An unprecedented ten million Americans have lost their jobs in the last two weeks. In Britain, an unknown number of people have been ‘furloughed’ with the government paying 80% of their salaries. This will hide the true scale of the economic devastation for a while.
Ferry companies that transport a large part of our imported food say that they have tried to run loss making services without passengers – as a moral duty – but cannot continue. Most of the world’s airlines are bankrupt. Electricity and energy companies fear millions cannot or will not pay their bills and they will go under. Everyone wants a government bailout.
The price of wheat skyrockets ever upwards as people fear food shortages – ports are shut and harvests are not being collected. Meanwhile the price of oil plummets ever downwards to less than $20 a barrel at the worst point. (It was $160 a barrel more than ten years ago) Crude piles up on tankers with nowhere to go and no customers to buy. All oil production except that of Saudi Arabia will be loss making at this price. Green energy will become even more of an economic joke than it already was.
From football clubs to garden centres, from hotels to banks, the world has never ever seen such an economic disaster in such a short time. This will be worse than the great depression – and an entire generation will be left without hope. Social unrest will follow. Governments will be forced to bail out or nationalise everything from train operators to car manufacturers. Political violence will rise exponentially.
How many people worldwide will die from suicide, despair, drug addiction, lack of food and pharmaceuticals, fear and destitution?
How many wars will start? How many riots will cause death and destruction? How many innocents will be tortured by governments with newly formed totalitarian powers?
Sadly these statistics, like those of Stalin’s Gulags will not be counted for many years.