Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

Citizens seem to be clamoring for shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is one major difficulty, however. Once an economy has been shut down, it is extremely difficult for the economy to recover back to the level it had reached previously. In fact, the longer the shutdown lasts, the more critical the problem is likely to be. China can shut down its economy for two weeks over the Chinese New Year, each year, without much damage. But, if the outage is longer and more widespread, damaging effects are likely.

A major reason why economies around the world will have difficulty restarting is because the world economy was in very poor shape before COVID-19 hit; shutting down major parts of the economy for a time leads to even more people with low wages or without any job. It will be very difficult and time-consuming to replace the failed businesses that provided these jobs.

When an outbreak of COVID-19 hit, epidemiologists recommended social distancing approaches that seemed to be helpful back in 1918-1919. The issue, however, is that the world economy has changed. Social distancing rules have a much more adverse impact on today’s economy than on the economy of 100 years ago.

Governments that wanted to push back found themselves up against a wall of citizen expectations. A common belief, even among economists, was that any shutdown would be short, and the recovery would be V-shaped. False information (really propaganda) published by China tended to reinforce the expectation that shutdowns could truly be helpful. But if we look at the real situation, Chinese workers are finding themselves newly laid off as they attempt to return to work. This is leading to protests in the Hubei area.

My analysis indicates that now, in 2020, the world economy cannot withstand long shutdowns. One very serious problem is the fact that the prices of many commodities (including oil, copper and lithium) will fall far too low for producers, leading to disruption in supplies. Broken supply chains can be expected to lead to the loss of many products previously available. Ultimately, the world economy may be headed for collapse.

In this post, I explain some of the reasons for my concerns.

[1] An economy is a self-organizing system that can grow only under the right conditions. Removing a large number of businesses and the corresponding jobs for an extended shutdown will clearly have a detrimental effect on the economy. 

Figure 1. Chart by author, using photo of building toy “Leonardo Sticks,” with notes showing a few types of elements the world economy.

An economy is a self-organizing networked system that grows, under the right circumstances. I have attempted to give an idea of how this happens in Figure 1. This is an image of a child’s building toy. The growth of an economy is somewhat like building a structure with many layers using such a toy.

The precise makeup of the economy is constantly changing. New businesses are formed, and new consumers grow up and take jobs. Governments enact laws, partly to collect taxes, and partly to ensure fair treatment of all. Consumers decide which products to buy based on a combination of factors, including their level of wages, the prices being charged for the available goods, the availability of debt, and the interest rate on that debt. Resources of various kinds are used in producing goods and services.

At the same time, some deletions are taking place. Big businesses buy smaller businesses; some customers die or move away. Products that become obsolete are discontinued. The inside of the dome becomes hollow from the deletions.

If a large number of businesses are closed for an extended period, this will have many adverse impacts on the economy:

  • Fewer goods and services, in total, will be made for the economy during the period of the shutdown.
  • Many workers will be laid off, either temporarily or permanently. Goods and services will suddenly be less affordable for these former workers. Many will fall behind on their rent and other obligations.
  • The laid off workers will be unable to pay much in taxes. In the US, state and local governments will need to cut back the size of their programs to match lower revenue because they cannot borrow to offset the deficit.
  • If fewer goods and services are made, demand for commodities will fall. This will push the prices of commodities, such as oil and copper, very low.
  • Commodity producers, airlines and the travel industry are likely to head toward permanent contraction, further adding to layoffs.
  • Broken supply lines become problems. For example:
    • A lack of parts from China has led to the closing of many automobile factories around the world.
    • There is not enough cargo capacity on airplanes because much cargo was carried on passenger flights previously, and passenger flights have been cut back.

These adverse impacts become increasingly destabilizing for the economy, the longer the shutdowns go on. It is as if a huge number of deletions are made simultaneously in Figure 1. Temporary margins, such as storage of spare parts in warehouses, can provide only a temporary buffer. The remaining portions of the economy become less and less able to support themselves. If the economy was already in poor shape, the economy may collapse.

[2] The world economy was approaching resource limits even before the coronavirus epidemic appeared. This is not too different a situation than many earlier economies faced before they collapsed. Coronavirus pushes the world economy further toward collapse. 

Reaching resource limits is sometimes described as, “The population outgrew the carrying capacity of the land.” The group of people living in the area could not grow enough food and firewood using the resources available at the time (such as arable land, energy from the sun, draft animals, and technology of the day) for their expanding populations.

Collapses have been studied by many researchers. The book Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov analyze eight agricultural economies that collapsed. Figure 2 is a chart I prepared, based on my analysis of the economies described in that book:

Figure 2. Chart by author based on Turchin and Nefedov’s Secular Cycles.

Economies tend to grow for many years before the population becomes high enough that the carrying capacity of the land they occupy is approached. Once the carrying capacity is hit, they enter a stagflation stage, during which population and GDP growth slow. Growing debt becomes an issue, as do both wage and wealth disparity.

Eventually, a crisis period is reached. The problems of the stagflation period become worse (wage and wealth disparity; need for debt by those with inadequate income) during the crisis period. Changes tend to take place during the crisis period that lead to substantial drops in GDP and population. For example, we read about some economies entering into wars during the crisis period in the attempt to gain more land and other resources. We also read about economies being attacked from outside in their weakened state.

Also, during the crisis period, with the high level of wage and wealth disparity, it becomes increasingly difficult for governments to collect enough taxes. This problem can lead to governments being overthrown because of unhappiness with high taxes and wage disparity. In some cases, as in the 1991 collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union, the top level government simply collapses, leaving the next lower level of government.

Strangely enough, epidemics also seem to occur within collapse periods. The rising population leads to people living closer to each other, increasing the risk of transmission. People with low wages often find it increasingly difficult to eat an adequate diet. As a result, their immune systems easily succumb to new communicable diseases. Part of the collapse process is often the loss of a significant share of the population to a communicable disease.

Looking back at Figure 2, I believe that the current economic cycle started with the use of fossil fuels back in the 1800s. The world economy hit the stagflation period in the 1970s, when oil supply first became constrained. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 seems to be a marker for the beginning of the crisis period in the current cycle. If I am right in this assessment, the world economy is in the period in which we should expect crises, such as pandemics or wars, to occur.

The world was already pushing up against resource limits before all of the shutdowns took place. The shutdowns can be expected to push the world economy toward a more rapid decline in output per capita. They also appear to increase the likelihood that citizens will try to overthrow their governments, once the quarantine restrictions are removed.

[3] The carrying capacity of the world today is augmented by the world’s energy supply. A major issue since 2014 is that oil prices have been too low for oil producers. The coronavirus problem is pushing oil prices even lower yet.

Strangely enough, the world economy is facing a resource shortage problem, but it manifests itself as low commodity prices and excessive wage and wealth disparity.

Most economists have not figured out that economies are, in physics terms, dissipative structures. These are self-organizing systems that grow, at least for a time. Hurricanes (powered by energy from warm water) and ecosystems (powered by sunlight) are other examples of dissipative structures. Humans are dissipative structures, as well; we are powered by the energy content of foods. Economies require energy for all of the processes that we associate with generating GDP, such as refining metals and transporting goods. Electricity is a form of energy.

Energy can be used to work around shortages of almost any kind of resource. For example, if fresh water is a problem, energy products can be used to build desalination plants. If lack of phosphate rocks is an issue for adequate fertilization, energy products can be used to extract these rocks from less accessible locations. If pollution is a problem, fossil fuels can be used to build so-called renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and solar panels, to try to reduce future CO2 pollution.

The growth in energy consumption correlates quite well with the growth of the world economy. In fact, increases in energy consumption seem to precede growth in GDP, suggesting that it is energy consumption growth that allows the growth of GDP.

Figure 3. World GDP Growth versus Energy Consumption Growth, based on data of 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy and GDP data in 2010$ amounts, from the World Bank.

The thing that economists tend to miss is the fact that extracting enough fossil fuels (or commodities of any type) is a two-sided price problem. Prices must be both:

  1. High enough for companies extracting the resources to make an after tax profit.
  2. Low enough for consumers to afford finished goods made with these resources.

Most economists believe that an inadequate supply of energy products will be marked by high prices. In fact, the situation seems to be almost “upside down” in a networked economy. Inadequate energy supplies seem to be marked by excessive wage and wealth disparity. This wage and wealth disparity leads to commodity prices that are too low for producers. Current WTI oil prices are about $20 per barrel, for example (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Daily spot price of West Texas Intermediate oil, based on EIA data.

The low-price commodity price issue is really an affordability problem. The many people with low wages cannot afford goods such as cars, homes with heating and air conditioning, and vacation travel. In fact, they may even have difficulty affording food. Spending by rich people does not make up for the shortfall in spending by the poor because the rich tend to spend their wealth differently. They tend to buy services such as tax planning and expensive private college educations for their children. These services require proportionately less commodity use than goods purchased by the poor.

The problem of low commodity prices becomes especially acute in countries that produce commodities for export. Producers find it difficult to pay workers adequate wages to live on. Also, governments are not able to collect enough taxes for the services workers expect, such as public transit. The combination is likely to lead to protests by citizens whenever the opportunity arises. Once shutdowns end, these countries are especially in danger of having their governments overthrown.

[4] There are limits to what governments and central banks can fix. 

Governments can give citizens checks so that they have enough funds to buy groceries. This may, indeed, keep the price of food products high enough for food producers. There may still be problems with broken supply lines, so there may still be shortages of some products. For example, if there are eggs but no egg cartons, there may be no eggs for sale in grocery stores.

Central banks can act as buyers for many kinds of assets such as bonds and even shares of stock. In this way, they can perhaps keep stock market prices reasonably high. If enough gimmicks are used, perhaps they can even keep the prices of homes and farms reasonably high.

Central banks can also keep interest rates paid by governments low. In fact, interest rates can even be negative, especially for the short term. Businesses whose profitability has been reduced and workers who have been laid off are likely to discover that their credit ratings have been downgraded. This is likely to lead to higher interest costs for these borrowers, even if interest rates for the most creditworthy are kept low.

One area where governments and central banks seem to be fairly helpless is with respect to low prices for commodities used by industry, such as oil, natural gas, coal, copper and lithium. These commodities are traded internationally, so it is not just their own producers that need to be propped up; the market intervention needs to affect the entire world market.

One approach to raising world commodity prices would be to buy up large quantities of the commodities and store them somewhere. This is impractical, because no one has adequate storage for the huge quantities involved.

Another approach for raising world commodity prices would be to try to raise worldwide demand for finished goods and services. (Making more finished goods and services will use more commodities, and thus will tend to raise commodity prices.) To do this, checks would somehow need to go to the many poor people in the world, including those in India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, allowing these people to buy cars, homes, and other finished goods. Sending out checks only to people in one’s own economy would not be sufficient. It is unlikely that the US or the European Union would undertake a task such as this.

A major problem after many people have been out of work for a quite a while is the fact that many of these people will be behind on their regular payments, such as rent and car payments. They will be in no mood to buy a new vehicle or a new cell phone, simply because they have been offered a check that covers groceries and not much more. They will remain in a mode of cutting back on purchases, not adding more. Demand for most kinds of goods will remain low.

This lack of demand will make it difficult for business to have enough sales to make it profitable to reopen at the level of output that they had previously. Thus, employment and sales are likely to remain depressed even after the economy seems to be reopening. China seems to be having this problem. The Wall Street Journal reports China Is Open for Business, but the Postcoronavirus Reboot Looks Slow and Rocky. It also reports, Another Shortage in China’s Virus-Hit Economy: Jobs for College Grads.

[5] There is a significant likelihood that the COVID-19 problem is not going away, even if economies can “bend the trend line” with respect to new cases.

Bending the trend line has to do with trying to keep hospitals and medical providers from being overwhelmed. It is likely to mean that herd immunity is built up slowly, making repeat outbreaks more likely. Thus, if social isolation is stopped, COVID-19 illnesses can be expected to revisit prior locations. We know that this has been an issue in the past. The Spanish Flu epidemic came in three waves, over the years 1918-1919. The second wave was the most deadly.

A recent study by members of the Harvard School of Public Health says that the COVID-19 epidemic may appear in waves until into 2022. In fact, it could be back on a seasonal basis thereafter. It also indicates that more than one period of social distancing is likely to be required:

“A single period of social distancing will not be sufficient to prevent critical care capacities from being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 epidemic, because under any scenario considered it leaves enough of the population susceptible that a rebound in transmission after the end of the period will lead to an epidemic that exceeds this capacity.”

Thus, even if the COVID-19 problem seems to be fixed in a few weeks, it likely will be back again within a few months. With this level of uncertainty, businesses will not be willing to set up new operations. They will not hire many additional employees. The retired population will not run out and buy more tickets on cruise ships for next year. In fact, citizens are likely to continue to be worried about airplane flights being a place for transmitting illnesses, making the longer term prospects for the airline industry less optimistic.

Conclusion 

The economy was already near the edge before COVID-19 hit. Wage and wealth disparity were big problems. Local populations of many areas objected to immigrants, fearing that the added population would reduce job opportunities for people who already lived there, among other things. As a result, many areas were experiencing protests because of unhappiness with the current economic situation.

The shutdowns temporarily cut back the protests, but they certainly do not fix the underlying situations. Instead, the shutdowns add to the number of people with very low wages or no income at all. The shutdowns also reduce the total quantity of goods and services available to purchase, regardless of how much money is added to the system. Many people will end up poorer, in some real sense.

As soon as the shutdowns end, it will be obvious that the world economy is in worse condition than it was before the shutdown. The longer the shutdowns last, the worse shape the world economy will be in. Thus, when businesses are restarted, we can expect even more protests and more divisive politics. Some governments may be overthrown, or they may collapse without being pushed. I fear that the world economy will be further down the road toward overall collapse.

 

 

 

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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4,744 Responses to Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

  1. Dan says:

    It seems that if the stock market stays up then the ptb can convince the masses that everything is fine. I guess that is why the FED said they would prop up the market if need be.

    • psile says:

      But it’s not fine. The economy is more broken than ever. The FED could, in theory, buy up everything that wasn’t nailed down, everywhere, not just in the U.S., to prevent asset prices from falling. They have even set up an SPV (special purpose vehicle) to attempt just that. But you’d still have a zombie World economy, even more zombified than before 2020, just waiting for the final headshot, which would probably be delivered by a collapse in the U.S. dollar.

    • Mind you, we are still in the plugging banking (bond) holes, systemic emergency situation, as of now this is NOT the real stimulus yet as in re-animating the economy and trickle charging to consumers level for real as well.. this might come (or not) only later.

      • psile says:

        1 trillion dollars a day in the repo markets, which provides all the funny money to juice up the markets and try to re-inflate withering asset bubbles, isn’t the real stimulus?

        Can’t wait for the real thing, where the FED essentially attempts to buy up every bit of dog food around the world, just to keep this circus operating for a little while longer.

        • No this has been merely first round of systemic [rescue operation] for the banks, bond market, .. The proles have been earmarked few weeks of pay and quasi guarantees for delayed bills/mortgages due in few next months.

          This is NOT stimulus, so far.
          That will / must come next in some form or instadoon commences.

          • psile says:

            I can’t see this will help much, as there isn’t enough money to bail your way out of something like this…

  2. Fast Eddy says:

    Global Coronavirus Cases Top 1.5 Million, Deaths Approach 90k

    In a bad year, Global Flu Deaths – 650,000

    In a bad year, in the USA, Total Flu Cases – 42,000,000

    In the immortal words of Brian Cox

    (anyone who has not downloaded Succession… I highly recommend it)

    • Rodster says:

      Agreed but few will use commonsense. Instead they have bought into the MSM “fear/hype/hysteria train”.

      • Dan cantral says:

        Who cares ? The real concern for most of us here is economics !!!! Your conspiracy meme is pointless?

        • Rodster says:

          It’s not pointless because this is what it’s really about, a collective group “blowing up the global eCONomy”. There’s an agenda to this fear/hysteria/hype train.

          • Dan says:

            Those of us that have been following this for ten years already know !!!!! You are beating a dead horse by constantly go over mon landings etc… what matters is what the Fed is doing and ramifications from here on out!

          • psile says:

            There’s no agenda, just fear, and incompetence. That’s more than enough to knock out an already punch-drunk economy, which was just winging it.

            • Dan says:

              Well Ed have you had the virus? So are we to believe that all the countries…. never mind I don’t know why I am wasting my last dime on communication with you…. you are just a simpleton… with lots of free time and no skills….funny how those who are most scared talk the most… funny how I get blocked but we can get 30 post a day of nothing from you

            • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

              “There’s no agenda, just fear, and incompetence. That’s more than enough to knock out an already punch-drunk economy, which was just winging it.”

              thanks p sile…

              if govs/leaders were totally competent, then we would wonder…

              but obviously they are not…

              and fear is the opposite of what we needed from the human population…

          • Politicians don’t think of it as blowing up the economy. They think of it as doing what voters want. Voters are concerned about the possibility of catching COVID-19. They are concerned about their older relatives dying. Voters assume that the economy is no problem. In fact, the economists tell them to expect a V shaped recovery. An awfully lot of people think that the “real economy” is separate from what happens elsewhere, but there is a lot of connection.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            See Norm — Rodster is coming to the After Party ….. the legendary after party…..

            If the mediocre team had the legendary after parties —- and the DREAM TEAM had prim and proper gatherings in a library with Scotch and cigars and zero hotties….

            Fast Eddy would PRETEND to be mediocre — how would he do that? — easy – he’d just agree with you and Bob and the other members of team mediocrity….. you guys would say hey that Fast is not a bad guy — he’s not so clever….. he’s just like us — mediocre — lame — feeble…..

            And Bob would say to Norm… let’s invite him to the Legendary Party… and Norm would say — sure Bob …. Fast is on the team.

            It didn’t occur to you to just say yes to everything posted by any member of the Dream Team Norm?

            Too late now….. that was another test — that you have failed.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Ya who cares if the biggest story possibly ever….s is exposed as a ho ax eh Dan.

          It has no relevance to anything else.

          Actually that is probably true — how many times has the MSM lied to you in the past — remember WMD?

          Oh but that was just that once… now they are telling me the truth.

          • Dan says:

            So China is in on this then? And no t one country is stepping out of line. Even Trumpy had an about face. I will believe you when you purposely expose yourself to the virus.

            • Dan says:

              I wish you were right; but unfortunately the ptb are not that smart and organized as you think they are! Would love to have a deep State because they would be more intelligent then what we have now. But it is a nice fairy tale that you are spreading. With your big I..Q you should have something better. I think you can do it son. Ask mom and dad if you can leave the basement for a walk.

            • Tim Groves says:

              They may not be that smart, although who are we to judge, but they are extremely dedicated to an agenda of exerting power and control over humanity—for our own good, you understand. No doubt, it gives them a sense of purpose comparable to that of the nuns working under Mother Teresa, soccer or baseball fans rooting for the team, or me trying to complete a cryptic crossword.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Dan,

              According to CDT – all the key players are in on this.

              According to CDT the world was about to collapse — including China as they are part of the world — and according to CDT the plan is to pre-empt riots and chaos — get people into their homes using the tried and trued formula that worked so well for WDM — FEAR….. if Fear doesn’t work for some – threaten them (e.g. kill a few)

              Then just starve 8B people to death.

              You find me someone who — if they can be shown the global economy was going down and mayhem was imminent — who would not agree to CDT.

              The first to sign would be Jacinda and Justin — they after all are compassionate leaders who cry over the drop of a hat….. sure they don’t want everyone to starve… but given the choice — rip each others faces off — or crawl into a corner — weaken — starve — die…. I am thinking they would choose b.

              I hear starving is not so bad once you get past the first few days. Maybe you see apparitions?

              I’ll make sure to save some whisky — starvation and whisky might make for some interesting final moments….

              I am trying to think of other theories — but all roads seem to lead to CDT…. the starvation is lapping at the shore…. I cannot see how lockdown ends … and I cannot see how the economy does not implode…

            • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

              no Sudoku for you?

            • Are you serious?
              Thanks to “deepstate” the US consumer (as the bottom on the pyramid for functioning JITs mil-industrial complex running global empire) was on life support for several past decades extra. This will most likely end before ~2030.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Yep. When will they ever learn…. probably never.

        I need to use my filter more to get rid of the trash….

  3. Rodster says:

    So was shutting down the world for a virus that has infected and killed far fewer than the Common Flu worth it? As the CNN article below states, restarting Auto production and restarting Auto Sales will come with its share of problems. I expect another Gov’t bailout of the Auto Industry.

    “GM, Ford and Chrysler are in survival mode”
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/08/business/auto-industry-coronavirus-impact/index.html

    • NikoB says:

      The only answer to that would have been to have no shut down and see what ensued.
      Too late for that now.

    • Merrifield says:

      The flu stats are for a year. The virus stats are just for basically a month here in the US. Let’s see what the stats are like after 11 more months. . .

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Most of the 45M happen over the winter months– that’s why the numbers overlap the years e.g. 2017/18

        CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

        https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

        You think we’ll get 45M wuhans? Maybe… but we did NOT shut the USA down when we had 45M.

        huh

        I only had to use 85 of my IQ points to work that out….. so surely you could do it?

        • Italians says:

          COVID-19 doesn’t give a crap about winter or any season. It will rage happily in the summer months and decimate the population because it is not going away like your “just THE FLU idiocy”. When was the last time a “just the flu” infected nearly all on a cruise ship and killed a great deal of them. I think you should volunteer yourself and your family to be infected, just to see you putting your money where your mouth is. There are some very, very dangerous people infecting the internet.

          Why Covid-19 is worse than the flu, in one chart…….
          https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/3/18/21184992/coronavirus-covid-19-flu-comparison-chart

          • I agree that COVID-19 is worse than the flu, but very much disagree with the chart presented in the Vox article.

            The R0 number for regular flu is 1.3 (I read 1.25 earlier) but the R0 number for COVID-19 seems to be perhaps about 4. It is higher than 2-2.5. This is important, because to die out on its own, it has to be gotten below 1.0. This is easy with regular flu, but is pretty much impossible with something as infectious as COVID-19. By the time you close down the economy to get the R0 number below 1.0, a huge share of the population is out of work and the financial system collapses.

            The incubation time is probably right, with COVID-19 higher at up to 14 days. COVID-19 cases seem to be contagious during the incubation time, and perhaps after the person has stopped having symptoms. Without a huge number of tests (which are often wrong), it is impossible to tell who is contagious. This is a major issue in attempting to stop the disease.

            The hospitalization rate is given at 2% for regular flu and 19% for COVID-19. We really do not have very good data on what the hospitalization rate is. There is a huge share of cases that are never counted. The 19% ratio is based only on those with positive test results in the denominator. The Harvard School of Public Health, in its modeling, assumed that 4.4% of the those getting the illness were hospitalized (combining the with and without critical care percentages). It is even possible that only 2% of COVID-19 cases are hospitalized, if the denominator is high enough. (A higher denominator goes with more total cases, and a higher R0.)

            The case fatality rate is given at 0.1% or less for regular flu. The case fatality rate for COVID-19 is given as 1.0% to 3.4%. These are too high, because they don’t have enough total cases in the denominator. A better guess might be 0.5%, especially if we can figure out what we are doing wrong in treating patients. Putting them on the ventilator at high pressure is not helpful, for example.

            The VOX article is simply wrong.

            If we had a way of fixing the COVID-19 problem without killing the economy, it would be wonderful. The only way that theoretically could happen is through the cheap drug route, I am afraid. The cheap drug would be needed now.

          • Yorchichan says:

            COVID-19 doesn’t give a crap about winter or any season.

            Covid-19 may not care about the season, but the human body certainly does. Sunlight and fresh air both help to strengthen the immune system, which is why people get more colds and flus in the winter than in the summer. This is one of many reasons lockdowns are stupid.

            When was the last time a “just the flu” infected nearly all on a cruise ship and killed a great deal of them.

            I don’t think this has happened with covid-19 either. If you are referring to the Diamond Princess, at least officially only 712 were infected out of 3700 people on board and 11 or 12 have died. Agreed, these numbers are large when compared to a normal flu, but they could not be described as “nearly all” or “a great deal of them”.

            The death rate equates to somewhere between 0.3% and 1.6% amongst an elderly population. Is this worth locking down everybody and destroying the world economy for?
            Is there another cruise ship with worse figures?

            • We don’t know for certain that only 712 were infected, do we? We are all 3700 tested? Even if they were, there is a very real false negative problem with the test.

              There is also a question of what happens to the remaining sick people. Worldometers says that there are still 82 active cases, and 10 of those are serious/critical. It shows 11 dead, so far.

            • Yorchichan says:

              Exactly. I did write that 712 was only the official number of infected. “Lies, damn lies and statistics” was never truer than in the case of covid-19. It’s why I’ve lost all interest in whatever numbers we are given. It’s crystal clear that nobody knows how many people have been infected or what the real death rate associated with the disease is. My hope is that all those people I meet daily who tell me they’ve already had coronavirus and gotten over it within a couple of days are not deluded. Then maybe fatalities will start dropping and we can get back to something like normality before summer begins.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I see your chart and up raise you 45,000,000 (in America alone)

            The overall burden of influenza for the 2017-2018 season was an estimated 45 million influenza illnesses, 21 million influenza-associated medical visits, 810,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 61,000 influenza-associated deaths

            https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2017-2018.htm

            As you can see from that above one-liner… some of the team have arrived

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Yep – and it’s not like they will magically come out of this even if the flu were to burn out….

      This is like a 1000 times worse than the GFC….

      I am thinking we were lied to about the bail out scale for GFC … it was trillions … no 750b Tarp….

      I am thinking the Fed is smashing he 0 key on the computer — pumping cash into company accounts so they pay people to do nothing.

      Did I mention a mate at an investment bank who normally never stops working … is doing at most 3 hours a day? That’s a pretty fat salary to carry for max 3 hours work a day (not sure if they have cut his pay)

      • Yes, there were post TARP investigations, like plugging holes in foreign banks against the mandate etc. And that was the mere visible layer.

        Anyway, the whole world chipped in synchro, the overall post 2008/9 global print fest was to the tune of ~10T or more: the Asians, the Euros, the Gulfies, the RoW, every major CB printed..

        So, GFC_ver2 is now estimated to be in the area of 7-15T when done, counting only from the FED side, the others would have to join again, and suddenly we are into low dozens Ts before 2025.. Which is not that much given global GDP and credit pipes, hence some argue we have to wait for proper GFC_ver3 to finally topple the structure, who knows..

  4. Chrome Mags says:

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

    Scroll down to Nevada and look at how many new cases just today; 22,547!
    Looks like Nevada helped the US hit a new daily peak for new cases; 45,870!!
    Rockin’ the Casbah!!!

    • Chrome Mags says:

      The numbers on that site glitched. One minute it had the above totals, then upon refreshing it didn’t, so disregard the earlier post numbers.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      45,000 Wuhan Flu (mediocre team)

      45,000,000 Flu https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html (Dream Team)

      This is like the score if you put the DREAM TEAM on the ice …. the day after a 3 night after party fueled by every powder and pill available to mankind….

      With zero sleep …. and you tied our hands behind our backs…

      Then had us play the mediocre team.

  5. Malcopian says:

    Hope and fear clash within me. I am conflicted. Like this dummy and its ventriloquist.

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    Ah…. excellent the embeds worked perfectly.

    I have truly outdone myself with that post huh…huh????

    Queue Lash Mechanism…..

    Norm — when do I get to the post from you where you admit the Moooooo-n landing was fahke…. and we all have a group chuckle over the whole incident?

  7. 09876 says:

    something is going to break this time. i dont know what but somthing. its too insane. the two politial parties playing their games without a care. printing $ out of nothing and talking about the tax payer. uh the tax payer isnt paying for this the $ are created from nothing. i dont see anyone at the wheel. they are just running their subroutines.

  8. 09876 says:

    so here i am amongst a group of diverse critical thinkers. On the real fringe…. There is no covid19 5g is causing this. What say u?

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Did someone say there is no Wuhan flu? Don’t recall that.

      You are wasting everyone’s time

    • JesseJames says:

      I think there is a novel flu, that seems to be highly infectious, but mainly kills very, old and very unhealthy people. For example in China, the population smokes heavily perhaps and lives in perpetual lung choking smog. Ever sat on a street corner in Asia with a mob of moped riders revving their polluting 2-cycle engines? You truly do not want to breath it. That is why it is much more normal for Asians to wear cloth masks when out and about, to kind of filter the choking air they have to breath. So Chinese, and possibly Italians from the industrialized north not only smoke a lot, but breath crappy polluted air. So they are vulnerable to the Covid 19 flu.
      Now the West has lots of older people kept artificially alive by medical technology, and they are susceptible. And so many die from it. Big deal……
      We are killing our economy because of our modern industrialized, (wealthy…at least we still pretend we are) mindset that everyone should be saved…regardless of cost. We spend 13% of all Medicare cost keeping old terminally ill people alive for just one more year of life. And so now we have extended that stupidity to expending our entire economy to do the same.
      It is amazing to me that at the end of all this, if the globalists who want to enslave all of us to their tracking and individual marking system, if they succeed, then there will be almost no regard for human life….they will exterminate it at will.
      We will go from one extreme to the other.

  9. This article fits in with other things we have heard about ventilators being overused.

    With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19

    But one of the most severe consequences of Covid-19 suggests another reason the ventilators aren’t more beneficial. In acute respiratory distress syndrome, which results from immune cells ravaging the lungs and kills many Covid-19 patients, the air sacs of the lungs become filled with a gummy yellow fluid. “That limits oxygen transfer from the lungs to the blood even when a machine pumps in oxygen,” Gillick said.

    As patients go downhill, protocols developed for other respiratory conditions call for increasing the force with which a ventilator delivers oxygen, the amount of oxygen, or the rate of delivery, she explained. But if oxygen can’t cross into the blood from the lungs in the first place, those measures, especially greater force, may prove harmful. High levels of oxygen impair the lung’s air sacs, while high pressure to force in more oxygen damages the lungs.

  10. Fast Eddy says:

    I’ve been pointed to the Javits Centre (stadium) that is set up to handle the MASSIVE pandemonium of Wuhan flu cases because the hospitals are full (yet I can find zero full hospitals)

    If this is a ho a x I am asked why is a stadium now a hospital?

    uh… um…. why is a massive ship parked in the NY harbour with no patients?

    Oh that’s a PR stunt from Trump…

    oh…

    I cannot find any video of pandemonium in Javits — all I can find is some people dressed up like doctors – signed ‘we are all in this together’

    Nice tag line Don.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVGgIuWUYAAGKQ6?format=jpg&name=900×900

    Too bad Dave is not with us — he’d have a field day with colossal ho a x.

    • Mostly, the stadium shows how poorly the modeled results match reality, at this point in time.

      A hospital ship, with a single ventilation system for the whole thing, is a good way of passing COVID-19 around. We can’t tell COVID-19 patients from others, so there is no way to keep the ship free of COVID-19.

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