Last week's National Accounts confirmed that Australia is in the deepest recession in almost a century.
A record one million are unemployed with another 400,000 set to join the jobless queue by the end of the year.
While economists measure recessions through abstract financial indicators, the actual impacts on people, families and the community are devastating.
Jobs are lost, businesses close, livelihoods destroyed through bankruptcies, families break down, people are forced into homelessness. While the nation will surely recover, some people never will.
The tired mantra of tax cuts, deregulation and weakening workers' rights will not fix this crisis.
We need a genuine plan to promote growth, protect and create jobs, support business and set Australia up for recovery. We need to address inequality and build a smarter, more self-reliant nation.
This should include strengthening Australia's manufacturing base, investment in emerging technologies, infrastructure, health and education.
We should make paid pandemic leave available to all workers, expand childcare and build more social housing. Corporations paying little to no tax and receiving JobKeeper shouldn't be paying massive bonuses to their executives and large dividends to shareholders.
History tells us that recessions are deeper and unemployment queues longer when governments get the recovery effort wrong.
With the right policy settings, we have an opportunity to emerge from this crisis a better, fairer nation.