Economic fallout from coronavirus pandemic is 'like a Charles Dickens novel,' policy expert laments

Protest signs calling for coronavirus relief measures.
(Image credit: ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

With lawmakers still haggling over coronavirus relief legislation, about 12 million Americans are poised to have their unemployment benefits cut off entirely by the end of the year, The Washington Post reports. Around the same number of people will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities, Moody's Analytics warns. Many unemployed Americans have been able to delay rent payments for the last few months, but eviction moratoriums will end soon, the Post notes.

"The tidal wave is coming," Charlie Harak, a senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told the Post. "It's going to be really horrible for people. The number of people who are now 90 days behind and the dollars they are behind are growing quite significantly."

Mark Wolfe, the executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association, said the pandemic fallout is "like a Charles Dickens novel," which are often noted for depicting trying social conditions. The current situation, Wolfe said, is "an evolving story of how people at the bottom are suffering." Read more at The Washington Post.

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