But that's only half the story.
It has happened so freaking fast.
JANUARY 2, 2020, DOW CLOSE – 28,828.8
DECEMBER WORKING SYSTEM – 3.5%
KNOWN US INFECTIONS – 0
Known US Deaths – 0
At the beginning of the year, there were no cases of coronavirus in the United States, and unemployment was below 4%.
Covid-19 discovered. The Chinese government confirmed the new disease on January 7.
Included in the United States. The first known case on American soil was confirmed Jan. 21 – 10 days before the Trump administration announced it would deny US entry to foreign nationals who had recently traveled to China.
FEB 6, 2020, DOW CLOSE – 29,379
JANUARY LABOR SAFETY – 3.6%
KNOWN US INFECTIONS – 12
Known US Deaths – 0
MARCH 2, 2020, DOW CLOSE – 26,703 (-2848 from all-time high)
FEBRUARY LABOR SAFETY – 3.5%
KNOWN US INFECTIONS – 102
Known US Deaths – 6
In the week ending March 14, relatively normal 282,000 Americans applied for first-time unemployment benefits.
Shutdown starts. A week later, most American schools had shut down, anyone who could avoid going to work was told to stay home and the new reality Covid-19 had shut down large parts of the United States.
Millions lose their jobs. In the week ending March 21, 3.3 million Americans applied for first-time unemployment benefits, a number of gobsmacking that more than doubled a week later.
When April started, more than 10 million Americans had recently applied for unemployment.
The virus explodes. Infections ranged from about 100 to tens of thousands in a month, and deaths multiplied.
April 1, 2020, DOW CLOSE – 20,943
MARCH LABOR – 4.4%
KNOWN US INFECTIONS – More than 212,692
Known US deaths – More than 4,780
FIRST TIME REQUIREMENTS – More than 10 million in March
The stock market is stabilizing, but many more millions are unemployed. The infection continued to multiply and multiply. Another 20 million Americans applied for new unemployment during the month.
The death rate increases. More deaths from coronavirus in the United States in months than Americans died during the decade-plus war in Vietnam.
Virusplatåer. But even though the infestation curve had not fallen in most of the United States, a setback to social distance management by governors led to the reopening of parts of the country.
MAY 7, 2020, DOW CLOSE – 23,976
APRIL LABOR DISEASE – ~ 16%
KNOWN US INFECTIONS – More than 1.2 million
Known US deaths – More than 75,000
FIRST TIME REQUIREMENTS – More than 20 million in April
Analysts have predicted an unemployment rate of between 10% and 22% when new unemployment data is released on Friday. But it will not yet result in nearly 10 million new unemployment claims during the middle of April, reflected above.
As states begin to reopen their economies, even though the virus continues to grow into new hot spots outside of urban centers, it is clear that known infections are lagging behind actual infections.
And what supported the community so quickly in a few months now looks like it will take years to fix.
It largely stops the restaurant and travel industry.
How to see this horrific data: Is it time to compare this to the Great Depression?
Since then, things have gotten so much worse.
- Tens of millions of Americans have filed new unemployment claims
- Congress is arguing over a fourth stimulus package
- Many states are starting to reopen, even though they have failed to meet the White House guidelines for containing the virus.
So I went back to Wessel for an update. His new concern for a presidential transition is not something I've considered.
ZW: How has the last month changed your assessment of what is happening?
DW: The last month, I've realized how long it will take to take the economy to recover. We know the second quarter will be terrible, but I'm not sure how big the setback will be in the third quarter: How gradually will the stops end? Will people be reluctant to trade and cycle the subway? Will the virus ebb and then come back? This is going to be a long time.
ZW: A month ago you were optimistic that the government was working fast to do what it could for the economy. Do you still feel that way?
DW: The government acted quickly, but now it appears that Congress has returned to partisan gridlock that threatens to delay, among other things, assistance that state and local governments desperately need to avoid laying off workers and limiting public services.
ZW: At what point is it appropriate to start comparing this to the Great Depression?
The depth of the decline will compete with the worst quarters of the Great Depression. But the combination of wise public health measures and sound fiscal and monetary policy can increase and strengthen recovery. We don't have to relive the 1930s, and with good politics we don't have to.
A new concern for me. The transition from Hoover to Roosevelt after 1932 [election] was a bad one. The dedication day did not come until March then, and things got very bad between November 1932 and March 1933. If Joe Biden wins the November 2020 election, I hope the transition from one president to the next does not make things worse than need be.
What was the Great Depression really like?
Pleasure was a pound of hamburger: Robert Card said he went to college with one suit, one tie, one pair of shoes and $ 30 borrowed from a bank. He called the depression a "painful" but "glorious" time because it forced America to face longstanding poverty problems.
What a pleasure it was to get half a pound of hamburger, which you buy for about five cents, take it to Union Pacific Railroad tracks and have a cookout. And some excellent conversation. And maybe swim in the Kaw River.
A friend of mine had an old Model T Ford Sedan, about a 1919 model. He had this thing mounted like a house. He lived there all year. He cooked and slept and studied inside the Model T Ford Sedan. How he managed me I will never know. Once I went there for dinner. He cooked a pretty good one on a small stove he had in this thing.
Worst since 1706
- Napoleonic wars
- The American Revolution
- The Great Depression
- Both world wars
Trump's valet has Covid-19 – In other news that conjures up antiquated ideas and terms, President Trump's valet has tested positive for coronavirus.
If you're more visual, I really like this journal from Time, which puts a lot of the data we've discussed in one place. This period will eventually become known as something. Will The Great Reckoning be it?