The number of new Covid-19 cases per day may have peaked in Illinois, but that still means we have new cases every day. We have over 10,000 infected in the state, with the doubling period now at 12 days (from 2 days back mid-March). This coincides with unpleasant news from around the world:
- Covid-19 has become the second-leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 12,400 deaths per week, just behind heart disease which kills about 12,600.
- More than 5 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total unemployed to 22 million, the highest percentage of Americans out of work since 1933. April unemployment figures come out May 8th, when we will likely have confirmation of a 13-15% unemployment rate. Note that the unemployment rate was the lowest in history just two months ago.
- Consumer spending on nearly everything except groceries has fallen, in some places catastrophically. Chicago's heavy-rail authority, Metra, has seen ridership fall 97% system-wide and predicts a $500 million budget deficit this year. (For my own part, since my March 31st post on the subject, my spending on dining out, lunch, and groceries combined has fallen 70% month-over-month.)
- UK Foreign Secretary (and acting Prime Minister) Dominic Raab announced today that lockdown measures would continue in the UK "for at least the next three weeks," reasoning that premature relaxation would lead to a resurgence of the virus as seen worldwide in 1918.
- FiveThirtyEight explains why Covid-19 has caused so much more disruption than Ebola, SARS-1, and swine flu.
- Talking Points Memo takes a deeper look at the hidden mortality of Covid-19.
- Brian Dennehy has died at 81.
- Chicago could get 75 mm of snow tonight. In April. The middle of Spring. FFS.
But we also got some neutral-to-good news today:
I pitched the Goat-2-Meeting to my chorus board for our next meeting, and unfortunately got told we don't donate to other NPCs. I guess we're not a bleating-heart organization.