Stephen Collinson wrote on Sunday that the effects of the pandemic have been immediate and widespread across the economy, leading to 4.4 million Americans filing first-time unemployment claims and leaving businesses across the country shuttered. Collinson noted that this has created a crisis sending countless Americans into economic uncertainty for the first time in their lives.
"Each individual claim represents a life on edge," he wrote. "People who never had their hands out before are going to food banks, and the unemployment rate is suddenly approaching Great Depression territory. It's the same story around the world."
Collinson went on to question President Donald Trump's prediction that the United States economy will take off like "a rocket" when coronavirus restrictions can be lifted. He wrote that even if states could begin to remove their stay-at-home orders and allow some businesses to reopen, public places like restaurants and movie theaters would still not see a recovery until the virus is fully gone.
With these businesses likely to remain closed indefinitely, the American economy and out-of-work Americans will continue to be affected for years to come, he predicted.
"Fewer workers will mean fewer people with money to buy cars and go on vacation — which will mean that industries like tourism, entertainment and hospitality have a long haul. So after the battle against the coronavirus is won, the war to revive America will likely continue," Collinson wrote. "We're talking years, not months."As The Inquisitr reported, some public health experts predict that some measure of social distancing will need to remain in place through 2022. Many experts agree that society will not be able to fully reopen until there is a vaccine for the virus, which is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. According to a Bloomberg report, a study from Harvard researchers that was published in the journal Science showed that attempts to loosen social distancing guidelines before a vaccine could lead to a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Some companies have already started to see permanent effects of the coronavirus, including some national retail chains that have announced store closures since the start of the outbreak and the first guidelines closing nonessential businesses. Experts have warned that some well-known national chains that were already facing financial pressures will likely not survive the pandemic.