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.

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.
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1,772 Responses to It Is Easy to Overreact to the Chinese Coronavirus

  1. Ed says:

    A disease that kills 20% in poor nations and 5% in rich. That preferentially kills the old, yes I am 61, sounds greats let’s make it an annual event. No cannibals, no nuclear pools boiling, just a really bad flu.

    • Malcopian says:

      “yes I am 61”

      I suspect most of OFW’s readers and commenters are older rather than younger. Maybe the coronavirus will also put an end to OFW. 😦

      Incidentally, I’m of a similar age, but young people scoff when I identify as old. Most tell me that you’re not old until you’re 70.

      • Stephen says:

        I’m slightly 70+ but concerned about the world we will leave my first children now 3 and 8.

          • Davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            it’s off point, but how about those Tokyo Summer Olympics?

            what chance do you give for cancellation?

            • Artleads says:

              Whoooooaaaa!

            • Tim Groves says:

              There is a countdown to the games on the cover page of my daily newspaper every day. Today it’s 158 days to the Olympics and 190 days to the Paralympics. And I never see Olympics and Coronavirus mentioned in the same article. So I assume the Olympics organizers are wishing, hoping and praying that this epidemic will all blow over or be swept under the carpet by the summer time.

              But if the epidemic peaks in April and is still running in June, I honestly can’t see many people wanting to run the risk of attending such a huge event. And I can’t see Wayde van Niekerk tackling the 400 meters hurdles in a hazmat suit. It will be interesting to see how the organizers PR this problem.

  2. CTG says:

    The supply chain seems to be cracking.

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/why-covid-19-demands-our-full-attention/
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/tankers-tankers-everywhere-virus-causes-historic-traffic-jam-across-asian-supply-lines

    As I have always said in many years of my presence in OFW, the disruption of supply chain is that one that will kill the most people. I guess what we have feared already started with many companies shutting down due to “no parts”.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Tankers everywhere! The Chinese economy does look to be collapsing.

      And China is important in all kinds of supply chains. Causing “recession” is an understatement.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “China’s slowdown in response to the deadly coronavirus has sent the global shipping industry veering off course, with transit rates falling to record lows as ships are turned away from ports.

        “All shipping segments from oil tankers to container lines have been hit by the economic impact from factory shutdowns and travel restrictions put in place across China to control the spread of the virus. The Capesize Index, which tracks freight costs for the largest carriers of dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal and grain, fell into negative territory last week for the first time since its creation in 1999, indicating that shipping companies are running at a loss on certain routes.

        “Brokers and analysts say the slump in demand for the transportation of goods in and out China — the world’s largest consumer of many commodities — will leave its mark on the shipping industry and commodity trading for months to come.

        ““It’s a mess really,” said Eirik Haavaldsen, head of research at Pareto Securities, an Oslo-based investment bank. “China is so important for everything shipping-related.””

        “…Capacity utilisation at major Chinese ports has been 20 to 50 per cent lower than normal and more than a third of ports said storage facilities were beyond 90 per cent full, according to a survey conducted last week by the Shanghai International Shipping Institute, a Beijing-backed think-tank.

        “The effects on the shipping industry are likely to prove lasting.”

        https://www.ft.com/content/9f543f48-4d96-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5

        • That last paragraph really explains how bad the situation is:

          “…Capacity utilisation at major Chinese ports has been 20 to 50 per cent lower than normal and more than a third of ports said storage facilities were beyond 90 per cent full, according to a survey conducted last week by the Shanghai International Shipping Institute, a Beijing-backed think-tank.

          Also, a reason why the problem doesn’t go away:

          “The effects on the shipping industry are likely to prove lasting.”

    • Denial says:

      People I talk to you think that China going down will be a good thing for the United States attend to disagree I think they will bring United States down with them.

      • Xabier says:

        They don’t get global interconnectedness and supply chain contagion. Well, that must help them sleep at night.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Exactly. When the chain breaks, everything it was holding up will fall. It used to be called the Domino Effect, after the children’s game.

          An instructive lesson can be found in an episode of Mythbusters Jr, when a bunch of kids build a chain of dominoes, each 50% larger than the previous one, When the biggest domino falls, it crushes a car. An apt metaphor for the global economy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQjzkcD4tN8

    • Xabier says:

      Yes, you nailed it CTG, when you wrote from direct experience of the effects SARS, etc: and good luck to you and your family.

  3. Stephen says:

    Dilemma £€¥$ Whether we overreact or underreport covid 19 will probably burst the huge debt bubble everything has been built on in the years since we passed peak surplus energy.

  4. Davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    Hawaii on the fast track:

    https://internewscast.com/a-hunt-for-clues-in-hawaii-after-a-tourist-couple-falls-ill-with-coronavirus/

    “Hawaii health officials were working swiftly over the weekend to find anyone who might have had contact with the Japanese couple, who had also visited the island of Maui. Health authorities said the couple, both in their 60s, was not diagnosed until they returned to Japan, but the husband began showing symptoms while still staying in one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist neighborhoods.

    Health officials said that there was little chance that the infection had spread, but that they would continue to search for anyone who had prolonged contact with the couple.”

    WOW: “Health officials said that there was little chance that the infection had spread…”

    no surprise that this would be the first response…

    “… but that they would continue to search for anyone who had prolonged contact with the couple.”

    WTF?

    there only needs to be a brief contact with an infected person for the virus to be transmitted in an airborne manner…

    but no need to panic!

    Hawaiian health officials got this one covered…

    • squideater says:

      I was just wondering if the endless positive media regurgitated by the chinese state media apparatus would dare to be demonstrated stateside. Tourists do touristy things. If other tourists doing touristy things got infected and return to the states prior to symptoms on that virussphere thing called a airplane stuff gets real now not in a month or summer. no one wants to “overeact”. Everybody on a plane should be wearing masks an safety goggles. Touristy things off my list. Brooks range in Alaska for a couple months looking good.

      • If the solar minimum thesis is correct you can get now (future) vineyards/orchard acreage for pennies in Alaska (anomaly region as there it will get hotter).. On the other hand they predict only ~short one, so why bother with so much labor for meager three decades+ lolz..

        • Xabier says:

          For most of history, 3 decades has been quite a good life: if you are 30 or so today and likely to die at the latest 55-65 – we will be reverting to the old norm – it might be worth it.

          Aren’t the Alaskan roads crumbling due to the heat?

          • Yes, but you have to be a bit younger say ~25-35yrs, and if older only expect to function as mentor/helper for others in the family/community, simply might not be around to see the final or advanced results.. Btw I noticed interesting trend, well, it’s a trickle but increasing number of youngish people moving into poor “southern” parts of the US, where land is very cheap (especially decrepit rural regions). As there is still time to utilize the existing leverage of IC to turn it around as fast as possible into some level of abundance. But one could speculate the inrush of unfortunate misplaced people would be smaller (not all heading) towards Alaska.

      • Xabier says:

        I’m going to be hanging out in my local wood: have to watch out for ticks from May though…… 🙂

        • Robert Firth says:

          Ah, the song we used to sing in Africa (after rather more Star Beer than was prudent):

          “Why should I have tick fever,
          When it isn’t even Spring?”

          • Xabier says:

            An African love song of the ‘I’ve got you under my skin’ variety?

            I can think of one or two girlfriends who were a bit like ticks……

    • squideater says:

      Pretty good bet wife is infected too. This will be a good test of how infectious cv19 is. I say 6 infected minimum from from the two. I better check that on the corona virus prediction tool. 🙂

      • I only looked at a bit of this. There is a “Workforce disruption simulator” that is based on the number sick (I believe). But that is not the right metric. The workforce can be disrupted for many reasons: lack of resources, lack of workers, too low price for commodities so it doesn’t make economic sense to extract; supply chain disruption.

  5. Davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    Singapore slows down… a little:

    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/coronavirus-5-new-cases-confirmed-in-singapore-3-linked-to-grace-assembly-church

    “There are now 72 cases of Covid-19 infections in Singapore, with five new cases confirmed on Saturday.”

    only 5 new, down from 9 yesterday…

    that’s still about a 7% increase in one day…

    “As of noon Saturday, MOH had identified 2,093 close contacts. Of the 1,959 who are still in Singapore, 1,697 have been contacted and are in quarantine or isolation.”

    they are trying to do “contact tracing” but are admitting that they are only about 85% successful…

    the other 15% are moving about freely in their normal daily activities…

    • Robert Firth says:

      The problem with “vector control”, as it is called, is that only one vector need escape to continue the spread of the disease. The problem with quarantine, “geographical control” is that you condemn everyone within the perimeter to exposure and probably infection.

      I suspect that both will fail, and the final perimeter of control will be the entire surface of the Earth. Unless the Greys evacuate their citizens.

  6. Chrome Mags says:

    That’s a link to a video asking: “the Coronavirus Outbreak in China 10 Times Worse Than Reported?”

    It’s a long video and the latter 1/2 is much more informative. Simone Gao is a serious reporter that does a good job of seeking out important information.

    • Thanks very much! This was interesting. I fast forwarded through a couple of places that had somewhat too long videos. Simone Gao does bring together several important issues in one place.

  7. Chrome Mags says:

    I tried to post this video but it’s not showing, I’m trying again. Same thing happened yesterday. The latter 1/2 of the video is best and it is discussing a prevailing idea the number of people with the virus in China is about 10 times what is reported. Also, later in the video a worker at a crematorium says about 60% of the deaths are people at home. The rest from hospitals.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      Now it shows the other posting, lol. Sorry Gail. Delete one if you can.

    • People don’t understand that what China puts out is propaganda, not correct numbers.

      • Xabier says:

        The governmental idea of virus management is the management of public perceptions, more than the contagion itself.

        And there is some sense in that, as panic would do no one any good; but the CCP are showing us that a totalitarian system accustomed to imposing its narrative without opposition will lie in the crudest fashion, without regard to credibility or probability.

        • Ed says:

          Yes Xabier and Washington DC also show the crudest lies. We will not let facts get in the way of truth [the ruling elites truth].

          • Xabier says:

            I agree totally: the propaganda in the West has been a feature of our lives for decades now, intensifying in recent years.

            So crude it has been embarrassing: Iraq, Libya, Putin, etc.

      • squideater says:

        It may not be entirely designed. Id rather stay in my own home than be in a government dormitory. No im no going to get a blood transfusion at home, so if it gets bad then i would have to check in. If Its true people are choosing to weather the disease at home rather than go to the medical facilities there is no way real counts can be known. If we look at the infection rate is on the cruise ship we can guess at what infection rate would be in a home with a carrier. The distinction between quarantine and isolation is one of the bases of containment but it falls apart with a virus that transmit asymptotically.

        We just dont know. It could be Hubei has been abandoned with the assumption most if not all residents will get cv19. If so it might be better that it happens sooner than later. It also accents the large problems that virus mutation represents. Its inevitable with a outbreak of this size that the majority of the cases will not be treated in medical facilities IMO.

        • On the staying home dilemma, as hinted before, most people will have some sort of acute pneumonia and or severe inflammation, which is still sort of [treatable] also in home care situation. However, often times multiple organ malfunction kicks in, so then you need kidney, liver, heart, .. assistance and that’s beyond home scale care level unless you are a fat cat with private tiny hospital.

          Hopefully, there will be more statistics available how much cases are strictly lungs weakness-failure without further cascading organs problems. If that’s ~75% the risk to stay home would be worth considering.

          Besides if I’m not mistaken it seems first preliminary papers are showing up this disease is indeed showing Asian race bias at least during this first outbrake wave. Nevertheless next winter after running across the world it could be otherwise..

  8. China to Destroy Paper Currency from Hardest Hit Corona Virus Region
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/china-to-destroy-paper-currency-from-hardest-hit-coronavirus-regions

    China doesn’t have coins. I certainly hope people have some other way of making transactions. If cell phones die, there may be a real problem.

    • Davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      maybe China to Destroy Paper Currency because the epidemic is actually 10x bigger than they are reporting…

      • squideater says:

        Never let a good crisis go to waste. This is a GREAT crisis not just a good one. 🙂

      • Dennis L. says:

        Interesting thought, that would be a way to force people out of cash, effective interest rate on holding cash would be -100% plus storage costs. It would be possible to issue new currency, but upon circulation, that currency becomes a vector for the disease. Or, it might not be possible to print currency due to insufficient able labor to do the printing, supply paper, ink, deliver notes, etc.

        This makes the current negative interest rates on bonds look like a bargain, while I am not a gold bug, makes gold interesting. Even if gold is covered in active viruses, smelt it and the virus is a bit of slag in the form of carbon, very effective sterilization.

        Thought experiment on the velocity of money. If existing money cannot be spent for say 30 days after every transaction to allow virus to die, how much does this slow the velocity of money in the form of cash? Supposedly in the US drug transactions are an important part of the banking system – I have no way of knowing that is hearsay to me. If multiple million dollar bags of money need to sit for 30 days, with banking optimized to the fraction of a second, what does that 30 day delay do to the banking system?

        Source of virus? There was a laboratory not far from both the market and the hospital where research was done on bats. It apparently was not the high level type of laboratory frequently mentioned. A dead bat, or maybe several were discarded in the trash, the trash was scavenged by animals, crows for example and these animals spread the virus or collection the personal were themselves infected secondary to handling the trash; they then went to the market, the disease spread from there, we know the incubation period varies. The first person could have been a trash collector. I can’t believe this was deliberate, to my mind it was an unforeseen chain of events.

        I don’t have time to dig out the reference, the possible travel paths were worked out by a Chinese scientist and it is on the internet, shouldn’t be hard to find, there is an accompanying map.

        Dennis L.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          The first person could have been a trash collector.
          The first person, on December 1st, had no contact with “the market” (actually a wet market where a portion of first responders were located), nor any other connection.
          Reality is not hard to access.

        • squideater says:

          Well Dennis theres all sorts of flavor of money. Since the US dollar is seen as a store of value there is billions of dollars of it around the world under peoples mattresses. Thats just fine for the trasury as the privledge of physical possesion of those notes is depreciated by inflation. They dont want those notes to come home so cash has not been banned but maybe the time has come.

          Active black and grey market money is a diferent animal. If it gets parked it may well effect the economy.

          Digital ones and zeroes are different yet…

          Discretionary money regardless of form seems to be shrinking regardless of how much money is created.

        • Dennis L. says:

          Okay, the paper is now on Zerohedge, map is here.

          https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/WHCDC.jpg?itok=vPidC78-

          Most likely a dumb mistake, someone goofed, things like this happen. There are references in the ZeroHedge article(the original is on the internet) regarding manipulation of the RNA, that is beyond my competence and I cannot follow the reasoning in the paper, perhaps someone here.

          Whatever, this thing is out, it has been in Hawaii via a Japanese tourist. It is small world.

          Dennis L.

          • Commenters are right. The Wuhan CDC is close enough to the Wuhan wild food market that the choice of the epicenter could be wrong. I was thinking the reference was to something that happened at the Beijing CDC.

            Usually, I think of mistakes at the Atlanta CDC (or similar institutions) as only causing an illness in the person making the mistake. But if the disease were very easily transmitted, the slip up could cause very widespread illness. The person initially infected could pass the disease along and cause a huge problem.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      “China to Destroy Paper Currency from Hardest Hit Corona Virus Region”

      In one of those videos I posted there was a person in a high-rise with money folded into planes, he was setting sail to out his window, and the caption was, “money has no value in Wuhan” or words that effect. I wondered if that was true or not, but apparently it is. That’s an odd idea – that a national currency would lose value in a particular region to due knock on effects from a virus.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        I found a clue in the article you linked, Gail, as to why the currency has lost value in Wuhan:

        “They have been directed to keep the cash under quarantine for 14 days and disinfect it at high temperatures and with ultraviolet light before returning it to the public.”

        People are less willing to handle other people’s bills for fear of getting the virus, and since vendors wouldn’t take them the currency lost value. Hard to think of everything during a situation like that, but good to know if the virus spreads to the US. Maybe 1oz silver coins would be better, because they’re easy to clean.

  9. BS says:

    Gail you are cold and miscalculating.

    • squideater says:

      Honest people are often called cold and attacked with other names too. Once a preference is shown for a certain emotional state that is based on a outcome Objective analysis can not be performed. Basing analysis on feelings is very immature IMO.

      Not that every doomster isnt indulging their own set of feelings. Its tricky.

      • Robert Firth says:

        squideater, is it better to be cold and miscalculating, or cold and calculating? Or warm and miscalculating? Life is full of hard choices! There are many reasons I come here, but a big one is that most people on OFW tell the truth as they see it. So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

  10. squideater says:

    Is the true mask of the decade not a clown but a particle?

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