We’re in the middle of the Great American Recovery! Unemployment is down 1.4 percent, and spending in May increased 8.2 percent! Most states are now at stage 4 of reopening, and the world looks brighter than ever! At least, that’s what the politicians would like you to believe.
The unemployment rate is currently at 13.3 percent, which is down from 14.7 percent. However, nearly 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment the first time this depression last week (June 14 – 20). The highest unemployment during the Great Recession was 10.6 percent. There are also an estimated 40 to 50 million people unemployed.
US consumer spending was down 6.6% in March and 12.6 percent in April, according to US News. In May, spending increased by 8.2 percent. When we do the math, spending is still down a whopping 11 percent. Let’s also not forget that most Americans saw their stimulus checks in May, and the unemployment benefits finally started to roll out of the vast majority. Although, some individuals are still waiting for their first unemployment checks.
Stimulus and Unemployment Cash and Evictions
The eviction moratoriums are ending. Fourteen states have already lifted their eviction moratoriums, and 10 more states are about to lift their eviction moratoriums. The federal moratorium ends July 25.
The stimulus checks of $1,200 per individual and $500 per child are more than likely spent. They went to pay for back bills and food. The extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits is set to expire on July 31. There is nothing ready to go to replace these things.
So far, there is no second stimulus and no plans to extend the extra money for the unemployment. When the unemployment stimulus ends, we could very well see a pullback of 20 percent or greater. In fact, I predict that the spending pullback could happen as soon as next week as people realize they only have 4 more weeks of money. Just because the money dries up doesn't mean the bills stop. People are going to start stockpiling as much cash as they can because August bills are still coming. In fact, so are September’s, October’s, November’s and December’s.
To date, there are no vaccines that are ready to go. Some have entered advanced testing and are being tested on humans, but there is nothing ready yet. In fact, there probably won’t be a vaccine until the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.
The Covid Pandemic
The covid pandemic is not over. In fact, it’s getting worse. There have been 9,628,658 confirmed cases so far with 489,731 deaths worldwide. In the United States, there have been 2,469,187 confirmed cases with 126,277 deaths. Cases are rising rapidly in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Washington, South Carolina, Missouri, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Idaho, West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska and Montana. On June 25, the US saw the biggest number of confirmed COVID cases at 38,853, which eclipsed the previous day’s record of 37,945. the highest case count prior to the last 2 days was on April 24 with 35,930 cases, and at that time most states were in shutdown/lockdown.
What’s important to understand is that the US isn’t the only country that’s experiencing a dramatic increase in cases. Brazil has more than 1.2 million cases, and they show no sign of slowing down. India, Chili, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, South Africa, China, Columbia, Sweden, Egypt, Argentina, , Indonesia, Ukraine, Iraq, Oman, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Panama, Bolivia, Romania and many other countries are also experiencing dramatic spikes in cases. The pandemic is far from over.
The Stitches are Coming Out and the Wound Has Not Healed
The bottom line is that the stitches are coming out, and the wound has not healed. Some states are even rolling back their reopening plans due to spikes in cases. NY has ordered quarantines for travelers entering New York from 8 states. Many states are also implementing mandatory masks while out in public. When it comes to mandatory masks, Florida made the news when a woman stated that “wearing a mask impeded God’s breathing system.” Yes, apparently people really are that crazy. Yesterday’s crazy of the day was Sammy Hagar who stated that he is willing to sacrifice lives for the economy, but probably not his own. In fact, most of these people stating these ludicrous ideas need to ask themselves one question – Am I willing to die from Coronavirus? If the answer is yes, I would suggest seeking out a mental health professional immediately.
What Do You Need to Do?
I need to point out that I am not a medical professional. I don’t know much about viruses. I can’t give you any medical advice. However, I do know this. I do not want to catch coronavirus, and you probably don’t either. To further that, I can’t really tell you want to do either, but I know what I’m doing. I’m staying home as much as possible and only stepping outside my front door when absolutely necessary. I am ordering all my food and supplies for delivery. I am stocking for the winter. I am preparing for the long haul. I am not going to cookouts. I am not visiting relatives. I am not going into restaurants. I am not hiring contractors to come to my house. I am not letting people in the front door. I am still in lockdown. I can trade a year or 2 of my life so I can have the remaining 40. A hamburger is not worth my life. A haircut is not worth my life. A vacation is not worth my life. I deserve the next 40 years of my life, and so do you.