The Corner

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Four Pieces of Terrible News about the Pandemic’s Effects

A woman wearing a face mask walks in Times Square following the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, March 16, 2020. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

1) When the economy contracted, employment declined most for the working class and poor. At first, a $600 boost to unemployment benefits more than offset this loss income-wise for many, but the boost is expired now. Meanwhile, jobs for the well-to-do barely declined and have fully rebounded.

A chart via the Washington Post:

2) Kids’ math learning shows exactly the same pattern. Those in the richest neighborhoods are doing fine — maybe even improving, thanks to being tutored by highly educated parents and hired help — but the picture is very grim down the income scale:

3) Suicidal ideation is way up. The CDC reports that a quarter of 18-t0-24-year-olds, when surveyed in late June, said they’d seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days. In a different survey in 2018, only 11 percent of 18-to-25-year-olds said they’d seriously considered suicide in the past year.

4) Social distancing increased domestic-violence calls by about 6 percent, per a new study.

Locking down was the right thing to do early in the pandemic, especially in the hardest-hit areas. But as restrictions drag on and many schools refuse to reopen, policymakers should pay much closer attention to indicators such as these.

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