It is the mark of the times that one single virus has brought global activity to a complete halt, absolutely decimating the world economy and dragging it into a recession that experts believe is worse than the one we had in 2008-2009.

Wall Street just had its worst quarter since the 2008 financial crisis with the S&P 500 dropping a final 1.6 per cent rounding up the loss for January, February and March to 20 per cent.

“The consumer confidence survey was just before we got the really massive layoffs,” said Dan North, chief economist for North America at the credit insurance company Euler Hermes to NBC News. “Next month, it’s going to plummet.”

“People are trying to digest the length and magnitude of what the coronavirus impact is going to be,” said George Rusnak, the managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank, according to AP.

As the stealthy virus spreads its claws, businesses around the world are shutting down their doors and people are hunkering down in their homes. While Goldman Sachs economists expect the market growth to rebound in the third quarter, they expect the US economy to shrink 34 per cent in the second quarter.

It is certain that “huge challenges still lie ahead”, says Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe.