CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship November 20, 2020


November 20, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

November 20, 2020

The Holiday Cliff Edition.  Congress will be back home during the Thanksgiving week.  So, while there are 36 days from today to the date the last pandemic unemployment checks are sent (December 26), there are only 27 days from when they return.  On New Year’s Eve, the eviction moratorium will expire.  As we approach Thanksgiving, 26 million adults reported that in the past 7 days, their household sometimes or often did not have enough to eat – 12 percent.  Hunger was more frequent in households with children – 16 percent of adults living with children said they did not always have enough to eat in the previous week.

Millions of Americans are poised on a cliff this holiday season.  Jobless claims are rising, and pandemic unemployment insurance is expiring.  Large numbers are falling behind in rent, and if the eviction moratorium ends they will not be able to pay.  And all this is happening as COVID-19 tightens its grip on the nation.  Cases are rising steeply; we have exceeded 252,000 deaths and 11.7 million cases. Hospitalizations are taxing the capacity of the health care system; nursing home cases are spiking again.  School systems are reeling from the need to respond to the pandemic, as schools and other essential state and local workers are furloughed or laid off, without the funds they need to meet our needs.

It is a shameful failure that Congress has still not enacted more coronavirus relief, because Senate Majority Leader McConnell and his caucus have refused so far to agree to an adequate package. There are now glimmerings of hope that on Congress’ return, there will be negotiations to provide urgently needed relief.  If they come to agreement, millions of people can be spared the economic scarring that comes from eviction; hunger can be prevented; job losses can be reduced; COVID treatment and a vaccine can save lives.  Failure to act means further widening of racial gaps. Blacks and Latinx adults reported that, respectively, 19% and 22% of their households in the previous week did not always have enough to eat; for Whites, it was 9%.  Hunger, housing instability, and education losses are taking a serious toll on our children.  (For more about that, see our webinar, Our Children are in Danger.)

Senators’ constituents are hurting.  The economy is weakening.  During the week they are gone for Thanksgiving, it is a good guess that well over 8,000 people will die from COVID-29 (8,720 died this past week).  Constituents are asking their senators (you can, too):  do you care?  Will you finally act?



+77%, +52%, +49%


Increases in past week’s averages for COVID cases, deaths, and hospitalizations compared with the average from 2 weeks before. Tweet this.

1.1 million


Over the past 7 days (11/12-11/18) U.S. COVID cases rose by 1,139,712.  47 states plus D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico are seeing sustained increases in cases. Tweet this.

94,000; 35%


There were 94,000 deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care settings as of 11/18, up 7,000 deaths since October 30.  Deaths from COVID in nursing homes are 35% of all the COVID deaths. Tweet this.



36 days until the last checks are issued for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (December 26) – income about to expire for those with lost earnings due to the pandemic. Tweet this.

16 million


How many jobless workers will lose unemployment benefits by the time those two pandemic programs expire.  12m will be cut off on Dec. 26; 4.4m will have already exhausted benefits. Tweet this.



35 straight weeks of unemployment claims higher than the worst week of the Great Recession.  (Claims rose to 1.06m for week ending 11/14, up nearly 55,000 from previous week.)




41 days until the moratorium on evictions set by the CDC expires (December 31).  The CDC announced the moratorium because the overcrowding and homelessness resulting from mass evictions would worsen COVID’s spread.


1 in 4; nearly half


More than one in four adults living with children said they were behind in rent (26%); of those, 47.5% thought it was very or somewhat likely they would have to leave their house in the next two months due to eviction.  31% of Black and 16% of Latinx adults said their households owed back rent.

13.3 million


13.3 million adults living with children said their household sometimes or always did not have enough to eat in the past 7 days – that’s 1 in 6 (16%).




Hunger is much worse during the pandemic.  12% of adults in all households said they sometimes or always did not have enough to eat in the past 7 days, more than 3 times the percentage (3.7%) who said they did not have enough to eat at some point in all of 2019. (19% of Latinx and 22% of Black adults said their households did not have enough to eat in the past 7 days.)