2020 Has Been A “Nightmare Year” For America, And The Economic Fallout Is Just Getting Started

Most of us have never experienced a year that has been as tough as 2020 has been for our nation.  It has just been one major crisis after another, and the month of September has brought us even more trouble.  The worst wildfire season in the history of the state of California has been making headlines day after day, and now the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg threatens to escalate the political turmoil in this nation to an entirely new level.  Many had such high hopes for 2020, but at this point this year has been such a disaster that USA Today is calling it “an American nightmare”, and it is difficult to argue with their reasoning…

First the pandemic, which divided us, economically devastated us, and has killed nearly 200,000 of us. Then the racial unrest, erupting at the deaths of more Black Americans at the hands of police: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude.

Now the extreme weather. For only the second time in history, the National Hurricane Center has moved into the Greek alphabet for storm names. This season’s wildfires are bigger, deadlier and more frequent than in years past. In the West, people can’t breathe.

And now a member of the U.S. Supreme Court has died with about a month and a half to go until we get to election day.

The shocking death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has stunned the entire country, and I will share my analysis on where things could go from here on The Most Important News later tonight.

In this article, I want to focus on the economic impact that all of this chaos is having.

Since the pandemic first started, more than 60 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and that is a threshold that has never been crossed before in all of our history.

And we have also seen businesses shut down at a pace that is hard to fully grasp.  If you can believe it, more than 160,000 businesses listed on Yelp say “that they have closed”

Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Impact Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll.

As of Aug, 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed. That’s down from the 180,000 that closed at the very beginning of the pandemic. However, it actually shows a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July.

I was most alarmed by that last sentence.

Things were supposed to be getting a lot better by now, but instead we have seen “a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July”.

That is not good.

And the percentage of businesses on Yelp that are indicating that their closures are “permanent” just keeps rising

In addition to monitoring closed businesses, Yelp also takes into account the businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased throughout the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.

So what this means is that none of us should be expecting a return to what we considered to be “normal” prior to 2020.

In fact, it is likely that we will see large numbers of businesses continue to fail in the months ahead.  According to Fox Business, a whopping 40 percent of all U.S. restaurants “could go under within the next six months”…

At least 40% of restaurant operators struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic believe their businesses could go under within the next six months if there is no additional stimulus package from the federal government, according to a new survey by the National Restaurant Association.

With one in every six restaurants closed permanently or for the “long term,” the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year, according to the National Restaurant Association’s findings on the impact COVID-19 has on the restaurant business.

So what do you think?

Should we bail out the restaurant industry?

By the way, the airline industry really wants a bailout too.

And just about every other industry is looking for government help as well.

The reason why almost everyone has their hands out is because we have plunged into a crippling economic depression, and everyone is starting to realize that there is no end in sight to this downturn.

Of course most average citizens also want another round of “stimulus checks” from the federal government, and we are being told that there is a really good chance that “the economy backslides” if that does not happen…

Lawmakers remain deadlocked over a measure to provide another round of $1,200 checks to most households and more aid to struggling small businesses and unemployed Americans. Most saw the money they received from Congress’s $2.2 trillion CARES Act run dry over the summer.

“If they don’t” approve another stimulus, “they’re taking a huge risk, says Mark Zandi chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “The odds are better than even the economy backslides.”

We have already stolen several trillion dollars from future generations of Americans so far this year to fund “stimulus packages”, and so a lot of people figure that it probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference if we stole several trillion more to fund another one.

And the Federal Reserve has been flooding the financial system with so much new money that it makes everything that they have ever done in the past look completely insignificant.

In the process, our authorities are systematically destroying the reserve currency that the entire globe depends upon, but at this point very few people seem to care.

So we continue to steamroll toward economic oblivion, and nobody is even thinking about hitting the brakes.

In the USA Today article that I quoted at the start of this piece, the author stated that it is “impossible to know if the worst is behind us or still lies ahead”…

Many of us are vacillating between horror and disbelief at what can only be described as an American nightmare. Devastation doesn’t cover it. It’s impossible to know if the worst is behind us or still lies ahead.

Of course that is not true at all.  In fact, it is exceeding clear that what is ahead of us is going to be much, much worse than what we have already experienced.

But most Americans don’t want to hear that.

Most of us just want to cling to the belief that someday we will wake up and everything will have returned to normal.

That may happen in fairy tales, but this is real life, and real life simply does not work that way.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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.

Over Half Of All Young Adults Are Living With Their Parents – Highest Level In Modern American History

As the chaotic events of 2020 have unfolded, large numbers of young people have moved back in with their parents, and this has pushed the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket that live with their parents to the highest level ever recorded.  Without a doubt, the collapse of the economy has hit young adults particularly hard.  About 59 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past 24 weeks, and low wage workers have been disproportionally affected by this tsunami of job losses.  Needless to say, young adults traditionally make up a large chunk of our low wage workers, and now that really tough times have hit a lot of them are being forced to fall back on their mothers and their fathers for support.  According to a brand new report that was just put out by the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of all young adults in this country are now living with their parents

A new report by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of young adults — 52% — lived with one or both of their parents in July. Pew’s analysis of monthly Census Bureau data notes that this is higher than any previous measurement.

For purposes of this report, Pew defined a “young adult” as anyone that is in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket.

At this point, 26.6 million young people are living with their parents.  We have never seen a number this high, although Pew suspects that the level may have been higher during the Great Depression of the 1930s

“Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents,” says the report, published Friday. “The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.”

In any event, what we are witnessing right now is extremely alarming.

Many tend to think of young people that live with their parents as lazy or unproductive, but that is not necessarily the case.  Many of them were working extremely hard to make it on their own, and as Jeremy Sopko has pointed out, “nobody wants to be living at home with mom and dad”…

‘For the most part, nobody wants to be living at home with mom and dad,’ Jeremy Sopko, CEO of Nations Lending Corporation, a mortgage lender told the Huffington Post.

 ‘It’s a difficult situation that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic and it may take years, if not the better part of a decade, for younger demographics to recover and be financially stable enough to leave home.’

And many parents may not be too thrilled to have their adult children living at home either.

But at this point we need to realize that times have fundamentally changed.

As economic conditions become even rougher, we are going to increasingly see situations where multiple generations are living under one roof, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Having each generation live separately in different homes is a relatively modern phenomenon, and it has been made possible by our incredible affluence.  But as the economy continues to collapse, survival is going to take precedence over convenience.

All over the nation, family is going to have to take care of family.  None of us can possibly take care of everyone out there that is hurting, but if we all take care of our family members that will make a tremendous difference.

If you have a home, you are going to need to be prepared to take in members of your family and extended family that fall on rough times.

If you don’t have a home, you will need to be humble enough to ask other members of your family or extended family for help if you need it.

I know that a lot of people may not like what I am suggesting, but we have to realize that the old rules don’t apply anymore.

We are in the middle of the worst economic collapse in modern times, and things are going to get much, much worse.

Already, some of the economic numbers that we are seeing are hard to believe because they are so bad.

For example, it is now being projected that 63 percent of all restaurants in New York are “likely to close by the end of the year”

On Thursday, the New York State Restaurant Association published the results of a survey that found the state’s restaurants are in need of financial support from the government after months of closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the survey, 63.6% of restaurants in New York said they are “likely to close by the end of the year” without a relief package and only 36.4 percent said they are “likely or somewhat likely to remain open.”

63 percent.

How bad do things have to get before the economic optimists will admit that we have a complete and utter economic disaster on our hands?

And the civil unrest that is plaguing major cities all over the country just continues to roll on.

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted out a video of a rioter in Portland that accidentally set himself on fire with a Molotov cocktail

President Donald Trump ridiculed ongoing protests in Portland by tweeting a video of an activist accidentally setting himself on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

‘These are the Democrats “peaceful protests”. Sick!’ Trump panned on Sunday as he retweeted a clip of the activist and fellow protesters desperately trying to extinguish the blaze engulfing his pants.

This is the kind of civil unrest that I have been warning about for years, and now it is here.

There have been violent protests in Portland for 100 nights in a row, and that streak isn’t going to end any time soon.

And now the presidential election is less than two months away, and many fear that this will take things to an entirely new level.  If you would like to read my analysis of what is potentially ahead, please see my recent article entitled “Why We Are Facing The Biggest Election Nightmare In Modern American History No Matter Who Ends Up Winning”.

Things are going to get really nuts in the months ahead, and there will be no going back to the way that things were before.

When things get really difficult for you personally, you may need to move in with your parents or other members of your extended family.

On other other hand, if you are in good shape financially you may need to be the one that takes in members of your family or extended family.

Making it through what is ahead is not going to be easy, and we are all going to need someone to lean on at some point.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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 Is An Economic Nightmare – And Things Just Got Even Worse

More than a million Americans were not supposed to be losing their jobs every week by the time we got to the middle of August.  By now, vast hordes of unemployed Americans were supposed to be returning to their old jobs and economic activity was supposed to be returning to normal levels.  But it hasn’t happened that way.  Instead, the U.S. economy continues to unravel at a steady pace.  Every week more businesses go under, more layoffs are announced and more people get behind on their bills.  What we have already been through has been far worse than anything that we experienced during the last recession, and it appears that this new economic downturn is entering yet another new phase.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.106 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new pandemic stimulus package.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.

Instead of going down as most analysts were anticipating, the number of initial claims shot way back above a million.

And this means that we have now gotten a number that is above a million for 21 of the last 22 weeks.

Prior to 2020, the worst weekly number in all of U.S. history was 695,000.  To absolutely dwarf that old record for 22 weeks in a row should be almost theoretically impossible.  If you would have asked me last year what it would take to have the kind of unemployment numbers that we are seeing now, I would have probably suggested that it would take something like a world war or a major asteroid strike to produce such figures.  The numbers that we keep getting week after week are simply absurd, but they just keep coming.

After all this time, the number of Americans filing for unemployment should be falling back below record levels, but instead last week we got a number that was more than twice as high as anything that we witnessed during the last recession…

“However, the number of individuals claiming benefits remains extraordinarily high – more than twice the peak of the great recession – underscoring that the labor market is a long way from being healthy,” economist Nancy Vanden Houten wrote in a note to clients.

It would be difficult to overstate the scale of the economic devastation that we are witnessing.

Do you remember Hurricane Katrina?  It was the worst natural disaster in the history of Louisiana, but in 2020 the state has lost twice as many jobs as it did after Hurricane Katrina.

Just think about how crazy that is.

Overall, 57.3 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 22 weeks.

57 million.

We’ve never seen anything like this in our history.  For a while, our unemployed workers were being kept afloat by a 600 dollar a week federal supplement, but now those extra benefits have expired

Those recipients who are receiving unemployment on an ongoing basis are now getting far less aid because a $600-a-week federal benefit has expired, which means the unemployed must now get by solely on much smaller aid from their states.

The loss of the federal benefit has deepened the struggles for many, including a higher risk of eviction from their homes.

President Trump has signed an executive order that would provide payments of 300 dollars a week to unemployed workers, but many states have chosen not to participate in that program.

So we should expect the level of economic suffering in this country to go up even more.  At this point, tens of millions of Americans are unable to pay their bills, and that number will almost certainly increase in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, we are seeing businesses fail at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented.  For example, the hotel industry is warning that close to a quarter of all hotels in the United States “are at risk of foreclosure”

In a desperate plea for help, the hotel industry said it faces a default disaster, in which 25% of hotels are at risk of foreclosure.

The report, sent to Congress this week and compiled by Trepp, shows that the percentage of hotel loans 30 or more days delinquent is 23.4% as of last month — the highest percentage on record. By comparison, the percentage of hotel loans that were 30 or more days delinquent at the end of 2019 was just 1.3%.

The hotel industry wants a federal bailout, but of course just about every other major industry wants one as well.

In the end, Congress is going to decide where the money goes, and not everyone will come out a winner.

The overall global economy is deeply struggling as well.  In fact, the level of merchandise trade around the world just fell to the lowest level on record

“This reading – the lowest on record in data going back to 2007, and on par with the nadir of the 2008-09 financial crisis – is broadly consistent with WTO statistics issued in June, which estimated an 18.5% decline in merchandise trade in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year,” the WTO said.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and the entire planet is being hit extremely hard.

But at least the U.S. stock market is doing well.  Stock prices have been absolutely soaring in recent weeks, and according to Forbes the market is now “about 77.0% overvalued”

According to the popular market cap to GDP ratio, the U.S. stock market, collectively, is about 77.0% overvalued. Despite the worst economic backdrop since the Great Depression, stocks have held up reasonably well since the March 23 bottom. While it’s true that the stock market has disconnected from the underlying economy, it has also done so in the past. With such an extreme level of overvaluation, it does beg the question, “Are we witnessing the formation of another bubble?”

So for the moment, America’s financial idol is safe.

Unfortunately, this stock market bubble is going to be a whole lot shorter than the last one.

Thanks to unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve, stock prices have been pumped up to record levels, but we are only in the early chapters of this economic storm.

Much worse is coming, and without a doubt the Fed will try to keep asset prices inflated, but in the end it will be a losing battle.

As we keep getting hit by one crisis after another, eventually investors are going to figure out that the future ahead of us is not a positive one, and when confidence about the future disappears so will the bubble.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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.

Does America Worship “A God Of Money”?

The one that you serve the most is the one that you really worship.  In America today, we don’t actually get down on our knees and pray to our stock market portfolios and the money in our bank accounts, but has our wealth become more important to us than anything else?  It is well known that material comfort greatly motivates most Americans.  We tend to vote for the politicians that we perceive will be the best for our economy, we religiously track the performance of our investments, and for many of us our financial goals are more important to us than any of our other goals.  We desperately want to “do well”, and we tend to exalt others that are “doing well”.  Of course “doing well” is defined primarily in financial terms in our society, and that is extremely unfortunate.  A poor man that has greatly loved his family and those around him his entire life is generally not considered to be “successful”, while a billionaire that may actually be living in emotional misery every day of his life is lifted up as an example for all of us to follow.  Our priorities are all messed up, and I believe that we will ultimately deeply regret the great love that we have developed for the debt-fueled “prosperity” that we have been enjoying for so many years.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned us that we cannot serve two masters…

“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Unfortunately, most Americans gave up on trying to serve God long ago.  Today, most of us are primarily interested in pursuing money, and this has created a society that is filled with endless greed.

In such an environment, it is easy to understand how the stock market has become such a national idol.  We take great pride in the performance of the stock market, and on Tuesday headlines all over the nation gleefully trumpeted the fact that the S&P 500 closed at an all-time record high

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 3,389.78, eclipsing its previous Feb. 19 high to finish at the highest closing level on record. That means this year’s bear market, or a drop of more than 20% from a peak, from the February high to the lows on March 23 was the shortest in history, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Of course it doesn’t actually make any sense at all that stock prices are hitting all-time highs right now.

We are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and 56.2 million workers have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 21 weeks.

But the Federal Reserve was absolutely determined to rescue the financial markets when they started to implode during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Fed has been successful in accomplishing that mission.

In particular, the big tech stocks have really benefitted from this latest rally, and on Wednesday Apple actually became the first 2 trillion dollar company in U.S. history

High-flying stocks like Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet have powered this year’s rally, far outpacing the rest of the market as investors bet heavily they could prevail in a stay-at-home economy. On Wednesday, tech giant Apple was the first publicly traded company to top a $2 trillion valuation.

As stock prices have soared, this has sent the net worths of America’s tech billionaires into the stratosphere.

In fact, if you add up the wealth of America’s 12 wealthiest billionaires, it now comes to a total of more than 1 trillion dollars

New research published Monday by the Institute for Policy Studies shows that the dozen richest American billionaires now collectively own more than $1 trillion in wealth, a finding one analyst described as “a disturbing milestone in the U.S. history of concentrated wealth and power.”

According to IPS, a progressive think tank, the 12 top U.S. billionaires have seen their combined wealth soar by 40%—or $283 billion—since the coronavirus began spreading rapidly across the U.S. in mid-March, sparking widespread economic shutdowns and mass job loss.

To most people in our society, these billionaires are people to be greatly admired.

In fact, most of them are treated like celebrities.

These days, names like Gates, Musk and Zuckerberg make national headlines even more frequently than our most cherished Hollywood stars.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of “ordinary” Americans are deeply suffering.  We have never had a year when more than 56 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and more Americans are losing their jobs with each passing day.

Mortgage delinquencies are rising at a very frightening pace, tens of millions of Americans can no longer pay their bills, food prices are starting to get totally out of control, and hordes of people are moving away from the major cities on both coasts.

For decades, the U.S. middle class has been eroding, and now that process is rapidly accelerating.  In fact, one new study has found that the average American now needs 53 weeks of income per year just to pay for the basics

As Bank of America points out, while the recent covid shutdowns has thrown the economy into disarray with millions laid off and living on government stimulus checks, life for the vast majority of workers – i.e., those who comprise the country’s middle class – was already precarious before the pandemic, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Cost of Thriving Index.

Consider that in 1985 it took 30 weeks at the median wage to pay for big fixed costs like housing, health care, a car, and education; fast forward to today when it takes a mathematically impossible 53 weeks of a 52-week year to buy those things.

Needing 53 weeks of income just to pay for the basics is a huge problem, because there are only 52 weeks in a year.

Unfortunately, this new economic crisis is just getting started.  Conditions are going to get much, much worse in the years ahead, and the economic pain is going to be off the charts.

So what do you think is going to happen to our society when our “god of money” finally crumbles?

When Americans realize that the thing that they have been living for more than anything else has been taken from them, we are going to see a nationwide temper tantrum that will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

In the end, life is not about how much stuff we can acquire or about how much money we can stash in our accounts.

Unfortunately, we have raised several generations of Americans that don’t understand what really matters in life, and our entire society will pay a very great price for our negligence.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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 Global Depression Will Be Brutal – Tens Of Millions Of Americans Can’t Pay Their Bills And Are In Danger Of Eviction

Most of us have never experienced anything like this in our entire lifetimes.  Fear of COVID-19, endless civil unrest in major U.S. cities and a whole host of other factors have combined to plunge us into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  On Friday, the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to just 10.2 percent last month, and if that number was actually accurate that would be pretty good news.  Unfortunately, it simply does not square with all of the other numbers that we have been seeing.  According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 30 percent right now, and I believe that figure is much closer to the reality that we are facing.  In February, 152 million Americans were working, and since that time more than 55 million have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.  Unless tens of millions of those people have been filing fraudulent claims, there is no way in the world that the unemployment rate should be about 10 percent right now.

Other numbers tell a similar story.  According to one recent study, 24 percent of all Americans have missed at least one bill payment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic…

Indeed, paying off bills are an unavoidable part of life, even during a pandemic. Unfortunately, a new survey of 2,000 Americans finds that one in four (24%) have already missed at least one payment since the pandemic began.

Among that group, 26% say they haven’t paid their cell phone or cable bills. Another 25% failed to pay for streaming services, and perhaps more worryingly, some of their electricity or utilities bills.

That doesn’t sound like a recovery.

What that sounds like is an economic depression.

Americans are also missing their rent and mortgage payments at a staggering rate as well.  In fact, more than one-fourth of the entire country did not pay their rent or mortgage payment during the month of July…

An estimated 27% of adults in the U.S. missed their rent or mortgage payment for July, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau weekly over the last three months. Among renters alone, just over one-third (34%) said during the waning days of July that they had little to no confidence that they could make their August rent payment, a stark measure of the ongoing economic devastation for households stretched to the brink by coronavirus pandemic.

But we are supposed to believe that the unemployment rate is only about 10 percent right now.

Right…

In some states, the looming eviction crisis threatens to be absolutely catastrophic.

For example, we are being told that in South Carolina a whopping 52 percent of all renters “are at risk of eviction”

In South Carolina alone, 52 percent of renter households can’t pay their rent and are at risk of eviction, according to an analysis of census data by the consulting firm Stout Risius Ross. About 185,000 evictions could be filed in the state over the next four months.

That doesn’t sound like a recovery.

What that sounds like is an economic depression.

And we see similar numbers when we look at businesses owners around the country.  If you can believe it, 83 percent of all New York City restaurant owners did not pay all of their rent in July…

The state of the New York City restaurant industry is in dire straits. July proved to be another disastrous month for restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments across the city with a majority unable to pay rent in July, a new survey found.

NYC Hospitality Alliance surveyed about 500 owners and operators of eateries in the city, with 83% of respondents indicating they couldn’t pay the entire rent in July while 37% paid no rent at all.

83 percent.

Let that number sink in for a moment.

That doesn’t sound like a recovery.

What that sounds like is an economic depression.

And I am certainly not the only one using the “d-word”.  The following originally comes from a Time Magazine article entitled “The Next Global Depression Is Coming and Optimism Won’t Slow It Down”

First, the current slowdown is without doubt global. Most postwar U.S. recessions have limited their worst effects to the domestic economy. But most were the result of domestic inflation or a tightening of national credit markets. That is not the case with COVID-19 and the current global slowdown. This is a synchronized crisis, and just as the relentless rise of China over the past four decades has lifted many boats in richer and poorer countries alike, so slowdowns in China, the U.S. and Europe will have global impact on our globalized world. This coronavirus has ravaged every major economy in the world. Its impact is felt everywhere.

You have probably noticed that things are really starting to get crazy out there.

People are getting very desperate, and very desperate people do very desperate things.

In one community in Texas, it is being reported that someone is actually killing horses and eating them…

At least five horses have been killed around Pearland, Texas since late May — but it’s the way they’re being killed and what’s being done to their carcasses that’s particularly disturbing to locals.

Pearland police made their first discovery June 10. Responding to an animal cruelty call along the 14000 block of Kirby Drive, they found a horse, dead and butchered.

You would have to be incredibly twisted to do such a thing, but as I have been warning for a very long time, we are going to see much crazier things in the years ahead.

Of course countless other Americans can also see that society is starting to come apart at the seams, and this has helped to fuel an unprecedented spike in gun sales

Gun sales surged 135% year-over-year in July to about 2 million and have already matched all of last year, according to a report released earlier this week by research consultancy Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting. Sales were up 145% in June, 80% in May and 71% in April.

We live at a time when rioting, looting and violence are becoming commonplace, and crime rates are absolutely skyrocketing in our major cities.

And the worse economic conditions become, the worse the chaos is going to get.

So I would very much encourage you to set your affairs in order and to get prepared for what is ahead, because the time remaining to do such things is very limited.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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.

Job Losses, Bankruptcies And Store Closings Are All At Apocalyptic Levels As The U.S. Economic Collapse Rolls On

The last four months have been an unending nightmare for the U.S. economy.  Businesses are shutting down at a pace that we have never seen before in American history, the “retail apocalypse” has reached an entirely new level that none of the experts were anticipating prior to this pandemic, and we are in the midst of the greatest spike in unemployment that the United States has ever experienced.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.3 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that number has now been above one million for 16 consecutive weeks.  Things were supposed to be “getting back to normal” by now, buy that hasn’t happened.  Instead, we continue to see a tsunami of job losses that is absolutely unprecedented in American history.

When we look back at the old peaks for unemployment claims, they almost seem laughable compared to what we are experiencing now…

The highest prior weekly total for new unemployment claims was 695,000, in October 1982, according to Labor Department data. During the Great Recession, the country’s last downturn, weekly claims peaked at 665,000, in March 2009.

For those that aren’t old enough to remember, the recession of the early 1980s and the recession of 2008 and 2009 were both really, really painful.

But of course they weren’t anything like this.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that the numbers have gotten so bad.  According to Wolf Richter, the number of continuing claims that were filed last week under all state and federal unemployment programs is the highest that we have ever seen…

The total number of people who continued to claim unemployment compensation in the week ended July 4 under all state and federal unemployment insurance programs, including gig workers, jumped by 1.41 million people, to 32.92 million (not seasonally adjusted), the Department of Labor reported this morning. It was the highest and most gut-wrenching level ever.

The number of people who continue to receive state unemployment insurance (blue columns) has been ticking down, as more people got their jobs back than newly unemployed flooded the state unemployment systems. But the number of people claiming federal unemployment insurance, including gig workers under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, continues to surge (red columns), which causes the total number of people claiming unemployment benefits under all programs to rise

Up to this point, the emergency measures that Congress put in place to help unemployed workers have definitely eased the pain for millions upon millions of people that have lost their jobs, but a number of those emergency measures are about to expire

Several benefits were developed in March to help ease the financial strains on Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Those are set to come to an end before July 31, which could impact 20 million Americans, MarketWatch reports. The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27 by President Donald Trump, provided benefits like enhanced unemployment payments to supplement lost income from layoffs. It also includes a clause to delay evictions for 120 days.

Of course Congress could choose to extend some or all of the elements in the CARES Act, but that would mean borrowing and spending more giant mountains of money that we do not currently have.

Meanwhile, we are seeing businesses fail at a rate that is absolutely staggering.

According to the Washington Post, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors during this pandemic, and Bloomberg just posted an article about 110 major companies that have declared bankruptcy here in 2020…

Retailers, airlines, restaurants. But also sports leagues, a cannabis company and an archdiocese plagued by sex-abuse allegations. These are some of the more than 110 companies that declared bankruptcy in the U.S. this year and blamed Covid-19 in part for their demise.

Sadly, the bankruptcy announcements just keep on coming.

This week, we learned that Brooks Brothers has filed for bankruptcy protection

The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious retailers.

Brooks Brothers — pioneer of the polo and uniform of the polished prepster — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection from creditors on Wednesday, as it continues to search for a buyer.

That hit me particularly hard, because I have had Brooks Brothers shirts in my closet ever since I was a young man.

They have always made great products, and I just assumed that they would always be around.

Of course lots of other iconic retailers are failing as well.  Before too long, naming the major retailers that are still operating successfully may be easier than trying to name the vast number of major retailers that have gone belly up.

Store closings are happening fast and furious these days, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.  Starbucks just announced that they will be closing 400 locations, Dunkin’ Donuts just announced that they will be closing 450 locations, and Bed Bath & Beyond has increased the number of stores that they will be closing to approximately 200

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) announced Wednesday that it plans to close roughly 200 stores in the next two years.

The retail chain — which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values — said it would be mainly closing Bed Bath & Beyond stores, starting later this year. The announcement came as the company released its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday.

If you are still not convinced that the retail industry is facing an unprecedented cataclysm, I think that the following list will do the trick.

Forbes has been tracking the major store closing announcements of 2020, and their list was recently shared by Zero Hedge

Forbes’ Store Closure List In 2020

Chuck E Cheese: 54 U.S. stores (bankruptcy)

Destination Maternity: 90 stores (bankruptcy)

GNC: 1,200 stores (bankruptcy)

J. Crew: 54 stores (bankruptcy)

JCPenney JCP: 154 stores (bankruptcy)

K-Mart: 45 stores (bankruptcy)

Modell’s Sporting Goods: 153 stores (bankruptcy)

Neiman Marcus (Last Call): 20 stores (bankruptcy)

Papyrus: 254 stores (bankruptcy)

Pier 1 Imports PIR: 936 stores (bankruptcy)

Sears: 51 stores (bankruptcy)

Signet Jewelers SIG: 232 stores

Stage Stores: 738 stores (liquidating)

Tuesday Morning: 230 stores (bankruptcy)

***

AC Moore: 145 stores

Art Van Furniture: 190 stores

AT&T: 250 stores

Bath & Body Works: 50 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond: 44 stores

Bloomingdale’s: 1 store

Bose: 11 stores

Chico: 100 stores (estimated)

Children’s Place: 200 stores

Christopher Banks: 30-40 stores

CVS Pharmacy: 22 stores

Earth Fare: 50 stores

Express: 66 stories

Forever 21: 15 stores (estimated)

GameStop GME: 320 stores

Gap: 230 stores

Guess: 100 stores

Hallmark: 16 stores

Lord & Taylor: 30 or 40 stores

Lowe’s Canada: 34 stores

Lucky Market: 32 stores

Macy’s M: 125 stores (over 3 years)

Microsoft: 77 stores

New York & Co: 27 stores

Nordstrom: 16 stores

Office Depot: 90 stores

Olympia Sports: 76 stores

Party City: 21 stores

Starbucks SBUX: 400 stores (over 18 months)

Victoria’s Secret: 250 stores

Walgreen: 100 stores (estimated)

Walmart: 2 stores

Wilson Leather & G.H. Bass: 199 stores

Zara: 1,000 stores worldwide (over 2 years)

This week, the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surged to the highest level that we have seen yet, and that means that fear of COVID-19 is going to continue to paralyze economic activity in the United States for the foreseeable future.

That means that many more businesses will be shutting their doors, there will be many more bankruptcies, and millions more Americans will be losing their jobs.

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

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

The U.S. Economy Hasn’t Experienced Anything Like This Since The Great Depression Of The 1930s

The recession of 2008 and 2009 was bad, but it was nothing like this.  Even though this new economic downturn is only a few months old, we are already seeing numbers that we haven’t seen since the worst parts of the Great Depression of the 1930s.  More than 48 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 15 weeks, well over 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and civil unrest has turned quite a few of our major cities into war zones.  But not all areas of the country are being affected equally.  For example, there are rural areas that haven’t really seen a lot of COVID-19 cases where life seems to have changed very little from six months ago.  On the other hand, some urban areas that have been hit really hard by COVID-19 have been absolutely devastated economically.  For example, the New York Times is reporting that a million jobs have been lost in New York City, and the unemployment rate for NYC “is hovering near 20 percent”

The city is staggering toward reopening with some workers back at their desks or behind cash registers, and on Monday, it began a new phase, allowing personal-care services like nail salons and some outdoor recreation to resume. Even so, the city’s unemployment rate is hovering near 20 percent — a figure not seen since the Great Depression.

We are going to be using the phrase “since the Great Depression” a lot in the coming months.

Fear of COVID-19 is going to paralyze our economy for the foreseeable future, and all of this fear is hitting some companies more severely than others.  On Tuesday, Levi Strauss announced that sales were down a whopping 62 percent during the second quarter

The denim maker Levi Strauss & Co.’s sales fell 62% during its fiscal second quarter, the company announced Tuesday, as its online sales weren’t enough to make up for its stores being temporarily shut for roughly 10 weeks during the Covid-19 crisis.

If Levi Strauss expected this to be just a temporary setback, they would probably try to keep all of their employees on board.

But instead, they apparently believe that hard times are here to stay and they have just decided to eliminate “about 700 jobs”

Levi’s also announced it will be slashing about 15% of its global corporate workforce, impacting about 700 jobs, in a bid to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic. It said the move should generate annualized savings for Levi’s of $100 million.

Of course a whole lot of other companies are laying off workers right now too.  Another 1.427 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that is an absolutely catastrophic number.  Prior to 2020, the worst week in all of U.S. history for new unemployment claims was in 1982 when 695,000 unemployed workers filed in a single week.  So what we are witnessing right now is nothing short of a “tsunami of job losses”, and even CNN is admitting that millions of the jobs that have been lost “are never coming back”…

The American economy’s unprecedented jobs rebound masks a difficult truth: For millions of people, the jobs they lost are never coming back.

“It’s clear that the pandemic is doing some fundamental damage to the job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “A lot of the jobs lost aren’t coming back any time soon. The idea that the economy is going to snap back to where it was before the pandemic is clearly not going to happen.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Since most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before this pandemic erupted, millions of unemployed workers have found themselves in desperate need very suddenly.  I have written numerous articles about the massive lines that we have been witnessing at food banks around the nation, and we just witnessed another two mile long line at a food bank in Florida

More than 700 cars were seen waiting in a two-mile long food bank line in Florida as the US grapples with nearly half of Americans being unemployed amid a spike in new coronavirus cases that has sparked fears of more shut downs and lay-offs.

Sunrise Assistant Leisure Services Director Maria Little, who was put in charge of food distribution for the city when the coronavirus hit the US in March, said her group served about 720 cars in Miami on Wednesday.

This is not what a “recovery” looks like.

In fact, for certain sectors of the economy the numbers are rapidly getting a lot worse.  For instance, just check out what CNBC is reporting

Delinquencies in commercial mortgage-backed securities last month had their largest one-month surge since Fitch Ratings began tracking the metric nearly 16 years ago.

The delinquency rate hit 3.59% in June, an increase from 1.46% in May. New delinquencies totaled $10.8 billion in June, raising the total delinquent pool to $17.2 billion.

And Fitch Ratings is warning that these numbers are going to get far worse in the months ahead.

And this is just the beginning. Fitch analysts are projecting that the impact from the coronavirus pandemic will drive the delinquency rate to between 8.25% and 8.75% by the end of the third quarter of this year.

I have said this before, and I will say it again.

We are on the verge of the biggest commercial mortgage meltdown in the history of the United States.

Countless restaurants and retailers are getting way behind on their rent payments, and as a result many owners of commercial property are finding it increasingly difficult to make their mortgage payments.

The dominoes are starting to fall, and this is going to get really, really messy as we head into 2021 and beyond.

Of course the same thing could be said for the U.S. economy as a whole.

I know that I haven’t been posting quite as often the last couple of weeks, and that is because I have been finishing my new book.  It is not too far from being completed, and it is going to be the most important thing that I have written so far.

We are right on the precipice of the most chaotic chapter in all of American history, and a collapsing economy is just going to be one element of “the perfect storm” that we are facing.

So please use the summer months to get prepared for what is ahead, because even though things are bad right now, the truth is that we have only experienced the leading edge of “the perfect storm” 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 as many people as we possibly can.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly From The Latest U.S. Employment Numbers

Is the U.S. economy starting to rebound from the massive downturn that the coronavirus lockdowns caused?  Some new employment numbers were released on Thursday, and they were very interesting.  Many are boldly declaring that these new numbers are fantastic news for the U.S. economy, but that is greatly oversimplifying matters.  So far in 2020, tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and we knew that millions of those jobs would eventually come back as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.  And on Thursday, we received confirmation that millions of those jobs are indeed coming back

Nonfarm payrolls soared by 4.8 million in June and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1% as the U.S. continued its reopening from the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Without a doubt, this is good news.  But it also appears that the numbers are not entirely accurate, and we will discuss that more in just a bit.

But first, I wanted to point out that the main reason why payrolls rose by 4.8 million was because the number of Americans that were classified as being temporarily laid off declined by 4.8 million last month.  At the same time, the number of permanent job losses last month actually rose by more than half a million compared to the month before…

Another big contributor to the decline of the jobless rate was a plunge in those on temporary layoff. That total fell by 4.8 million in June to 10.6 million after a decrease of 2.7 million in May. The short-term jobless level fell by 1 million to 2.8 million.

However, those reporting permanent job losses also jumped, rising by 588,000 to 2.883 million, the highest level in more than six years.

This is clearly bad news.  It was expected that millions of those that had been temporarily laid off would start going back to their old jobs, but what we didn’t expect was a huge spike in the number of permanent job losses.

And now let’s get to the “ugly” portion of the numbers.

On Thursday, we learned that 1.427 million more Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and the number of unemployed workers filing continuing claims actually went up…

Indeed, new jobless claims remained stubbornly high last week, with another 1.427 million Americans filing, above the estimate of 1.38 million, the Labor Department said in a separate report Thursday. Continuing claims actually increased by 59,000 to 19.3 million, highlighting the jobless problem likely exacerbated by the ongoing presence of the virus and its economic impact.

That is not what a “recovering” economy looks like.

In fact, those numbers are absolutely abysmal.

I keep reminding my readers that prior to this year the all-time record for new unemployment claims was set in 1982 when 695,000 Americans filed in a single week.  The number for last week was more than double that old record, and we have now more than doubled that old record for 15 weeks in a row.

Can anyone out there explain to me how the economy is possibly “recovering” when Americans continue to file for unemployment at levels that are way beyond anything that we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history?

Overall, more than 48 million Americans have now filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 15 weeks.

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics would have us believe that only 17.75 million Americans are currently unemployed even though the number of Americans that are filing continuing claims for unemployment is far greater than that.  This point was brilliantly made by Zero Hedge earlier today…

By its very definition, insured unemployment is a subset of all Americans who are unemployed. In a Venn diagram, the Continuing Claims circle would fit entirely inside the “Unemployed” circle, which also includes Initial Claims, Continuing Claims, and countless other unemployed Americans who are no longer eligible for any benefits.

Alas, as of this moment, the definitionally smaller circle is bigger than “bigger” one, and as the DOL reported todaythere were 19.29 million workers receiving unemployment insurance. And yet, somehow, at the same time the BLS also represented that the total number of unemployed workers is, drumroll, 17.75 million.

If you said this makes no sense, and pointed out that the unemployment insurance number has to be smaller than the total unemployed number, then you are right. And indeed, for 50 years of data, that was precisely the case.

By putting out such absurd numbers, the BLS is starting lose any credibility that it had left, and that is incredibly sad.

Meanwhile, fear of the coronavirus is causing some states to start instituting fresh restrictions, and it appears that this is causing U.S. economic activity to slow down once again

High-frequency data assembled by Federal Reserve officials, economists, cellphone tracking companies, and employee time management firms suggests activity slowed in recent days, clouding a strong U.S. employment report that may prove to have been driven by an exuberant start to the month as states reopened.

In other words, we should expect the economic numbers for July to be quite dismal.

Right now, a fresh wave of fear is sweeping across the nation.  The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surged dramatically in recent days, and according to Gallup more Americans than ever believe that the pandemic is “getting worse”…

As coronavirus infections are spiking in U.S. states that previously had not been hard-hit, a new high of 65% of U.S. adults say the coronavirus situation is getting worse. The percentage of Americans who believe the situation is getting worse has increased from 48% the preceding week, and from 37% two weeks prior.

What this means is that economic activity is going to remain at very depressed levels for the foreseeable future.

Without enough revenue coming in, more businesses will fail and more workers will lose their jobs.  Without jobs, many Americans will not be able to pay their bills, and this will put an immense amount of pressure on financial institutions.

The truth is that the economic outlook has not improved one bit.  If anything, it has actually deteriorated over the past couple of weeks.

Fear of COVID-19 has plunged us into a new economic depression, and it looks like fear of COVID-19 will keep us in one for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

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.

Close To Half Of All Working Age Adults In The United States Do Not Have A Job Right Now

There is a lot of talk about the “unemployment rate” these days, but the way that it is calculated has become so convoluted that it is not really that meaningful anymore.  Even during the so-called “good times”, more than 100 million U.S. adults were not working, but we were told that the unemployment rate was the lowest that it had been in decades.  Of course now everything has changed.  Since this pandemic began, more than 47 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and the mainstream media is going to make sure that fear of COVID-19 continues to paralyze our society for the foreseeable future.

In this article, I would like to discuss the employment-population ratio.  According to Wikipedia, the employment-population ratio is “a statistical ratio that measures the proportion of the country’s working age population that is employed”.  I believe that it is a far more accurate measurement than the “unemployment rate” is, and we have seen this ratio move quite dramatically over the past couple of months.  According to CNBC, the employment-population ratio hit 52.8 percent in May, and that means that 47.2 percent of all working age Americans did not have a job…

Nearly half of the population is still out of a job showing just how far the U.S. labor market has to heal in the wake of the coronavirus.

The employment-population ratio — the number of employed people as a percentage of the U.S. adult population — plunged to 52.8% in May, meaning 47.2% of Americans are jobless, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the coronavirus-induced shutdowns tore through the labor market, the share of population employed dropped sharply from a recent high of 61.2% in January, farther away from a post-war record of 64.7% in 2000.

As you can see on this chart, we are definitely in unchartered territory.

We have never seen a collapse of this magnitude in all of U.S. history, and it has been truly horrifying to watch so many people lose their jobs.

It would be difficult to overstate just how far we have fallen.  One analyst has pointed out that it would take 30 million new jobs for the employment-population ratio to return to the peak that we witnessed all the way back in 2000…

“To get the employment-to-population ratio back to where it was at its peak in 2000 we need to create 30 million jobs,” Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s chief economist, said in an email.

Of course before we can start adding jobs we have got to stop the bleeding first, and at this point more than a million Americans continue to file new claims for unemployment benefits each and every week.

And more job losses are coming, because companies are shutting down at a staggering rate.  In fact, this week USA Today warned that “experts believe this is just the beginning of a bankruptcy tsunami that will wash over the country’s largest companies this summer”…

Twelve midsize to large corporations – all with more than $10 million in debt – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the third week of June, another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and continued trouble in America’s oil industry.

The filings represent the highest weekly total of the year, and experts believe this is just the beginning of a bankruptcy tsunami that will wash over the country’s largest companies this summer and then drench both smaller businesses and individuals if government stimulus money dries up.

Those two paragraphs almost sound like something that I could have written.

But at this point it is very difficult for anyone to deny how bad things have become.  So many firms are suddenly going bankrupt that it is impossible to keep up with them all, and the energy industry is being hit particularly hard

At least 24 oil and gas companies filed from April through June – nearly twice as many as during the first three months of the year, according to Haynes and Boone LLP, an international law firm based in Texas. Four of those companies – Texas-based NorthEast Gas Generation, Colorado-based Extraction Oil & Gas, and Chisolm Oil and Gas and Chesapeake Energy, which are both from Oklahoma – filed in the last two weeks of June.

“This trend should continue through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021,” said Charles Beckham, a partner in Haynes and Boone’s restructuring practice.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is experiencing severe economic pain.

COVID-19 has paralyzed economies all over the planet, and global trade has dropped precipitously

World trade in goods plunged by 12% in April from March, after having already dropped 2.4% in March from February. This plunge of the Merchandise World Trade Monitor, released by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, was by far the largest month-to-month drop in the history of the data going back to 2000.

For such a long time, many were warning that “the next global depression” was coming, and now it is here.

Many of the economic optimists had been hoping for a very short downturn followed by a “V-shaped recovery”, but now it has become clear that is simply not going to happen.

The primary factor dragging our economy down is fear of COVID-19, and the mainstream media continues to add to that fear day after day.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a surge of new cases in some portions of the U.S., and this has caused quite a few states to put a hold on their reopening plans

At least 14 states have paused or rolled back their reopening plans as the United States sees a surge in coronavirus cases across the country.

With July 4 celebrations approaching, officials are trying not to repeat scenes from Memorial Day, when thousands flocked to beaches, bars and parties while experts cautioned that crowds could lead to spikes in cases down the road.

I wish that I could tell you that things will soon get much better for the U.S. economy, but I can’t.

Yes, there will be ups and downs during the months ahead, but a return to “normal” is certainly not in the cards.

So I would definitely encourage everyone to use this window of opportunity to get prepared for rough times ahead, because we are about to see things happen that we have never seen before.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. 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.

Any Hope For A “V-Shaped Recovery” Has Been Completely Crushed

We were supposed to be well into a “recovery” by now, but instead more bad economic news just keeps pouring in.  In fact, the numbers that I am going to share with you in this article are absolutely eye-popping.  Initially, many of the economic optimists had been trying to convince us that we would experience a “short, sharp recession” followed by a “V-shaped recovery”.  Well, at this point it has become quite clear that we can forget all about that scenario.  The mainstream media is increasingly starting to use the word “depression” to describe what is happening to the U.S. economy, and the raw numbers definitely support the use of that label.  For example, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model is now projecting that U.S. GDP will decline by 46.6 percent on an annualized basis during the second quarter of 2020…

The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2020 is -46.6 percent on June 25, down from -45.5 percent on June 17. After this week’s data releases from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the National Association of Realtors, a decrease in the nowcast of second-quarter real residential investment growth from -25.9 percent to -35.9 percent was offset by an increase in the nowcast of real business fixed investment growth from -31.1 percent to -28.2 percent, while the nowcast of the contribution of the change in net exports to second-quarter real GDP growth decreased from 0.30 percentage points to -1.27 percentage points.

If that figure is anywhere close to accurate, this quarter will be remembered as the most disastrous economic quarter that we have ever seen in all of U.S. history up to the point.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits each week continues to surprise most analysts

Jobless claims totaled 1.48 million last week as unemployment related to the coronavirus pandemic remained stubbornly high, though those receiving benefits fell below 20 million for the first time in two months, the government reported Thursday.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 1.35 million claims.

As I keep reminding my readers, the all-time record for a single week prior to this year was just 695,000, and that record had stood since 1982.

But now we have more than doubled that old record for 14 weeks in a row.

Just think about that.  After laying off tens of millions of workers, you would think that companies would be running out of people to fire, but we continue to see vast hordes of Americans file new claims for unemployment benefits each week.

Overall, more than 47 million Americans have now filed a claim for unemployment benefits since this pandemic began.

If this isn’t an “economic depression”, then how bad would things have to get for us to be in one?

Of course Congress certainly didn’t help matters by giving out such generous unemployment bonuses.  Millions of unemployed workers are now bringing home more money than they did while they were actually working, and this is discouraging many from returning to work.

But that will change very abruptly in just a few weeks

Many out-of-work Americans counting on receiving an extra $600 a week through the end of July may be surprised to discover that benefit will disappear nearly a week earlier than they expected.

The additional $600 in weekly jobless benefits provided by the federal government is officially set to end July 31. But states will pay it only through the week ending July 25 or July 26, a significant blow to unemployed workers counting on that money to bolster state benefits that average just $370 a week.

Starting around the beginning of August, all of a sudden a whole lot of people will be very interested in finding new jobs, but there won’t be many jobs available.

Thousands upon thousands of businesses have already shut down permanently, and more are closing their doors with each passing day.

This new economic downturn has been particularly brutal for small businesses.  Just consider the following numbers from the Wall Street Journal

Roughly 140,000 Yelp-listed businesses that had closed since March 1 remained closed on June 15. A large minority of that set, 41%, has shut for good, according to Yelp.

The figures have improved by about 20% compared with April data, when 175,000 businesses were closed. But the large share of persistent closures, which were spread nationwide, showed the pandemic’s stubborn hindrance to life as normal even as all 50 states have taken steps to reopen.

This isn’t what a “recovery” looks like.

And it isn’t just the private sector that will be shedding jobs like crazy in the months ahead.  As tax revenues collapse, state and local governments all over the nation will be forced to let workers go.  In fact, it is being projected that more than 5 million of them will be laid off…

Right now, sales taxes, real-estate-transfer taxes, income taxes, fines and fees—they are all collapsing, leaving local governments with a budget gap expected to total $1 trillion next year. Without help from Washington, this will necessarily mean massive service cuts and job losses: namely, an estimated 5.3 million job losses.

Those are not jobs that have already been lost.

Those are future job losses that haven’t shown up in the numbers yet.

And those job losses will be particularly painful, because government jobs tend to pay higher than average wages and they tend to come with better than average benefits.

As the job loss tsunami continues to roll on, the number of Americans forced to move back home with their parents or grandparents will continue to soar.  Of course what we have been witnessing already is deeply alarming

A record 32 million American adults were living with their parents or grandparents in April, according to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, an increase of 9.7 percent over a year ago. The data, analyzed by Zillow researchers, showed that 2.7 million adults moved back home in March and April, and that about 2.2 million of them were aged 18 to 25 — also known as Generation Z.

One domino after another is tumbling, and obviously economic conditions are not going to return to the way they were previously.

But this wasn’t supposed to happen.

Once the coronavirus lockdowns ended, we were told that the U.S. economy was supposed to snap back very rapidly.

Unfortunately, the truth is that our economic pain is just beginning.  We have entered an extended economic downturn, and our society is not equipped to handle such a downturn at all.

As I have warned so many times, what we are facing is going to make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic, but most Americans continue to hold out hope that some sort of a “recovery” is still on the horizon.

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.

Media-Induced Fear Of COVID-19 Is Starting To Cause A Second Wave Of Severe Economic Panic

Fear of COVID-19 absolutely crippled the U.S. economy during the first half of this year, and now it appears that there are some people that are pushing for that to happen again during the second half of 2020.  Earlier this evening, I came across a headline that boldly declared that there will be “180,000 U.S. deaths of COVID-19 by October”, and right now just about every mainstream news outlet is running stories about how the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is surging.  And it is definitely true that we are seeing an alarming rise in the number of confirmed cases.  In fact, the number of new cases in the U.S. on Wednesday set a new record

The U.S. broke its record for the highest coronavirus cases recorded in a single day, with 36,358 new positives reported on Wednesday, according to a tally by NBC News.

Wednesday’s cases top the previous highest day count from April 26 — the first peak of the pandemic in the U.S. — by 73 cases, according to NBC News tracking data. The World Health Organization saw its single-day record on Sunday with more 183,000 cases worldwide.

The mainstream media is treating this as some sort of a big shock, but of course the truth is that this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

For months, I have been telling my readers that the lockdowns would “flatten the curve” for a while and that the number of cases would start to spike again once the lockdowns ended.  That is exactly what has happened, but anyone with even a little bit of common sense could have anticipated this.

Earlier this year, states in the northeastern portion of the nation were the epicenter for the outbreak in this country, but now it is states in the southern and western sections of the nation that have become the most prominent hotspots…

Arizona, California, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina reported record-high new daily coronavirus cases during this week, as case counts continue to rise in more than half of U.S. states.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state is facing a massive outbreak with another 5,000 cases reported Wednesday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom reported Wednesday 7,149 tested positive, a record number for the nation’s largest state. Both states this week surpassed the entire European Union on the average number of daily cases.

Things are particularly bad in California.  Over the past two days, we have seen a 69 percent increase in the number of newly confirmed cases…

The California Department of Public Health reported its second straight record jump in coronavirus cases on Wednesday as the state joins a handful of others with growing case numbers.

California reported an additional 7,149 Covid-19 cases since Tuesday, a 69% increase in two days, bringing the state’s total to 190,222 cases, according to the state’s health department. The previous highest day jump was reported on Tuesday when the state recorded 5,019 additional new cases.

Needless to say, the snowflake politicians in California are going to be even less eager to return to business as usual than they were before.  And since the state of California accounts for more economic activity than any other U.S. state does, this is going to be a major drag on the U.S. economy as a whole.

If this pandemic keeps dragging on for a couple more years, what are states like California going to do?  Many had anticipated that life would be getting back to normal by now, but instead we are starting to see things go in reverse.  In fact, we just learned that the reopening of Disneyland has been postponed indefinitely

Disney is delaying the phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the company’s flagship theme parks in California, the company said on Wednesday.

The resort, located in Anaheim, California, was set to welcome back guests on July 17 after being closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Other very large corporations are making similar moves.  For example, Apple just shut down a whole bunch of their stores because of this new surge in coronavirus cases

On Friday, stocks slumped as second wave fears were reignited following a report that Apple would temporarily shutter 11 U.S. retail stores across Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina.”Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” an Apple spokesman said in a statement.“We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”

Fast forward to today, when with stocks already sliding on renewed virus of a second wave of virus infections, moments ago Apple reported that it would re-close another 7 stores in Houston and Texas due to the coronavirus spike.

According to the optimists, this wasn’t supposed to happen.  The worst part of this pandemic was supposed to be over, and it was supposed to be all downhill from here.

But instead it has become exceedingly clear that this virus will be with us for a long time to come.  New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have all announced that those traveling in from nine different states where COVID-19 is out of control will be forced into mandatory quarantine for 14 days, and police in New York will actually be actively searching for vehicles that have license plates from those particular states…

In New York, cops will stop cars with license plates from the affected states to ask the person why they are not quarantining and how long they have been in the state for.

The quarantine applies to any state with infection rate of 10 infections per 100,000 people on a seven day rolling average or 10 percent of the total population testing positive.

Speaking of New York, this pandemic has already had a much larger financial impact than most observers had anticipated.

In particular, New York City is facing a nine billion dollar reduction in tax revenue, and Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the city may be forced to let 22,000 workers go

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is considering 22,000 layoffs and furloughs among its 326,000 employees to cut $1 billion of expenses after lockdown-related revenue losses.

De Blasio has projected a $9 billion loss in tax revenue over the next two years because of the pandemic.

Sadly, a whole lot more government workers will be fired across the country before this crisis is over.

Of course things are even worse for the private sector, and we continue to get more examples of this every single day.  On Tuesday, we learned that GNC has decided to declare bankruptcy

GNC Holdings Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late Tuesday, has released an initial list of stores that will close.

The list posted at the Pittsburgh-based chain’s site, GNCevolution.com, includes 248 closing stores, including 219 U.S. locations and 29 in Canada.

And we have also just learned that the end may be near for Chuck E. Cheese

The coronavirus pandemic could spell the end of Chuck E. Cheese. The popular kid’s restaurant had to close its 610 locations nationwide during the outbreak. Now, $1 billion in debt has Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company, CEC Entertainment, approaching bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that CEC is asking lenders for a $200 million to keep its business going.

I haven’t been to a Chuck E. Cheese in many years, but when I was a kid I absolutely loved to eat there.

As a youngster, it seemed like such a magical place, and now it deeply saddens me to hear that the company may not survive.

In the end, a lot more iconic companies will go under as America plunges even deeper into this new economic depression.

Fear of a virus has turned our economy completely upside down, and thanks to the mainstream media much of the population is going to remain deathly afraid of this virus for the foreseeable future.

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.

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.

As The Stock Market Soars, The Numbers Say That The Real Economy Is In The Midst Of A Historic Crash

Have you been watching the madness that has been unfolding on Wall Street?  Even though we are in the middle of the worst global pandemic in 100 years, and even though rioters and looters have been turning our major cities into war zones, stock prices have been going up day after day.  In fact, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time record high on Monday.  Sometimes people ask me to explain this rationally, and I can’t, because the Federal Reserve has transformed our “financial markets” into a total mockery at this point.  The real economy is literally collapsing all around us, but thanks to Fed intervention stock investors are doing just fine.  It has been absolutely disgusting to watch, and if Adam Smith could see what was happening he would be rolling over in his grave.  Unfortunately, thanks to our rapidly declining system of education most Americans don’t even know who Adam Smith is anymore.

I can’t recall another time in modern U.S. history when stock prices skyrocketed as the U.S. economy plunged into a recession.  What we have been witnessing has truly been extremely bizarre, and it will be fascinating to see how long it can last.

Meanwhile, the real economy is a giant mess.  On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research finally got around to letting us know that a recession has officially begun

It’s official: The United States is in a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday the U.S. economy peaked in February, ending the longest expansion in U.S. history at 128 months, or about 10½ years.

In truth, the announcement codifies the painfully obvious. States began shutting down nonessential businesses in mid-March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, halting about 30% of economic activity and putting tens of millions of Americans out of work.

And in other news, the sky is blue and the moon is not made out of cheese.

Anyone with half a brain can see that the economy is falling apart.  For example, we just learned that U.S. factory orders were down 22.3 percent in April compared to a year earlier…

Having collapsed by a record 10.4% MoM in March, April factory orders were expected to accelerate even lower and it did. However, the 13.0% plunge in April was modestly better than the 13.4% MoM drop expected… but is still the worst in American history.

Year-over-year, factory orders collapsed 22.3% – the worst since the peak of the financial crisis.

Of course it is not that difficult to find a number that is even worse than that.

Just look at heavy truck sales.  Last month they were down a whopping 37 percent from the same month in 2019…

The last three months have been catastrophic for segments of the trucking business, after an already tough period that started in late 2018. In May, orders for Class 8 trucks – the heavy trucks that haul much of the goods-based economy across the US – plunged 37% from the  low levels in May a year earlier, and by 81% from May two years ago, to 6,600 orders, according to estimates by FTR Transportation Intelligence today.

Not to be outdone, the number of corporate bankruptcies shot up 48 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago…

Corporate bankruptcies spiked during May as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the U.S. economy, pushing the number of filings to levels recorded in the wake of the 2007-09 recession.

U.S. courts recorded 722 businesses nationwide filing for chapter 11 protection last month, a yearly increase of 48%, according to figures from legal-services firm Epiq Global.

But every time we get another horrific economic figure, the stock market goes even higher.

The worse the news gets, the more investors seem to like it.  Week after week, we have seen unprecedented numbers of Americans file for unemployment benefits, and at this point a grand total of more than 42 million Americans have lost a job since this pandemic began.

And yet investors keep taking these job losses as signs that they should buy even more stocks.

Perhaps someone should spread a rumor that a planet-killing asteroid is about to hit us, because that would probably really get investors salivating.

Of course most ordinary Americans don’t get to live in a Fed-fueled fantasy world, and this new economic downturn is hitting most of them extremely hard.

In fact, it is being reported that approximately a third of all Americans “are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression”…

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crash, which triggered depression-like unemployment with 40 million initial claims filed in ten weeks, a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression, according to new data collected by the Census Bureau. This, by far, is the most comprehensive and troubling sign yet of the psychological toll inflicted on Americans due to months of lockdowns.

The Census Bureau contacted one million households between May 7 and 12, and about 42,000 responded, said The Washington Post. The survey was about 20 minutes long and buried deep within, several questions asked respondents about depression and anxiety. Those who answered provided a laggard but clearest snapshot into people’s mental state at the tail end of the lockdown, where many folks were subjected to isolationism, virus fears, and widespread unemployment.

That is the most alarming number that I have shared with you so far in this article, but I am about to share with you some numbers that are even more alarming.

In recent days, we have watched rioters destroy large sections of our major cities all across America.  But when asked about “violent protests”, a surprising percentage of Americans actually support them…

A broad majority of Americans say the peaceful protests happening all across the country after police violence against African Americans are justified (84% say so), and roughly a quarter (27%) say violent protests in response to police harming or killing African Americans are justified. Both figures are higher than they were when similar protests rose in the fall of 2016. Then, 67% saw peaceful protests as justified while 14% felt violent protests were.

There isn’t much of a racial or partisan difference over whether peaceful protests are justified now, but the gaps are larger over violent protests. Among Democrats, 42% consider violent protests justified in response to police violence against African Americans, while just 9% of Republicans agree.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

42 percent.

Unfortunately, a lot more economic pain is on the way, and that is just going to fuel even more rioting, looting and violence.

These are definitely not “the best of times” no matter what stock market investors seem to think.

We have entered a deeply disturbing new chapter in American history, and life in this country will never be the same again.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was wrong.

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

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

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

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

So what we are witnessing right now is completely nuts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is not good at all.

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

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

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

So what is the true death toll?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!