once you catch this virus, there is a very high probability that you will spread it to the rest of your family.

The good news is that many people never get any symptoms at all, and most of those that do get ill eventually recover.

But more than 68,000 Americans have died during this pandemic so far, and the death toll will almost certainly cross 100,000 in a few weeks.  So the truth is that this pandemic is killing a lot of people, and we need to take it very seriously.

Before COVID-19 ever hit our shores, I was warning my readers to “get prepared”, and thankfully a lot of them did just that.

And it turns out that many among the elite were busily preparing for a future crisis as well.  In fact, I was stunned to learn that Bill and Melinda Gates stored up food in advance.  The following comes from a recent BBC interview

EMMA BARRETT: In terms of your own — again, just to talk about you and Bill for being so familiar with this — had you made any preparations? I was very struck by when I rewatched Bill’s talk from 2015, he rolled that barrel onto the stage and said, “When I was growing up, nuclear was kind of the threat, everyone was very worried about bombs and all sorts of threats like that, and we had this barrel in our basement where we’d have to go and eat out of it if we went in.” Had you done preparation in your own lives?

MELINDA GATES: We had done some preparation, yes.

BARRETT: What does the mean in terms of — because we had issues here in the UK with people panic shopping — how does a couple like you, who has this insight, how do you get prepared for that?

GATES: A number of years ago, we talked about, “What if there wasn’t clean water? What if there wasn’t enough food? Where might we go? What might we do as a family?” So, I think we should leave those preparations to ourselves. We had prepared, and had some food in the basement in case needed, and now we’re all in the same situation.

Sadly, most ordinary Americans didn’t do anything to prepare in advance, and that is one of the reasons why there was so much “panic buying” during the early stages of this pandemic.

But now a lot of people are being lulled into a false sense of security again, and the mainstream media just keeps insisting that the worst part of this pandemic is now behind us.

It would be great if that was true, but what if it isn’t?

What if CIDRAP is correct and this pandemic stretches all the way into 2022?

Ultimately, a lot more Americans are going to get sick and a lot more Americans are going to die in the months ahead, and it appears that our battle with this virus could still be in the very early chapters.

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

All Of The Coronavirus Models Were Wrong

How is it possible that all of the coronavirus models could have been so completely and utterly wrong about what was going to happen?  Very early in this pandemic, some models that were predicting millions of deaths caused quite a bit of panic all over the globe.  In fact, a projection done by researchers at the Imperial College of London warned that 40 million people could die from COVID-19 this year alone.  Obviously that estimate was dead wrong, and it has become quite clear that this pandemic is not an “end of the world” scenario.  But on the other extreme, there have been a lot of models that were forecasting a relatively low death toll, and those models have been proven to be completely wrong as well.

For example, the Los Angeles Times just published a story that discussed the fact that a number of models had projected that the U.S. would not reach 60,000 deaths until “late summer”…

The death toll from COVID-19 reached nearly 60,200 in the United States on Wednesday, and confirmed cases surpassed 1 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some models had suggested the U.S. would not reach this milestone until late summer.

Well, we just blew by that figure and we are rapidly moving up toward 70,000 deaths.

During the 24 hour period that just ended, another 2,390 Americans died from COVID-19, and the number of daily deaths is likely to escalate as some states attempt to “reopen” in the weeks ahead.

But a prominent model that the Trump administration has been relying on very heavily had been projecting that there would not be a single U.S. death from the coronavirus after June 21st…

An influential model cited by the White House predicts that coronavirus deaths will come to a halt this summer, with zero deaths projected in the United States after June 21.

Not a single person will die in the ensuing month and a half, according to the model, which makes predictions until August.

Obviously some U.S. officials must strongly disagree with that sort of a projection, because the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the federal government just ordered 100,000 more body bags…

The federal government ordered 100,000 new Covid-19 body bags, in what officials described as preparations for a “worst case” scenario.

The giant order last week for “human remains pouches” comes as more than 58,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

That would seem to be a tremendous waste of money if this pandemic is essentially going to be over in June.

Of course the truth is that this pandemic is not going to end any time soon, and every day we continue to get more indications that it is going to be much more grisly than many had originally anticipated.  For instance, on Wednesday police in New York found dozens of dead bodies stored in trucks outside a funeral home…

Police found dozens of bodies being stored in unrefrigerated trucks outside a Brooklyn funeral home and lying on the facility’s floor Wednesday, law enforcement sources told The Post.

Between 40 to 60 bodies were discovered either stacked up in U-Haul box trucks outside Andrew Cleckley Funeral Services in Flatlands or on the building’s floor, after neighbors reported a foul odor around the property, sources said.

And the entire nation was stunned to learn that almost 70 people have died at a home for aging veterans in Massachusetts

Nearly 70 residents sickened with the coronavirus have died at a Massachusetts home for aging veterans, as state and federal officials try to figure out what went wrong in the deadliest known outbreak at a long-term care facility in the U.S.

While the death toll at the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home continues to climb, federal officials are investigating whether residents were denied proper medical care and the state’s top prosecutor is deciding whether to bring legal action.

While it is true that this pandemic is not “the end of the world”, nobody out there should be attempting to claim that it is a “nothingburger” either.  Just check the carnage that authorities in Ecuador have been dealing with

Front line medics in one of Latin America’s coronavirus epicenters are lifting the lid on the daily horrors they face in an Ecuadoran city whose health system has collapsed.

In one hospital in Guayaquil overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, staff have had to pile up bodies in bathrooms because the morgues are full, health workers say.

In another, a medic told AFP that doctors have been forced to wrap up and store corpses to be able to reuse the beds they died on.

The only reason why we haven’t seen a lot of other health systems around the world get overwhelmed is because most of the planet is shut down right now.

As some parts of the globe attempt to “reopen”, it is inevitable that cases will start to surge again in those areas.  In fact, that is precisely what is starting to happen in Germany.

Sadly, this pandemic has become highly politicized at this point, and there are many out there that would love to exploit it for their own nefarious purposes.  For example, Hillary Clinton told Joe Biden during an online town hall that “this would be a terrible crisis to waste”

This is a high-stakes time, because of the pandemic. But this is also a really high-stakes election. And every form of health care should continue to be available, including reproductive health care for every woman in this country. And then it needs to be part of a much larger system that eventually — and quickly, I hope — gets us to universal health care. [Biden nods] So I can only say, “Amen,” to everything you’re saying, but also to, again, enlist people that this would be a terrible crisis to waste, as the old saying goes. [Biden nods] We’ve learned a lot about what our absolute frailties are in our country when it comes to health justice and economic justice.

Instead of dividing us even more deeply as a nation, this pandemic should be bringing us together.  And hopefully that will happen, because even greater challenges are in our future.

But for now, we still have a very long battle with this virus ahead of us.

Many more Americans are going to get sick and many more Americans are going to die, and we really don’t have any idea what the final numbers are going to look like because all of the “scientific models” have been dead wrong so far.

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.

We Have Never Seen An Economic Collapse Quite Like This, And It Is Largely A Self-Inflicted Wound

The rate at which the U.S. economy is unraveling is absolutely breathtaking.  On Thursday, we learned that another 4.4 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that means that a grand total of more than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during this pandemic so far.  To get an idea of just how dramatically this record-setting unemployment spike dwarfs what we witnessed during the last recession, check out these charts.  Prior to this year, the record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,800, and now each of the last five weeks has been at least four times larger than that old record.  And as I discussed in an article earlier today, millions of those workers have absolutely no incentive to go back to work any time soon, because thanks to Congress they are bringing home more money now than when they were actually working.  So even if efforts are made to return the economy “to normal”, millions of workers will want to stay home until the $600 per week “unemployment bonus” finally expires.  The sad thing is that this new economic crisis is largely a self-inflicted wound, and I will explain why that is true later in this article.

But first let’s talk about where things currently stand.  Based on the unemployment claim numbers that we have been seeing, experts are now projecting that the current rate of unemployment in the U.S. “is about 16 percent”

With a labor force that totals about 162 million people, the claims figures suggest the unemployment rate is about 16 percent, or roughly one in six Americans — significantly higher than the 10 percent peak seen during the 2008 financial crisis. The previous one-week high for jobless claims was 695,800 in 1982.

For a long time I have been warning that the next crisis would make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic, and now that has actually happened.

In addition to an unprecedented number of initial claims for unemployment benefits, we have also absolutely smashed the all-time record for the number of “continuing claims”

A person who has filed an “initial claim” for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and still doesn’t have a job a week later is added to “insured unemployment.” The number of the “insured unemployed” – often called “continued claims” – skyrocketed to 15.98 million, by far the highest in the history of the data series. The high before this Covid-19 era was 6.63 million in May of 2009.

And now that Congress has given workers a tremendous financial incentive to stay unemployed, the number of “continuing claims” is likely to keep going higher with each passing week.

Of course this isn’t just happening in the United States.  Over in Europe, business activity is falling at the fastest pace ever recorded

“The eurozone economy suffered the steepest falls in business activity and employment ever recorded during April as a result of measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak,” it said.

The company’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) dived to a record low of 13.5 in April, from the previous all-time low of 29.7 in March, confirming private sector gloom that is savaging the 19-nation eurozone.

To put those numbers in perspective, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Needless to say, these absolutely horrific statistics are the result of the coronavirus lockdowns, but were these lockdowns actually necessary in the first place?

As I discussed yesterday, the only reason why any sort of a lockdown should be implemented is if the hospitals in a particular area are being overwhelmed, because if people are unable to get medical treatment that could definitely push the ultimate death toll from the pandemic higher than it otherwise would have been.

But in most parts of the U.S. and Europe right now, hospitals are not being even close to overwhelmed.

Keeping everyone at home is not going to defeat this virus or end this pandemic.  When you are dealing with a virus that spreads from person to person this easily, there is no way that you are going to contain it.  In fact, the U.S. just had 31,900 newly confirmed cases in the 24 hour period that just ended even though most of the nation has already been locked down for weeks.

Yes, these lockdowns have temporarily slowed down the spread of the virus, but the lockdowns have also extended the duration of this pandemic.  Ultimately, this pandemic is never going to be over until it sweeps through the population and “herd immunity” is achieved.  And as I discussed yesterday, 70 to 90 percent of the population is going to have to develop antibodies in order to get to that point.

And if you are waiting for a “vaccine” to get us out of this mess, you are going to be waiting for a very, very long time.  There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and the task of trying to develop one for COVID-19 has become exceedingly more difficult now that scientists have discovered that there are 30 different strains of the virus.

So the truth is that this outbreak is going to rip through our population, and nothing that our politicians can do will be able to stop that from happening.

But the good news is that new numbers from New York seem to indicate that we are closer to “herd immunity” than we previously thought…

Preliminary results from New York’s first coronavirus antibody study show nearly 14 percent tested positive, meaning they had the virus at some point and recovered, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That equates to 2.7 million infections statewide — more than 10 times the state’s confirmed cases.

The study, part of Cuomo’s “aggressive” antibody testing launched earlier this week, is based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While the preliminary data suggests much more widespread infection, it means New York’s mortality rate is much lower than previously thought.

However, another study that was conducted in L.A. County found that only 4 percent of their residents had developed antibodies, and that is probably more representative of the nation as a whole.

In any event, everyone agrees that the vast majority of the U.S. population has not developed antibodies, and that means that there will be many more cases and many more deaths in the months ahead.

And that is going to happen no matter how our politicians respond to this crisis.

So as long as our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, there isn’t a need for any lockdowns.  The final case total and the final death toll will be roughly the same whether there are lockdowns or not.

But these lockdowns are definitely killing our economy, and tens of millions of American workers now find themselves unemployed.

And if we continue to try to keep the U.S. economy shut down for a few more months, the economic damage will be incalculable.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying.  I am not saying that we should sacrifice lives in order to save the economy.  What I am saying is that about the same number of people are eventually going to die whether we have the lockdowns or not.  And if we can’t handle this, how in the world are we going to deal with what else is coming?

If you are elderly, have a compromised immune system or are in some other high risk group, you are going to have to quarantine yourself for the foreseeable future, but that would be true whether there are lockdowns or not.  The mortality rates for high risk groups are much, much higher than for the general population as a whole, and the danger is very real.

But everyone else should be allowed to get back to work, because most of the population is eventually going to catch this virus no matter what we do.  As long as our hospitals can handle it, we should proceed with life as normal.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.  Most of the current lockdowns are going to remain in place for quite some time, and this new economic depression is just going to get deeper and deeper.

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 Facts That Prove That Almost Everyone Is Wrong About This Coronavirus Pandemic

When it comes to COVID-19, most Americans seem to be gravitating toward one of two extremes.  Some are treating this pandemic like it is the end of the world, while many others are dismissing it as a “nothingburger”.  But the truth is somewhere in between.  Nobody can deny that lots of people are getting sick and lots of people are dying.  In fact, the U.S. death toll has doubled in a little over a week and it has now shot past the 47,000 mark.  And as this pandemic progresses, a lot more people are going to get sick and a lot more people are going to die, and this is going to be true whether the lockdowns continue or not.  The lockdowns were never going to stop COVID-19, and anyone that believed that was just being delusional.

The only time a lockdown should be instituted is if a pandemic has gotten so bad in an area that hospitals are being absolutely overwhelmed, because if people can’t get treatment that is a factor that could potentially increase the overall death toll substantially.

In most of the United States that is not happening right now, and so in most of the nation the lockdowns should be immediately ended.

But won’t a lot more people start getting sick if that happens?

Of course, and this is something that the “nothingburger” crowd doesn’t understand.  Lifting the lockdowns is going to cause the virus to cycle through our population at a much faster rate, and the numbers will get pretty ugly.  But as long as the medical system can handle it, lockdowns are not necessary.

What “the end of the world” crowd does not understand is that when you are dealing with a virus that spreads as easily as this one, it is inevitable that most of the population will eventually become infected.  You can “flatten the curve” and delay the inevitable with lockdowns, but that also prolongs the pandemic.  In the end, roughly the same number of people will get sick and roughly the same number of people will die no matter how the pandemic is “managed”.

This week, the “nothingburger” crowd has made a really big deal out of the fact that a study conducted in L.A. county discovered that about 4 percent of all residents had already developed COVID-19 antibodies, and they were trying to use that study to prove that this pandemic is not much of a threat at all.

Actually, it shows just the opposite.

This pandemic is not going to be over until herd immunity is achieved, and according to Johns Hopkins that does not happen until 70 to 90 percent of a population has developed immunity…

When most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection—or herd immunity (also called herd protection)—to those who are not immune to the disease.

For example, if 80% of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won’t get sick (and won’t spread the disease any further). In this way, the spread of infectious diseases is kept under control. Depending how contagious an infection is, usually 70% to 90% of a population needs immunity to achieve herd immunity.

So let’s do some really quick math.

Let’s assume that the study conducted in L.A. County is representative of the nation as a whole and that approximately 4 percent of all Americans have now developed antibodies.

And let’s also assume that herd immunity for COVID-19 will be achieved when 80 percent of the total population has developed antibodies.

If 47,000 Americans have died at the current 4 percent level of exposure, that means that we could potentially be looking at an overall death toll of 940,000 once we hit an 80 percent exposure level.

Does anyone in the “nothingburger” crowd want to try to claim that 940,000 dead Americans is not a big deal?

I keep hearing people say that this virus “is just like the flu”, and that is absolutely absurd.  As Mike Adams of Natural News has pointed out, COVID-19 has killed more Americans in the last 17 days than the flu did in the last year…

In the last 17 days, the Wuhan coronavirus has killed more Americans (35,087) than the regular flu kills in an entire year (34,157 for the last year). It obliterates any last shred of the argument — still heard across the independent media — that the coronavirus is “no worse than the flu.”

The coronavirus remains the No. 1 cause of death in America on a day-to-day basis, clocking in at 2,804 deaths just today. Total deaths in the USA will exceed 46,000 tomorrow, confirming our earlier projection that estimated 46,000 to 93,000 deaths from coronavirus in the USA by the end of July. It’s not even the end of April, and we’re already beyond 45,000. (At the time we made the projection, it was dismissed as “crazy” by the very same people who still claim the coronavirus is “no worse than the flu.” Those are the people who can’t do math.)

And actually the number of Americans dying from the coronavirus is being seriously undercounted.

In New York City, if someone dies at home they are typically not tested to see if they have the coronavirus.  So even though the number of city residents dying at home is now nearly ten times higher than normal, the vast majority of those cases are never showing up in the official numbers.

But the “end of the world” crowd seems to think that if we just keep everyone at home long enough that we can significantly reduce the final death toll from this pandemic, and that just isn’t accurate either.

Right now, the virus continues to spread even though most of the U.S. has now been locked down for weeks.  In fact, there were nearly 30,000 more confirmed cases during the 24 hour period that just ended.  Whether it does it relatively quickly or relatively slowly, this virus will continue to rip through our population until we eventually get to the point of herd immunity.

“Experts” such as Bill Gates are suggesting that the lockdowns are “buying us time” until our scientists can develop a “vaccine”, but the truth is that is really not much more than a pipe dream.

As I pointed out yesterday, there has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and now that scientists have discovered approximately 30 different strains of the virus that will just make the task of trying to develop a vaccine even more complicated.

Sadly, the reality of the matter is that this virus is going to be with us for a very long time to come.  Eventually herd immunity will hopefully be achieved, but until then a lot of people are going to get sick and a lot of people are going to die.

And fear of this virus is going to be with us for a long time to come as well, and that is going to paralyze our economy whether there are lockdowns or not.

The bottom line is that this virus is not going to be stopped, and the economic collapse that has now begun is not going to be stopped either.

But this isn’t the end of the world, and most of us will get through this.  Of course even bigger challenges lie beyond the end of this pandemic, but that is a topic for another article.

As of this moment, COVID-19 has killed more than 184,000 people around the globe, and by the end of this pandemic the overall death toll is likely to be much, much higher than that.

There is no way that you can possibly call that a “nothingburger”, and sticking your head in the sand is not going to help anything.  But on the other hand, trying to lock down the entire planet is not going to solve this crisis either.  It will simply delay the inevitable, because this virus is just going to continue to spread no matter what actions our politicians take.

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.

Is The “Second Wave” Of The Coronavirus Pandemic Already Here?

Top health officials and the mainstream media keep insisting that “the worst is behind us”, but is that actually true?  According to Worldometers.info, 2,804 new coronavirus deaths were added to the U.S. total during the 24 hour period that just ended, and that was a huge increase over the 1,939 new deaths from the previous 24 hour period.  In addition, we are seeing an alarming explosion in the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Singapore, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Peru, India, Brazil and Russia.  So while it is true that the lockdowns have temporarily slowed down the spread of the virus in some areas of the globe, it appears that we are witnessing the emergence of a “second wave” in other areas.  And of course the countries that have been successful in slowing down this pandemic could see another huge surge in cases once their lockdowns are ended.  Sadly, the truth is that we are still in the early stages of this crisis, but most people don’t seem to realize that.

On Tuesday, CDC Director Robert Redfield made headlines all over the globe when he warned that there could be a “second wave” of COVID-19 next winter…

A second coronavirus outbreak could emerge this winter in conjunction with the flu season to make for an even more dire health crisis, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told The Washington Post in an interview.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a story published Tuesday. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”

But what if he is completely wrong and the “second wave” is already here?

Or perhaps it may be more accurate to say that the first wave has never ended.

If you go to the Johns Hopkins dashboard for this pandemic, you will notice that the global curve of confirmed cases has not “flattened” much at all even though much of the planet has been “locked down” for weeks.

And the antibody data is telling us that virtually the entire global population is still vulnerable.  According to the WHO, only 2 to 3 percent of the entire global population has developed antibodies for this virus…

The head of the World Health Organization on Monday said that likely no more than 2% to 3% of the global population have developed antibodies for COVID-19.

Here in the United States, a study of adults in L.A. County found that only 4 percent of them had developed antibodies for this virus…

Four percent of adults in Los Angeles County tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in a recent study, suggesting hundreds of thousands of people might have actually been infected in early April when only 8,000 cases had been confirmed.

So what this means is that we are a long, long, long way from herd immunity.

More than 95 percent of the population is still vulnerable, and that means once the lockdowns are lifted this virus could start spreading like wildfire inside the U.S. once again.

In fact, the number of confirmed cases in Georgia is soaring just as that state is preparing to end the current restrictions…

The number of coronavirus deaths and infections in Georgia has spiked over a 24 hour period as the state prepares to partially lift lockdown restrictions this week – and cases across the country have doubled in two weeks to more than 200,000.

The death toll in the state increased by 85 in 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 772. Infections spiked by more than 1,000, bringing the number of cases in the state to more than 19,300.

And in Massachusetts, authorities are warning that the death toll in that state will likely double “in less than a week”

Massachusetts has quickly become a hot spot of coronavirus infections with the state’s death toll expected to double in less than a week.

COVID-19 deaths are expected to surpass 2,000 this week in Massachusetts where officials are scrambling to boost hospital capacity and trace new infections to curb the spread of the disease.

That certainly doesn’t sound like “the worst is behind us” to me.

And I don’t even know what to make of this story from Philadelphia

The horror of the coronavirus pandemic took an especially macabre turn on Sunday afternoon when a Ford pickup truck pulled up behind the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office with five or six bagged bodies stacked in its open cargo bed.

The driver got out, spoke briefly to a medical examiner’s employee who seemed unnerved by the delivery, and then climbed onto the cargo bed, walking on bodies that initially had been covered by mats, according to an Inquirer photographer who was working near the site in University City.

Look, I understand that a lot of people out there are still mocking this pandemic and are absolutely convinced that it is a “nothingburger”.

One of those skeptics was 60-year-old John McDaniel

On March 15, he seemingly commented on Ohio governor Mike DeWine’s stay-at home order, which required shops, bars and restaurants to close.

“If what I’m hearing is true, that DeWine has ordered all bars and restaurants to be closed, I say bulls***!,” the post reads.

“He doesn’t have that authority. If you are paranoid about getting sick just don’t go out. It shouldn’t keep those of us from living our lives.”

Now he is dead, and it was the virus that he mocked that killed him.

And even if you get this virus and survive, it can permanently scar your lungs and leave you with “breathing difficulties for months”.

So please don’t mock this virus, because if you get hit really hard by COVID-19 it will be one of the worst experiences of your life even if you live through it.

For those that believe that a vaccine will be the golden ticket that gets us out of this mess, I am afraid that you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.  There has never been a successful vaccine developed for any coronavirus, and one leading expert is openly warning that it is possible that “we will never get a coronavirus vaccine”.

And if things weren’t already complicated enough, now a new study has discovered that there are “at least 30 different variations” of COVID-19.

A new study in China has found that the novel coronavirus has mutated into at least 30 different variations.

The results showed that medical officials have vastly underestimated the overall ability of the virus to mutate, in findings that different strains have affected different parts of the world, leading to potential difficulties in finding an overall cure.

So not only do scientists have to come up with a successful vaccine for a coronavirus for the first time in history, they also have to hope that they are targeting the correct strain.

Good luck with all that.

Unfortunately, the truth is that this pandemic is going to be with us for a long time to come, and what we have experienced so far is just the very beginning of our problems.

Even if all of the lockdowns around the world were kept in place for the foreseeable future, this virus would continue to spread.

And in the long run, approximately the same number of people are going to catch this virus and approximately the same number of people are going to die no matter what restrictions are instituted.

This pandemic is not going to be over until COVID-19 roars through most of the population and herd immunity is achieved, and the numbers are telling us that we are a long, long way from that point.

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 UN Is Now Admitting That This Coronavirus Pandemic Could Spark Famines Of “Biblical Proportions”

What the head of the UN’s World Food Program just said should be making front page headlines all over the globe.  Because if what he is claiming is true, we are about to see global food shortages on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented in modern history.  Even before COVID-19 arrived, armies of locusts the size of major cities were voraciously eating crops all across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and UN officials were loudly warning about what that would mean for global food production.  And now the coronavirus shutdowns that have been implemented all over the planet have brought global trade to a standstill, they are making it more difficult to maintain normal food production operations, and they have forced countless workers to stay home and not earn a living.  All of this adds up to a recipe for a complete and utter nightmare in the months ahead.

David Beasley is the head of the UN’s World Food Program, and on Tuesday he warned that we could actually see famines of “biblical proportions” by the end of this calendar year.  The following comes from ABC News

The coronavirus pandemic could soon double hunger, causing famines of “biblical proportions” around the world by the end of the year, the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Beasley warned that analysis from the World Food Programme, the U.N.’s food-assistance branch, shows that because of the coronavirus, “an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people.”

He described what we are facing as “a hunger pandemic”, and he insisted that urgent action must be taken in order to avoid a nightmare scenario.

But in some parts of the globe a nightmare scenario is already unfolding.  For example, close to half the population of South Sudan is currently facing starvation, and for many of them the only food that is available is what gets dropped from the sky

The villagers hear the distant roar of jet engines before a cargo plane makes a deafening pass over Mogok, dropping sacks of grain from its hold to the marooned dust bowl below.

There is no other way to get food to this starving hamlet in South Sudan. There are no roads, and the snaking Nile is miles away.

Over in South Africa, the “chronic food shortages” have already become so severe that they are starting to spark rioting, looting and civil unrest…

UNREST broke out in parts of South Africa amid chronic food shortages sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Looters raided shops, attacked each other, the army and police after breaching one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the mobs but local community leaders fear more outbreaks of violence are imminent.

Here in the western world we don’t have to worry about such things yet, but without a doubt the number of needy people is rapidly rising.

This past Saturday, vehicles literally began lining up at 2 AM in the morning for a food distribution event at the San Antonio Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank teamed up with Atascosa County to feed meals and hope to hundreds of people Saturday morning. Vehicles began to line up around 2 AM Saturday outside the county courthouse, winding through neighborhoods at least two miles away.

I have never heard of people lining up so early before.

I have heard of vehicles lining up at the crack of dawn around the country in recent days, but 2 AM is absolutely nuts.

But these people realize that when the food is gone there will be no more handouts that day, and there are many that are absolutely desperate to get something to feed their families.

As this coronavirus pandemic has created an enormous amount of fear all over the country, empty shelves have been reported in frozen food sections all over the nation, and the fact that an increasing number of meat processing plants are being temporarily closed down is certainly not helping things.  According to CBS News, at least 17 meat processing plants in the United States have been shut down so far…

Coronavirus infections in at least 17 meat processing plants across nine states are contributing to a spike in confirmed cases in the Midwest. Although 13 plants are already closed temporarily or operating at reduced capacity, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says shutting down plants would hurt farmers and the national food supply.

In a desperate attempt to keep as many facilities in her state open as possible, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has enlisted the help of the National Guard

Hundreds of National Guard personnel are being activated in Iowa as coronavirus sweeps through meat-processing plants in a state that accounts for about a third of U.S. pork supply.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members have been moved to full-time federal duty status and could help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

The good news is that authorities are telling us that any product shortages should just be temporary and that all of these processing plants will eventually be brought back on line.

But for the planet as a whole, life is not going to be getting back to “normal” any time soon.

In fact, Takeshi Kasai of the World Health Organization is warning that we need to accept “a new way of living” until a vaccine finally arrives

“At least until a vaccine, or a very effective treatment, is found, this process will need to become our new normal,” he said.

“Individuals and society need to be ready for a new way of living.”

But now that scientists have discovered approximately 30 different strains of this virus, that is going to greatly complicate matters.

Coming up with a successful vaccine for any coronavirus would be a historic feat, and now scientists also have to hope that they will pick the particular strain of COVID-19 that will become dominant in the future.

And of course many people around the globe will not want to take any vaccine that is developed under any circumstances.

So those that are thinking that there will be an easy way out of this crisis are likely to be deeply disappointed.

Meanwhile, the global economic downturn is getting deeper with each passing day, and global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter.

A global famine is coming, and the UN is sounding the alarm.

Unfortunately, most people in the western world are still not listening.

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 Twisted Political Considerations That Are Going To Extend The Lockdowns And Deepen This Economic Depression

For better or worse, COVID-19 has become the most important political issue of the 2020 election.  And it is very unfortunate that this pandemic has erupted in an election year, because for many of our politicians finger pointing has become much more important than finding solutions.  In particular, Democrats seem quite eager to exploit any stumbles by President Trump, and many on the left are absolutely thrilled that Joe Biden’s poll numbers have improved over the past couple of weeks.  But if this pandemic rapidly subsides over the next few months and the economy dramatically improves by November, that could potentially be enough to put Trump over the top.  The stakes are incredibly high for both sides, many regard this upcoming election as the most important in modern American history, and no quarter will be given as operatives from both parties seek any advantage that they can possibly get.

From the very beginning of his presidency, top Democrats, the mainstream media and activists on the left have usually responded to any stance that Trump has taken by immediately taking the exact opposite position.

If Trump said the sky was blue, they would say it was red.  And if Trump said that the sky was red, they would say that it was blue.

This coronavirus pandemic has given us quite a few examples of this phenomenon.  When Trump decided that this pandemic was serious enough that travel with China should be shut down, they immediately slammed him for being “racist” and they insisted that he was overreacting.

And when Trump started touting hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment, they immediately started coming up with all sorts of reasons why people should not be taking it.

Whatever Trump does or says, the left instinctively has a negative reaction to it.

In recent days, Trump has encouraged states all over the country to start reopening their economies, and anti-lockdown protests all over America have become very pro-Trump in nature

Anti-lockdown protests continued to gather momentum across the United States Monday as armed demonstrators waving Trump 2020 flags and ignoring social distancing rules called for America to reopen immediately.

Crowds gathered close to one another in North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California, calling for their ‘liberty’. Armed militia groups protested alongside young families and Americans out of work, all calling for businesses to be reopened.

Meanwhile, those on the left have been loudly denouncing the anti-lockdown protests, they have been arguing that it would be “dangerous” to end the lockdowns too soon, and top Democrats on both coasts are telling us that the lockdowns in their states could last for several more months at least.

And on Monday, a group of 45 “leading thinkers” on the left released a report which warned that reopening the country too soon could cause “a resurgence of COVID-19 that would cost the US economy trillions of dollars”

In a report titled ‘Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience’ released Monday, more than 45 leading economists, social scientists, lawyers and ethicists warned that sending Americans back to work too quickly will likely cause a resurgence of COVID-19 that would cost the US economy trillions of dollars.

The experts labeled COVID-19 ‘a profound threat to our democracy, comparable to the Great Depression and World War II’ as they outlined the three main components to safely ending quarantine: testing, tracing and supported isolation – a combination known by the acronym TTSI.

So how long do these “leading thinkers” believe that we should extend the lockdowns for?

Well, their report suggests that we will need to be cranking out 20 million tests a day before it will be safe to reopen the entire country…

Test producers will need to deliver 5 million tests per day by early June to safely open parts of the economy by late July, according to the report. To “fully re-mobilize the economy,” the country will need to see testing grow to 20 million a day, the report suggests.

“We acknowledge that even this number may not be high enough,” according to the report.

It is difficult to believe that the authors of that report were serious when they put that in there.

I don’t think that we will ever get to the point where 20 million Americans are being tested per day, and that is certainly not going to happen in 2020.

Needless to say, there is a perverse incentive for those on the left to drag out these lockdowns for as long as possible, because the worse the economy does the harder it is going to be for Trump to win in November.

So whether they are doing it consciously or unconsciously, there seems to be a desire on the left to squeeze as much drama out of this pandemic as they possibly can and to blame Trump for everything that has gone wrong.

I think that one nominee for the biggest drama queen during this crisis so far should be CNN host Brian Stelter.  Just check out what he tweeted on Saturday

“Last night, I hit a wall,” Stelter tweeted on Saturday. “Gutted by the death toll. Disturbed by the govt’s shortcomings. Dismayed by political rhetoric that bears no resemblance to reality. Worried about friends who are losing jobs; kids who are missing school; and senior citizens who are living in fear.”

“I crawled in bed and cried for our pre-pandemic lives,” he said. “Tears that had been waiting a month to escape. I wanted to share because it feels freeing to do so. Now is not a time for faux-invincibility. Journos are living this, hating this, like everyone else. ”

Yes, this pandemic has been a great tragedy, but as I pointed out yesterday it isn’t the end of the world.

Life will go on, and as long as our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, we need to let people get back to work.

But most Democratic governors are not willing to even consider such a move yet, because ending the lockdowns now would be seen as an admission that Trump and the anti-lockdown protesters were right.

Plus, many of them realize that ending the lockdowns “too quickly” could give Trump a boost in November.

So even though some conservative states such as Georgia are moving very quickly to lift their “shelter-in-place” orders, many liberal states are going to drag their lockdowns out for as long as they think they can.

All of this is extremely unfortunate, because our approach to this pandemic should have nothing to do with political considerations.

But these days virtually everything in America has taken on a political tone, and that is only going to intensify the closer we get to election day.

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.

Most Americans Are Not Going To Be Able To Handle What Is Ahead

Based on how Americans are handling the coronavirus lockdowns, it is hard to be optimistic about what will happen when a really severe crisis hits us.  Yes, this pandemic is definitely a great tragedy.  There are more than 700,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and more than 40,000 Americans have died.  But it isn’t the end of the world.  I am sorry to tell you this, but COVID-19 is not the worst thing that we are going to face.  In fact, it is not even close to the worst thing that we are going to face.  So it is a bit disheartening to see so many Americans responding to this pandemic so poorly.

Let me give you some examples of what I am talking about.  Polling firms have been extremely active lately, and even though nearly 40 percent of all U.S. adults are obese, one survey found that Americans are binging on snack foods during these lockdowns like never before

About 40% of people say they’ve been eating more snack foods since the outbreak began, with 26% admitting they’re finding comfort in chocolate, specifically, according to a Harris Poll of 2,013 US adults conducted over the weekend.

If overeating was all that we had to worry about, I could live with that.

But it turns out that Americans are also indulging in a whole bunch of other self-destructive behaviors during this time.  At a moment in our history when alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. are already at an all-time high, heavy drinkers have decided that this pandemic is a perfect opportunity to drink even more

One in five said they are guzzling more alcohol, though that number was higher, at 30%, among those 18 to 35 — or millennials and Gen-Zers.

In areas that have been hit extremely hard by COVID-19, sales increases have been especially dramatic.  In New York City, one liquor store owner says that it is “like New Year’s every day” during his city’s lockdown…

With the initial surge of panic buying over, wine and marijuana sales are still way up, presenting an opportunity — and a challenge — for the businesses scrambling to meet the demand spikes and shifts in consumer behavior.

“It’s like New Year’s every day,” said Mark Schwartz, the owner of Little Mo Wine and Spirits in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, who has seen alcohol sales shoot up fourfold.

Of course while they are eating and drinking they need something to do, and so the average American is streaming approximately eight hours of shows and movies every single day…

The average American is passing the time amid the new coronavirus pandemic by streaming roughly eight hours of shows and movies every day, a recent survey shows.

OnePoll surveyed 2,000 Americans with access to at least one streaming service and found that not only was the average person watching eight hours’ worth of content but also likely went through three series in a week alone, StudyFinds reported.

This helps to explain why Netflix stock has been absolutely soaring recently.

Personally, I have never watched “Tiger King” and I have absolutely no desire to do so.  In fact, I have not had a Netflix subscription for over a decade.  Very few corporations have embraced pure evil to the extent that Netflix has, but most Americans don’t seem to care, and right now Netflix is absolutely rolling in revenue.

In addition to binge watching television, Americans are also doing much more online gambling

Online poker revenues were up more than 100 percent from February, and iGaming revenue reached a new record of $64.8 million according to the figures released Wednesday for New Jersey, one of two states that allow online gambling.

To me, this doesn’t make any sense at all.

One recent survey found that about half of all Americans will have run through all of their savings by the end of April.  If you aren’t going to have enough money to pay your bills next month, why would you want to be gambling the little money that you do have away?

Sadly, it does not appear that our society is equipped to handle hard times.  Even before this pandemic started, the suicide rate in the U.S. was at an all-time record high, and more Americans were overdosing on drugs than ever before in our history.

But everything that I have shared with you so far pales in comparison to what I am going to share with you now.

As this pandemic has sent a wave of fear sweeping across the country, it has also created a boom in business at abortion clinics all over America

The Trust Women abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas, reported performing 252 abortions in March, up from 90 in March, 2019. Julie Burkhart, the chief executive of Trust Women, told RT.com this week that between the Wichita, Kansas clinic and her other clinic in Oklahoma City (which was briefly closed but has since reopened), they have seen a “300 to 400 percent” increase in their patient load.

“The women who have been calling are uncertain about having a baby when the world is so unpredictable all of a sudden, and they’re worried about money due to the sharp rise in unemployment,” she said. “We’ve been seeing more women calling earlier than usual in their pregnancy, and there’s this urgent nature to it.”

Just like with individuals, great challenges tend to reveal who we truly are as a nation.

And right now the message that we are sending to the rest of the world with our behavior is not a good one.

Past generations of Americans were called to go to war, but we have been called to stay at home for a few weeks, and we can’t seem to even handle that very well.

Amazingly, the mainstream media has somehow convinced a majority of the American people that the lockdowns should continue.  Just check out what a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll just found

Nearly 60 percent of American voters say they are more concerned that a relaxation of stay-at-home restrictions would lead to more COVID-19 deaths than they are that those restrictions will hurt the U.S. economy, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But while strong majorities of Democrats and independents are more worried about the coronavirus than the economy, Republicans are divided on the question, with almost half of them more concerned about how the restrictions could affect the economy.

The longer these lockdowns persist, the more self-destructive Americans are likely to become.

But eventually they will end, and most people will attempt to resume their normal lives.

Of course it is just a matter of time before an even bigger crisis than this pandemic comes along, and if we are failing so badly this time around, how in the world will people be able to handle something even worse?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just think about that.

22 million jobs wiped out in one month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Facebook has canceled all large events until June 2021.

-Chinese GDP just experienced the largest drop ever recorded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is here.

It is now.

And it is going to get a lot worse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let that number sink in for a moment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Coronavirus Is Hitting The Homeless And The Poor Particularly Hard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me try to put those numbers in perspective.

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

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

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

Isn’t that nuts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, the poor are rapidly getting poorer.

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

Try not to spend it all in one place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was wrong.

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

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

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

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

So what we are witnessing right now is completely nuts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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