Home News 3 Stories You Should Read 4/1/2020: Federal Prisons, Facemasks, Unemployment

3 Stories You Should Read 4/1/2020: Federal Prisons, Facemasks, Unemployment

by Confluence
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In the category of:  Back to the 20’s 

Coronavirus could lead to the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression

The upcoming jobs report will be far too rosy. The reality is much grimmer.

On March 24, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, to not much fanfare, predicted that unemployment in the United States was about to skyrocket to a point higher than that reached at the peak of the Great Depression: 32 percent.

That is an astonishing — even incomprehensible — figure. Just four weeks ago, before the coronavirus pandemic plunged us into a recession, unemployment was at 3.5 percent. During the depths of the Great Recession, the highest unemployment reached was 10 percent. Nearly a century ago, in the Great Depression, the worst figure was 24.9 percent — lower if you count people in work relief jobs as employed.

The so-called back-of-the-envelope calculation by the St. Louis Fed is simply staggering. If anywhere close to accurate, it suggests Americans have barely come to grips with the coming economic calamity.



In the category of:  Get your gear

Coronavirus: US ‘considers cloth face masks for public’

How could the US advice on face masks change?

The Washington Post obtained memos from the CDC, which said that cloth masks could help prevent the spread of the virus if people wore them in public, even during simple tasks like visiting the supermarket.

The advice is being shared with the White House coronavirus task force for their consideration, the Washington Post reports.

While there has been no change to the official guidance yet, there has been a clear change in tone from officials over the last few days.



In the category of:  Lockdown in lockup 

Federal prisons start 14-day lockdown to fight virus

Judge calls for action to protect vulnerable inmates before it’s ‘too late.’

Federal prisons are ordering inmates confined to their cells for the next two weeks in order to fight spread of the coronavirus in the cramped confines of U.S. government-run penal institutions.

The lockdown will begin Wednesday and could be extended, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement late Tuesday.

Some exceptions will be allowed in an effort to maintain normal programs and sanitation, the statement said.

“Limited group gathering will be afforded to the extent practical to facilitate commissary, laundry, showers, telephone, and [computer] access,” the Bureau’s announcement said. “During this time, to the extent practicable, inmates should still have access to programs and services that are offered under normal operating procedures, such as mental health treatment and education.”




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