It Is Easy to Overreact to the Chinese Coronavirus

Recently, a new coronavirus has been causing many illnesses and deaths. The virus first became active in Wuhan, China, but it has already spread to the rest of China. Scattered cases have been identified around the rest of the world as well.

There are two important questions that are already being encountered:

  • How much of an attempt should be made to limit the spread of the new virus? For example, should businesses close to prevent the spread of the virus?
  • Should this disease be publicized as being far worse than flu viruses that circulate each year and cause many deaths among the elderly and people in poor health? The median age of those dying from the new coronavirus seems to be about 75.

Unfortunately, there aren’t easy answers. We can easily see the likely outcome of under reaction. More people might die of the disease. More people might find themselves out of work for a couple of weeks or more with the illness. We tend to be especially concerned about ourselves and our own relatives.

The thing that is harder to see is that reacting too vigorously can have a hugely detrimental impact on the world economy. The world economy depends on international trade and tourism. China plays a key role in the world economy. Quarantines of whole regions that last for weeks and months can have a very detrimental impact on the wages of people in the area and profits of local companies. Problems with debt can be expected to spike. The greater the reaction to the coronavirus, the more likely the world economy will be pushed toward recession and job loss.

The following are a few of my thoughts regarding possible overreaction:

[1] The Chinese coronavirus seems to be extremely contagious, even before a person who has been exposed shows any symptoms. The only way we can be certain to contain the virus seems to be through quarantines lasting up to 14 days.

China’s National Health Minister, Ma Xiaowei, has provided information that seems quite alarming. With the new virus, a person may become communicable shortly after he/she has been infected, but symptoms may not appear for up to 14 days. This allows the infected person to infect many others without realizing that he/she is a carrier for the disease.

Today, the United States and many other countries screen for the virus by checking passengers arriving on planes from affected areas for fevers. Given the information provided by China’s National Health Minister, this approach seems unlikely to be sufficient to catch all of the people who may eventually come down with the disease. If a country really wants to identify all the potential carriers of the disease, it appears that a 14-day quarantine for all travelers from infected areas may be needed.

Such a quarantine becomes administratively difficult to handle for the huge number of people who are likely to travel from China. Such a quarantine would make it impossible for pilots and other airline workers to make a living, for example. They would be spending too much of their time in quarantine to do the work needed to support themselves and their families.

A related concern is that person-to-person transmission is very easy with the Chinese coronavirus. We don’t know for certain how many people each infected individual infects, but one estimate is that each infected person transmits the disease to an average of 2.5 other people. With this transmission rate, the number of people having the disease can be expected to grow exponentially, perhaps for several months.

Based on these concerns, it seems to me that funds spent on trying to contain the coronavirus are likely to be largely wasted. The new Chinese virus will spread widely, regardless of attempts to contain it. At most, quarantines will slightly slow the transmission of the disease. At the same time, quarantines will be quite disruptive of commerce. They will tend to reduce both total wages and total output of goods and services of the area.

[2] Deaths from pathogens are part of the natural cycle. They help prune back the population of the old and weak.

We know that in ecosystems, one of the functions of naturally occurring fires is to clear out “deadwood,” to allow healthy new growth to occur. In fact, some types of seeds seem to require smoke for germination. When inadequate natural burning takes place, bushfires as seen in Australia and forest fires as seen in California become an increasing problem.

Deaths from pathogens seem to play a similar role in human economies. This is especially the case with pathogens that especially target the weak and old. Most flu viruses have this characteristic. Early reports of deaths from the coronavirus suggest that this same pattern of targeting the old and weak is occurring with this virus as well. As noted above, the median age of those dying from the new coronavirus seems to be about 75 years.

Since the 1940s, modern medicine has been able to develop antibiotics and vaccines to counteract the impact of many pathogens. This, of course, makes citizens happy, but it has the disadvantage of changing the population in a way that leaves the economy with a much higher percentage of elderly people and others in poor health. This higher level of elderly and medically needy people makes it easy for viruses and other pathogens to make their rounds, just as leaving deadwood on the forest floor makes it easier for fires to spread.

With this rising population of people who cannot support themselves, tax rates for the remaining citizens tend to become very high. Young workers may become discouraged because they do not have enough income remaining after paying taxes to raise their own families. In effect, they cannot support both their young families and the many old people.

Viewed from this unusual perspective, the operation of the Chinese coronavirus might even be considered a benefit to society as a whole. The world has overcome the impact of measles, typhoid, polio, and many other diseases. In some sense, it “needs” a new disease added to its portfolio, to replace the ones that have been mostly taken care of by modern medicine. In this way, pensions and other payments targeting the old and weak don’t become too great a burden on the young.

[3] If the Chinese coronavirus were simply allowed to run its course, without publicity that it was in any way unusual, somewhat less than 1% of the world’s population might be expected to die. 

To see what would happen if the Chinese coronavirus were to run its course, we might look at what happened with the Spanish Flu, back in 1918. At that time, doctors did not have a way of treating the virus and authorities downplayed concern for the disease. The US Center for Disease Control reports that 500 million people, or one-third of the world’s population, became infected. At least 50 million people (about 10% of those infected) died.

We don’t yet know with accuracy how many of those infected will die from the current virus. A recent estimate is that about 2.3% of those who are infected will die of the disease (based on 107 dying out of 4,600 infected). If we assume that the percentage of the population that will ultimately catch the new virus is 30%, then the share of the world’s population that would be expected to die would be about [(1/3) x 2.3% = 0.76%].

The UN estimates that the world’s population can be expected to grow by about 1.05% in 2020. If this is the case, the effect of the Chinese virus would be to sharply dampen the population increase for the year. Instead of population rising by 1.05%, it would rise by only 0.29% (= 1.05% – 0.76%), assuming all of the deaths associated with the Chinese coronavirus take place within a year. While this would be a change, it would be a fairly small, temporary change.

All of these deaths would be tragic for the families involved but, in a way, they would be less of a problem than the deaths that took place back in 1918. At that time, mortality was high for healthy 20- to 40-year olds, making the flu particularly disruptive for families. The total percentage of the population that died was also much higher, about 3% instead of 0.76%.

[4] A major danger of the virus seems to be one of overreaction.

Today’s world economy is fragile. China, like other countries, has a large amount of debt. Debt defaults related to poor profits of companies closing their operations for a time and workers losing income could easily skyrocket.

Closing down transportation from China would risk pushing the world economy into a very bad recession. In fact, simply having a very large number of people out sick from work would be expected to have an adverse impact on the economy. Spending a large amount of money on hospitalizations and face masks cannot compensate for the loss of productivity of the rest of the economy. Thus, the tendency would be toward recession in China, even if no action toward cutting off travel were taken.

China is a huge supplier of goods to the rest of the world. In fact, in 2016, it used more energy in producing industrial output than the United States, India, Russia and Japan combined.

Figure 1. Chart by the International Energy Agency showing total fuel consumed (TFC) by industry, for the top five fuel consuming nations of the world.

China’s economy has been growing very rapidly since 1990. Figure 2 shows this one way, in GDP comparisons using inflation-adjusted US dollars.

Figure 2. GDP of China and the United States, computed as percentages of World GDP. All amounts in 2010 US dollars, as provided by the World Bank.

Figure 3 is similar to Figure 2, except the growth comparison is made in “2011 Purchasing Power Parity International Dollars.” This adjustment is made because typically the currencies of less developed nations float far below the dollar, in terms of what the local currency will buy. The inflation-adjusted PPP comparison compares output on a basis that is expected to be more consistent with what the local currency will really purchase.

Figure 3. Ratios of the GDP of China and the United States to the World GDP. All amounts in 2011 Purchasing Power Parity International Dollars, as provided by the World Bank.

On this PPP basis, China’s GDP surpassed the US’s GDP in 2014. Figure 3 also shows that the United States has slipped from about 20% of the world’s GDP to about 15% on this basis.

We cannot simply cut off trade with China, regardless of how bad the situation is. China is too big and too important now. The rest of the world desperately needs goods and services produced in China, in spite of what is going wrong from an illness perspective. China plays too key a role in supply chains of many kinds for the country to be left out.

Even cutting off tourism becomes a problem. The share of China’s revenue from tourism amounted to 11% in 2018. While not all of this would drop off, even a dip would lead to lower employment in this part of its economy. Jet fuel use would drop as well.

[5] A particular problem today is low prices for many commodities, including oil and other fossil fuels. These prices are likely to fall further, if China’s economy falters further. 

We used to hear that the world would “run out of” oil and that oil prices would rise very high. In fact, if the people who were concerned about the issue had studied history, they would have figured out that a far more likely outcome would be “collapse.” In such a situation, prices of many commodities might fall too low. Revelation 18:11-13 provides a list of a number of commodities, including humans sold as slaves, for which prices dropped very low at the time of the collapse of ancient Babylon.

The problem is a different squeeze than a high-price squeeze. It is more of a growing wage disparity problem, with fewer and fewer of the world’s workers being able to afford the goods and services made by the world economy. This problem feeds back to commodity prices that fall too low for producers of many types. The problem is an affordability issue, rather than one of running out. I have written about this issue many times.

Prices of fossil fuels have been low for a very long time–essentially since late 2014. OPEC has cut back its oil production because of low oil prices. Several US natural gas producers have taken big write offs on natural gas investments. China’s coal production has remained below its 2013 level, because of low prices.

Figure 1. China energy production by fuel, based on 2019 BP Statistical Review of World Energy data. “Other Ren” stands for “Renewables other than hydroelectric.” This category includes wind, solar, and other miscellaneous types, such as sawdust burned for electricity.

If China finds it necessary to cut back on production of goods and services for any reason (excessive sickness within China, visitors aren’t traveling to China, tariffs, customers around the world aren’t buying cars), this reduction in output would be likely to further lower the prices of commodities. More producers would go bankrupt. Countries exporting products as diverse as oil, iron ore, copper and lithium might have economic difficulties.

Lower fossil fuel prices may lead to a cutback in their output, but it is doubtful that this cutback would be offset by an increase in the production of renewables. Falling fossil fuel prices would make the price comparison of renewables to fossil fuels look even worse than it does today. China has cut back on its subsidies for solar panels, and this has led to decreasing Chinese solar installations in both 2018 and 2019.

[6] The best approach might just be to let the Chinese coronavirus run its course. Authorities might also discourage stories about how awful the illness is.

Today, we seem to think that we can fix all problems. Unfortunately, this medical problem doesn’t seem to be fixable in the near-term. We should probably do as governments through the ages have done, which is not very much. We should not publicize the disease as being a whole lot worse than flu viruses in general, for example.

We should certainly look for inexpensive treatments for the disease. For example, there seems to be an effort to examine the possibility of using existing antiviral drugs as a treatment. It seems like an effort could be made to look into ways of treating the disease at home, perhaps using supplemental oxygen for a period. In time, perhaps a vaccine can be developed.

Individuals around the world should be encouraged to get themselves in as good health as possible, so that their own immune systems can fight off pathogens of all types, not just this particular virus. Common sense should be used in washing hands and in avoiding being with sick people. I doubt that it makes sense to encourage the use of masks, goggles and other protective devices.

We, as individuals, cannot live forever on this earth. We also cannot spend an unlimited percentage of GDP on health care: It becomes too high-cost for most citizens. At some point, we need to call a halt to the expectation that we can fix all problems. We live in a world with limited resources. We need to start lowering our expectations, if we don’t want to make our problems worse.

This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged , , , by Gail Tverberg. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.

1,772 thoughts on “It Is Easy to Overreact to the Chinese Coronavirus

  1. North Korea reports no CV19 cases thank goodness. 🙂 Not sure you would want to disclose CV19 symptoms in NK.

      • Well there you go! Get rid of those test kits problem solved. Im not sure they have antibiotics let alone test kits. Nor are they building hospitals in 7 days. My understanding is the NK border with china is rather porous. I think its rather likely that there are a substantial number of CV19 infections in NK. Their response will make Chinas virus police look like a my little pony episode. Hence zero infections! Comrade you look ill! No Comrade never been better!

        If the NK border with China gets shut you will know stuff is getting real. NK might end up with two DMZs.

    • North Korea’s economy is sustained by smuggling from China. There was someone, who had visited China, infected in Pyongyang.

      A suspected infectee had escaped his place of quarantine and took a bath in a spa. He was caught , and it is said they cured his infection with a bullet to his head.

      • Hubei province and its capital Wuhan are centrally located in China…

        that’s quite a fortunate location for a virus that wants to replicate itself…

        Beijing, in the north, is much closer to NK…

        when the outbreak eventually hits Beijing hard, then it will not be long before NK is devastated…

        unless Rocket Boy seals his northern border…

    • The Coronavirus genome has less than 32,000 bases (letters). This compares with the Human genome which has about 6 billion bases. The original sequencing in 2003 cost billions of dollars. It now costs less than $1000 for a sequence.

      • A complex global structure, created by complex humans, now on the verge of collapse by a simple bug.

        • It could collapse if the reaction to it is such that the world economy caves in. My estimation of what will happen is the super wealthy will issue an edict via their political lackeys that we, the regular hard working stiffs on this planet, will be expected to work or face eviction and starve, and if we collapse on the job, we’ll be dragged away to a facility to mingle with all the other suffering patients on a soup diet. If we eventually test negative, we’ll be returned to society to try and find another basket of part time jobs.

          • I have never felt happier to be self-employed, I can only order myself back to work, no mask needed!

            Of course, I could well lose my few remaining customers even if I don’t succumb: they are all in the higher risk age group and the best one is a very heavy smoker- but that’s always the risk of going one’s own way in life.

            I should hate to be taking the daily train or subway to work now, entering an office building, wondering if…….

            • Xabier, in M P Shiel’s “The Purple Cloud”, the last man alive relocated to the island of Imbros and built (by hand) a fantastic palace. Perhaps I shall end up the sole inhabitant of an island one quarter that size. Shiel’s “hero” eventually found the last surviving woman, … well, science fiction doesn’t have to make sense.

  2. This is like saying he read the book in 15 minutes therefor he can write a book in 15 minutes.

    • The virus definitely will play a role in collapse.

      I am not sure I can believe Figure 2 in the post.

      I know that there has been a crackdown on non-bank lending, so I expected shadow banks balance sheets to be falling relative to bank lending. Instead, they seem to be rising rapidly.

  3. Well, a summary from ZeroHedge utilizing JPM and other data. The good news for Greta is China is seriously reducing pollution, the bad news, well, probably not much else is happening either.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/china-has-ground-halt-ground-indicators-confirm-worst-case-scenario

    The idea the virus escaped from a lab, not a bat seems to be hitting more and more media. All we need is the forecasts of a decrease of 8 watts /meter squared of sunlight on the earth due to solar minimum to be accurate and, well, ski resorts will have good seasons. Farming could be interesting.

    It would seem there may be a liquidity problem in the very near future. One has to wonder how long before shortages of pharmaceuticals develop. Heck of an irony to dodge the virus bullet and run out of medication at the same time. If one is a cynic, probably us seniors can drop Part D, or medication coverage and save money while at the same time reducing the economic drain on the economy from the medical system.

    Dennis L.

    • I’m very curious to see if the much talked about solar minimum can offset rising green domicile gasses.

      • me too…

        here in the northeast USA, I would prefer not to have any significant glowball coooling, but the science looks very convincing that the minimum is beginning about now and will be very apparent by 2025…

      • Since the scientific papers on solar minimum appeared the IPCC hockey stick projection graphs miraculously shrank about 2/3.. But the agenda continues on slightly more believable merits for now, basically most of the new generation is completely brainwashed by it..

        Given the plethora of other evidence:

        – warmist agenda was just deliberate plan how to prepare unwashed masses for global coordinated de-growth and method of easing the yoke of associated policies of future command style economies, commissary style redistribution like decreased consumer patterns etc.

        – pls don’t take it as personal disrespect to your efforts but the Surplus/OFW authors’ idea of being the lone voices or exceptional research focus is beyond naive, the govs have been studying resource limits/early PO research etc. for decades, and on the ground policies and historical “events” in past two decades confirm that (aka war both hot foreign and cold domestic).

        • Way back when, at the time of the failure of many of the Savings and Loan Associations in the US (about late 1980s), I was a with a group of actuaries who met with congressional staff members regarding the big mess. One thing I was impressed with was how young staffers were–practically just out of college. The other thing was, how aware they were of the underlying problems they were facing, and how impossible they were to fix.

          Part of the problem was the existence of per account insurance on bank accounts meant that individuals no longer were much concerned about the financial stability of their individual bank. If S&Ls wanted to pay a little higher interest on savings than others, they could invest in increasingly risky loans (I remember wind turbines specifically being mentioned) and it was a “Heads I win, tails you lose” proposition. If things didn’t work out, the insurance organization would pay the loss. If they did, the bank came out ahead.

          They, of course, couldn’t get rid of the insurance program.

          Also, the insurance program wasn’t really a funded insurance program. It depended on there being enough profitable S&Ls to assess for the shortfall. Ultimately S&Ls were rolled into the banking system. Now, we have bigger system that is “sort of” insured. It is ultimately insured by the government’s ability to bail out the system, to the extent that exists. But it will also have to bail out many other systems at the same time, I am afraid. For example, pension plans and Social Security.

          • Thanks for the details in the story, however I meant the mil-industrial complex contractors, the guys who in compartmentalized vast science parks and factories work on various stuff consumers get to know a decade or more later and or only slowly are being released to university labs etc. The Congress-Senate people are B/C grade material at best and for a reason just to rubber stamp pre approved agenda. There are obviously few exceptions (even young graduates) working over time just to make sense of it all and apply brakes whenever possible.

        • The climate bandwagon rolls on regardless. Ugo Bardi, in his latest post on “Cassandra’s Legacy”, savages a speech by an Australian politician because he dared to criticise Michael Mann, of the “hockey stick graph” fame. The fact that these remarks were 100% true, and that Mann is a proven charlatan, so proven in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and is now under investigation for both academic and criminal fraud, seems in no way to detract from his sainthood.

          I respectfully reserve my opinion on what is really happening to our climate, but that today’s “Climate Science” is a textbook example of the Madness of Crowds is a view I’m happy to share.

      • wow…

        and Xi knows this better than anyone…

        I bet he has everyone back to work by T+30…

        • Emperor Xi in his secure bunker: others ordered back to work, or their social credit score plummets.

          What he seems to face at the moment is the sheer dearth of masks, gloves and hand-wash which factories and shops need to open for business even if the strict quarantine measures and lock-downs are loosened to save the economy.

          • Emperor Xi has lost the Tien Ming, the Mandate of Heaven. He will leave his bunker soon, alive if he is very, very lucky. Absolute rulers always forget one clear lesson of history: when the hired bodyguards realise they can defend either their Emperor or their families, but not both, the Dynasty is doomed.

  4. Well, this is getting serious, the head of WHO went from basically saying this was little more than a cold to claiming more than 5 billion people maybe infected with this virus. Obviously all will not die, some of you are better than I at the numbers of infected, numbers sick, and mortality issues, perhaps a calculation with a range of possibilities would be interesting.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/shocking-admission-who-advisor-says-coronavirus-may-infect-over-5-billion-people

    I have no opinions, I don’t know enough to have any and there don’t seem to be many places to hide.

    Well, wasn’t it Shakespeare who had one of his characters say, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
    Dennis L.

    • I hate it when I am not accurate. It was not WHO, but an adviser to WHO, so it is not a official WHO estimate. Need to stop skimming headlines so quickly.

      Dennis L.

    • I am sure the actuaries who are involved with risk management completely missed this issue as well. Almost everyone thinks epidemics are a thing of the past, but they really are not.

    • “the numbers of infected, numbers sick, and mortality issues, perhaps a calculation with a range of possibilities would be interesting.”

      5 billion infected x 2% dead = 100 million

      “In 2015 around 57 million people died.”

      less than 1%, which is lower than what I would have guessed, but the world population skews to the younger side…

      so if the speculated 100 million die in 2020, that would be a massive adjustment in spending on their (ultimately useless but short term) healthcare, and the economic disruption would be massive as well…

      but most of the deaths would skew to older people, and many would leave job openings, so that would be interesting…

      the bottom line is that a swift pandemic would be very disruptive to the world economy, but slowing the virus and spreading the deaths out to perhaps “only” 10 million per year might be low enough to keep the economic consequences manageable…

    • When I consider how my light is spent,
      Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
      And that one Talent which is death to hide
      Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
      To serve therewith my Maker, and present
      My true account, lest he returning chide;
      “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
      I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
      That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
      Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
      Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
      Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
      And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
      They also serve who only stand and wait.”

      John Milton, Sonnet 19.

      (Sorry to be a pedant, but my associative memory seems
      to be very fast at pulling up poetry)

  5. A woman from Wuhan walked straight into A&E reception at my mother’s local hospital in London, having ignored official advice -take your own car or call an ambulance – and taken an Uber taxi there.

    Some alarm, as they hadn’t yet built the special reception pod they have to receive Wuhan virus patients (outside the hospital!). The A&E staff were of course not wearing any protection.

    They are saying that the taxi driver was not with her for long enough to stand a great risk of having been infected.

    • PS It’s a hospital with a very poor reputation, ‘failing ‘ for years but still it limps on.

  6. Ethiopian Airlines is still doggedly flying to and from China, despite neighbouring states pleading with them not to do so…..

  7. It appears as though a mistake was made. This is from Bejing Party Committee – sounds pretty reliable, translated by Google.

    The last sentence in paragraph 4 is interesting. “Strengthen laboratory management and resolutely put an end to the theft, leakage, and loss of pathogenic bacteria (poisons) and various samples.”

    http://www.yangtse.com/zncontent/276541.html

    The open market story is becoming more unbelievable. We are all in the same boat, somehow if possible a solution needs to be found. It is so easy to become angry with people and make attacks personal. China is suffering greatly. It would seem possible we will all get a turn, and this might not be like fusion, in ten years…….

    Dennis L.

    • This document relates to the Chinese Center for Disease Control in Beijing. They are not in Wuhan, so any viruses that they might lose would affect people in Beijing, not Wuhan.

      The document might be aimed at prevention of slip-ups in handling, now that they will be handling so many samples that may contain the new coronavirus. Also, they don’t want people talking about confidential information at home and elsewhere, now that this is a top news story.

      It is a mystery what problem occurred that is referred to in the document.

      The CDC in Atlanta has had problems as well. This is a link to a 2017 USA Today article. CDC keeps secret its mishaps with deadly germs.

      CDC scientists apparently lost a box of deadly and highly-regulated influenza specimens and experienced multiple potential exposures involving viruses and bacteria, according to heavily-redacted laboratory incident reports obtained by USA TODAY. Several reports involve failures of safety equipment. In one, a scientist wearing full-body spacesuit-like gear to protect against lethal, often untreatable viruses like Ebola, had their purified air hose suddenly disconnect — “again” — in one the world’s most advanced biosafety level 4 labs.

      The Washington Post has an 2014 article (behind a paywall) called, “CDC reports potential Ebola exposure in Atlanta lab.”

      I think laboratory slip-ups are inevitable, pretty much everywhere.

    • Yes, one should reconcile oneself to catching it at some point over the next two years or so, even having taken great precautions – but keep focused on the 80% or so ‘mild’ cases, so it’s more hopeful than not.

      We’ve had a wonderful holiday, in the rich countries, from infectious disease since the advent of safe antibiotics, and that is now drawing to a close rather rapidly.

      C’est la vie……

  8. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200213001741778.html

    “Singapore reports 8 new cases, total tally jumps to 58
    Singapore reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases, with eight newly infected patients bringing its total to 58, the health ministry said.
    All of the new cases were linked to previous patients, the ministry said. Of the 58 confirmed cases reported, 15 have recovered and been discharged from hospital while seven are in critical condition in intensive care, it added.”

    “All of the new cases were linked to previous patients”…

    gee, I wonder why?

    biggest daily jump in cases… the increase is exponential… it’s a Singapore epidemic just not officially declared yet…

    7 in critical condition out of 58 cases…

    about 12%…

    this is not just a quasi flu…

    • Agreed. In their effort to avoid panic – ‘the flu is worse’ – the WHO and governments are not giving the public good solid basic information on effective precautions – that is the disgrace.

      • I am not sure that we really know what those precautions might be. The disease seems to be spreading, even when we cannot figure out how. There may be a lot of folks without symptoms passing out viruses, for example. Or face masks might help, but only if the right kind are available and they are changed frequently.

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