The Mystery Plague That Is Killing Countless Birds In 9 States And Washington D.C. Has Gotten A Lot Worse

Large numbers of birds are dropping dead from a “mystery disease” throughout much of the eastern half of the country, and scientists still have absolutely no idea why this is happening.  They have tested the dead birds for a whole host of known illnesses, but those tests have not revealed the cause of this plague.  We are being told that a lot of the affected birds appear to develop neurological problems, and many of them go completely blind before they finally die.  The “mystery disease” has spread to more states since I first wrote about this plague, and at this point the list of affected areas includes Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.  If authorities are unable to find a solution, will this plague eventually spread across the entire nation?

I don’t know why the mainstream media is not giving this story more coverage, because this is quickly turning into a major crisis.

The following comes directly from a statement that was posted late last week on the official website of the USGS

In late May, wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. More recently, additional reports have been received from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. While the majority of affected birds are reported to be fledgling common grackles, blue jays, European starlings and American robins, other species of songbirds have been reported as well. No definitive cause(s) of illness or death have been determined at this time. No human health or domestic livestock and poultry issues have been reported.

The natural resource management agencies in the affected states and the District of Columbia, along with the National Park Service, are continuing to work with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause(s) of this event. Those laboratories include the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, the University of Georgia Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, the University of Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program and the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

With each passing day, more birds are going blind and more birds are dying.

In Virginia, an animal control professional named Jennifer Toussaint will never forget the first time that she encountered baby blue jays that had been afflicted by this mysterious illness

Jennifer Toussaint, chief of animal control in Arlington, Virginia, can’t forget the four baby blue jays. In late May, worried residents had delivered the fledglings to her clinic just outside of Washington, D.C., within just a few hours. Each was plump, indicating “their parents had done a great job caring for them,” Toussaint says. But the birds were lethargic, unable to keep their balance, and blinded by crusty, oozing patches that had grown over their eyes.

Toussaint and her staff soon reached a gloomy diagnosis: the jays were the latest victims of a mysterious deadly disease that had emerged in their area just a few weeks earlier and had already killed countless wild birds. There was no known treatment, so they euthanized the jays. “It was difficult to feel so helpless,” Toussaint recalls.

Experts have never seen anything like this before, and they are in a race to try to find some answers.

Whatever is causing this, it appears to be affecting a wide range of species

Several species of birds have been affected by the mystery illness, according to the University of Pennsylvania: blue jay, European starling, common grackle, American robin, northern cardinal, house finch, house sparrow, Eastern bluebird, red-bellied woodpecker, Carolina chickadee, and Carolina wren.

And at this point, the “mystery disease” appears to have spread very widely.

For example, in the state of Virginia there have been confirmed reports “in the counties and cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Manassas, Prince William, Shenandoah, Warren, and Winchester.”

In Indiana, cases have now been identified in 53 different counties.

So if this is something that is spreading from bird to bird, it is spreading very easily and it is spreading very rapidly.

But at this point we don’t know for sure that it is some sort of a disease, because so far all of the tests that have been done haven’t come up with much of anything….

Natural resource management agencies in all of the affected states and D.C. are working with the National Park Service to investigate this event.

So far, several infectious agents have not been detected in any of the birds that have been tested, including Salmonella and Chlamydia, avian influenza, West Nile virus and other flaviviruses, Newcastle disease virus and other paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses and poxviruses, and Trichomonas parasites.

Something other than a disease could potentially be causing this plague.

We just don’t know.

At one point it was being theorized that eating cicadas was causing these birds to become ill, but scientists appear to have ruled this theory out

But the cicadas appear to be blameless. Birds tend to avoid eating fungus-ridden cicadas, and sick birds have been observed in areas where cicadas were rare. “It does not look like it’s a match,” says Brian Evans, a migratory bird ecologist with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

So many strange things have been happening in 2021.

As I discussed yesterday, right now we are witnessing a horrifying plague of grasshoppers in the western half of the country, and at the same time we have a nightmarish plague of dead birds in the eastern half of the country.

On top of everything else, we are right in the midst of a “megadrought” which may end up becoming the worst in the entire history of our nation.

Many believe that it is just a “coincidence” that so many bad things are happening to us all at once, and perhaps they are correct.

But nobody can deny that our world has gotten a whole lot crazier over the last couple of years, and I expect quite a bit more craziness during the second half of 2021.

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

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.  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)  By purchasing the books 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.  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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

Why Are Large Numbers Of Birds Suddenly Dropping Dead In Multiple U.S. States?

As if we didn’t have enough weird things going on, now birds are suddenly dropping dead in large numbers all across the eastern half of the country.  Before they die, a lot of these birds are exhibiting very strange symptoms.  Experts are telling us that in many cases birds are developing “crusty or puffy eyes”, and often they appear to go completely blind.  In addition, quite a few of these dying birds lose their ability to stay balanced, and we are being told that some even seem to be having “seizures”.  If scientists understood what was causing this to happen, that would be one thing.  But at this point they have no idea why this is taking place, and that is quite alarming.

So far, confirmed incidents of this strange phenomenon have been documented in Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

Could it be possible that we are dealing with a “mystery disease” that started in one state and that has now spread to other surrounding states?

Or is something else going on here?

We are being told that “blue jays, common grackles and European starlings” are the most common birds that are being affected.

But whatever is happening is not just limited to one species of birds, and I think that should be a red flag.

If our best experts even had a decent working theory about why so many birds are dying, I probably would not have written this article.  But at this point they are openly admitting that they have absolutely no idea why so many birds are suddenly dropping dead…

“We’re experiencing an unusual amount of bird mortality this year,” said Kate Slankard, an avian biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We have yet to figure out what the problem is. The condition seems to be pretty deadly.”

In Kentucky, the bird deaths seem to have begun in late May.  The following comes directly from the official website of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources…

In late May, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. Wildlife agencies in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia have reported similar problems.

State wildlife agencies are working with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause of mortality. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has sent more than 20 samples for lab testing to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia. More results are pending, but no definitive cause of death has been identified at this time.

After testing 20 samples, they still have no idea what is going on.

According to Slankard, “hundreds of birds” in her state have now become victims…

“They’ll just sit still, often kind of shaking,” Slankard said. “It’s pretty safe to say that hundreds of birds in the state have had this problem.”

But of course the truth is that we have no way of knowing how many birds have actually been affected.

It could be thousands of birds in the state.

It could be hundreds of thousands.

We just don’t know, and Kentucky is just one of the states that has been hit.

In Indiana, authorities tested for avian flu and West Nile virus, but those tests came back negative

Indiana wildlife officials said there have been suspicious deaths of blue jays, robins, northern cardinals and brown-headed cowbirds in five counties. James Brindle, spokesman for the state’s Department of Natural Resources, said birds there have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus.

One theory that is floating around is that these birds are ingesting large amounts of pesticides because of all the cicadas that they are eating.

Some experts are flatly dismissing that theory because “the disease has also appeared in states where cicadas are not present”.

But how can they be so sure that it is a disease if they have absolutely no idea why this is happening?

I don’t think that we should jump to any conclusions that are not backed up by science.

Obviously a lot more testing needs to be done.  If it does turn out to be a disease that is causing this, is it a disease that can also spread to humans?  Moving forward, that could be one of the most important questions that needs to be answered.

Hopefully we can get some solid answers, because this is not the first time something like this has happened.  Back in September, one expert said that it appeared that “hundreds of thousands” of birds were dropping dead in New Mexico…

Wildlife experts in New Mexico say birds in the region are dropping dead in alarming numbers, potentially in the “hundreds of thousands.”

“It appears to be an unprecedented and a very large number,” Martha Desmond, a professor at New Mexico State University’s department of fish, wildlife, and conservation ecology, told NBC’s Albuquerque affiliate KOB.

But whatever was causing those deaths to happen in New Mexico seems to have stopped.

Is there any connection between that event and the deaths that are happening in the eastern half of the country now?

I wish that I had the answer to that question.

We live at a time when pesticides, high technology and other forms of human activity are having a greater impact on birds and animals than ever before.  But we have also entered an era when I believe that great pestilences are going to become very common.

Obviously something is killing all those birds, and hopefully scientists will have something solid to tell us very soon.

With each passing day, our world is getting crazier, and so much is going wrong all around us.

Many are hoping that 2020 and 2021 will just turn out to be anomalies, but I am entirely convinced that they are just the very small tip of a very large iceberg.

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

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.  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)  By purchasing the books 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.  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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

Will The New Ebola Epidemic In Africa Soon Become The Next Global Pandemic?

Ebola is back, and people are starting to die.  So should we be concerned?  When I first heard that a new Ebola cluster had been identified in eastern Congo, I didn’t think too much of it, but now an “Ebola epidemic” has been declared in the country of Guinea in west Africa.  So far, four people have died, and more victims are being treated.  These are the very first Ebola deaths in Guinea since the horrific outbreak that finally ended in 2016.  Global health authorities are rushing to contain this new “epidemic”, because there would be grave consequences if an Ebola outbreak is allowed to spiral out of control.  According to Wikipedia, the average death rate during an Ebola outbreak is “about 50%”…

Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebolaviruses.[1] Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus with a feversore throatmuscular pain, and headaches.[1] Vomitingdiarrhoea and rash usually follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys.[1] At this time, some people begin to bleed both internally and externally.[1] The disease has a high risk of death, killing 25% to 90% of those infected, with an average of about 50%.[1] This is often due to low blood pressure from fluid loss, and typically follows six to 16 days after symptoms appear.[2]

Dying from Ebola is a truly horrifying way to go.

I am sure that many of you remember the panic that ensued a number of years ago when it was revealed that Ebola patients were being flown into the United States for treatment.  Thankfully that did not result in an outbreak here in the United States, but at the time people were extremely concerned about what might happen.

Once it gets loose in an area, Ebola can be an absolute nightmare for health authorities, and that is why the epidemic in Guinea is being taken so seriously

On Monday morning, a fourth victim died in Guinea and four others are being treated in an isolation centre, suffering vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. At least seven of the people who contracted the virus attended the funeral of a nurse in Goueke, a town near the Liberian border, on 1 February the government said on Sunday.

“All measures are being taken to stem this epidemic as soon as possible,” Guinea’s health ministry said, declaring an outbreak of the virus last seen in the region in 2016 – at the end of a traumatic three-year outbreak, which infected more than 28,000 people and caused 11,000 deaths in west Africa.

Hopefully they have gotten on top of this outbreak early enough to be able to contain it easily.

But what is strange is that this new epidemic in Guinea comes right on the heels of a new outbreak in eastern Congo

Guinea’s new outbreak follows a resurgence in eastern Congo, where four cases have been reported – the latest on 14 February. Since August 2018, the region has been grappling with the world’s first Ebola outbreak in an active conflict zone. The new cluster emerged three months after the country’s last outbreak – in the west of the country – was declared over. In total, there have been 12 outbreaks in Congo since Ebola was first identified in 1976.

If you look at a map of Africa, you will see that Guinea and Congo are not anywhere near each other.

So right now we have two outbreaks of Ebola at the exact same time in two vastly different regions of the continent.

That seems rather odd, doesn’t it?

The good news is that Ebola does not spread very easily from person to person, and global health authorities have had a lot of practice in containing Ebola outbreaks over the last several decades.  As one official told NBC News, speed is the key to containing these sorts of outbreaks…

“There are tools and systems that can be mobilized quickly to address these cases. The key will be speed, ensuring appropriate people and materials are where they need to be,” said Donald Brooks, chief executive officer of Initiative: Eau, a U.S. aid group focused on water and sanitation, who has worked on establishing public health emergency response systems in West Africa.

“If not and it spreads to urban centers, it could result in disastrous loss of life,” he warned.

Ebola also doesn’t seem to fit the profile of the sort of killer global pandemic that I warned about in my latest book.  A few years ago an experimental “Ebola vaccine” was developed, and pharmaceutical companies have also come up with treatments that appear to be at least somewhat successful in temporarily extending the lives of Ebola patients.

But if we ever did see a global Ebola pandemic, the death rate would still be extremely high.

And it should be noted that governments around the globe have been attempting to weaponize Ebola and other similar diseases.  The following comes from a Daily Mail report that was published just the other day

Experts fear Russia could weaponise the deadly Ebola virus as part of a catastrophic biological weapons project.

Unit 68240 of Moscow’s FSB spy agency – linked to the Salisbury Novichok poisonings – is thought to be behind the programme codenamed Toledo.

It is believed the unit is researching both Ebola and the even-more deadly Marburg virus.

If the Russians (or someone else) cooks up a weaponized version of Ebola in a lab and it gets out into the general public, it is doubtful that any existing vaccine or treatment would be effective against it.

As far as this new epidemic in Africa is concerned, we will watch and see what happens.

Outbreaks of disease happen all the time, and very few of those outbreaks ever develop into true global pandemics.

However, experts assure us that it is just a matter of time before a killer pandemic that will be much, much worse than we are experiencing now comes along.

That future pandemic may occur naturally, or it may happen because a really nasty bug gets released from a lab on purpose or accidentally.

However it happens, the truth is that we are extremely vulnerable, and COVID has already shown everyone how much sheer panic a global pandemic can cause.

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

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.  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)  By purchasing the books 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.  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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, 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.

A new “mystery disease” that causes “burning eyes” has already spread to hundreds of people in India

The outbreak of a mysterious new disease in India is creating quite a stir, because so far medical authorities have not been able to identify what is causing it.  Hundreds of very sick people in the city of Eluru have been brought to the hospital, and at least one victim has already died.  Unlike COVID-19, this illness seems to be hitting children particularly hard.  Some of them “started vomiting after complaining of burning eyes”, and quite a few victims have been gripped by seizures and have been “frothing at the mouth”.  Whatever this is, it seems pretty serious.

But before I go any further, I want to make it very clear that I believe that it is very important that we don’t jump to any conclusions.

Very few disease outbreaks end up developing into global pandemics.  In November, a mystery disease that caused very ugly sores on the skin was reported in Senegal, and we were being told that more than 700 fishermen had been affected.  But since that time that outbreak appears to have fizzled out.  I have been searching for an official explanation for what happened to those fishermen, but so far I have not been able to find one.

This new outbreak in India could also fizzle out very rapidly.  We just don’t know.  But whenever a new disease comes along that the medical establishment cannot identify, it is worth watching.  I believe that we have entered a period of time when global pestilences will become a lot more common, and so any story like this will immediately grab my attention.

Initially, we were told that approximately 300 people had been affected by this new mystery disease.  The following comes from CNN

An unidentified illness has hospitalized more than 300 people in southeastern India, including one who has died, according to local officials investigating the cases.

Patients in the city of Eluru, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, reported a range of symptoms including seizures, loss of consciousness and some nausea over the weekend, said Dolla Joshi Roy, the district surveillance officer of Eluru’s West Godavari District.

Subsequently, the number of victims that required hospitalization was increased to 450

Officials in India are working to identify an illness that has hospitalized 450 people with symptoms ranging from nausea and anxiety to loss of consciousness.

At least one person, a 45-year-old man, has died because of the illness in Eluru, a town in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the Press Institute of India reported.

Once someone is affected by this mystery illness, things seem to progress rather rapidly.  As I noted above, a number of the victims said their eyes felt like they were “burning” before they began vomiting…

“The people who fell sick, especially the children, suddenly started vomiting after complaining of burning eyes,” a medical officer at Eluru Government Hospital told The Indian Express. “Some of them fainted or suffered bouts of seizures. Some were in critical condition when they were brought in on Saturday, but now all of them are safe.”

Other symptoms include anxiety, nausea, and loss of consciousness, according to AP News. So far, one 45-year-old man was admitted to the Government General Hospital in Eluru with seizures and narcolepsy and has since died on Sunday evening, the only reported death related to the illness.

In addition, there are reports that some of the victims were “frothing at their mouths”

The affected persons were developing fits and frothing at their mouths and collapsing. A 70-year-old woman collapsed while cooking while a 12-year-old girl developed fits during a visit to a temple.

The good news is that so far there has only been one death and a lot of the victims have improved so much that they have already been released from the hospital.

But the bad news is that authorities have been completely unable to determine what is causing this disease.

Since India is having such a problem with COVID, all of the patients were immediately tested for the virus and all of the tests came back negative.

So this new mystery disease does not appear to be related to the COVID pandemic at all.

Water pollution was also suspected as a potential cause, but so far all of the water samples that have been tested haven’t revealed anything out of the ordinary

“We ruled out water contamination or air pollution as the cause after officials visited the areas where people fell sick. Water samples were sent for testing and no contamination was found. Blood samples of the patients have been sent to labs. No viral infection has been detected,” Srinivas told The Indian Express. “It is some mystery illness and only lab analysis will reveal what it is.”

Hopefully there is some sort of really simple explanation and we won’t even be talking about this a week from now.

Having said that, we should definitely be on the alert for more disease outbreaks around the globe.  There have been killer pandemics all throughout human history, and scientists assure us that there will be more killer pandemics in our future.

In our time, the threat of pandemics is greater than ever, because on top of the threat of naturally occurring pandemics we also are facing the threat of man-made pandemics.

Thanks to our advanced technology, it has become so incredibly easy to tinker around with extremely deadly bugs, and a great plague could literally be released at any moment anywhere in the world.

My hope is that the outbreak of  this new mystery disease in India does not develop into something larger, and so far it does not fit the profile of the sort of future pandemic that I warned about in my new book.

But that does not necessarily mean that we can relax.

Nobody saw the Black Death coming in the Middle Ages, but it ultimately wiped out approximately 25 million people.

Nobody saw the Spanish Flu pandemic coming either, and that killed at least 50 million people.

It is just a matter of time before the next great killer pandemic comes along, and we may be closer to that day than most people would dare to imagine.

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

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.  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)  By purchasing the books 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.  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 FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ouch.

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

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

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

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

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

Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just think about that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It has been “one thing after another”, and the truth is that this “perfect storm” is just getting started…

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

The Economic Collapse