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A theater worker dismantles the sign at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston, Virginia. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Brace yourselves for one of the toughest weeks in recent American history.

Why it matters: This is all the tougher because the hardships are intentional results of attempting to prevent a much greater calamity.

  • Service workers across the country are out of work after restaurants and bars closed up over the last few days.
  • 45% of all hotel jobs have been or will be eliminated in the next few weeks, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
  • "Much worse" than 9/11 for the travel industry: United Airlines says that this crisis is a greater threat to its existence than the aftermath of Sept. 11.
  • The shelter-in-place orders are coming to the East Coast. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents to get ready to experience what's already happening on the West Coast.
  • Add to that the chance of tens of thousands of oil industry job losses, with the Saudis and Russians escalating their price war.

The big picture: It's going to keep getting worse for a while, even if the government and private citizens do everything right.

  • When we get testing up to speed, America's case count will soar.
  • As we get social distancing to work properly, big chunks of America's economy will shut down.
  • If/when we flatten the curve, getting things back to normal will be a start-stop process, denying people the stability that's so important to everyday life.

The bottom line: This will hit harder with local operations than big national firms.

  • In Washington D.C. on Tuesday, beloved Compass Coffee laid off 150 of its 189 workers.

Go deeper

Highlights from Biden's marathon 2-hour press conference

President Biden answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 19. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden Wednesday marked the end of his first year in office with a marathon press conference from the White House East Room, during which he defended his record in office and made headlines on several fronts.

Why it matters: It was only Biden's second solo presser while in office. The president said he would support splitting his flagship budget bill, the Build Back Better Act, to pass it in increments. He also called on the Federal Reserve to do more against inflation, and predicted that Russia will invade Ukraine.

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."