Across California, high unemployment and crashed economic activity are starting to pressure households as tens of millions of people have been forced by the government to "shelter in place" amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
A frightening new reality is starting to develop, one where households are becoming fractured because of the stress related to the virus outbreak. Many are experiencing job loss, limited savings, insurmountable debts, and or alcohol or drug abuse problems to cope with the financial pain as the economy dives into a depression in the second quarter. As a result of this unbearable stress, domestic abuse calls have skyrocketed in Sacramento, California, reported CBS13 Sacramento.
"Right now as we speak, one in five women are being assaulted, right here in Sacramento County," said Donna Brown, an employee at A Community Peace organization that helps victims of domestic violence. "It puts most of the abusers in the home with the family more frequently than usual."
Brown said she had seen a massive influx in the number of domestic violence calls in the last several weeks.
"Abusers that are maybe not going to work or the victims aren't going to work and the children are home, or there's a loss of income so it's just a pressure cooking the environment that they're in," said Incoming Executive Director Laura Clegg.
CBS13 called several county and state resources that would typically help victims, and some were operating on limited schedules and or others were entirely closed. Since the shutdowns began, the Victims of Crime Resource Center in Sacramento recorded a 40% jump in domestic violence calls across the county.
Cracking households suggest that the onset of social unrest is on the horizon. This is a huge concern for the Trump administration, who is attempting to dish out hundreds of billions of dollars in universal basic income in the next several weeks to prevent protests and riots.
We noted last Friday that the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warned that social unrest could unfold across major Western cities in the weeks ahead.
Americans should be deeply disturbed about the near-total meltdown of normal life – the unraveling's of the economy and social fabric could quickly result in protests. Stress starts at work, then transmits into the household, with millions out of work, households breaking down, it is becoming increasingly clear that a perfect storm of social destabilization is nearing.
Down the coast in Los Angeles, more specifically in Beverly Hills, high-end stores have boarded up their windows and doors in anticipation of civil unrest.
In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows.
Meanwhile, stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Paris, Vancouver, and elsewhere were similarly boarded up.
The next chapter of the virus crisis could be social unrest. Maybe the US could take a page from Greenland and or even France, as local governments in those regions have banned alcohol sales to prevent social decay while in shutdowns.