Economists have been saying that the U.S. economy has seemed a little too good to be true for a while now. With the outbreak of COVID-19, there’s a very strong chance that every industry, including construction is about to plunge into recession.
Economist Anirban Basu commented on this, saying, “The risk of recession over the next three to six months is arguably more elevated than at any period since 2007. I knew this period of fragility would leave us susceptible to a trigger, but I didn’t know what that trigger would be. Now we know.”
The catalyst for the next big recession is the coronavirus pandemic. But there are other factors that come into play. These include underlying factors like the biggest national debt in history. At the moment, it stands at $23,515,661,447,556 but is growing daily. The current political machine in Washington, DC has spent money like a guy getting his first paycheck ever. They’ve wasted billions on ridiculous things and that fact alone will come back to haunt America and the current regime.
Shifts & Rifts
Though America has experienced sound job growth and very low interest rates, most economists believe the current Pandemic will cause shifts and rifts in the very near future. Smaller companies may not be able to survive as virtually the entire world is under quarantine. In most cities across America, restaurant dining rooms are closed to the public. This puts all those waitresses and busboys who worked inside out of a job. This alone amounts to thousands of people out of work.
Highest Unemployment Rates in History
The rate of unemployment is steadily moving upwards. This week, it was announced that 281,000 people had filed for unemployment benefits, the highest number in years. But that number could triple or quadruple within the next few months.
Some businesses are dealing with the coronavirus by having their workers do their jobs from home. All schools are closed so parents must now home school their kids. This has worked out well for parents and kids. But for construction workers, it’s just feasible to work from home. Crews need to be on the job sites early each morning, ready to build, pour, install, lay tile and flooring and all those other jobs that construction requires.
Many point out that even if the quarantines didn’t exist, it would be slow and difficult to get building materials from overseas. China has just recently issued a statement saying they’ve had no new cases of the virus and feel confident that it’s under control. However, it will take some time for their businesses, factories and warehouses to get back up and running.
Unprecedented Quarantine Italy
In addition, many other countries are not so lucky. All of Italy is still under quarantine. That means their import/export businesses are shut down and that means you can’t get building materials like Italian marble. That’s not the only thing America imports from Italy though and it could be months before things return to normal there. For the meantime, contractors will not be able to get things like this from Italy:
- Ceramic tiles
- Blinds & sun protection
Precautions for COVID-19
The CDC is recommending that we wash our hands regularly. Refrain from touching your face, nose or mouth. If you must cough or sneeze, then use the proper method where you cough or sneeze into your elbow. Move away from any people that might be nearby. The virus is most often spread from the respiratory droplets derived from sneezing and coughing. If those droplets contain the virus, it can live on surfaces from a few hours to several days, depending on the weather, environment and the surface itself.
If you feel sick, then call your doctor and let him make the determination of whether you should make an appointment or go to an emergency room. Tell others, right away, that you are having symptoms, so you can be quarantined from others.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to that of the cold and flu. They include achy muscles, sore throat, congestion, diarrhea, runny nose and fever. Most large cities now have testing facilities where you can go and get tested, but be sure to call before going. If you’re already having symptoms, you may need to head to an emergency room.
As the world grapples with this virus, hopefully a vaccine will be found soon. In the meantime, we should all strive to be good neighbors and good citizens. As a species, we should work hard, trying to learn the root causes of so many of the viruses that have hit us in the past 15 years or so.
If we can learn from this, then we can stop making the same mistakes that have led us here. Our progress in the past 150 has come at a high price to Planet Earth. We’ve over-mined in many areas, slashed and burned rain forests, and dumped millions of gallons of oil and chemicals into our lakes and rivers. Perhaps this is the price we pay for not treating our planet better.