Thursday Numbers

The Western Word is coming to you, STILL coronavirus free, from deep inside an underground bunker in Montana. The bunker also serves as the worldwide headquarters for The Western Word blog!

Quote of the day…

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive
– Imagine Dragons (Video)

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include cash infusions, throwing money at the virus, unemployment, gas prices, virus polls, federal government plan, 2020 Census, those eight U.S. Senators, our wartime president, the non-partisan virus, spring has sprung, and much more!


Details on Trump’s economic rescue plan remain sparse — and it’s sure to grow with lawmaker add-ons — but its centerpiece is to dedicate $500 billion to start issuing direct payments to Americans by early next month. The Treasury Department proposed two $250 billion cash infusions to individuals: a first set of checks issued starting April 6, with a second wave in mid-May. The amounts would depend on income and family size. (AP)

You get a wad of cash and you get a wad of cash…


President Donald Trump signed a $100 billion bill aimed at mitigating the economic fallout of coronavirus. It guarantees paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, and adds funding for Medicaid, unemployment benefits and food aid. It comes amid fears of widespread economic devastation caused by COVID-19. (MSNBC)

Seems like a part of our government’s plan is to throw money at the virus…


In the week ending March 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 281,000, an increase of 70,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 211,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since September 2, 2017, when it was 299,000. The 4-week moving average was 232,250, an increase of 16,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018, when it was 234,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 214,000 to 215,750. (

There are rumors that before this virus is contained in the United States, we could see unemployment rates as high as 20%.


Gas prices have been trending sharply downward for the past few weeks, but could go much lower according to Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan said on Monday that the national average could soon hit $1.99, with $1.49 on the horizon and some stations potentially pricing a gallon of regular as low as 99 cents. (

That means we will be able to travel further to buy toilet paper, food, and ammo…


Seventy-four percent of Americans are afraid of accidentally spreading the virus to vulnerable people even if they are asymptomatic, according to a new survey from Harris Poll. But they’re not changing their daily patterns to actually mitigate risk to other people, according to the survey of 2,050 U.S. adults between March 14 and March 15. (Harris Poll)

I saw people through the window today; that’s enough social interaction…


Just 46% of Americans now say the federal government is doing enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, down from 61% in February. (NPR)

I’m waiting for Trump to try and cancel/delay the November elections “for the good of the country.” Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal reports that Congress would need to step into the picture to make any significant alterations to the general election date. That date was fixed as the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 by an act of Congress in 1845 and cannot be changed—not by the president, not by state election officials—absent new legislation.


A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves,” resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system. (

The good news is that today is the first day of spring…


I completed my family’s 2020 Census questionnaire online. It took about 10 minutes. (2020 Census)

Make sure you complete your questionnaire!


Here are the names of the eight U.S. Senators who voted against the coronavirus relief package on Wednesday:

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Jim Inhofe (R-OK); James Lankford (R-OK); Mike Lee (R-UT); Rand Paul (R-KY); Ben Sasse (R-NE); Tim Scott (R-SC), and Ron Johnson (R-WI). (Esquire)

I was probably most surprised at Sasse being on the list. I like him. In case you did not notice, they are all Republicans.


President Donald Trump on Wednesday began to invoke the rhetoric of “a wartime president” as he told reporters he views himself as one, while his administration fights to contain the spread of coronavirus and mitigate the economic fallout from the global pandemic. (Politico)

I hope his bone spurs don’t act up again – Trump received military draft deferments five times — once for bad feet and four times for college. (Business Insider)


U.S. Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams have become the first two members of Congress to test positive for coronavirus. (CNN)

Diaz-Balart is a Republican and McAdams is a Democrat. It’s good to see the virus is non-partisan.


In 2020, the spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) occurs on Thursday, March 19, which is earlier than it’s been in over a century! This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. (

The weather forecast in Great Falls, Montana, for today, calls for a high of 23 and low of 11 degrees.