Anthony Fauci predicts the coronavirus is here to stay.
While the White House advises people to stay away from each other for only 15 days , the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has just said that Americans will have to self-isolate for at least “several weeks.”
Dr/ Fauci is one of America’s most prominent and respected authorities on infections. If he’s right, then the implications of several weeks of self-isolation will be grave. And in more ways than one.
First, millions of Americans will go absolutely stir crazy locked in their homes for weeks on end. Couples may end up divorcing, if the example of China is anything to go by.
Secondly, a lockdown on millions of workers will send the American economy into a destructive tailspin.
Some analysts are already forecasting the biggest quarterly contraction in U.S. history for Q2 2020. If self-isolation has to continue beyond “several weeks,” America could enter another Great Depression, as some are now predicting.
Speaking Friday on NBC’s Today, Dr. Fauci probably dispelled any lingering optimism Americans had about the coronavirus outbreak.
Just a day after California becoming the first state to enter a full lockdown , Fauci predicted just how long he thinks people will be staying at home.
If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks in other areas, it’s going to be at least several weeks. I cannot see all of a sudden next week or two weeks or three weeks from now it’s going to all of a sudden be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that… it’s going to be several weeks.
Say it ain’t so, Fauci. Anyone hoping for this whole coronavirus thing to be resolved in a few days is going to be sorely disappointed. And for many of those listening to Fauci speak, they think “weeks” means “months.”
Even after a few days of isolation, thousands of Americans are already starting to go mad. Just search “#QuarantineLife” on Twitter:
Just imagine this after three or four weeks. Then imagine it after two or three months. Millions of Americans will be climbing up the walls. Literally.
As Fauci implies, if a coronavirus lockdown really is to be effective it needs to last at least two months, as in the case of China . And much like China, expect the divorce rate to rise . Prepare to hate your family.
If Fauci is correct about a prolonged lockdown, not only will your mind and social life be destroyed, but so too will the American economy.
Already, forecasters at JP Morgan are expecting the U.S. economy to contract 14% between April and June . This would be the biggest quarterly contraction ever recorded.
Even if American GDP doesn’t shrink by this much, the effect of keeping millions of workers at home is likely to be destructive.
Former Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett is predicting another Great Depression , assuming that we’re all kept at home.
We’re going to have to either have a Great Depression, or figure out a way to send people back to work even though that’s risky.
Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackmann made an even starker prediction Wednesday on CNBC :
Until a vaccine is manufactured, distributed and injected we will go through a Depression-era period in the country. America will end as we know it unless we take this option.
So strap yourselves in. It’s going to be a bumpy — and boring — ride.