Covid-19 is a fairly nasty bug. It’s not necessarily as fatal as, say, Ebola, but it’s a bit more dangerous than the common flu. Since the flu is deadly enough on its own–thousands die every year from it–that’s still significant.
However, one casualty of the pandemic that not enough people are focusing on might just be the United States economy.
For Hayden Peeler, a 28-year-old mother of two, the prospect of getting coronavirus is the least of her concerns.
A Movie Tavern server outside of New Orleans, Ms. Peeler recently quit a second job at a Trader Joe’s supermarket because it paid less than the theater and didn’t make economic sense with a 60-mile roundtrip commute.
In the face of the contagious virus sweeping the country, the Milwaukee-based company that owns Movie Tavern and Marcus Theaters joined even bigger movie house companies such as AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, and by Wednesday morning had closed all 91 of its locations across 17 states.
“The only thing making me feel a little bit less concerned is I have some tax refund left that I was going to use to pay bills,” Ms. Peeler said. “Now, I’m afraid I will go even more in debt and for another year I’ll probably be behind.”
Though it is small consolation to her or her children, Ms. Peeler is far from alone amid growing signs the virus that started in Wuhan, China, will hammer the American economy.
Now, we’ve got a deadly disease floating around and the threat of a massive economic downturn as people simply can’t spend money, even if they have it. Plus, a lot of people who still ostensibly have jobs simply can’t work. Let’s not forget how many of those jobs may well disappear as businesses operating on thin margins–and a lot of small businesses do–simply can’t afford to sit idle for weeks at a time.
Meanwhile, those employees aren’t making money and can’t look for a new job.
Now, ordinarily, this would be the kind of thing that one of our sister sites would cover. PJ Media, Townhall, Red State, or Hot Air would be all over this while we wouldn’t. After all, the only real concern we would have is how it would impact the firearm industry.
Yet this is a little different than most financial crises. This is a potential recession slammed on top of a pandemic that’s causing people to have to shelter in place and pray they make it out the other side.
This has the potential to create something of a domino effect, creating a set of conditions where things become very ugly as desperate people do whatever they feel they have to in order to survive. This may be exacerbated by lockdown orders in places like California and Pennsylvania that also prevent charities from providing much-needed assistance to these folks. That could well lead to civil unrest unlike what we’ve seen in a long while.
While it’s entirely possible, even probable, that nothing much will happen even if the economy does end up in the crapper, folks tend to not get hurt by being overprepared for bad times.