Keep in mind that even for the best economists, predicting the future of the economy is about as accurate as predicting the future of the weather—and for the very same reason. Both the economy and the weather are very complex systems with lots of independently moving parts.
While we may be facing the worst recession in the past quarter century—we've only had two recessions during that time and both were mild—I think it's very unlikely that this recession will be worse than the early 1980's recession.
At the beginning of the early 1980's recession, annual inflation was 10.3%. At the peak of the early 1980's recession, unemployment reached 10.8%. By comparison, today the inflation rate is only 3.9% and the unemployment rate is only 5.5%.