Easily overlooked issues regarding COVID-19

We read a lot in the news about the new Wuhan coronavirus and the illness it causes (COVID-19), but some important points often get left out.

[1] COVID-19 is incredibly contagious.

COVID-19 transmits extremely easily from person to person. Interpersonal contact doesn’t need to be very long; a taxi driver can get the virus from a passenger, for example. The virus may be transmissible even before an infected person develops symptoms. It may also be transmissible for a few days after a person seems to be over the virus; it is possible to get positive virus tests, even after symptoms disappear. Some people may have the disease, but never show symptoms.

[2] The virus likely remains active on inanimate surfaces such as paper, plastic, or metal for many days.

There haven’t been tests on the COVID-19 virus per se, but studies on similar viruses suggest that human pathogens may remain infectious for up to eight days. Some viruses that only infect animals can survive for more than 28 days. China is reported to be destroying paper currency from the hardest hit area, because people do not want to accept money which may have viruses on it. Clearly, surfaces in airplanes, trains and buses may also harbor viruses, long after a passenger with the virus has left, unless they have been thoroughly wiped down with disinfectant.

[3] Given Issues [1] and [2], about the only way to avoid spreading COVID-19 seems to be geographic isolation. 

With all of today’s travel, geographic isolation doesn’t work very well in practice. People need food and medical supplies. They need to keep basic services such as electricity and garbage collection operating. Suppliers of food and other services need to come and leave the area and that tends to spread COVID-19. Also, the longer a geographic area is isolated, the larger the percentage of the people within the area that is likely to get COVID-19. The problem is that the people need to have contact with others in the area for purposes such as buying food, and that tends to spread the disease.

[4] The real story regarding the number of deaths and illnesses seems to be far worse than the story China is telling its own people and the world.

The real story seems to be that the number of deaths is far greater than the number reported–perhaps 10 times as high as being reported. The number of illnesses is also much higher. At one point, facilities doing cremations in the Wuhan area were reported to be doing four to five times the normal number of cremations. Some of the bodies in the Wuhan area now need to be sent to other areas of China because there is not enough local cremation capacity.

China doesn’t dare tell its people how bad the situation really is, for fear of panic. They want to tell a story of being in control and handling the situation well. The news media in the West repeat the stories that the government-controlled publications of China provide, even though they seem to present a much more favorable situation than really seems to be the case.

[5] Our ability to identify who has the new coronavirus is poor.

While there is a test for the coronavirus, it costs hundreds of dollars to administer. Even with this high cost, the results of the tests aren’t very reliable. The test tends to produce many false negatives. The virus may be present somewhere inside the person being tested, but not in the areas touched by swabs of the throat and nose.

[6] Some people get much more severe symptoms from COVID-19 than others.

Most people, perhaps 80% of people, seem to get a fairly light form of the COVID-19 illness. Groups that seem particularly prone to adverse outcomes include the elderly, smokers, those who are obese, and those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or poor immune systems. Males seem to have worse outcomes than females.

Strangely enough, there is speculation that people with East Asian ancestry (Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese) may have a higher risk of adverse outcomes than those of European or African ancestry. One of the things that is targeted by the disease is the ACE2 receptor. The 1000 Genome Project studied expected differences in ACE2 receptors among various groups. Based on this analysis, some researchers (in non-peer-reviewed studies, here and here) predict that those of European or African ancestry will tend to get lighter forms of the disease. These findings are contested in another, non-peer-reviewed study.

Bolstering the view that East Asians are more susceptible to viruses that target the ACE2 receptor is the fact that SARS, which also tends to target the ACE2 receptor, tended to stay primarily in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. While there were cases elsewhere, they tended to have few deaths.

Observational data with respect to COVID-19 is needed to determine whether there truly is a difference in the severity of the illness among different populations.

[7] China has been using geographical quarantine to try to hold down the number of COVID-19 cases. The danger with such a quarantine is that once the economy is down, it is very difficult to come back to the pre-quarantine state.

Data shows that China’s economy is not reopening quickly after the extended New Year holiday finished.

Figure 2. China daily passenger flows, relative to Chinese New Year. Amounts are now down more than 80% and have not increased, even as some businesses are theoretically reopening. Chart by ANZ, copied by WSJ Daily Shot Feb. 17, 2020.

Figure 3. China property transactions, before and after Chinese New Year. Chart by Goldman Sachs. Reprinted by WSJ Daily Shot, Feb. 17, 2020.

All businesses will be adversely affected by a lack of sales if they need to continue to pay overhead expenses. Small and medium-sized businesses will be especially adversely affected. Bloomberg reports that if a shutdown lasts for three months, there is a substantial chance that these businesses will run through their savings and fail. Thus, these businesses may be permanently lost if the economy is down for several months.

Also, restarting after a shut-down is more difficult than it might appear. Take, for example, a mother who wants to go back to work. She will likely need:

  • Public transportation to be operating, so she has a way to get to work;
  • School to be open, so she doesn’t need to worry about her child while she is at work;
  • Masks to be available, so that she and her child can comply with requirements to wear them;
  • Stores providing necessities such as food to be open, or she may be too hungry to work

If anything is missing, the mother is likely not to go back to work. Required masks seem to be a problem right now, but other pieces could be missing as well.

Businesses, too, need a full range of workers to restart their operations. If the inspector doing the final inspection is not available, the business may not really be able to ship finished products, even if most of the workers are back.

[8] A shutdown of as little as three months is likely to be damaging to the world economy.

Multiple things are likely to go wrong:

(a) Commodity prices are likely to fall steeply, because of low demand from China. Oil prices, in particular, are likely to fall steeply, perhaps to $30 to $35 per barrel. Besides cutbacks in oil demand from China, there is the issue of a general reduction in long distance travel, because of fear of traveling with other passengers with COVID-19.

(b) US businesses, such as Apple, will find their supply chains broken. They won’t know when, and if, they can ship products.

(c) Debt defaults are likely to become more common, especially in China. The longer the slowdown/shutdown lasts, the greater the extent to which debt defaults are likely to spread around the world.

(d) The world economy is likely to be pushed into recession, without an easy way to get out again.

[9] The longer the shutdown lasts, the more likely there is to be a major collapse of the Chinese economy. 

In the event of a long-term shutdown, it would seem likely that, at a minimum, a new leader would take over. In fact, there would seem to be a significant chance of major changes within the economy. For example, the provinces of China that are able to restart might attempt to restart, leaving the more damaged areas behind. In such a case, instead of having a single Chinese government to deal with, there might be multiple governmental units to deal with.

Each governmental unit might consist of a few provinces trying to provide services such as they are able, without the benefit of the parts of the economy that are still shut down. Each governmental unit might have its own currency. If this should happen, China will be able to provide far fewer goods and services than it has in the recent past.

[10] Planners everywhere have been guilty of “putting too many eggs in one basket.”

Planners today look for efficiency. For example, placing a large share of the world’s industry in China looks like it is an efficient approach. Unfortunately, we are asking for trouble if the Chinese economy hits a bump in the road. Using just-in-time supply lines looks like a good idea as well, but if a major supplier cannot provide parts for a while, then having inventory on hand would have been a better approach.

If we want systems to be sustainable, they really need a lot of redundancy. Redundant systems are not as efficient, but they are much more likely to be sustainable through difficult times. There is a recent article in Nature that talks about this issue. One of the things it says is,

A system with a single cycle is the most unstable because the deletion of any cycle-node or link breaks the sustaining feedback mechanism.

“A system with a single cycle” is basically similar to “putting all of our eggs in one basket.” “Deletion of any cycle-node or link” is something like China running into coronavirus problems. We probably need a world economy that consists of many nearly separate local economies to be certain of long-term world economy stability. Alternatively, we need a great deal of redundancy built into our systems. For example, we need large inventories to work around the possibility of missing contributions from one country, in the case of a problem such as a major epidemic.

Conclusion

The world economy may become very different, simply because of COVID-19. The new virus doesn’t even need to directly affect the rest of the world very much to create a problem. The United States, Europe, and the rest of the world are very much dependent on the continued operation of China. The world economy has effectively put way too many eggs in one basket, and this basket is now not functioning as expected.

If China is barely producing anything for world markets, the rest of the world will suddenly discover that long supply chains weren’t such a good idea. There will be a big scramble to try to fill in the missing pieces of supply chains, but many goods are likely to be less available. We may discover quickly how much we depend upon China for everything from shoes to automobiles to furniture to electronics. World carbon dioxide emissions are likely to fall dramatically because of China’s problems, but will the accompanying issues be ones that the world economy can tolerate?

The thing that is ironic is that it is possible that the West’s fear of the new coronavirus may be overblown–we really won’t know what the impact will be with respect to people of European or of African descent until we have had a better chance to examine how the virus affects different populations. The next few weeks and months are likely to be quite instructive. For example, how will the Americans and Australians who caught COVID-19 on the cruise ships fare? What will the health outcomes be of non-Asians being brought back from Wuhan to their native countries on special planes?

 

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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2,589 Responses to Easily overlooked issues regarding COVID-19

  1. Harry McGibbs says:

    I missed this a few days ago:

    “The Cass Freight Index [USA] fell again in January, reporting the highest year-over-year declines of this freight cycle.

    “The shipments component of the index fell 9.4% year-over-year, the biggest one-month decline since October 2009.”

    [NB The phase-one trade deal for China was signed on Jan 15th and the coronavirus had yet to have a material impact on the global economy, so this reading is surprising and a worry for the US, especially on top of the contraction we saw in services in Jan].

    https://www.freightwaves.com/news/january-brings-accelerated-declines-for-cass-freight-volumes-and-rates

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    “With much of China’s economy still idled as authorities try to contain an epidemic that has infected more than 75,000 people, millions of companies across the country are in a race against the clock to stay afloat.

    “While China’s government has cut interest rates, ordered banks to boost lending and loosened criteria for companies to restart operations, many of the nation’s private businesses say they’ve been unable to access the funding they need to meet upcoming deadlines for debt and salary payments. Without more financial support or a sudden rebound in China’s economy, some may have to shut for good.

    ““If China fails to contain the virus in the first quarter, I expect a vast number of small businesses would go under,” said Lv Changshun, an analyst at Beijing Zhonghe Yingtai Management Consultant Co.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-xl/money/topstories/millions-of-chinese-firms-face-collapse-if-banks-dont-act-fast/ar-BB10hSRY?li=AAFNcqt

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Global investors are being overly complacent about downside economic risks, aggravated but not limited to the growing impact of coronavirus.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/21/investors-need-to-face-the-warning-signs-in-the-global-economy.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Better crank up the fiscal stimulus, says the Head of the OECD:

      The coronavirus outbreak presents another reason for nations with fiscal surpluses to boost their spending and support the global economy, the head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-22/oecd-says-coronavirus-is-another-reason-to-boost-fiscal-stimulus

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Meanwhile the rest of the OECD is warning about there already being too much sovereign debt:

        “In 2010, in the wake of the global banking crisis, 34 of the world’s richest nations – those that belong to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) – ramped up their borrowing to $10.9 trillion. In 2019, the OECD revealed last week, those same governments took their borrowing to a fresh high of $11.4tn.

        “The Paris-based thinktank says the new figure is a cause for worry, especially when those same governments have only managed to grow their national economies at a snail’s pace over the past 10 years. Without strong growth, debts become a bigger burden on government finances when things turn nasty, as they did 10 years ago…”

        And too much corporate debt:

        “And those fears don’t stop at “government debt. The OECD has spent the past couple of years warning about the colossal sums that corporations have borrowed.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/23/borrowing-remarkably-easy-world-carrying-trillions-debt-oecd

      • If there is nothing on the shelves for people to buy, what do people do with this money?

        • Dennis L. says:

          Sometimes, life is comedy and one must laugh. Its beans, beans all they way down just like turtles.

          Dennis L.

      • Xabier says:

        Go Germany! By tons of baked beans! Or whatever Germans like to eat when locked-down.

        This is all reading like delusional nonsense.

        One rubs one’s eyes in disbelief.

  4. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Remember a while back a maverick built his own rocket to propel him to , “outer space”, back in 2018….Well, this attempt did not go too well…pushed the envelope too far and bought the farm

    Daredevil dies after homemade rocket crashes in desert while filming TV show
    JON HAWORTH
    Good Morning AmericaFebruary 23, 2020

    A daredevil has died after crashing in a homemade rocket he had launched himself while filming a program.
    “Mad” Mike Hughes, 64, died on Saturday near Barstow, California, after a rocket that he had built and crashed into the ground on private property at approximately 1:52 p.m. on Saturday near Highway 247, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
    “In a cosmic quest to explore the final frontier on a shoe-string budget, Mike Hughes and Waldo Stakes have built a steam powered rocket that will launch “Mad Mike” 5,000 feet into the air,” said an article on the Science Channel, owned by the Discovery Channel, that has since been updated to confirm Hughes’ death. “As ground-breaking and awe-inspiring as this event will be, it is only the first step towards an even more ambitious goal in space exploration.”
    Justin Chapman, a freelance journalist, told the Associated Press that he and his wife witnessed the crash and that the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus which might have torn the parachutes attached
    This was not Hughes’ first launch. Hughes, who believed the Earth is flat, propelled himself about 1,875 feet into the air before a hard landing in the Mojave Desert in March of 2018.
    “My story really is incredible,” Hughes told the AP at the time. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also, people questioning everything. It’s the downside of all this.

    So, doomers and preppers, a lession to be had…enjoy life and follow your bliss….it may just be incredible and makes good press. RIP

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Follow up ..WHy did he do it????
      “The Flat Earth thing is like everything else to me,” Hughes told CBS News in October 2018. “I just want people to question everything. Question what your congressman is doing, your city council. Question what really happened during the Civil War. What happened during 9/11.”

      At the time, Hughes stated that he built his homemade rocket mostly through, “trial and error,” and admitted, “You don’t get a lot of second chances, though, in the rocket business.”

      First published on February 22, 2020 / 11:48 PM

      © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      like I said, he avoided death via the coronavirus… 😉

    • peatmoss says:

      RIP

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Rest in pieces.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      He had previous launches and in one he hurt his back, but launched again and died?! Bright enough to build a working rocket but dim enough to be sure the Earth was flat and not learn from hurting his back?! That’s an interesting combination of a person.

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        Perhaps Mad Mike knew something we don’t and preferred not to show up at the “End of the World Party” with us die hard preppers. Saw the video of the actual final takeoff (It was actually his third! 3s a charm😘), and no question he did go in pieces instantly.
        It’s on YouTube if anyone wishes to see it. A bit unlucky in my eyes from the blastoff.
        The parachute did disengage rather quickly and got tangled up. Too bad he didn’t have a backup of some sort.
        Well, 64 years old isn’t too bad of a stretch here on the planet…I’ll have to read up more about him, myself. No doubt the rocketship is not salvageable, hit prima firma like a meteor.
        Thanks everyone…peatmoss loved the Elton song touch…Mike would have too!

      • Tim Groves says:

        The earth is so enormously big that its roundness seems close to flatness from the standpoint of somebody our size on its surface. We can’t hold it in our hands like a marble or a soccer ball.

        So we have a mode of thinking in which we assume it is flat for most practical purposes. This is the mode in which east is east and west is west and the sun, moon and stars rise and set. How many people get up in the morning and say “the earth has rotated to the point at which the sun is starting to shine on the bit of it where I live”? Very few, I would imagine. Most say, “the sun has risen and is slowly lilting its way above the distant hilltops” or something along that line.

        It’s only when we try sailing or flying over the horizon and find that we never fall off the edge and eventually come back to the place of origin that we switch to the alternative mode of thinking in which we assume it is round.

        • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

          Thanks Tim for the explanation, I beginning to understand it all now…just a tiny bit

        • Robert Firth says:

          Tim, the man who first taught that the Earth was round, Pythagoras of Samos, neither sailed nor flew. He simply observed lunar eclipses, and saw that the shadow of the Earth was always a circle. Hence, the Earth is a sphere.

          Interestingly, the man who wrote a whole book proving the Earth was flat, the “Topographia Christiana” did indeed sail: all the way to India, hence his nickname Cosmas Indicopleustes. Accordingly, he must have seem for himself the curvature of the Earth, and the slow rising of the Southern stars. In other words, his book was a fraud.

          • yesterday, I watched a retweeted video of some state assembly somwhere in the neckless backwoods of the USA, where a satanist demanded the same speaking rights as everyone else, which was of course perfectly legal

            the assembled christians were shouting him down (of course)

            but part of that chorus was very clear:

            “he will bring down a curse on all of us”

            They are the people of our/your future. For them 500 years of enlightenment simply haven’t taken root. It is as if it never happened.

            Come collapse, and the trappings of civilisation are stripped away, we will be back to witchburnings flat-earthing instantly.
            We have not moved on from the middle ages, we just imagine the comforts of modern living have taken us into a new era and given us different minds.

            They haven’t.

            Without the light of modernity, we slip back into a new dark age. As Carl sagan so elegantly put it. There are plenty of people eager to drag us back there.

            • Robert Firth says:

              “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”, Carl Sagan, 1995. A wonderful book, and one of the many treasures in my library.

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  6. Yoshua says:

    The WTI didn’t breakdown from its support line. It bounced from it.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ERS_s13XkAAnr2S?format=png&name=large

    • The time for low oil prices hasn’t come yet.

      • Yoshua says:

        Magic.

      • Perhaps the right time will “never” come.
        Let say if you have to circle the wagons around only one single column of support, well it just could be it. So, next few GFC_ver_XY will be marked by the strange oddity of not crashing oil price.

        Frankly, that’s one of possible scenarios out there with decent probability.
        So if you are an oil shorter you have turned into a widow maker these days, because you believed “markets” must act rationally. Well they don’t, and they are not markets in the first place anymore, besides the fluid factor of timing.

      • BahamasEd says:

        It may be that $50 is the low oil price, at least from the point of view of the producers.
        It does appear that most, if not all, are losing money at the price of oil over the last year or so

      • Chrome Mags says:

        As the Corona Virus acts as a brake on the world economy, the price of oil will certainly drop. We’re still in the early stages though with knock on effects to come in due time, like a couple of months, let’s say May the price of oil will have dropped into the high 30’s, low 40’s. That is unless the Corona Virus can be slowed/stopped in its tracks from becoming a pandemic on steroids.

        • It seems like you might be right. The price dropped very low in early 2016. Brent dropped to $26.01 on January 20, 2016 and WTI dropped to $26.68 on the spot market.

  7. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Depletion never sleeps in an oil field….
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chevron-future-growth-prospects-dwindle-120000584.html
    (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp.’s future growth prospects may be dimming after the oil explorer pumped more crude than it discovered or bought last year, eroding its portfolio of untapped fields.
    New finds, acquisitions and expansions of existing oil and natural gas holdings were equivalent to just 44% of the company’s 2019 production, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. That was Chevron’s poorest performance in that important metric since 2010.
    The measure, known as the reserves-replacement ratio, is key for investors because it helps them gauge whether an oil driller is doing enough to sustain future production that underpins everything from dividends to buybacks to acquisitions.
    For Chevron, whose stock outperformed all other supermajor oil producers last year, the reserves data signals the company may be struggling to locate untouched caches of oil and gas as investors turn increasingly skeptical of the industry’s sustainability.
    Chevron also wrote down the value of U.S. gas assets last year as prices for the fuel collapsed
    ….Even within the fossil-fuel arena, Chevron has few major investments planned beyond the middle of the decade. Chevron is “not nearly as reliant” on large-scale oil and gas projects to generate cash in the future, preferring low-risk shale drilling, Wirth said last month. He is due to update investors on the company’s strategy and goals on March 3.
    Chevron noted that 70% of its worldwide reserves are concentrated in three countries: the U.S., Australia and Kazakhstan. That level of geographic concentration may give rise to concern among investors because it signals increased vulnerability to legislative changes or regional conflict

    Looks like the Brick Wall is coming on fast forward 😁…

    • If prices are rising, it makes a big difference. Then it is possible to get more oil out of existing fields. High cost techniques become affordable. It is really low prices that are the problem.

  8. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Damn…2020 is gonna be some decade folks! Hope you all are ready….Freddie…I mean Fast Eddie

    Millions of Chinese Firms Face Collapse If Banks Don’t Act Fast
    Bloomberg News
    BloombergFebruary 22, 2020, 7:00 PM EST

    (Bloomberg) — Brigita, a director at one of China’s largest car dealers, is running out of options. Her firm’s 100 outlets have been closed for about a month because of the coronavirus, cash reserves are dwindling and banks are reluctant to extend deadlines on billions of yuan in debt coming due over the next few months. There are also other creditors to think about.
    “If we can’t pay back the bonds, it will be very, very bad,” said Brigita, whose company has 10,000 employees and sells mid- to high-end car brands such as BMWs. She asked that only her first name be used and that her firm not be identified because she isn’t authorized to speak to the press.
    With much of China’s economy still idled as authorities try to contain an epidemic that has infected more than 75,000 people, millions of companies across the country are in a race against the clock to stay afloat.
    A survey of small- and medium-sized Chinese companies conducted this month showed that a third of respondents only had enough cash to cover fixed expenses for a month, with another third running out within two months.
    While China’s government has cut interest rates, ordered banks to boost lending and loosened criteria for companies to restart operations, many of the nation’s private businesses say they’ve been unable to access the funding they need to meet upcoming deadlines for debt and salary payments. Without more financial support or a sudden rebound in China’s.

    This could be the Black swan event….

    • Inability to pay back loans is the big issue I see when businesses are closed for long periods. It is not just businesses that cannot pay back loans. It is also private individuals that are not getting wages (or enough wages), so they cannot pay their car and home loans. Also, governments don’t get enough tax revenue. If the financial system collapses, I am afraid that the Chinese economy will tend to collapse. The problems are likely to spread around the world, in many ways: derivative defaults, loan defaults, lower home prices, lower stock prices.

      • Dennis L. says:

        You are making retirement planning a real challenge, time to lay back a few cases of Cabernet, red wine, with screw tops in case the cork puller is misplaced.

        Dennis L.

        • Stay on good terms with any children you may have. In the past, a person’s children and grandchildren were have allowed employment at older ages. Older people helped with childcare or helped on farms, to the extent they could. I run into quite a few older people who help with daycare for their grandchildren after leaving the paid workforce.

    • Xabier says:

      The talk of eventual Chinese recovery and resumption of production seems highly questionable when one reflects that the rest of the world will be in the throes of the pandemic at that hypothetical point (summer-autumn 2020): all China’s major markets will be compromised and hardly ardent consumers as before, whether corporate or private.

      And then will come another winter, and we shall see what the virus gets up at that favourable season: no vaccine at all possible for another year after that, if ever.

      • Those are good points.

        Regarding vaccine, I am afraid the new virus may be too much like Dengue Fever. A vaccine doesn’t really work, because the virus keeps mutating, at the same time that whatever immunity was gained gradually declines. Somehow, this combination leads to a worse outcome after vaccination, rather than a better outcome.

  9. Dennis L. says:

    Read this one carefully, headlines are designed to snare eyeballs to get them ads read, but it appears this virus came from a lab which lab is uncertain. One lab was apparently collecting bats, a good bet would be a bat tossed in a trash can, etc., the other was into virology.

    I did not read the article, I am not sure which lab and I don’t think anyone really as of yet knows which one as the story has gone from a fish market and December of 2019 to November 2019 and a laboratory. .

    We have physicians giving their lives to stop this, a guess is they know more than we and this is a bit more that a bat going batty and biting someone(I can’t resist sometimes.) What is humbling is man will give his/her life in the best interests of humanity, we are a confusing species.

    The damn thing seems to be serious and it really is raising hell with retirement planning.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/chinese-scientists-find-coronavirus-did-not-originate-wuhan-seafood-market

    Articles like this need a second source, they need time to mature and digest, race to judgment is sort of like running from one end of a building to another looking for a way out during a fire. We don’t know, but the fish market story is starting to smell like some of the next day’s fish that were neither refrigerated nor sold before their pull date.

    Dennis L.

    • I read the article and then followed through to the non-peer reviewed preprint of the article tracing back the ancestry of the virus, based on slight differences in the virus over time. In this way, they were able to trace back which viruses seemed to come from which sources.

      Anyhow, this analysis seems to give credibility to the theory that the virus originated as early as November. The market was one place that caused its spread, but there were other cases that have nothing to do with the market cases. There seems to be a different earlier source.

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The world is fast approaching a “tipping point” in the spread of the coronavirus, according to experts…”

    [You suspect this is one of several interrelated tipping points we are about to hit in quick succession.]

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/23/world-is-approaching-coronavirus-tipping-point-experts-say

    • This article has some interesting things in it, including a map showing where the Italian cases are located. The part with the cases is up against the border with Switzerland, in the middle of Italy. It doesn’t touch either of the coasts. I don’t think of that as being a hot spot for overseas tourists, but I don’t know much about the area.

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