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. Tango Oscar says:

    Holy crap! Oil has just dropped to $42 a barrel. How many quarters can oil extractors absorb those kind of margin losses before needing a bailout? It looks like the US indices are headed to new lows. Apparently 50 basis points of interest rate cut isn’t good enough anymore. This is going to end badly and soon too. America is just getting started with this virus. So the fed is going to go to zero interest rates and then what? Full QE again with negative rates? I don’t see how we turn it around this time with more people and scarcer resources.

    • We will have to see how much of the output is really back. There have been stories of companies turning on as much electrical equipment as possible, to make it look like people are back to work.

  2. Artleads says:

    Off Topic

    We touched on gender in Africa a couple days ago. This video might shed some light on the issue:

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=203266330883438&notif_id=1583504559747274&notif_t=live_video

  3. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    This article caught my attention….Gold Bugs count your lucky stars you live in BAU Fantasy
    Meet the women who scavenge for gold at the top of the world
    By Nacho Doce and Mitra Taj
    ReutersMarch 6, 2020, 3:56 AM EST
    LA RINCONADA, Peru (Reuters) – Eva Chura is one of the magpies of the mountain. Living with their families in shacks in a gold shantytown in the Andes, these women make a living gleaning gold from rubble.
    They are called “pallaqueras” which roughly translates as ‘gold-pickers
    https://news.yahoo.com/meet-women-scavenge-gold-top-085631032.html
    Teetering high above the ground, they stoop and flip over the rocks, their keen eyes scanning the lumps for a glimmer of gold. Anything promising they pocket, and take back to process and sell to black-market dealers whose stalls line La Rinconada’s main street.
    “In a week sometimes I can get 1 gram or 2 grams of gold,” Chura said. Black market prices vary but on the London market that would fetch $50 or $100. “If I’m lucky it can sometimes be 20 grams, but that’s down to luck.”
    The quantities each woman collects are tiny, but thousands of them are looking – some estimates say there are more than 15,000 pallaqueras in Peru.
    No-one collects garbage in La Rinconada. Women and men alike risk their lives and subsist in squalor in the mountain’s thin frigid air.
    Life is hard, Chura says, but she is better off gold-picking.
    ……
    To extract gold from the rocks the men and women use mercury, a toxin which they rinse with melted ice from the glacier. The water flows down the mountain into pools, puddles and rivers.
    “The water used in mining is just dumped and all the communities downstream … which are strictly farming areas, receive polluted water to support their livestock and crops,” said Federico Chavarry, environmental crimes prosecutor for the region. “These same waters carry heavy metals directly to Lake Titicaca

    Well. Folks, this is what we have to look forward to when our BAU ends…ain’t that nice sarcasm

  4. peatmoss says:

    I was in the walmart yesterday. Chose the wrong line. Old person checker. dry cough. Cough cough “sorry sorry” So i m like ten feet away. The old person super spreader is now getting mad at me for treating them like the leper they are. Only young checkers for me from now on. Of course they could just be asymptomatic.

    • Unfortunately, anyone could be a carrier.

      I am in Atlanta Hartsfield Airport right now. I never stopped to think about the huge number of people in lines everywhere and sitting in waiting rooms. Finally, a person gets on a cramped plane. I am only flying to Tampa and returning tomorrow. If the virus is transmitted through the air, the futility of contact tracing becomes evident.

      By the way, my meeting in Houston next week was cancelled, because of the virus.

      I did start taking one mg a day of Vitamin C.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Happy travels, Gail. I understand that Elderberry syrup may be a good prophylactic for the coronavirus if taken generously and immediately that you become symptomatic.

      • Yorchichan says:

        I did start taking one mg a day of Vitamin C.

        Unless you are a believer in homeopathy, you might want to up that dosage a little.

        • Sorry, gram.

          • Ed says:

            I hit my first no longer available item. Vitamin C from Bronson in the format I normally get, sustained release, is sold out. I went with 1000mg tablets but no sustained release feature. Yes, it is a prep buy.

          • HDUK says:

            Don’t forget Vitamin D Gail, it will help to keep your immune system working to the best of its ability. Particularly good at this time of year when sunshine is poor and we are wrapped up, also if you spend too much time inside posting on finite world lol……. It’s the one Dr Campbell recommends too. Take care.

            • Yorchichan says:

              Another article I read on the harvardtothebighouse blog also touched on the importance of vitamin D in activating immune defenses.

              https://harvardtothebighouse.com/2019/08/18/the-racism-instinct/

              “…a potent antibiotic. Instead of directly killing bacteria and viruses, [vitamin D] increases the body’s production of a remarkable class of proteins, called antimicrobial peptides. The 200 known antimicrobial peptides directly and rapidly destroy the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus, and play a key role in keeping the lungs free of infection.”

              Lack of vitamin D is undoubtably a major factor in the prevalence of colds and flu in winter months.

            • If we walked around without clothing, we would get a lot more Vitamin D. All of our long sleeved shirts and out sunscreens play a role as well.

            • DJ says:

              When sun hits at low angles the arhmosphere absorbs all UVB so body doesn’t produce D, even if butt naked mid day.

              Thats what cod liver oil is for.

            • There’s app for that – Optimum Vitamin D exposure based on limiting V. D variables: (http://dminder.ontometrics.com/)

            • DJ says:

              In scandinavia (and northern canada, alaska) you don’t need an app, you can use the calendar. There is several months where you get exactly 0 D from the sun.

        • Adonis says:

          All i take is lemon water it kills everything colds are nipped in the bud no colds get worse and i have been off all medications for at least 10 years it is also handy that i have a twenty foot lemon tree growing in my backyard lemon will save you from all diisease

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Tampa is not that far away–
        How about driving?
        Safer for sure, as far as the virus goes.

      • Christopher says:

        It’s recommended to distribute c-vitamin intake as evenly as you can during the entire day. The half life of it in the body is quite short. One intake a day means low levels of c-vitamin for a longer part of the day compared with a more evenly distributed intake.

        I dissolve c-vitamin powder in a glas in the morning and drink from it now and then during the day.

        • Yes, and as has been suggested earlier, try to resupply on vitamins smartly right after every big fluid release be it heavy sweating or urinating (some would incl. even other “bodily fluids” – well being past that age anyway)..

        • Christopher says:

          Most animals produce their own c-vitamin. Our monkey ancestors lost this ability, constant fruit eating gave them plenty of vitamin c anyway.

  5. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Worried customers have been queuing to withdraw money from India’s Yes Bank after the country’s central bank seized control of the troubled lender…

    “Depositors with Yes Bank can now only withdraw the equivalent of about $630 (£486) during a one-month moratorium. During this time, the RBI will work on a rescue plan for India’s fifth biggest private bank.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51763781

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Government bond yields sunk to fresh historic lows as fears over the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on global growth sent investors rushing to safe haven assets.”

    https://www.cityam.com/uk-government-bond-yields-sink-to-record-low-on-coronavirus-disruption/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-government-bond-yields-sink-to-record-low-on-coronavirus-disruption

  7. Report from the trenches of Europe:

    – disposable submicron grade masks and spare filters (for high end mask): gone last week of Jan
    – independently vent-demisted (sport) tight fit goggles: gone last week
    – certified virus cleaning agents: gone now (but bleach still available)
    – some food and medicament items: gone
    ..
    .
    Suggestion, if you are ~rural US/CAN/RoW.., don’t wait..

    • Xabier says:

      Some are awake: most are asleep still….

      • Yorchichan says:

        I’ve talked with both an NHS (UK) doctor and nurse in the last week. They still believe the official line that coronavirus is only a danger to the very old or those with an underlying health problem. If even health professionals believe this, it’s not surprising most of the general public remain indifferent.

        • If there is not much we can really do to stop the virus, then I am afraid this approach sort of makes sense. We need as many people working as possible. We can try to contain the virus, but it doesn’t really work.

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The coronavirus likely halved China’s economic growth in the current quarter compared with the previous three months, more severe than thought just three weeks ago and triggering expectations for earlier interest rate cuts, a Reuters poll found.

    “The range of views was wide, from two banks saying no growth at all to one saying 5.0%.”

    [Seriously? How can the Chinese economy not have been contracting?!]

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-poll/china-first-quarter-economic-hit-from-coronavirus-looking-more-severe-reuters-poll-idUSKBN20T00L

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Car sales are showing early symptoms of the coronavirus. They could get a whole lot worse if—as seems increasingly likely—more big economies go the way of China, Japan and Italy.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-piles-more-pressure-on-the-struggling-car-industry-11583414837

    • Marco Bruciati says:

      Someone think collaps in ,4 weeks or 6 weeks as me?

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Marco, I hope not but this is a body blow for the already weak and heavily indebted global economy. We already have simultaneous supply and demand shocks – a severe contraction of personal movement and economic activity – and for most of the world the pandemic has barely begun.

        • Marco Bruciati says:

          I am not sure only Who Will be First fail. Italia or usa. I bit Italia Will be First. Broken euro and After usa fail too Italia not resilient

      • Depends on the part of the world. Italy and China seem to be leading the pack of countries. Of course, the possible collapse of the EU should be considered as well.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Airline executives are racing to cut costs as coronavirus spreads, raising concern about lower demand for travel that is sending shares to lows not seen in years. Airlines are waiving change fees for new bookings and in some cases cutting fares in an effort to entice travelers on board…

      “U.S. airlines are facing their biggest demand shock since the financial crisis as the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, spreads around the world.”

      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/05/coronavirus-fears-prompt-airlines-to-race-to-cut-costs-as-demand-slips.html

    • Marco Bruciati says:

      I did order in Amazon Yesterday. Today called me shop italian and told they not have a lot of things and please change food. They told all what arrive from out Italia not arrive more

    • Marco Bruciati says:

      I did order in Amazon Yesterday. Today called me shop italian and told they not have a lot of things and please change food. They told all what arrive from out Italia not arrive more

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach says he believes the Fed panicked in cutting interest rates earlier this week and that short-term U.S. rates are headed for zero.

    ““I’m in the camp that the Fed is going to cut rates again,” Gundlach said. “When I say panicked, it doesn’t mean it’s not justified. Sometimes panic is justified.””

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/05/bond-king-gundlach-says-fed-panicked-and-short-term-rates-are-headed-toward-zero.html

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The coronavirus epidemic is upending the carefully calibrated logistics of global shipping, as plunging exports from China disrupt the trade of American goods, especially farm products such as fruit and meat destined for Asia.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-snarls-trans-pacific-shipping-and-ripples-through-u-s-business-11583432172

  12. Gillian Cameron says:

    Thanks for excellent overview

  13. DB says:

    I didn’t see anyone post these two articles yet (apologies if I missed their posting):
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/fake-everything-fake-wuhan-residents-heckle-vice-pm-during-public-relations-stunt
    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/iranian-general-coronavirus-manmade-bio-weapon

    Watch some of the embedded videos in each article.

    Videos in the first show Chinese people boldly rebuking government officials for their propaganda about the epidemic. I never would have expected such displays in mainland China.

    Videos in the second show what appear to be ill/dead people in public places, a morgue with dozens of coronavirus victims, and mass burial cemeteries. If these videos are genuine and accurate, by extrapolation there might be thousands, tens of thousands, or more deaths already in Iran. Personally, I trust such on-the-ground accounts more than the government reports.

  14. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    South Africa case number one…

    Indonesia still at 2 cases… abbsurd, riddiculous…

    India from 3 cases to 30… a small step towards reality…

    Thailand 47 cases, finally moving up from the fake “42”…

    Sweden “We see no threat here” 94 cases…

    South Korea 6K cases but only 40 deaths, so perhaps this is a scenario where, of the supposed two strains of coronavirus, they are circulating the milder strain…

    perhaps there is some cultural aspect that is helping them… don’t know… is their population relatively younger?

    • beidawei says:

      No, Korea has an aging (soon: aged) population.

    • Perhaps they enjoy ~good mix of lite authoritarian govs, still keeping some traditional culture/values, and yet sugar it on top with dosage of personal freedom. Basically the good compromise, which delivers at least something of value..

      It’s all relative anyway, e.g. their near slave workers at assembly lines across Asia & CEE would see it way differently, but their are not South Koreans, lolz..

    • Xabier says:

      If S Korea has intelligent government, good medical services, effective and sensible containment measures, then we can expect a lower level of mortality. Epidemics can infect in the range 30-80%, a very wide variation.

      Contrast to the utter carelessness, corruption, poor medical services (damaged by sanctions of course) and dim-witted religious attitude of Iran.

  15. Stephen says:

    Covid 19 would be just a sneeze to a healthy economy.

    Unfortunately our economy is just
    one huge infestation of underlying conditions dressed up in a nice suit with a wig and makeup.

  16. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://apnews.com/435cb3786f0d6692c8143a07e29c3e79

    there’s a good graph in that article showing a spike in coronavirus cases outside of China…

    now more than 2,000 “new” cases per day… and climbing steeply…

    the graph shows China peaking at about 4,000 “new” cases per day, and then dropping fast (if that’s believable)…

    it won’t be long before world cases top that 4,000 increase per day…

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      the story was updated and the graph was deleted…

      the trend remains…

  17. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/05/bond-king-gundlach-says-fed-panicked-and-short-term-rates-are-headed-toward-zero.html

    ” “Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach says he believes the Fed panicked in cutting interest rates earlier this week and that short-term U.S. rates are headed for zero.
    “I’m in the camp that the Fed is going to cut rates again,” Gundlach said. “When I say panicked, it doesn’t mean it’s not justified. Sometimes panic is justified.”
    The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield hit an all-time low under 0.9%…”

    “Sometimes panic is justified.”

    that should be on a colorful poster…

  18. doomphd says:

    dogs (and cats) do that all the time. they think of it as previously owned, partially digested food. perhaps not the healthiest choice, though.

  19. Chrome Mags says:

    Are you sure you want to post stuff like that?

    • Bei Dawei says:

      Okay, Infowars *is* a bit dodgy, but a lot of people around here link to Zerohedge…

  20. Denial says:

    I don’t know what is worse that or you reposting crap like that! Maybe your a Russian bot,

  21. Sven Røgeberg says:

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/covid-19-america-response-wwii-mobilization-by-james-k-galbraith-2020-03?referral=b042e3
    «Compared to a world war, the COVID-19 epidemic is a fairly manageable problem, provided that the US government can rise to the challenge. But without a mass mobilization to secure critical supplies and prevent a panic, the crisis could easily spin out of control.»

    • Mass mobilization to secure critical supplies? I am not sure if this is possible, if China makes quite a few of them.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Compared to a world war, the COVID-19 epidemic is a fairly manageable problem, provided that the US government can rise to the challenge.”

      [The most recent and arguably best-known, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which occurred approximately 66 million years ago (Ma), was a large-scale mass extinction of animal and plant species in a geologically short period of time.]

      Compared to the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, the COVID-19 pandemic is a fairly manageable problem…

      “… provided that the US government can rise to the challenge.”

      can’t be done without huge economic losses…

  22. “Oil drops as OPEC agrees on massive oil supply cut to offset virus impact; awaits Russia’s approval”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/05/opec-meets-to-decide-whether-to-cut-output-as-coronavirus-hits-demand.html

    Nothing seems to work they way it used to. Announce production cuts to support oil price => price drops? Woopsy Daisy!

    • Less oil leads to an overall economy that produces fewer good and services.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      OPEC recently has been making too small cuts… this cut is just one more in a long series of too small cuts…

      as proven by the drop in prices…

      as I wrote above, a cut of 5 to 10 mbpd might work to raise prices, but even those huge amounts would probably only raise prices temporarily…

      prices are heading for the $20s…

  23. Chrome Mags says:

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/02/28/italy-the-crisis-that-could-go-viral/

    I’ve posted recently concerns for Italy’s economy and the contagion effect it could have on Europe’s economy & of course if Europe falters then that could have a contagion effect worldwide – here’s an article about it:

    ‘Italy: the crisis that could go viral’

    “The coronavirus is tipping Italy into an economic and financial crisis that has the potential to trigger worldwide financial mayhem. Italy is the weakest major link in the global economic chain, which was already under great strain in 2019 and is now ominously fraying at other key global nodes: China, Japan, South Korea and Germany.”

    “Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), says the coronavirus has yet to cause ‘a long-lasting shock’. Her staff, and that of Paolo Gentiloni, the EU’s economic commissioner, are still pondering over how serious the problem is. This is to indulge in perilous complacency. The ECB and European governments are failing to face up to the danger posed by an Italian financial crisis. It is past time to prepare the global effort that will be required to contain its fallout.”

    • Right! Italy doesn’t have spare funds to fall back on, and the EU is not in as good shape as it was at the beginning of the 2008-2009 recession.

    • Marco Bruciati says:

      Yes Italia very fragile

      • Chrome Mags says:

        All the best to you Marco and all those you know. My wife and I loved our trip to Italy in 2015. It was a the trip of a lifetime in Rome, Florence and Venice. My wife is a sculptor, so to see all the sculpture there including Bernini’s exquisite marble sculpture at Villa Borghese, was breathtaking. Of course we saw all the high spots including St. Peters Basilica that has to be seen in person to believe!

    • .it gov poured ~ $9B aid package (doubled from previous week pledge) now..

  24. Bolder step than previously (yesterday) thought..

    Vienna today, “..The oil-producing countries of the OPEC cartel are calling for a deep production cut of 1.5 million barrels per day to support..”

  25. Xabier says:

    Interesting govt. forecast from the UK:

    50% of cases in the first 3 weeks after community infection established.

    90% of cases in the first 9 weeks of the epidemic.

    If this materialises, and why should it not, as the UK has been so negligent regarding containment and delaying strategies, this indicates that April-June will be rather hellish, both in terms of seriously ill people (20% of total infected) in numbers simply impossible to manage in hospitals, and workforce losses (est. 20-30%) from those less ill but not able to work for weeks.

    Very much a short sharp shock. Very sharp.

    • Depends on the weather if we get cold(er) summer or mixed one the bug will thrive..
      Probably this issue will also manifest itself regionally and it could be counter intuitive ala hot beaches in Russia and overcast ClubMed areas..

      • Xabier says:

        Rarely really heats up in the UK before July: last May-June was particularly chilly and overcast, a real disappointment! So I’m afraid we can’t really hope for that.

        Well, everyone has made their informed – or crazy – pandemic projections, we just have to sit back and see what happens.

    • I have a hard time seeing it going quite that fast. What they are forecasting may be the path of what I would call the “first wave.” A second wave may come this fall and winter, and a third wave may come after than. In fact, we may be seeing a lot of mutated versions of this virus in the years ahead. We just don’t know.

      If the population of the United Kingdom is about 68 million, and people are forecasting that up to 70% of the 68 million will catch the illness, then we are talking about possibly 47.6 million in the UK catching the illness. If 50% of those cases come in the first three weeks after community infection being established, this would imply 23.8 million cases would come within three weeks. China has been fighting this for more than three weeks, and it is now claiming 80.4 thousand cases. This is orders of magnitude lower than the UK forecast. Even if China was underreporting by a factor of 100, it would still be lower than 23.8 million cases.

      • Xabier says:

        There are many puzzles about the numbers we have been seeing…..

        • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          agreed…

          number wise, what has recently happened will probably continue to happen…

          areas/pockets with bursts from 10s to 100s to 1000s…

          one case of 10s of thousands…

          perhaps all the 100s will become 10s of thousands…

          my guess is they will…

          time will tell…

  26. peatmoss says:

    If covid 19 spread to 4 new people in one day Japans entire population, 126 million, would be infected in under 12 days from one host entering the population.

    • Should have ordered more stuff from Japan in late Jan, oh well..

    • You are assuming too fast a spread of coronavirus. Japan currently has 364 cases. If we assume a 14% per day growth rate, the virus could theoretically get to the entire population in a little over three months, which would be during June.

      • Stella says:

        Yes but didn’t Trump say the virus would go away in april because of the heat?

      • peatmoss says:

        Isnt the best indicator observed phenomena?
        Hypothesis1;
        a single case entered wuhan population and 2 months later there were omost 100,000 cases

        Isnt it omost a given that with 15000 people flying to Japan from wuhan in Jan and Feb that one of them was infected?

        Yet we see nothing like the explosion of cases we saw in China in Japan. Are their 100,000 cases in Japan. No. Are their 10,000 cases in Japan. No. Are there 1000 cases in Japan no.

        Nor do any of the exponential curves from any of the other countries outbreaks resemble Wuhan.

        Nor was there that much difference in preventative measures in between probable Japan exposure and China exposure.

        Yet we see radical difference in infection cases.

        There is a reason why China exploded with a much more rapid outbreak than other places. That reason is currently unknown. The fact from observed phenomena is that what happened in Wuhan is the exception not the rule. We have cases in every country in the world now pretty much. Will we have 100,000 cases in every country in two months? The clear answer based on observed phenomena Japan is a resounding NO.

        • The first case in China was in November, based on one study tracing the mutation patterns of the virus back. We are now at close to four months after the coronavirus epidemic started in China.

          There is a huge difference between two months and four months. Also, the reported counts are not yet over one million. In fact, within China, if we believe the numbers, there are fewer than 100,000 cases.

          • peatmoss says:

            Where did the million reference come from?

            • Not this series of comments directly. When we are dealing in a world with billions of people, anything that affects less than 1 million people is in some sense tiny, in the whole scheme of things.

        • peatmoss says:

          17 new cases in Japan yesterday. Thats a roaring exponential growth monster after two months?

  27. peatmoss says:

    15,000 flights between Wuhan and Japan December 30 – Jan 22. If CV19 was a bad boy Japan would be getting wacked. Its not.

    Doom doom go away. Come again some other day.

    https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/china/article/3047038/wuhan-virus/index.html?utm_source=ttd&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=GME-I-retarget-us-scmp-ttd-uv-all_bluefin_loyal&utm_content=society_coronavirus-outbreak_2-keyfacts_gif_728x90

  28. Marco says:

    I think First country fail Will be Italia. And After Domino effect in Europa and usa

    • Before China?

      • Chrome Mags says:

        “Before China?”

        At this point it’s a virus foot race to see which goes down first. Before I saw this discussion and further down, I posted a link to an article suggesting Italy could be a canary in the coal mine for the rest of the world economy.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Italia is far ahead in cases in Europe, and already was much more close to the edge economically than the other European countries…

      good chance you are correct…

  29. “Geneticists are creating a family tree for the coronavirus as it mutates
    What’s happening: As a virus spreads, it mutates, developing random changes in single genetic letters in its genome. By tracking those changes, scientists can trace its evolution and learn which cases are most closely related and how the infection is hopping between countries. It’s like creating a family tree in nearly real time.
    “Real time analysis: The data is being tracked on a website called Nextstrain, an open-source effort to “harness the scientific and public health potential of pathogen genome data.” Because scientists are posting data so quickly, this is the first outbreak in which a germ’s evolution and spread have been tracked in so much detail, and almost in real time. The latest maps already show dozens of branching events.
    “Any examples?: One patient, a 61-year-old from São Paulo, had traveled in Italy’s northern Lombardy region that month, so Italy was likely where he acquired the infection. But the sequence of his virus suggested a more complex story, linking his illness back to a sick passenger from China and an outbreak in Germany.
    “Why it matters: The work of the genome sleuths is helping show where containment measures have failed. It also makes clear that countries have faced multiple introductions of the virus, not just one. Eventually, genetic data could pinpoint the original source of the outbreak.”
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615317/gene-sleuths-are-tracking-the-coronavirus-outbreak-as-it-happens/?utm_source=newsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=+the_download.unpaid.engagement

    Something for us defeatist crepe-hangers … I mean, “laws of physics” … & now, it’s biology …

    • Xabier says:

      References to ‘containment measures’ are absurd: can’t fail if you never tried, it simply hasn’t been tried in Europe -people have been allowed to return from Italy and spread out where they please, and politicians spread misinformation in order not to upset commerce and tourism.

      • The containment measures themselves send an economy hugely into recession. It is no wonder that governments don’t want to try them. The containment measures don’t necessarily work very well either.

        • Xabier says:

          True, and containment can only be partially effective, but is a part of delaying the spread a little – crucial time given the volume of patients expected.

          But they have no excuse at all for spreading misinformation which is medically inaccurate and harmful, encouraging complacency which will lead to more vulnerable people being infected.

          • Stephen says:

            Even with US – EU government misinformation campaigns the populations will realise the extent of the pandemic within a month or less.

            Does that short delay provide them time to roll out new CB plans or something?

        • Chrome Mags says:

          “The containment measures themselves send an economy hugely into recession. It is no wonder that governments don’t want to try them. The containment measures don’t necessarily work very well either.”

          Agreed. I’ve posted about his before, i.e. that the cure of trying to sequester people from mingling and spreading the virus may bring down the world economy. We have to ask ourselves; ‘What would be worse – some percentage of the population suffering and dying or the entire world economy faltering?’ The suffering that is already taking place in Wuhan just from losing jobs, the higher cost of food, etc. is causing people to become homeless or close to.

          I’m not trying to be heartless, but we really only have two choices; 1) Try to out-whit the virus, which has failed at every turn, or 2) simply live with it. If we choose the latter, we take people out of quarantine, take off the masks and go about BAU like it doesn’t even exist. Sure, a lot of people will get sick and a percentage will die, but the alternative is the world economy collapses and we all suffer on a massive scale, but also there likely would not ever be this economy again. We can already see the world economy isn’t what it was before the 2008 financial crisis, so imagine what it would be like if it completely collapsed.

          • Xabier says:

            And there are indications that as China relaxes containment, so cases may be rising once more.

          • It may be that the effect of the virus itself is what pushes the world economy past limits to growth. I think we were pretty well at the limit, before the virus became active.

            • Chrome Mags says:

              “It may be that the effect of the virus itself is what pushes the world economy past limits to growth. I think we were pretty well at the limit, before the virus became active.”

              That’s a fact, which makes the timing of these two strains of Corona so interesting. If we all lived in a form of ‘Jason and the Argonauts’, I’d say one of the Greek Gods sent in a virus to end the oil age once and for all, because of the point of origin and the timing.

              To my point earlier regarding two choices, which keeps being ignored, I liken our current situation to a colony of ants faced with the obstacle of a stream. They pile on each other at the edge and float across (analogy ignoring the virus), and on the way some fall off or drown, but the colony remains in tact once across. Now, that doesn’t take care of the need for growth, but at least we’d get across to the other side of this virus outbreak.

      • ssincoski says:

        That is why I was stunned to read even with the virus now present in Poland, the national airline LOT had only reduced flights to/from Milan from 3 per week to 2. Why would anyone want to go to Milan? Why should they be allowed to?

  30. Harry McGibbs says:

    “It is still too soon to see any impact of the coronavirus impact on the [US] data…

    “We’re going to get much weaker job numbers going forward,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said… “now with the virus, we’re going to get much weaker numbers. It is just a matter of time,” he said.

    ““Economists have a really hard time saying over 50% probability of recession. I assure you, almost every economist out there is thinking over 50% probability,” Zandi said.”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-183000-private-sector-jobs-in-february-adp-says-2020-03-04

    • We have close to a 100% chance of heading into a world recession, I am afraid.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        I agree, 100%, but the reality is likely worse than a run of the mill ‘recession’; more like a Lehman Bros. cliff in which CB’s pull out of their bag whatever QE etc. tricks they can to keep things going. Once we get to the cascading of loan defaults this situation will quickly devolve. This Corona virus situation so far may seem rough, but its the calm before the storm.

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The coronavirus outbreak threatens to plunge both France and Italy into recession, and the ripples from a prolonged outbreak could incite a “vicious” spiral of declining markets, European finance ministers have been warned.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/france-italy-risk-recession-eu-warning-virus-impact-200304185911876.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Europe’s largest regional airline Flybe has collapsed into administration, citing ‘additional pressure’ caused by the coronavirus outbreak.”

      https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/05/flybe-collapses-administration-amid-coronavirus-pressure-12351257/

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “The coronavirus is exposing the export-orientated German economy’s vulnerability to disruptions in global trade that will likely keep the industrial sector mired in recession this year, business association BDI said on Thursday.”

        https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/vulnerable-german-industry-faces-prolonged-recession-bdi-2020-03-05

        • the world economic system can only function on forward acceleration.

          It can’t slow down, stop, reverse or go in circles

          What’s happening now exposes its fragility, and the myth of infinite growth.

          Just like the Spanish Inquisition, NOBODY expected Coronavirus. This could be the brick wall we’ve been promising ourselves.

          Looks like the world has had enough of us.

          • Xabier says:

            Well, many perhaps expected it eventually, but it was unquantifiable and impossible to time, compared to our obvious slow-motion catastrophe of an economic system predicated on perpetual growth, which was clearly lurching towards something nasty in the short-term given the obvious slow-down in the last year or so.

          • Right! We had thought contagious illnesses were the least of our problems, but that is not true. We could have noticed the problems with pigs earlier. In general, we don’t have viruses under control.

            • The Swine/Avian Flu Corridor between China and North America has been going on for thousands of years and essentially since man occupied the Americas. It isn’t just the pigs that are a problem. It’s that very efficient “organic” production model of having a pig sty associated with a pond, with ducks an geese – and humans using the same water from that pond. Pigs make an idea host to help virus mutate in their jump from pigs to birds and vice versa and to then to humans. When you ad migratory ducks and geese into the equation now you have air express viral carriers to North American and beyond. In the last century man has exceeded the ducks and geese in the pandemic viral pandemic distribution formula – with very fast and efficient intercontinental air travel – and crisscrossing the hemispheres that the equatorial doldrums once separated. Pandemics are not not just probable, they are inevitable.

            • I am afraid you are right. Then you add trains and busses to crowd people together for transport to work, in the name of efficiency, you make certain that whatever viruses are around, get around further. Having elevators adds to this impact.

              I suppose that this model can perhaps be made to work if women have lots of children, in order to compensate for the expected high mortality rate.

          • “NOBODY expected the Coronavirus.”

            Actually, that really isn’t true at all. Not only has the Coronavirus been announced and preceded by similar epidemics and pandemics – Spanish Flu, MERS, SARS, etc. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic). There have been hundreds – if not thousands – of books written on and or speculating about the subject of viral pandemics – notably starting in the late 60s with the “Andromeda Strain.” It’s become an entire segment of apocalyptic and dystopian fiction and a significant section of the publishing and entertainment market. Some of it is scientifically well based (try the Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly – one of my favorites for its modern realism) and some of it is just plain silly bonkers like the Zombie Apocalypses.

            Survivalism – often called Prepping these days goes back to the stone edge and human origins. Just in the last few decades the idea of an economic and or complete collapse of civilization has created an entire retail market sector called “Preppers,” that in the US now comprises from 3-10% of the consumer market – depending on how strictly you define prepping. Gov. think tanks and the bioweapons industries have not been ignoring, but contributing to the potential of a viral pandemic – especially with the real technical reality of an ethnic viral bioweapon to destroy a specific enemy genepools resistance – while leaving most if not all of its infrastructure intact – ripe for an easy invasion of the immuned aggressor.

            So, there have been quite a few people “expecting” a pandemic – writing about it, visualizing its effects, physically contributing to increasing its probability and in some cases actually planning for it. The Coronavirus is just what this pandemic is called and personally I think it is that viral pathogenic outbreaks are becoming more probable as time and scientific technical progress advances and because of increasing epidemic population density thresholds in major cities around the world, increasing encroachment into tropical parts of the world, and scientific dabbling in viral genetic engineering.

            • peatmoss says:

              note nervous laughter over eating out of barrel

            • Bill Gates talking about how to get ready for the next epidemic. I noticed that his video showing how long it might take for all of the world’s population to be affected by such a virus to sweep through all areas of the world, taking many people with it, was 263 days. This is between 8 and 9 months. I came to a similar calculation. Of course, if the virus substantially slows during the summer months, it would likely come in multiple waves instead. We would have surges followed by let-ups, over a period of perhaps three or four years. In fact, its variations could become a permanent problem.

              I think Bill Gates’ ideas about sending a huge team of medically trained people around the world is pie-in-the-sky. A cousin of mine is a retired nurse who travels around the world, to wherever there is an outbreak. She pretty much has to fund her travels herself, or through donations she can raise through Facebook and other sources. I don’t who besides recently retired health care workers a person might find for such duty. If the epidemic is worldwide, these folks may be needed where they are.

            • Xabier says:

              200 years ago Mary Shelley published ‘The Last Man’, in which a great plague and famines destroy mankind in the 21st-century.

              She had of course seen cholera epidemics in England and Europe, but her vision was grander in scale than those.

              It was panned by critics for being too horrifying and bleak, unbelievable, and devoid of any hope.

            • You are right; there have been a lot of people expecting collapse based on epidemics. But the people who put together models, such as the climate change model, assume that economic growth can continue indefinitely. There will be big bumps in this, if epidemics disrupt supply chains as well as kill people directly.

            • If you look at the various kinds of major collapses – it usually isn’t the primary cause that kills the most people – it’s the people that are left after the supply chains break down that kill the most.

            • That is my concern.

      • I am afraid of a lot of airlines having financial problems and collapsing.

  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The global economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus outbreak will be more severe than previously estimated, Kristalina Georgieve, the IMF’s managing director, said on Wednesday.

    ““Unfortunately over the last week, we have seen a shift to a more adverse scenario for the global economy,” Georgieva said, at a briefing for reporters.”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/global-economic-growth-slowdown-from-coronavirus-will-be-more-significant-than-previously-thought-imf-chief-says-2020-03-04

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Cunliffe [Deputy Governor, Financial Stability at Bank of England] is probably not making an allusion to the possibility that the Bank of England could engage in “helicopter money” – the printing of new money to hand directly to the public.

      “But last resort measures such as this might have to be on the agenda if the current crisis deepens.”

      https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2020/03/global-economy-fights-coronavirus-helicopter-money-could-take

    • The IMF is still badly underestimating the impact. The article says:

      Growth in 2020 would ‘dip below’ the estimated global growth of 2.9% seen in 2019, Georgieva said. That’s a 0.5 percentage point drop from the IMF’s prior forecast of 3.3% growth in 2020.

      Georgieva had previously said the virus outbreak would shave a small 0.1 percentage point from global growth. This forecast envisioned a “V-shaped” recovery and was based on two assumptions that are no longer valid —- that the crisis would be limited to China and would be fully contained, Georgieva said.

  33. Harry McGibbs says:

    The latest from David Korowicz:

    “In China the circulation of people, goods and services has slowed and fragmented. An already weakening economy is now experiencing a major shock through the networks that sustain human welfare and societal functioning…

    “The longer the economy is undermined, the deeper the damage and the slower any recovery. Even if COVID-19 was to vanish this moment, the shock would ripple on as indebtedness, bankruptcy, lost purchasing power, and supply-chain choke points continued to drag on recovery…

    “Because society depends upon multiple interacting networks, within cities and across the globe, there are many routes to cascading disruption. This is an example of non-linearity- a relatively small number of directly impacted people or functions can still cause the failure of a whole system. The speed of our societal processes, from Just-in-Time logistics to financial transactions means that shocks can rapidly cascade.”

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-03-04/we-need-to-talk-about-catastrophic-global-risk/

  34. Chrome Mags says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgmkZ1LZFBE

    Sad video from Wuhan about people going broke. The first couple shown are now homeless. Another guy has lost his job, is out of money and has loans. People can’t go out – what they have to do is put in an order for someone to go to the store for a group of people, but it’s much more expensive and of course prices for everything have gone way up.

    • DOesn’t sound good at all! This kind of thing can happen, even when businesses are closed down to prevent the spread of the virus. There don’t have to be actual illnesses involved, and the layoffs don’t have to be directly related to the cutbacks. I am sure airlines workers and vacation cruise workers around the world are being laid off already, for example.

  35. MG says:

    The Arab world on the way towards atheism:

    http://emiratesleaks.com/en/uae-media-promotes-atheism-attacks-islam-ramadan/

    “Many of the recent actions have shown a dangerous slope in the UAE, and controversy has arisen, such as the statue of the Buddha on the highway between the capital Abu Dhabi and Dubai, amid fears that such alien behavior will continue to befall society.”

    https://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/uae-becomes-arab-world-s-first-nuclear-energy-nation-as-barakah-reaches-major-milestone-1.987561

  36. Hubbs says:

    This virus appears uncontrollable due to its “stealth” via long latency period, variability in symptoms, false positives and negatives in testing, but moreover, even if testing could be done on everyone at frequent intervals, a secure quarantine can no longer be achieved. The other issue is this so called reinfection whereby we could be subjected to a continuous prolonged recycling of the virus if indeed our immune response is limited as far as longevity on one hand, or cytokine storm resulting in death on the other. The virus could keep whittling us away. All this money being spent for treatment and diagnostic testing is almost futile- just political posturing as far as I’m concerned. All I think we’re doing is delaying the inevitable. This thing may burn out if it mutates into a less lethal form, but when it is so contagious, it doesn’t matter if it is overly lethal and kills the host. In other words, less lethality may not be selected for since this virus is so contagious and has such a long incubation period.
    I went to finally test my Big Berkey water filter and found out it failed the red dye 40 test. This is just an example of how we may not be prepared as we think. In fact I think these N95 masks give a false sense of security, with people relying on masks so they feel safe when stand in close proximity to others and not washing their hands and avoiding touching their faces, eyes, mouths, etc. Still too early to tell though.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      “The other issue is this so called reinfection whereby we could be subjected to a continuous prolonged recycling of the virus if indeed our immune response is limited as far as longevity on one hand, or cytokine storm resulting in death on the other.”

      One thing not talked about much is the origin and intention of this virus. Since Chinese scientists came out publicly and pointed a finger at the Wuhan virus research lab, we have to figure this virus originated in bats and was bio-engineered, then got loose somehow. What we don’t know is how much is possible in that scenario, i.e. was it engineered to spread without symptoms showing, continuously re-infect and mutate as needed to eventually take our species apart, here and there, bit by bit until either the economy collapses or we do.

      I’d be much more optimistic if it had jumped from a bat at wild animal market, because then it would be a random event with no intentionality. But when something is tinkered with the intention of possessing capabilities to spread wildly, re-infect, to attack vital organs, and maybe even be engineered to mutate based on advantages discovered while spreading and killing, then I figure we’re all in a lot of trouble.

      The old saying its what you don’t see coming that gets you applies to this virus. A lot of people don’t know how they got it or when, and many don’t even show symptoms. As a species we are not good at handling things that are hiding in the shadows. If it’s obvious like Ebola, we can make sure it doesn’t go too far.

    • Tim Groves says:

      I was thinking of ordering a Big Berkey as i think it might look stylish in the kitchen. We get our water from a mountain stream. It was tested and found fit for human consumption 25 years ago, but there is a lot of wildlife defecating in the woods and I am not prepared to drink it without boiling at present. Big Berkey looks like it could replace the kettle, but if it isn’t as good as advertised, using it to purify water might give people a false sense of security.

      • Artleads says:

        Just saw something on Amanpour about the role of wildlife on the disease. Less incentive to poach and hunt, perhaps.

      • peatmoss says:

        Filtration much much more effective than boiling. Buy that BB. Other filtration solutions can be implemented with lower cost but not as expediently as that BB.

      • There is a problem of taking out too much of the minerals our bodies need, if the filter is really good. It this filter fails the red dye 40 test, however, it may not be all that good. You may need to both filter and boil the water to have it acceptable. A less fancy filter might work if you need to boil the water later, regardless.

  37. Denial says:

    So the world bank is promising 50 billion and the FED has lowered rates…can this just go on forever…Is the name of the game to just keep stock markets up around the world? As someone who has stayed out of debt and stayed out of the stock market for fear of losing all my money; I feel cheated.

    • I used to think that stock markets would collapse before the rest of the economy. Now I think that stocks/bonds/derivatives/governments may collapse at close to the same time. But no one knows for certain.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Gail,

        A guess from a not an expert. Money in addition to being a means of exchange is a store of value, there is much more paper in the world than stuff, and the stuff that remains is worth much less as the ECoE is much higher now which goes down the economic chain in the multiplier. Where as a given grade of scrap steel may have been worth 5 units 10 years ago, now it is only worth 3 given 2 of those units are now a cost of energy, thus less recycling possible.

        Most of us have nothing we can invest our money into except maybe gold and we have been down that rabbit hole. Even the billionaires have less than appears as their stuff can make much less stuff than assumed, much of it is probably just stuff, such as an automobile plant with the most marvelous machines in the world and no affordable stuff(oil) to run it.

        Many understand this, they are bouncing from buying to selling.

        Your conclusion is right, there is plenty of oil left, we will not be able to access it so everything that uses oil is worth less. China got around this using cheap coal, that is gone along with the health of its citizens. I leave others to decide if China has a future and if so what it will look like.

        Mathematically this is starting to look like chaos theory and strange attractors, this is very possibly into the collapse region.

        Dennis L.

        • GBV says:

          Dennis,

          “…there is much more paper in the world than stuff…”

          I respectfully disagree. There certainly is an abundance of electronic IOUs in the form of bank balances and promissory notes to repay, but these are actually all claims on physical paper dollars that counter-parties may or may not have access to at any given time. I believe it has been estimated that only 8% of the money supply is actual physical cash (paper and coins).

          Nicole Foss, formerly of the Automatic Earth blog, used to eloquently explain the difference between hyperinflation (the excessive growth of cash/currency relative to goods/assets within an economy) and hyperexpansion (the excessive growth of credit relative to good/assets within an economy). I can’t really do her argument any justice trying to paraphrase it, so I’ll just quote her here:

          “Money and credit are not the same thing, although people currently use them interchangeably. Money is a physical commodity, while credit is virtual wealth borrowed into existence. Money can be subject to inflation, either by printing currency or by debasing specie (reducing the precious metal content of coins), but does not disappear. Credit, on the other hand, can expand dramatically through financial alchemy, but has no physical existence, although its effects are certainly tangible.

          Because credit is used as a money substitute in the financial markets, it acts as an inflationary force in the asset markets (and this spills over into the real world as the imaginary wealth thus created leads to overconsumption and malinvestments), but it is all ephemeral – in the end, it is still credit, not money. As soon as money is needed in lieu of credit, such as has now happened in the CMO and CDO markets, it becomes clear that the money simply isn’t there.

          Weimar Germany or present day Zimbabwe are examples of hyperinflation, but the Roaring Twenties and our situation are instead examples of credit hyperexpansion. Inflation is a chronic scourge, but credit expansions are self-limiting – they proceed until the debt that creates them can no longer be serviced, at which point that debt implodes in a sea of margin calls.

          There is actually very little real cash out there relative to credit. The ‘sudden demand for cash’ is in fact the world’s biggest margin call to date.

          The value of credit is only as good as the promise that stands behind it, and when that promise cannot be kept, value abruptly disappears.”

          More can be found here:
          http://energyskeptic.com/2014/money-versus-credit-or-hyperinflation-versus-hyperexpansion/

          Interestingly, her article even touches on overnight REPO operations, which seem to be breaking down even as we speak/type, possibly suggesting another large financial dislocation is imminent. However, some of the sources I’ve been following on this topic (e.g. Jeff Snider) seem to suggest that it has more to do with a lack of “pristine” collateral which the primary dealers can pledge into the REPO markets rather than an actual liquidity crisis, which isn’t something I remember Foss discussing (though perhaps she did and I just missed it?).

          Anyway, this ended up being a bit longer than I intended. Basically, I just wanted to suggest that there is a difference between cash/money and credit despite them being used interchangeably, but people tend not to recognize that difference until it’s too late.

          Cheers,
          -GBV

          • peatmoss says:

            I also think that their have been inaccurate classifications of some financial instruments as “money”. These derivatives are insurance policies. They are part of the cost of doing business not anything that can be spent. Yes you can end your insurance policy and get cash back for the most part it expires unused. Same for options.

            Yes these instruments have risk of contagion because there is no ultimate casino that can pay a large number of them out at the same time but the question on hand is money to real stuff.

            Even if you count the government and personal debt only as “money” the money to real stuff ratio is (IMO) certainly much much much larger than is shown in current pricing relationships. You cant just add on zeroes to the end of numbers that are supposed to correlate to real things without consequences (IMO).

            The USA government debt alone (not including unfunded) in one dollar bills stacked goes to the moon what 12 times. I see real inflation in housing markets. This border in between inflation and hyperinflation is concerning. It is already causing dysfunction in the form of homelessness and the phenomena known as home owner poor.

            The idea we have is inflation can not occur simultaneously with deflation. What if its apples and oranges?

          • I am afraid this isn’t a distinction I have ever quite understood.

            One issue I am aware of is the need for ever-more jobs that pay well for non-elite workers. Anything that works in this direction is helpful. Even something like Social Security payments for the elderly helps to pull up demand for finished products. These are the things that help raise commodity prices, so that the cycle can continue. Of course, having sick workers, or workers who are subject to quarantine, works in the opposite direction.

            If interest rates are lowered to make credit more available to the wealthy, this likely goes primarily into inflated asset prices. There might be an impact on the less wealthy being able to purchase cars, but in general, there will be less of an impact on the purchasing power of the less wealthy.

            If the economy as a whole is making more goods and services with the same number of workers, this is beneficial in terms of individual workers being able to afford more. But if there is a cutback in the total amount of goods being produced, someone is going to have to do with less. This cutback situation is what we are facing now. Even if we in the West have money, the shelves in stores may be lacking things we need (medicines, for example, and replacement parts needed to keep elevators operating). These missing goods are likely to be a big problem.

            • Artleads says:

              The NY subway system has hired a lot more cleaners. They go around cleaning all the touchable surfaces in the cars in a 72 hr cycle. (not frequently enough, perhaps).

            • GBV says:

              “I am afraid this isn’t a distinction I have ever quite understood.”

              Pretty straight forward, Gail, as long as you define inflation / deflation to be monetary events (changes in the money supply relative to goods, and I suppose services, in an economy) and not just fluctuation in price (which can occur when no inflationary or deflationary pressures can be seen within the system, but instead things such as changes in consumer preference).

              Try defaulting on a $100 loan (preferably from someone other than me) – all you have to do is tell them you’re not going to pay it back, and assuming they don’t take you to small claims court, the outcome is deflationary.

              Now try defaulting on a $100 bill in your hand.
              Short of setting it on fire, I’m not sure how you’d do such a thing…

              “Even if we in the West have money, the shelves in stores may be lacking things we need…”

              Can’t disagree with you there. The disappearance or end-of-production of so many goods in our collective reality would be highly inflationary, as the outstanding money supply would have to be spread across far fewer goods.

              However, as everyone starts to default on what the consider “wealth” or “money” (i.e. credit), this should unleash a countervailing deflationary force. The big question for me is, will Covid-19 result in the destruction of more credit (i.e. deflationary) or more goods (i.e. inflationary)?

              Cheers,
              -GBV

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Big banks’ demand for central bank cash remained very strong on Wednesday, leading the Federal Reserve Bank to add a fresh $100 billion to the financial system.”

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/feds-100-billion-repo-intervention-falls-short-of-bank-demand-11583332932

    • Yep, you were cheated big time, that’s the true conclusion of this sad story, he who was a serial borrower and lived frivolously won. As mentioned in the new DW piece and other msm outlets the direct cash flow support for SME/companies is coming to West as well, perhaps as early as next week. Stock market has been artificially levitating for long time already etc. At some point more broadly defined debt jubilees would follow and so on..

      And you will “suffer more” as the inevitable pre-ultimate crash stage will be even more direct in your face (“mixed”) command style “emergency” type of economy..

      Sorry, this sequencing has been predicted by some bright minds many yrs/decades ago.. Humanoids will go down only as kicking and screaming, we are not there yet by a long shot..

      • On the other hand, keeping a person’s “wants” low, has been a successful strategy. Even if a person has missed out on the stock market’s gains, and on having all of the “stuff” your neighbors have, you are still happy. Your focus is on something different.

        Getting rid of television years ago and not going to movies helps remove the push toward always wanting more stuff. Also, staying out of stores except to purchase what is on your list.

        • Speaking of “wants” takes me way back. When I was a child – I “wanted” a lot – and I was verbally persistent in expressing my wants. I can still hear my Dad ask me this question when I was “wanting” this or that toy. “How old are you now, Buddy?

          Since this question came up frequently, I was convinced that my dad was very forgetful – especially of my age. I would say “Dad, I’m already (pick a number between three and ten) years old.”

          Eventually, I new that not only was he not forgetful, but what his response would be and much later – why. My Dad always responded to whatever age I was when I asked for the unnecessary things of a purely “want” driven desire – with “Well, Buddy at your age – you are now old enough for not getting your “wants” – not to hurt you.”

    • Xabier says:

      You are alive: cheated of nothing of any real worth. Let them play their games.

      • peatmoss says:

        ++++++++++++++++
        People cheat themselves with their ideas.
        My Bernie supporting friends (yes i have Bernie friends even close friends) are sure that they should be living a much more affluent life.

  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2_FkyY3BOM
    It took almost a month for WHO to agree (capitulate) on msm with Martenson’s fatality rate numbers, although still on the lower boundary, obviously and not mentioning him, lolz..

    • Xabier says:

      Martenson has proved not to be an alarmist, at least in his coverage of this issue. His posts are very respectable. and well-reasoned.

      • I am not certain that Martenson’s responses can really be scaled up to a world level. And, at least in the videos I have seen, he hasn’t emphasized the economic aspects of the whole problem. If you go hide in your home for three months, there will likely be a huge lost wages problem, especially if your job is in construction or working as a waiter/waitress. And the coronavirus is likely to come back multiple times over the nexts months and years, making it a repeated problem that doesn’t go away. If you have the coronavirus the first time, there is at least some chance that you will have modest immunity the next time around.

        • Artleads says:

          A very informed person thinking the virus is here to stay.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHs9VBShzbA

          Construction and eating out could change. Multi family housing, hotels, offices that have everybody stacked on top of one another and breathing in the same air conditioned air could change. Restaurant food may need to be cooked where the customer can see it’s not handled. It wouldn’t need to stop business if such changes were made. We need to form new habits.

          • I am afraid that coronavirus brings about collapse. We will be no longer wealthy enough to build anything except things that can be made only with local materials.

            • Artleads says:

              I’m in the very early stage of building only with cardboard, using the simplest hand tools. I figure that collapse mean we’re dead. My interest is in not entirely collapsing, and doing with very small local communities that are networked. So if there’s one industry out of a thousand to keep viable, it would be the production of cardboard. I’m absolutely certain that it will soon be expensive to get cardboard, for everyone will be hoarding it.

    • Interesting video! If Dr Bruce Aylward (the representative from WHO spoke on this tape) should come down with COVID-19 in the next few days, it would be very embarrassing to WHO, I expect. He said he didn’t talk to anyone who had the illness, or was a close contact of those who had the illness. The people he talked to were doctors. Do we believe that doctors are a low-risk population? Did he fly back to Switzerland on a plane that had no COVID-19 carriers? According to the information given, he has been back 10 days, but this doesn’t completely leave him as not being at risk. He says he is following WHO’s guidelines, which don’t require self-isolation after returning from China. Most European airlines are still flying to China, I understand.

  39. Ed says:

    The level of lying keeps going up. We are nowhere near peak lies.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      do you want to elaborate?

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      I perceive that almost all of the Asian countries are lying/faking/obfuscating… or otherwise just not willing or able to do testing on suspected COVID-19 cases…

      China seems to have been dodging the truth since about mid December… even with their massive numbers, I feel that things are many times worse there… a feeling with no proof…

      only South Korea seems truthful, and their cases are huge…

      probably huge in most other southeast Asian countries also…

      India finally budges… 3 cases to 6 and now 29…
      Indonesia still at 2… ha…
      Thailand budged from 42 to 43… what a joke…
      Vietnam 16 cases and they all recovered… a “miracle”…

      I would give a bit of credit to Iran for what seems to be honest reporting… their horrible numbers suggest no fake data there…

      Europe looks like reasonable numbers… Italy, for whatever reason, became the main secondary node from the original Chinese node… from the Italian node, the spread throughout Europe looks almost obvious…

      the truth out of Asia would be fascinating, and probably horrible…

      • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        the USA death rate is 11 of 159 = 7%

        it will go down as reported cases become more accurate, but that rate is just a wee bit higher than the seasonal flu death rate of less than one tenth of one percent…

        COVID-19 is 7.1%

        flu is less than 0.1%

        even without my caps lock on, those numbers are alarming…

        • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          it’s interesting that the death rates in China and Italy and Iran are very nearly the same… all slightly above 3.0% per the reported data…

          • peatmoss says:

            Correlations in between multiple independent sources are better indicators of accurate information. Your right about one thing. If this is not the big one it will be along in a week a month or a year. I just dont see anything like what happened in China happening in the USA. If this was a true exponential growth virus we would be deep in the poop now IMO.

            This thing seems to grow in bursts and pockets (a term coined by another poster here). It doesnt seem to churn away with a deadly steady growth rate. One more hope/comment. This could mean the china new case numbers are actually true. CV19. Flash in the pan no boom.

        • As I remember most of those morts were in a nursing home with high infections. So, this would skew the comparative mortality rate with the general population.

          • The United States add Europe have disproportionately more elderly people than China. This difference would, by itself, suggest that we should have a higher mortality rate than other countries.

            • Good point, Gail. Of course more widely distributed modern medical facilities will have an off setting effect – up to a point. How much is yet to be seen.

      • Lastcall says:

        Maybe northern Italy has a close manufacturing relationship with materials/people often in transit between the two areas?

        • Xabier says:

          There are meant to be quite a number of Chinese fashion workers in Northern Italy, often illegal.

          We seem to have two principle sources for the spread from the Chinese source: Iran and Italy.

          The Asian prostitution sector will no doubt contribute considerably, too.

  40. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoqAqoJx1v8

    First segment on ramping up test kits..
    Second on next week’s ECB meeting and implementation of the “Chinese plan” as well in direct support targeted at SME’s cashflows..
    Third on OPEC+ meeting this week, prolly incl. cuts..
    Fourth on tourism.

    • Artleads says:

      The African gentleman seems to be talking Gail’s language. I really perked up at the idea of a “cut” (in production?) as a way to stabilize the “market.” I’m sure that would have a lot of moving parts to it.

  41. James Dimond says:

    On Saturday, the Taizhou Daily published a front-page commentary criticizing local officials for focusing on power usage, arguing that hitting the targets won’t ensure economic growth. By Sunday, a link to the article on the paper’s website was no longer working.

    Last week, the Xinhua News Agency published a story about production resuming in Guangdong using power consumption as the main evidence to show how quickly production is returning to normal levels.

    Some smaller businesses are unable to restart work because workers haven’t returned and have resorted to turning on all their electric equipment, including air conditioners, to meet the quotas, according to two factory bosses.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-01/china-s-push-to-jump-start-economy-revives-worries-of-fake-data

    Fake factory data – fake infection/death data?

    • Xabier says:

      Really it’s just a form of Cargo Cult thinking: ‘If we put some packing crates together in the shape of a plane, it will be one!’ Too funny for words, really.

  42. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Uncle Sam is in the same boat as the average Joe and Corp.

    Analysis finds a ‘tipping point’ for Americans struggling with household debt
    Dhara Singh
    Dhara SinghReporter
    Yahoo MoneyMarch 4, 2020, 9:23 AM EST
    At a time when U.S. household debt has reached a new pinnacle of $14.15 trillion, a separate analysis by American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) found that American households seeking financial help are usually carrying more than $20,000 in credit card debt.

    “Most of the people in our study are using credit cards to just get by and are living paycheck to paycheck,” Madison Block, a marketing communications and program associate at ACCC, told Yahoo Money.

    The analysis of over 40,000 consumer clients who sought budget counseling since 2018 noted that carrying credit card balances of $20,000 “is more than double the debt of the average household carrying credit balances, and more than three times the average credit card debt of all households in the U.sa

  43. Sven Røgeberg says:

    Found this article on judith currys blog
    https://judithcurry.com/2020/02/24/australian-fires-climate-truth-bomb/
    «Recipe for Australia’s climate ‘truth bomb’: dubious manipulations of the historical temperature record, ignorance of the climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere, and ignorance of Australia’s ecological and social history.»

    • Judith Curry thinks that Australia has had a history of bush fires. She also thinks that the temperature data has been adjusted to give the warming researchers needed for their model; the underlying data doesn’t show the same pattern as the adjusted data.

      I suppose having the climate scientists adjust the historical data is sort of like having the foxes watch the henhouse doors.

  44. Xabier says:

    Little bit of supply chain news from Spain.

    The VW factory in Pamplona only has parts to keep in production for another 3-6 days. Supplies now being flown in from China.

    Situation is said by VW management to be worse in the N.Italian factories, as they have less capacity to stockpile parts to allow for interruptions in supply, and they will also grind to a halt in 3 days or so.

    • Yep, it’s an epic pandemic bummer, in few weeks time you won’t be able to repair even a bicycle or moped. I’m serious, there are lot of “consumables” for maintenance if you do (need) it properly.. Perhaps at certain moment “cannibalization” of good enough older used worn out parts starts big time in every industry, at least where there are duplicate units to have around, welcome to surprisingly “short” emergency..

      • Xabier says:

        It’s all happening quite rapidly now. You are correct, even simple bike stuff will be unobtainable, for a time at least.

  45. Chrome Mags says:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/researchers-identify-two-coronavirus-types-020642882.html

    ‘Researchers identify TWO coronavirus strains’

    “Scientists in China studying the outbreak of disease caused by the new coronavirus say they have found that two main strains of the virus are circulating in humans and causing infections.”

    “The preliminary study found that a more aggressive strain of the new coronavirus associated with the outbreak in Wuhan accounted for about 70% of analyzed cases, while 30% were linked to a less aggressive type.”

    The question then is can people that tested positive be further tested to determine if its the stronger or weaker strain?

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      thanks…

      could be helpful info, if it’s true…

      perhaps a bigger question… could each country/area be analyzed to determine if it is being infected by one strain or the other… or both at once?

      that kind of analysis might help governments in planning their responses…

  46. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    We can ALL rest easy now…China reports it’s virus has MOVED ON..HONEST!
    Attention Federal Reserve….flash …non emergency RATE cut….ha, ha, ha!
    Researchers identify two coronavirus types as China cases dwindle

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-toll/researchers-identify-two-coronavirus-types-as-china-cases-dwindle-idUSKBN20R07Z
    NEW CASES DOWN
    Mainland China had 119 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the National Health Commission said, down from 125 the previous day, in a broad trend that has seen numbers of new cases fall from the middle of February.
    The total number of cases on the mainland has now reached 80,270. The number of deaths rose by 38 to bring the total toll for mainland China to 2,981 by March 3.
    All but one new death occurred in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.
    With the number of new daily infections overseas now exceeding new cases in China, Chinese officials have begun to seek ways to control the spread of the virus outside of China and guard against future outbreaks.
    Authorities have asked overseas Chinese hoping to return home to reconsider their travel plans, while cities across the country have set up quarantine rules for those entering from high-risk places

    China no longer a high risk! Hahaha
    Back to work…many hands do light work.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MOl77JIdzzM

    Chop, chop

    • We have to wait for new numbers on the eventual pick up of the Chinese economy via emissions / traffic statistics proxies etc., it’s definitely not happening so far.. or the delay in measurement takes more days to post-updates..

  47. Sky is not (yet) falling so now for something completely different.. 🙂

    The Super Tuesday Dem primaries revealed some interesting insights (barometer like) into the US situation (and global proxy) as of now. Even NE states like Maine and Massachusetts went shockingly to “no malarkey” reanimated corpse named Biden, the real or fake “progressives” from the region scoring second and third. This implies the “middle class” voter (marginal) on some subconscious level feels more secure in terms of keeping their living standards based on the wars, meddling, bone eating corruption, msm propaganda,.. whatever just GIVE ME another day in the warm light.. It means we are indeed near or at the advanced stage of ECoE triage.

    Yes, even if we allow for the possibility of this time extraordinary ~5-15% vote count fraud (again no surprise), that simply doesn’t cut it.. the bottom line issue to analyze is the times are deemed too good for many.. and the forming dark clouds are low on the horizon..

    • Old candidates win!

      • Yes, and the minute of counting ~67% delegate votes are for ~BAU, and ~100% delegate votes are for quasi BAU. What a funny system to have..

      • Dennis L. says:

        Perhaps it would be better to wait until the VP candidate is chosen, that may well be the real president for the next four years given the front runner’s age. One could be titular, one could be the power behind the thrown; history can be very interesting.

        Given that women candidates could not draw sufficient votes, this may be the revision to more traditional roles you speak of at times. My opinion and business experience, it will take a team and a good partnership is based on complimentary strengths, not similar ones; no one person knows everything.

        Dennis L.

        • I think you are right about needing to know the VP candidates. Even knowing the VP candidates, we still may have problems.

          We remember the issues Ronald Reagan had when he started getting Alzheimer’s while he was still in the White House. His wife was consulting an astrologer during these years. Unfortunately, losing mental capacity doesn’t necessarily lead to stepping down.

          • Xabier says:

            The strong mental capacity of Presidents and VP’s is, perhaps, not the main priority of those who really run the show?

            • Dennis L. says:

              Xabier,
              Given what looks to have happened in China, sometimes it is perhaps better to have a person with not average, but not exceptional IQ running the show. High IQ can lead to boredom and that can lead to dumb experiments. The herd is not always correct, but always going against the herd is a path to disaster, herds become herds by not making too many mistakes.

              With exceptional talent one gets away with many things that normal “average” people do not, but as Clint was known to say, “A man’s got to know his limits.” Politically, it would appear some of the really brilliant advisers to Presidents have come up with really dumb ideas. It is a common theme in history.

              Dennis L.

          • Chrome Mags says:

            Reagan had Alzheimer’s and there is conjecture Trump has early onset Dementia, so these candidates are all a risk of mental degradation. Biden got confused last evening whether his wife was to his right or his sister to his left, when he first got on stage and his wife looked at him as if to say, “Don’t blow it, you just got up here!”

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              Ronnie was not the brightest porch light on the block to begin with.
              Biden does not strike me as one of the brightest lights either.
              But, it is late stage capitalism– we will see.

  48. Harry McGibbs says:

    “South Africa entered its second recession in two years in the final quarter of last year as agriculture, transport and construction contracted, data showed on Tuesday, highlighting the impact of power cuts on the economy.”

    https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001362842/south-african-economy-enters-second-recession-in-two-years

  49. Tim Groves says:

    There’s lots of good info in here for dealing with the Virus.
    Also, anyone coming down with a cold or the flu could benefit from reading the full paper that can be downloaded as a PDF.

    Multiple Infections and Lung Damage Models Imply Strategies for Containing The COVID-19 Pandemic
    Jianqing Wu, Ping Zha
    Last revised: 3 Mar 2020

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3544428

    • Xabier says:

      I recommend that EVERYONE read this paper, and share it, it is excellent!

      If nothing else, read the ‘Strategies’ section – there is a lot you can do for yourself. There will be next to no provision for this by overwhelmed hospitals, that is clear.

      I have to add, it makes the recommended actions (inactions) of most governments look criminal as well as unintelligent -mostly because they want to keep the wheels of commerce turning. Abhor crowds, restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.

      Each of us has the responsibility to help reduce the spread of this virus, for our own sake
      and that of others.

      Very interesting is the recommendation to keep the lungs warmer than the head: I once tried this when I had a persistent winter chest infection. I lay on an electric blanket, top setting, bare chest down, and in two days it went. It had been very nasty,and just faded away.

      Good nutrition, calm attitude, keep warm and try breathing exercises. Recommends ‘sound uttering’.

      It is also clear that masks are useful, as they sop people launching the virus on the wind, combined with very limited social contact.

    • Thanks. There are a lot of interesting things in this paper. The authors claim viruses can travel over 10 miles. The article did not seem to provide a source for this statement. When I searched, I found this article, that talks more specifically about different kinds of human virus travel. Recognition of aerosol transmission of infectious agents: a commentary. Regarding chicken pox, it says,

      Studies on VZV have shown that the virus is clearly able to travel long distances (i.e. up to tens of meters away from the index case, to spread between isolation rooms and other ward areas connected by corridors, or within a household) to cause secondary infections and/or settle elsewhere in the environment [22,23,24]. In addition, Tang et al. [25] showed that airborne VZV could leak out of isolation rooms transported by induced environmental airflows to infect a susceptible HCW, most likely via the direct inhalation route.

      With respect to the Strategies for Containing the COVID-19 a virus article you linked to, these are some quotes from the article:

      1. We predict that a person could be infected by the same or similar viral species after the prior infection has resolved. After an infection has resolved, the antibody concentration declines rapidly. [Comment: Doesn’t sound good for successful vaccine.]

      2. Risk of infections cannot be evaluated according to the yes- or-no rule. Do not think that every infection is same. An important strategy is avoiding exposure to a massive viral particles in a short time. [Comment: This is probably why health care workers have such a problem with infections.]

      3. Withhold breath for seconds to avoid coughed air and resume breathing after walking a few steps away from the coughing area. [Strangely enough, this advice seems to hold, even when breathing in your own coughed air.]

      4. Stores, schools, and hospitals should take measures to reduce human density or improve air ventilation. Ventilation condition is especially important in areas where customers stand in line.

      5. Temperature is the most important factor. It is absolutely the first priority to avoid exposure to low temperature. It affects blood vessel stricture, blood viscosity, blood vessel pore size, etc. Keeping warn is the most important measure in the fight against cold, influenza and any lung infections and is important before exposure to the virus, in the latent time, during treatment, and during recovery. [Wuhan, with its lack of inside heat in winter, does not do this.]

      6. Increase water intake to reduce blood viscosity. . . Certain foods such as garlic and a large number of herbs can be used to reduce platelet aggregation or improve blood circulation.

      7. Increase mechanical vibrations of the lungs. Sound-uttering, an ancient healing art, can help lungs relax, thus facilitating the passing of white blood cells through the capillaries network.

      8. We have shown that deep breathing exercises is the most powerful method for fight against lung infection. It has been used in China, India, Japan, Korean, etc. as the primary healing art for thousands of years.

      9. Use right dietary, environmental, and lifestyle factors to mitigate infection severity and lung damages. Vitamins A, C, E, antioxidants, selenium, etc. protect lung cells from the injuries of free radicals.

      10. Antiviral drugs are effective only in the early stage when the functions of major organs are strong. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen fever and flu symptoms, and shorten the time of being sick by about one day.

      11. We also question the measure of using drugs to lower body temperature.

      12. Most bad disease outcomes are associated with severe low temperature injury, exposure to cold and humid environment, cross-infections, repeating infections, emotional distress, fears and stress, etc. If the disease is not contained or mitigated, the top priority is improving population general health AND learning how to avoid serious lung exposures and how to use those factors to make outcome different. Temperature, humidity, exercise, environment factors, lifestyle, diet and herbs, emotional management, etc. can be used to establish powerful protocols to contain or end the pandemic.

    • HDUK says:

      Reminds me a lot of my Grannies advice and care, wrap up warm, don’t chill your chest, lots of blankets and a hot water bottle, wet face cloth on the forehead, but she regularly opened the windows to let the bad out and the good in, and she insisted we ate all her home grown veg. Much the same care was administered by my own Mum. I do wonder about modern medicine, all the old advice discarded for a blister pack of pills and more healthcare debts.
      Great new article by David Korowitz and a nice comment by Norm.
      https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-03-04/we-need-to-talk-about-catastrophic-global-risk/
      Gail and David sing from the same hymn sheet, not sure why so few of us see the light or is it the dark?

      • We would all like things to turn out well. At the same time, it is hard to pinpoint all the things that might go wrong, simultaneously, and how they could feed on one another. Our ability to fix the problems would seem to be very limited.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      thanks, Tim…

      I downloaded it…

      my lungs are over 60 years old, so they need all the help they can get…

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