Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Call It the Great Panic of 2020

 

In the last 100+ years we had The Great War (later “World War I”), the Great Depression, and the Great Recession. I think it’s time to give a name to the first self-inflicted worldwide depression: the Great Panic of 2020. Getting the right name for the current crisis could frame the public debate on the policy solution. Other suggestions for a name are welcome in the comments section.

Financial depressions in the 19th Century were known as “panics.” The Panic of 1837 was one of the worst with bank failures, bankruptcies, and 25% unemployment. Some historians believe it lasted almost seven years.

Reporters and talking heads on TV are constantly attributing the current depression to the coronavirus pandemic. I don’t agree. It’s the reaction of governments all over the world to the COVID-19 pandemic that has destroyed millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of wealth. Dennis Prager in a recent column made the case for “why the worldwide lockdown is not only a mistake but also, possibly, the worst mistake the world has ever made.”

The body’s auto-immune system’s reaction to the COVID-19 virus can cause a cytokine storm which fatally attacks the lungs and other major organs. Similarly, the lockdown policies to the COVID-19 are a reaction that affects public health.

Many people are dying, or will die, because of the body politic’s overreaction to the virus. They are the patients who are not receiving medical tests, treatment, and care because of the shutdown of “non-essential” medical care at hospitals all over the western world.

The Great Panic of 2020 is harming the economy directly. Opinion polls indicate that people are afraid to return to their normal routines. If 75% of the public refuse to eat at a restaurant, go to a movie theater, fly in an airliner, or go on a cruise, how can the economy start any recovery?

The sad fact is that the COVID-19 virus is fatally afflicting a small segment of the population, (e.g. the elderly, especially people in nursing homes). For example in Minnesota, about 80% of the deaths associated with COVID-19 are in nursing homes and the victims have a median age of 83 years.

A sane policy would revive the economy for everyone else while protecting those vulnerable people from infection.

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  1. Southern Pessimist Member

    I think you nailed it. The Great Panic of 2020. I can’t think of a better nomenclature.

    • #1
    • May 10, 2020, at 8:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Randy Webster Member

    My daughter is 38. Her chances of harm from Covid 19 approach 0%, but you will not catch her on a plane for the foreseeable future.

    • #2
    • May 10, 2020, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge

    At least our government is not hurting, financially speaking. The Dems brand new HR 6666 Omnibus Act for Contact tracing promises 100 billion dollars for the programs these people insist we need, just for our current year of 2020.

    • #3
    • May 10, 2020, at 8:47 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Flicker Coolidge

    I would call it The Crisis — and leave the Great to the future to augment it if it doesn’t resolve well.

    The word Crisis is emphatic and vague, just like this crisis we’re experiencing. It’s an economic crisis. It’s a medical crisis. It’s a geopolitical crisis. It’s a civil liberties crisis. It’s a crisis of confidence in the honesty of governments and the governments of major countries and of world organizations. It’s a psychological crisis to individuals and families, and to world leaders. No one knows who or what to believe or what to do. (Even the statistics are in dispute from country to country and within a given country.) It’s a World-wide Perplexity.

    The Great Perplexity.

    • #4
    • May 10, 2020, at 8:48 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge

    Here is an illustration for your essay, Lensman:

     

    • #5
    • May 10, 2020, at 8:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Sandy Member

    Well done! Your analogy to the overreaction of the immune system is likewise brilliant.

    • #6
    • May 10, 2020, at 8:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. The Reticulator Member

    I’d tend to call it the Great Bailout Crisis of 2020.

    • #7
    • May 10, 2020, at 9:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Flicker Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’d tend to call it the Great Bailout Crisis of 2020.

    The Great Printing of 2020.

    • #8
    • May 10, 2020, at 9:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Here is an illustration for your essay, Lensman:

     

    Sadly, I doubt we have even started to get anywhere close to the bottom. Guess we can thank Trump for the greatest economy and the worse economy since the Great Depression. Done in one year. After this farce if anybody votes GOP again they need their head examined 

    • #9
    • May 10, 2020, at 10:34 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I like the “Great Panic of 2020” but would like to have ‘Modeling’ added to it – this was all caused by an overreaction to a real threat but one focused to a pretty specific demographic. Hopefully people will be more suspect or the next phase of this Doomsday modeling – Climate Change.

    • #10
    • May 11, 2020, at 5:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Lensman: The body’s auto-immune system’s reaction to the COVD-19 virus can cause a cytokine storm which fatally attacks the lungs and other major organs. Similarly, the lockdown policies to the COVD-19 are a reaction that affects public health.

    Perfect analogy!

    • #11
    • May 11, 2020, at 8:16 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Here is an illustration for your essay, Lensman:

    Sadly, I doubt we have even started to get anywhere close to the bottom. Guess we can thank Trump for the greatest economy and the worse economy since the Great Depression. Done in one year. After this farce if anybody votes GOP again they need their head examined

    I can see thanking him for the greatest part of your comment – it was a result of his policies and influence, and was intentional.

    I don’t see what he had to do with the worst part, other than simply being President while it happened. How does that become something we have to “thank” him for?

    • #12
    • May 11, 2020, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Roderic Reagan

    Chinese Evil Duplicity Pandemic Economic Depression (CEDPED).

    • #13
    • May 11, 2020, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Flapjack Member

    The Viral Panic of 2020.

     

    • #14
    • May 11, 2020, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. The Reticulator Member

    Flapjack (View Comment):

    The Viral Panic of 2020.

     

    Not bad. Not bad at all. But how about The Unwasted Crisis of 2020?

    • #15
    • May 11, 2020, at 12:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Full Size Tabby Member

    Lensman: It’s the reaction of governments all over the world to the COVID-19 pandemic that has destroyed millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of wealth.

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    My daughter is 38. Her chances of harm from Covid 19 approach 0%, but you will not catch her on a plane for the foreseeable future.

    Yeah, the Great Panic of 2020 has been caused by both overreaction by millions of otherwise normal people as well as overreaction by government.

    And I like “Panic” over “Crisis” because I am firmly in the camp that the situation has been created by intentional bad human choices, not by some amorphous cause that is beyond human control.

    • #16
    • May 11, 2020, at 12:25 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. James Lileks Contributor

    I have the feeling that future historians will be discussing the particulars of the Wuhan Virus to the same extent that we discuss the movements of Gavrilo Princip in June 28th, 1914.

    • #17
    • May 11, 2020, at 9:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Here is an illustration for your essay, Lensman:

    Sadly, I doubt we have even started to get anywhere close to the bottom. Guess we can thank Trump for the greatest economy and the worse economy since the Great Depression. Done in one year. After this farce if anybody votes GOP again they need their head examined

    I can see thanking him for the greatest part of your comment – it was a result of his policies and influence, and was intentional.

    I don’t see what he had to do with the worst part, other than simply being President while it happened. How does that become something we have to “thank” him for?

    Trump has been on TV almost daily claiming credit for the government’s response to COVID that is destroying the economy. The Federal government’s action has been at his direction. Much of the state and local governments’ actions have been at the Trump Administrations guidance. He is not responsible for COVID but he is responsible for his administrations response to it.

    • #18
    • May 12, 2020, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • Like