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.

This Is What Economic Collapse Looks Like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As I write this article, the U.S. death toll is closing in on the 4,000 mark.

That means that the number of dead bodies in the U.S. could get almost 60 times higher by the end of 2020.

If that projection is anywhere close to accurate, do you think that there is any possibility that America will “reopen for business” any time soon?

This is a national crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever experienced before, and we all need to work together to try to defeat this virus.

Fortunately, our national health authorities are finally realizing that if everyone was wearing masks that it may greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19.  On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed that the coronavirus task force is “seriously considering” asking all Americans to wear masks when they are out in public…

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed on Tuesday that the White House coronavirus task force is seriously considering guidance that Americans wear masks to help thwart the rapid spread of COVID-19.

But the country’s top infectious disease expert also acknowledged that such a directive has been complicated by the nationwide dearth of personal protective equipment.

Of course this would represent a 100 percent reversal from earlier this year when our national health leaders and the mainstream media were openly discouraging everyone from wearing masks.

If everyone would have been wearing masks from the beginning, we could have saved a lot of lives, but at least they are finally realizing their mistake.

Yes, having everyone wear a mask would raise the level of fear among the general public, but it would also be a big step in getting this pandemic under control.

Every day we hesitate, the longer this pandemic is likely to persist, and one of China’s top health officials says that the fact that we have waited this long to make a move is a “big mistake”

A prominent public health leader in China also argues for widespread use of masks in public. The director general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, George Gao, told Science that the U.S. and Europe are making a “big mistake” with people not wearing masks during this pandemic. Specifically, he said, mask use helps tamp down the risk presented by people who may be infected but aren’t yet showing symptoms.

If those people wear masks, “it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others,” Gao told Science.

Without a doubt, wearing masks is inconvenient and they look awkward.

But if everyone is doing it nobody will stand out, and as President Trump has noted, it will hopefully only be “for a short period of time”

“We are not going to be wearing masks forever, but it could be for a short period of time after we get back into gear. I could see something like that happening for a period of time,” President Trump said during Monday’s White House briefing.

A couple of months ago, it would have been crazy to suggest that most people in America would be wearing masks by the middle of 2020 because of a horrible pandemic, but now we are on the verge of that actually happening.

Of course the big problem with asking everyone to wear masks is that we still have a national shortage.  The following comes from Tucker Carlson

From the beginning of the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, mask shortages have been a major problem. Some people hoarded hundreds or thousands of them. Manufacturers couldn’t keep up.

In some cases, apparently, they were sent overseas. The foreign countries who we outsourced our factories to prudently decided to keep the masks for themselves. Nationalism is real in a crisis. And of course, here in the United States, our own government didn’t have nearly enough mass stockpiled to cope with what has happened.

And even though this mask shortage has now been glaringly apparent for many weeks, the problem still has not been fixed.

In fact, mask shortages are still being reported all over the nation

But there is still a big concern about mask shortages in the United States. A survey released Friday from the U.S. Conference of Mayors finds that about 92% of 213 cities did not have an adequate supply of face masks for first responders and medical personnel.

At this point, experts emphasize that the general public needs to leave the supply of N95 medical masks to health care workers who are at risk every day when they go to work.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to collapse at a speed that is absolutely breathtaking.

U.S. stocks just closed out their worst first quarter ever.  During the months of January, February and March, an all-time record 19.6 trillion dollars of stock market wealth was wiped out, and many believe that the worst is still yet to come.

Currently, approximately 75 percent of the country is under some sort of a “shelter-in-place order” and this has brought economic activity to a crashing halt.  The following is how CNN is describing the current state of the U.S. economy…

The economy is cratering deeper than we have seen in our lifetimes. Layoffs are coming so quickly, the state unemployment offices can’t keep up. Banks are flooded with calls about upcoming mortgage and loan payments. Downtowns are deserted, malls are closed, bars are empty, and airplanes are grounded.

When even CNN starts sounding like The Economic Collapse Blog, then you know that things have gotten really, really bad.

All Across America, retailers are boarding up stores, and Bloomberg is reporting that some areas of the nation are seeing a “barter economy” start to emerge…

Barter, the trade system prevalent in the Middle Ages, is back in the time of coronavirus pandemic, with a modern twist. Social networks Facebook and Nextdoor are flooded with posts from neighbors and friends seeking to swap eggs for toilet paper. Small and midsized businesses, whose cash trade has dried up from the economic fallout of shelter-in-place orders, are turning to online barter exchanges.

It is crazy how much things have changed in just a matter of weeks.

At the beginning of the year the mainstream media was full of reports about how well the economy was doing, but now Goldman Sachs is projecting that the U.S. economy will shrink at an annualized rate of 34 percent in the second quarter…

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects the U.S. economy to experience a far deeper slump than previously anticipated as the coronavirus pandemic hammers businesses, causing a wave of mass unemployment.

The world’s largest economy will shrink an annualized 34% in the second quarter, compared with an earlier estimate of 24%, economists led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a report. Unemployment will soar to 15% by mid-year, up from a previous forecast of 9%, they wrote.

Of course many industries will see a decline far greater than 34 percent during the second quarter.

At this point, we are being told that there are “basically no U.S. auto sales right now”

The coronavirus lockdowns across the nation will also put a damper on April, which is traditionally a good month for auto sales. Ford is all but shutting down and names like Fiat and GM are expected to release extremely weak numbers later this week.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas put it simply: “There are basically no U.S. auto sales right now. Investors have fully embraced the reality that the U.S. auto industry may be shut down for one or two full months. We’re now being asked to run scenarios of six-month or nine-month shutdowns.”

Have you seen the new car commercials where they are promising to take care of your car payments if you lose your job because of the coronavirus?

Well, I hope that they have really big pockets, because millions of Americans are losing their jobs right now.

And just like we have seen during every other economic downturn, some Americans will respond to economic misfortune by taking their own lives

Wilson police say a man shot his longtime girlfriend and killed himself because he was extremely upset about the coronavirus pandemic and losing his job. Police say 38-year-old Roderick Bliss IV shot his longtime girlfriend in the back before turning the gun on himself.

Police say officers responded to a resident on North 17th Street in Wilson Borough for shots fired and found Bliss unresponsive and not breathing. A semi-automatic pistol was near his body.

This should never happen, and we need to try to get people to understand that there is always hope.

No matter how bad things get, God can take the broken pieces of your life and turn them into a beautiful thing.  There is always hope if you know Jesus, and this is a time when we should all be sharing the message of the cross with as many people as we possibly can.

Right now things look really bleak to most people, and we are seeing things that we have never seen before.

For example, the top of the Empire State Building has been made to look like a “spinning” red siren light

The Empire State Building debuted what appeared to be a spinning red ‘siren’ light atop the iconic structure in what many observers saw as a dystopian sign of the times.

Scientist Rita J. King explained that the light was not actually spinning but was made to look that way.

So many people are going to fall into depression and despair in the weeks ahead, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

But it is critical to remember that God knew about all of this in advance, He is in control, and He has a plan to bring us through this.

It is during times of great crisis that we find out who we really are.

The past several weeks have been very challenging, and President Trump is warning that we are heading into “a hell of a bad two weeks”

President Donald Trump prepared Americans for a coming surge in coronavirus cases, calling COVID-19 a plague and saying the U.S. is facing a “very, very painful two weeks.”

“This could be a hell of a bad two weeks. This is going to be a very bad two, and maybe three weeks. This is going to be three weeks like we’ve never seen before,” Trump said at a White House press conference Tuesday. White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks. “When you look at night, the kind of death that has been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible.”

It will be very interesting to watch how the American people respond to this nightmare.

Will we respond with humility and brokenness, or will we stubbornly remain on the same path that we were going down before this pandemic started?

This is one of the most critical junctures in our history, and nothing will be the same from this point forward.

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

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