It’s been one year since Covid was first announced on U.S. soil. The incoming Biden-Harris administration and other newly elected leaders inherit the largest economic, health and governmental crisis in nearly a century. Today, the National Conference on Citizenship is releasing its one-year anniversary edition of Pandemic to Prosperity, a highly-curated set of metrics that represent a baseline for measuring progress toward a more inclusive and sustainable future. History has shown that crises accelerate pre-existing trends and disparities, and permanently change societies and civic life. With the promise of widespread vaccinations in sight, the next months and years will be defined by the recovery—and an equitable recovery requires data. In this edition, our findings include:
- Today 1 in 3 Americans know someone who has died of Covid.
- The nation has lost 8.5 million jobs. In December jobs fell for the first time since Spring, and unemployment claims are 3 times higher than at the peak of the Great Recession.
- An estimated 3 million K-12 students nationwide were unable to continue learning amidst upended school situations.
- The majority of adults in 7 states anticipate they will be evicted or foreclosed upon in the next two months.
- Magnifying the misery of the pandemic, 2020 brought an unprecedented 22 “billion-dollar” weather and climate disasters to the U.S. including 7 hurricanes, a derecho scouring the Midwest with hurricane-force winds, and widespread wildfires across the West.
- This pandemic year has also seen a surge in civic engagement. Record-breaking numbers of people voted in the 2020 election—nearly 160 million up from 139 million in 2016. And more than 20,000 protests have taken place across the country, 96% of them peaceful.
Pandemic to Prosperity’s one-year anniversary report provides a unique opportunity to gain an overview of the interconnecting facets of American life impacted by the pandemic. The Pandemic to Prosperity series builds on the demonstrable success of The New Orleans Index, which tracked post-Katrina recovery. The chosen data are meant to help decision makers and community leaders to:
- Focus conversations on solutions rather than debating about facts;
- Identify needs and adapt priorities, policies, strategies, and investments over time to effect full and equitable recovery;
- Develop frequently updated situational awareness across sectors that support more innovation in addressing recovery challenges; and
- Establish a shared vision and a common operating picture to support working together and forming new partnerships.