The Coronavirus devastates the national and global economy causing homelessness, job loss and plummeting stocks

Jaeeun Park, Staff Writer

The Coronavirus crisis is leaving devastation behind in the form of endless debt, exacerbating the already-present issues that have been plaguing countries.

According to the Pew Research Center, the income inequality in the U.S. is the highest of all G7 nations with the top 10% of wealthy households owning 77% of the country’s total wealth. The economic disparity during the pandemic becomes ever more apparent as the wealthy board private jets while the impoverished fight to feed themselves and find shelter. Reports from Business Insider say that over half of all Americans think they cannot afford to go to a hospital even if they are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus because healthcare is far too expensive.

The homeless are in much more danger without shelter or space to isolate. Transients cannot have the recommended six feet of space because they depend the most on limited public spaces. College students that have had their dorms shut down huddle on a friend’s couch wondering where to go from now. Many have no place to go nor the means to get there.

Queues at unemployment centers span blocks all over the nation, and phone lines of the same organizations are massively overwhelmed. The unemployment rate of the U.S. has hit 14.7%, a statistic even worse than that of the Great Depression. Local small-scale businesses don’t have the luxury of being able to stay closed throughout the ordeal. Even with many vendors now offering curbside pick-up services in order to heed social distancing measures, customers who are devoted enough to maintain patronage are rare.

Without jobs to provide some sort of income or modest amounts of money saved up, civilians face another dilemma: how will they pay for rent? How will they pay the water bills, the electricity bills and pay for the internet? Landlords need money in this crisis, but the money has to come from their tenants, who must balance out meager finances and the possibility of getting evicted.

Everything is intertwined. So many utilities are needed to carry on with life: with water and electricity as a given, adults and children alike need access to the internet and charging portals in order to stay active in their education and work. When there is not enough money for pay for all these resources, which ones must be sacrificed and which must be preserved?

The global stock market experienced a huge crash at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak that had an impact worse than the 2008 recession with the S&P dropping 20%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a record quarterly drop of 23%, the most since 1987. 

However, hopeful investors take this chance to buy stocks while their values are lower in expectation of the market bouncing back stronger in the future. Companies that have a stable history of increasing stock prices only increase more in these times, while those that don’t have as-stellar records do worse.

The effects of COVID-19 on economies everywhere will not be easily undone. It will take months and years for the world to recover even a portion of what existed prior to this disaster. The virus’ course has not fully run out, and its repercussions even more so.