As we were leaving the year of 2020, many people were saying they didn’t want to see it again except in their rearview mirror. But the troubles of 2020 didn’t stop on December 31. They carried into this year.
Reid Wilson provided us with his 20/20 vision concerning the year 2020 and concluded that it was the worst year ever. The bad news obviously begins with the death of hundreds of thousands from the coronavirus, but there is so much more.
“Nearly half of Americans say they have lost income since March, when the Census Bureau began tracking the economic fallout of the pandemic.” As I mentioned earlier this week in another commentary, the devastation fell especially hard on the poor and minorities.
There are fewer jobs than there were five years ago. Nearly half of tourism-related jobs in Hawaii have vanished. In the other states, hospitality sectors declined significantly. When we did an event recently in a hotel, the woman helping us said her department used to have 17 people. She was the only person left. Almost 1 in 6 restaurants in the US are closed: some permanently, others long term.
Almost 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since March. Up until that time the country had decreasing percentages of people falling into poverty. And poverty has risen every month since June.
“Nearly a quarter of households that rent have not paid any rent this month.” Moratoriums on evictions have kept millions of Americans in their homes, but these moratoriums cannot last forever.
One statistic that I have cited recently comes from San Francisco. More people have died of drug overdoses than have died of the coronavirus. And the mental health of millions of Americans is worse than it has been in modern times.
It turns out that 2020 was the worse year we could imagine, but those social and economic problems are now flowing into 2021.