1. The crisis is political in a novel way.
All crises, especially economic crises, are political. But this is likely the first time that a crisis of economic production and circulation has been catalyzed by the intentional decisions of elected representatives during peacetime. Lockdowns, commands to shelter-at-home, calls for “social distancing”: all of these were proclaimed directly by presidents, prime ministers, legislatures, governors, and mayors, with full foreknowledge of the devastating economic effects that such orders would bring. Shutting down large swathes of retail and services, maintaining only “essential” production, and closing schools and daycares have together produced staggering collapses of economic activity and equally staggering surges in unemployment.