Total Cost = 94(!) Hurricane Katrina’s

The coronavirus crisis has cost the United States at least $16 trillion in terms of lost lives, lost quality of life, and lost economic activity.

–Amitabh Chandra, Harvard health economist; quoted in The New York Times (11/14/2020).

Just how big a wallop is the pandemic?

It may be years before its true impact is known.

Plus, the pandemic is still very much in-progress — in fact, it’s intensifying as I write this.

But, perhaps the best way to convey the true magnitude of Covid-19 so far is by comparing it to the most costly hurricane in U.S. history, Katrina.

Benchmark: Hurricane Katrina

Using $170 billion as Katrina’s cost (in today’s dollars), and $16 trillion for the pandemic, that comes to 94 Hurricane Katrinas.

To repeat: the Covid-19 pandemic’s total effect on the U.S., just so far, is equivalent to suffering 94¬†Hurricane Katrinas.

That’s an average of more than two a week since last March.

That the U.S. is bearing up under that horrific strain, however wobbly it may feel at the moment, is something everyone should be proud of.

That’s in addition to simultaneously managing the worst civil unrest in 50 years; grappling with accelerating climate change (witness this year’s unprecedented forest fire and hurricane seasons); and conducting a successful Presidential election, notwithstanding the incumbent’s despicable efforts to undermine it.

It may not be vanquishing the Depression or winning World War II . . . but it ain’t beanbag, either¬†(to quote a friend).

No wonder everyone is so exhausted and frayed — on top of the millions who’ve been sick, and the almost 250,000 who’ve died.

Hang in there!

It’s just a couple more months until the calvary vaccine(s) arrive . . .

P.S.: Once Coronavirus is finally defeated and a semblance of normalcy has returned, I have a proposal for the next Federal monument: an Iwo Jima-like memorial to the millions of brave, selfless healthcare workers who held the medical system together.

In the meantime . . . besides expressing our gratitude, the least society can do is make sure they have all the personal protective equipment (“PPE”) they need.

See also, “The Ultimate Impeachable Offense: A Commander-in-Chief Who Uses Their Office to Jeopardize U.S. Democracy and the Peaceful Transfer of Power.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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