COVID-19 and the economy: Where do we go from here?

The COVID-19 story keeps developing. At first, everyone listened to epidemiologists telling us that a great deal of social distancing, and even the closing down of economies, would be helpful. After trying these things, we ended up with a huge number of people out of work and protests everywhere. We discovered the models that were provided were not very predictive. We are also finding that a V-shaped recovery is not possible.

Now, we need to figure out what actions to take next. How vigorously should we be fighting COVID-19? The story is more complex than most people understand. These are some of the issues I see:

[1] The share of COVID-19 cases that can be expected to end in death seems to be much lower than most people expect.

Most people assume that the ratios of deaths to cases by age group, computed using reported cases, such as those included in the Johns Hopkins Database, give a good indication of the chance of death a person faces if a person catches COVID-19. In fact, the cases reported to this database are far from representative of all cases; they tend to be the more severe cases. Cases with no symptoms, or only very slight symptoms, tend to be missed. The result is that ratios calculated directly from this database make people think their risk of death is far higher than it really is.

The US Center for Disease Control has published Planning Scenarios, based on information available on April 29, 2020.* Using this information, the CDC’s best estimate of the number of future deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms is as follows:

Ages 0 – 49    0.5 deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms

Ages 50-64    2.0 deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms

Ages 65+       13.0 deaths per 1000 cases with symptoms

The CDC’s best estimate is that 35% of cases have no symptoms at all. Thus, if we were to include these cases without symptoms in the chart above, the chart would become:

Ages 0-49   0.5 deaths per 1,538 cases (including those without symptoms), or 0.3 deaths per 1000 cases with or without symptoms

Ages 50-64  1.3 deaths per 1000 cases with or without symptoms

Ages 65+    8.5 deaths per 1000 cases with or without symptoms

A recent study of blood samples from 23 different parts of the world came to a similarly low estimate of the number of deaths per 1000 COVID-19 infections. It reported that among people who are less than 70 years old, the number of deaths per 1000 ranged from 0.0 to 2.3 per 1000, with a median of 0.4 deaths per 1000.

The same paper remarks,

COVID-19 seems to affect predominantly the frail, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized – as shown by high rates of infectious burden in nursing homes, homeless shelters, prisons, meat processing plants, and the strong racial/ethnic inequalities against minorities in terms of the cumulative death risk.

[2] There seem to be things we can do ourselves to reduce our personal chance of serious illness or death.

General good health is protective against getting a bad case of COVID-19. Thus, anything that we can do in terms of a good diet and exercise is likely helpful. Staying inside for weeks on end in the hope of preventing exposure to COVID-19 is probably not helpful.

Continued exposure to huge amounts of disinfectants and hand sanitizers is likely not to be helpful either. Our bodies depend on healthy microbiomes, and products such as these adversely affect our microbiomes. They kill good and bad bacteria alike and may leave harmful residues. It is easy to scale back our personal use of these products.

There are recent indications that vitamin D is likely to be protective in reducing both the incidence of COVID-19 and the disease’s severity. Web MD reports:

Several groups of researchers from different countries have found that the sickest patients often have the lowest levels of vitamin D, and that countries with higher death rates had larger numbers of people with vitamin D deficiency than countries with lower death rates.

Experts say healthy blood levels of vitamin D may give people with COVID-19 a survival advantage by helping them avoid cytokine storm, when the immune system overreacts and attacks your body’s own cells and tissues.

While we don’t know for certain that vitamin D is helpful, there is certainly enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that it would likely be worthwhile to raise vitamin D levels to the amount recommended by the National Institute of Health (30 nmol/L or higher). People with dark skin living in areas away from the equator might especially be helped by this strategy, since dark skin reduces vitamin D production.

Masks seem to be helpful in preventing the spread of infection. A person’s own immune system can handle some level of germs. If two people meeting together both wear masks, the combination of masks can perhaps reduce the level of germs to within the amount the immune system can handle. Our immune systems are built to handle a barrage of small attacks by viruses and bacteria. Continued “practice” with relatively low combinations of good and bad bacteria (as occur with masks) will tend to build up our bodies’ natural defenses.

We see dentists and dental hygienists wearing face shields. These shields are readily available over the internet and can be worn with a mask or by themselves. We don’t yet know precisely how much protection they provide, but early models suggest that they can be helpful in two directions: (a) preventing the wearer’s droplets from harming others and (b) reducing the droplet exposure from others. Thus, they may be a worthwhile way to reduce exposure to the virus causing COVID-19, even when others are not wearing masks.

[3] The medical community’s ability to treat COVID-19 cases keeps improving.

There seem to be many small changes that are improving treatment of COVID-19. If patients are having trouble getting enough oxygen, having them lie on their stomachs seems to increase their blood oxygen levels. The cost of this change is pretty much zero, but it keeps people out of the ICU longer.

Originally, planners thought that ventilators would be needed for patients with COVID-19, since ventilators are often used on pneumonia patients. Experience has shown, however, that oxygen plus something like a CPAP machine often works better and is less expensive.**

The simple change of not sending recuperating patients to nursing home-type facilities for the last stages of care has proven helpful, as well. Many of these patients can still infect others, leading to infections in long-term care facilities. Tests to tell whether patients are truly over the disease do not seem to be very accurate.

Last week, it was announced that treatment with an inexpensive common steroid could reduce deaths of people on ventilators by one-third. It could also reduce deaths of those requiring only oxygen treatment by 20%. Using this treatment should significantly reduce deaths, at little cost.

We can expect improvements in treatments to continue as doctors experiment with existing treatments, and as drug companies work on new solutions. Looking at cumulative historical mortality rates tends to overlook the huge learning curve that is taking place, allowing mortality rates to be lower.

[4] More doubts are being raised about quickly finding a vaccine that prevents COVID-19. 

The public would like to think that a vaccine solution is right around the corner. Vaccine promoters such as Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates would like to encourage this belief. Unfortunately, there are quite a few obstacles to getting a vaccine that actually works for any length of time:

(a) Antibodies for coronaviruses tend not to stay around for very long. A recent study suggests that even as soon as eight weeks, a significant share of COVID-19 patients (40% of those without symptoms; 12.9% of those with symptoms) had lost all immunity. A vaccine will likely face this same challenge.

(b) Vaccines may not work against mutations. Beijing is now fighting a new version of COVID-19 that seems to have been imported from Europe in food. Early indications are that people who caught the original Wuhan version of the COVID-19 virus will not be immune to the mutated version imported from Europe.

Vaccines that are currently under development use the Wuhan version of the virus. The catch is that the version of COVID-19 now circulating in the United States, Europe and perhaps elsewhere is mostly not the Wuhan type.

(c) There is a real concern that a vaccine against one version of COVID-19 will make a person’s response to a mutation of COVID-19 worse, rather than better. It has been known for many years that Dengue Fever has this characteristic; it is one of the reasons that there is no vaccine for Dengue Fever. The earlier SARS virus (which is closely related to the COVID-19 virus) has this same issue. Preliminary analysis suggests that the virus causing COVID-19 seems to have this characteristic, as well.

In sum, getting a vaccine that actually works against COVID-19 is likely to be a huge challenge. Instead of expecting a silver bullet in the form of a COVID-19 vaccine, we probably need to be looking for a lot of silver bee-bees that will hold down the impact of the illness. Hopefully, COVID-19 will someday disappear on its own, but we have no assurance of this outcome.

[5] The basic underlying issue that the world economy faces is overshoot, caused by too high a population relative to underlying resources.

When an economy is in overshoot, the big danger is collapse. The characteristics of overshoot leading to collapse include the following:

  • Very great wage disparity; too many people are very poor
  • Declining health, often due to poor nutrition, making people vulnerable to epidemics
  • Increasing use of debt, to make up for inadequate wages and profits
  • Falling commodity prices because too few people can afford these commodities and goods made from these commodities
  • Gluts of commodities, causing farmers to plow under crops and oil to be put into storage

Thus, pandemics are very much to be expected when an economy is in overshoot.

One example of collapse is that following the Black Death (1348-1350) epidemic in Europe. The collapse killed 60% of Europe’s population and dropped Britain’s population from close to 5 million to about 2 million.

Figure 1. Britain’s population, 1200 to 1700. Chart by Bloomberg using Federal Reserve of St. Louis data.

We might say that there was a U-shaped population recovery, which took about 300 years.

A later example that almost led to collapse was the period between 1914 and 1945. This was a period of shrinking international trade, indicating that something was truly wrong. On Figure 2 below, the WSJ calls its measure of international trade the “Trade Openness Index.” The period 1914-1945 is highlighted as being somewhat like today.

Figure 2. The Trade Openness Index is an index based on the average of world imports and exports, divided by world GDP. Chart by Wall Street Journal.

Many of the issues in the 1914-1945 timeframe were coal related. World War I took place when coal depletion became a problem in Britain. The issue at that time was wages that were too low for coal miners because the price of coal would not rise very high. Higher coal prices were needed to offset the impact of depletion, but high coal prices were not affordable by citizens.

The Pandemic of 1918-1919 killed far more people than either World War I or COVID-19.

World War II came about at the time coal depletion became a problem in Germany.

Figure 3. Figure by author describing peak coal timing compared to World War I and World War II.

The problem of inadequate energy resources finally ended when World War II ramped up demand through more debt and through more women entering the labor force for the first time. In response, the US began pumping oil out of the ground at a faster rate. Instead of depending on coal alone, the world began depending on a combination of oil and coal as energy resources. The ratio of population to energy resources was suddenly brought back into balance again, and collapse was averted!

[6] We are now in another period of overshoot of population relative to resources. The critical resource this time is oil. The alternatives we have aren’t suited to fulfilling our most basic need: the growing and transportation of food. They act as add-ons that are lost if oil is lost.

If we look back at Figure 2 above, it shows that since 2008, the world has again fallen into a period of shrinking imports and exports, which is a sign of “not enough energy resources to go around.” We are also experiencing many of the other characteristics of an overshoot economy that I mentioned in Section 5 above.

Figure 4 shows world energy consumption by type of energy through 2019, using recently published data by BP. The “Other” combination in Figure 4 includes nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and other smaller categories such as geothermal energy, wood pellets, and sawdust burned for fuel.

Figure 4. World energy consumption by fuel, based on BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Oil has been rising at a steady pace; coal consumption has been close to level since about 2012. Natural gas and “Other” seem to be rising a little faster in the most recent few years.

If we divide by world population, the trend in world energy consumption per capita by type is as follows:

Figure 5. World Per Capita Energy Consumption based on BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy

Many people would like to think that the various energy sources are substitutable, but this is not really the case, as we approach limits of a finite world.

One catch is that there are very few stand-alone energy resources. Most energy resources only work within a framework provided by other energy sources. Wood that is picked up from the forest floor can work as a stand-alone energy source. Wind can almost be used as a stand-alone energy source, if it is used to power a simple sail boat or a wooden windmill. Water can almost be used as a stand-alone energy source, if it can be made to turn a wooden water wheel.

Coal, when its use was ramped up, enabled the production of both concrete and steel. It allowed modern hydroelectric dams to be built. It allowed steam engines to operate. It truly could be used as a stand-alone energy source. The main obstacle to the extraction of coal was keeping the cost of extraction low enough, so that, even with transportation, buyers could afford to purchase the coal.

Oil, similarly, can be a stand-alone energy solution because it is very flexible, dense, and easily transported. Or it can be paired with other types of less-expensive energy, to make it go further. We can see our dependence on oil by how level energy consumption per capita is in Figure 5 since the early 1980s. Growth in population seems to depend upon the amount of oil available.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the economy is a self-organizing system. If there isn’t enough of the energy products upon which the economy primarily depends, the system tends to change in very strange ways. Countries become more quarrelsome. People decide to have fewer children or they become more susceptible to pandemics, bringing population more in line with energy resources.

The problem with natural gas and with the electricity products that I have lumped together as “Other” is that they are not really stand-alone products. They cannot grow food or build roads. They cannot power international jets. They cannot build wind turbines or solar panels. They cannot put natural gas pipelines in place. They can only exist in a complex environment which includes oil and perhaps coal (or other cheaper energy products).

We are kidding ourselves if we think we can transition to modern fuels that are low in carbon emissions. Without high prices, oil and coal that are in the ground will tend to stay in the ground permanently. This is the serious obstacle that we are up against. Without oil and coal, natural gas and electricity products will quickly become unusable.

[7] A major problem with COVID-19 related shutdowns is the fact that they lead to very low commodity prices, including oil prices. 

Figure 6. Inflation-adjusted monthly average oil prices through May 2020. Amounts are Brent Spot Oil Prices, as published by the EIA. Inflation adjustment is made using the CPI-Urban Index.

Oil is the primary type of energy used in growing and transporting food. It is used in many essential processes, including in the production of electricity. If its production is to continue, its price must be both high enough for oil producers and low enough for consumers.

The problem that we have been encountering since 2008 (the start of the latest cutback in trade in Figure 2) is that oil prices have been falling too low for producers. Now, in 2020, oil production is beginning to fall. This is happening because producing companies cannot afford to extract oil at current prices; governments of oil exporting countries cannot collect enough taxes at current prices. They hope that by reducing oil supply, prices will rise again.

If extraordinarily low oil prices persist, a calamity similar to the one that “Peak Oilers” have worried about will certainly occur: Oil supply will begin dropping. In fact, the drop will likely be much more rapid than most Peak Oilers have imagined, because the drop will be caused by low prices, rather than the high prices that they imagined would occur.

Amounts which are today shown as “proven reserves” can be expected to disappear because they will not be economic to extract. Governments of oil exporting countries seem likely to be overthrown because tax revenue from oil is their major source of revenue for programs such as food subsidies and jobs programs. When this disappears, governments of oil exporters are forced to cut back, lowering the standard of living of their citizens.

[8] What our strategy should be from now on is not entirely clear.

Of course, one path is straight into collapse, as happened after the Black Death of 1348-1352 (Figure 1). In fact, the carrying capacity of Britain might still be about 2 million. Its current population is about 68 million, so this would represent a population reduction of about 97%.

Other countries would experience substantial population reductions as well. The population decline would reflect many causes of death besides direct deaths from COVID-19; they would reflect the impacts of collapsing governments, inadequate food supply, polluted water supplies, and untreated diseases of many kinds.

If a large share of the population stays hidden in their homes trying to avoid COVID, it seems to me that we are most certainly heading straight into collapse. Supply lines for many kinds of goods and services will be broken. Oil prices and food prices will stay very low. Farmers will plow under crops, trying to raise prices. Gluts of oil will continue to be a problem.

If we try to transition to renewables, this leads directly to collapse as well, as far as I can see. They are not robust enough to stand on their own. Prices of oil and other commodities will fall too low and gluts will occur. Renewables will only last as long as (a) the overall systems can be kept in good repair and (b) governments can support continued subsidies.

The only approach that seems to keep the system going a little longer would seem to be to try to muddle along, despite COVID-19. Open up economies, even if the number of COVID-19 cases is higher and keeps rising. Tell people about the approaches they can use to limit their exposure to the virus, and how they can make their immune systems stronger. Get people started raising their vitamin D levels, so that they perhaps have a better chance of fighting the disease if they get COVID-19.

With this approach, we keep as many people working for as long as possible. Life will go on as close to normal, for as long as it can. We can perhaps put off collapse for a bit longer. We don’t have a lot of options open to us, but this one seems to be the best of a lot of poor options.


*The CDC estimates are estimates of future deaths per 1000 cases. Thus, they probably reflect the learning curve that has already taken place. It is unlikely that they reflect the benefit of the new steroid treatment mentioned in Section 3, because this finding occurred after April 29.

**I have been told that disease spread can be a problem when using CPAP machines, however. Using ventilators at very low pressure settings seems also to be a solution.




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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2,824 Responses to COVID-19 and the economy: Where do we go from here?

  1. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Latin American countries continue to struggle to control the spread of Covid-19, exacerbating uncertainty about the future of stay-at-home measures and complicating any assessment of the depth of the recession that regional economies will suffer this year.”

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    “What is the credit market telling us exactly? Stresses lie ahead.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “…an accentuation of the economic crisis could tip more companies into insolvency – sending credit defaults at banks surging. Those spared will revisit credit lines in March and April they tapped in the initial panicked weeks of the crisis to pad their liquidity cushions.

      “This type of «run» on credit, the bankers report, can lead to liquidity issues for banks – the interbank market threatens to dry up when institutes refused to lend to each other anymore (a phenomenon vividly demonstrated on a large scale in 2008/09)…

      “…the fact the central bankers and financial supervisors have [this scenario] in their sights speaks volumes – and they are already issuing warnings.”

    • We can all agree stresses lie ahead for credit markets. Most likely there will be stresses on the prices of assets that depend on the credit market (home prices, stock prices). Pensions will become harder to keep operating as well.

    • beidawei says:

      “Stresses lie ahead!” sounds like something you’d read in a fortune cookie.

      • You are right. People would like to know precisely what will happen when. Maybe it is fortunate that we don’t know.

        • Artleads says:

          If they don’t know there is zero chance of them rising to the occasion. Humans have been able to do great things–like evolving into our modern form–and I see no reason for them to stop there.

      • Robert Firth says:

        “Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.” From that famous fortune cookie maker, 莎士比亚.

  3. Xabier says:

    So, we can summarise:

    1/ The new virus probably endemic, at best creating a very hostile environment for business, functioning of supply-chains, etc, for at least another year.

    2/ Impending global banking crisis, on a scale we dare not imagine.

    3/ Permanent and possibly ineradicable, large-scale unemployment at a level reminiscent – at best – of the 1930’s and 1970’s.

    4/ Wide-scale destruction of businesses and even whole sectors which would probably have weathered the recession which we saw coming in 2019.

    5/ Governments utterly at a loss to undo the damage they so casually inflicted with sudden lock-downs.

    6/ Bewilderment, depression, frustration, and even signs of serious mental imbalance in the population, many believing the most implausible theories as to what is going on.

    7/ The disturbing revelation that some groups are eager to politicise a health crisis, and also irresponsibly encourage civil disorder, arson and vandalism.

    And all this with only a rather moderate disease, posing no great threat to the general population (we may be surprised by what it gets up to next, of course.)

    For those who want a positive comment, well, it IS still all hanging together – just.

    (And the crops here have finally got some rain after weeks of drought, which has cheered me up.)

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      An excellent round-up, Xabier.

      For those feeling starved of good news, China is claiming turbo-charged growth in its services sector – but then China clearly sees the pandemic’s geo-political shake-up as an opportunity to stake its claim as the world’s pre-eminent superpower and its data was never very trustworthy, even at the best of times.

      “The Chinese services sector grew at the fastest rate in more than a decade in June, according to data released on Friday.

      “The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index rose to 58.4 from 55.0 in May, coming in comfortably ahead of consensus expectations for a reading of 53.2 and marking the highest reading since April 2010.”–7563345.html

      • Xabier says:

        Oh, and I forgot the UK is now legalising previously ‘too dangerous to licence’ e-scooters as a ‘socially-distanced, Green Clean’ form of transport.

        Most unintelligently, adults will be permitted to ride them on pavements as well as roads.

        The innovative genius of the UK govt. is simply breathtaking!

        Civilisational Crisis? Economic collapse? Species extinction? No! We have e-scooters!

        Let’s wait for the mortality stats on that.

        Is this good news, or comic news, or a tragedy? I no longer have any idea…….

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          As well as e-scooters it looks like Domininc Cummings will, as a living embodiment of Joseph Tainter’s theories, be wasting £100m on carbon capture technology:

          “…Dominic Cummings is backing an experimental scheme to tackle climate change by sucking carbon dioxide out of the air.”

          • psile says:

            It’d be better if they spent the money on inventing something that sucks the hot air out of politicians.


            • Xabier says:

              It’s quite funny in Spain now seeing all the politicos muffled up wearing masks in meetings: if only we could stop them from doing anything as well…..

          • Xabier says:

            Yes: complex problem? Let’s add yet more unaffordable complexity!

            Perhaps this is the tank ditch into which the lumbering bulk of each over-complex Civilisation has to fall?

            Would anything change if every politician and planner had to read Tainter and assimilate his lessons – one of the greatest historians of the last few centuries, because he actually has something to teach?

            I somehow suspect not. There is a profound sense of inevitability to all of this.

            • Xabier says:

              Similarly, Orwell and Aldous Huxley have much to teach us, expressed in the clearest and most precise language, about mass human nature, political psychopathy and the evils of industrialised totalitarian Utopian systems, but they haven’t had the slightest impact on the course of history, nor ever will.

              All that happens is that we can think to ourselves ‘This is like 1984!’ or ‘Brave New World’ while we are all tagged, monitored, silenced and drugged.

              It’s worth noting that Huxley decided to leave this world high on LSD……

            • Tim Groves says:

              And Orwell left us thanks to tuberculosis. If he died of that today it would probably be marked down to COVID-19.

            • George Orwell died in 1950 at the age of 46 from Tuberculosis. We don’t think of tuberculosis being a killer disease that recently. The major countries today are India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

              According to the World Health Organization:

              A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 (including 251 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS). [So far, there have been about 525,000 reported COVID-19 deaths, worldwide.]

              In 2018, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis(TB) worldwide. 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.1 million children. There were cases in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable. [The total number of COVID-19 reported cases is 11.1 million, or a little higher than the 10 million figure.]

              In 2018, 1.1 million children fell ill with TB globally, and there were 205 000 child deaths due to TB (including among children with HIV). Child and adolescent TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

              Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 484 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug, of which 78% had MDR-TB.

          • Robert Firth says:

            The article says that the cost of extracting CO2 may eventually be as low as 100 pounds per tonne. Last year the UK emitted about 360 million tonnes of CO2, so it could all have been extracted for a mere 36 billion. Don’t hold your breath (although that would be a far cheaper was to reduce carbon emissions).

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Despite the pickup in activity, Chinese companies continued to shed jobs, with employment contracting for a fifth month in June, and at a more rapid pace than in May.

        “China remains on course for its slowest growth in three decades this year, as deep recessions in developed and emerging economies affect demand for exports of manufactured goods.

        “Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin, said: “Although businesses were optimistic about the economic outlook, they remained cautious about increasing hiring, with employment in both the manufacturing and services sectors shrinking.””

    • Rodster says:

      And that’s with just one lockdown !

    • We may even have the collapse of the Three Gorges Dam to add to this list at some point, adding to the problem with international trade.

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Yes, Actually it is a very accurate roundup summary and one to post and clip for future reference…well done Xavier!👍😜

  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Exxon Mobil Corp. incurred an unprecedented second straight quarterly loss as almost every facet of the oil giant’s business slumped amid COVID-19 lockdowns that stunted economic activity.”

  5. fred_goes_bush says:

    The lethality of the virus (or lack of for most people) in no way justified the response.

    A large proportion of the deaths in the UK and US were engineered for old people in care homes by deliberate lack of care, plus real data or questioning of the “terrible disease” narrative was suppressed. I have a relative working in the UK hospital system who confirmed this in discussions with senior medical staff there.

    In Australia, normal average death rate = ~3,050 per week, virus deaths in the last month = ~2 (Yes, two), yet there are new lockdowns and some state borders are still closed!?? I’m stunned by how the sheeple have mostly bought into the “we must stay safe” narrative.

    So what is really going on?

    Take your pick from:
    1. Disguising an economic collapse already underway.
    2. More medical coercion and control and sales of (probably toxic) vaccines.
    3. Excuses to give more free money to Elites, favoured corporates and banks.
    4. Finding levers to use against Trump.
    5. Distracting from imminent indictments relating to RussiaGate, FBI criminal activity etc (ref Jim Kunstler).
    6. .

    • Chrome Mags says:

      “The lethality of the virus (or lack of for most people) in no way justified the response.”

      If you were guaranteed not to get killed in war, would you still be fearful of getting maimed? As we know in war as an analogy, about 10 times as many get injured as die. Same is true with this virus. There are people permanently losing part of their lung capacity, some going on kidney dialysis machines, others having cognitive problems, fatigue, extreme anxiety and last but not least, heart damage.

      “Short- and long-term depression, anxiety, PTSD may be an issue post-ICU”

      “Lungs, heart and other body systems work together like instruments in an orchestra,” Galiatsatos says. “In sepsis, the cooperation between the organs falls apart. Entire organ systems can start to shut down, one after another, including the lungs and heart.”

      “Sepsis, EVEN WHEN SURVIVED, can leave a patient with lasting damage to the lungs and other organs.”

      “Some people suffering with severe cases of COVID-19 are showing signs of KIDNEY DAMAGE, even those who had no underlying kidney problems before they were infected with the coronavirus. Early reports say that up to 30% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in China and New York developed moderate or severe kidney injury. Reports from doctors in New York are saying the percentage could be higher.”

      “The kidney damage is, in some cases, severe enough to require dialysis. Some hospitals experiencing surges of patients who are very ill with COVID-19 have reported they are running short on the machines and sterile fluids needed to perform these kidney procedures.”

      “As more data comes in from China and Italy, as well as Washington state and New York, more cardiac experts are coming to believe the COVID-19 virus can infect the HEART muscle. An initial study found cardiac damage in as many as 1 in 5 patients.”

      So do you want to wear a mask in public places, social distance and wash your hands before you touch your face, or toss caution to the wind because it’s not that lethal?

      • kschleunes says:

        Yes, we have no clue about the long term effects. 88% of people who show symptoms feel awful months later. Even asymptomatic cases are showing some lung damage. We have so little information. By sending our kids back to school to contract the virus we may be condemning them to a lifetime of medical issues that might not set in until they reach adulthood. We just don’t know. Focusing on short term death rates is idiotic.

        • Unfortunately, we need our economy to keep the economy going so that 7.8 billion of us can eat. If even a small share of workers stay home to try to avoid COVID-19, it kills the economy. Parents can’t work if schools aren’t providing “free” childcare. One of the big problems is failing businesses of all kinds, leading to many debt defaults.

          • kschleunes says:

            Time for a new type of economy. It takes very few people to grow and distribute the food to the world.

            • What!?! It takes a whole world economy, in order for this to happen. It takes governments and businesses, for example. It takes the whole fossil fuel structure. In fact, extracting this fossil fuel must be profitable, which it is not at the present time.

              Try growing crops on your own. You will discover that they are eaten by all kinds of pests. (Birds, rabbits, deer, insects, diseases). You cannot count on any kind of crop without a lot of planning/protection of various kinds. They likely need irrigation at some times of the year. If crops are planted over and over again in the same area, the soil tends to rapidly deplete of nutrients. Somehow, the waste products of humans need to get back into the soil (or a substitute must be found), if the soil is to remain fertile.

              Somehow, a system must be put together that works out all of these details and then transports food around the world. It needs to preserve the food (keep it cold, pickle it, dry it, keep it in a low oxygen environment) until it is needed.

              And then there is the problem with contagious diseases of all kinds. Planting big areas of crops leads to the spread of contagious diseases. Putting animals together in big pens leads to the spread of contagious diseases. Allowing people to get together in big buildings or in airplanes leads to the spread of contagious diseases. Putting people and animals together leads to diseases of animals transferring to humans. As population of humans/animals/planted crops rises, there is an increasing problem with contagious diseases. These mutate, making it virtually impossible to stay ahead of.

      • Tim Groves says:

        This is all looks and sounds very nasty, certainly.

        But how do we know how much of it is true?

        How do we know how much of the long term damage is due to the virus and how much is due to the treatment?

        How do we know how much of the reportage and data are accurate?

        The answer is, we don’t. Most of what most of us think we know about the virus consists of information we’ve been told by sources that are not noted for their honesty, accuracy or credibility.

        We may believe that these sources are honest, accurate and credible, but we may believe these things not because we have evaluated or verified the sources or the information, but just maybe because we’re brainwashed. And I am not trying to put anybody in particular down by suggesting this. I freely concede that I’m as brainwashed as the next person, although possibly with a different brand of soft soap.

        • May Hem says:

          I agree Tim. Does anyone really know what is going on?

        • Xabier says:

          There are so many often bewilderingly contradictory accounts of the virus and its posterior effects from supposedly authoritative sources that it is quite impossible to arrive at a reasonable assessment of what its true legacy will be, however carefully one reviews it all.

          Having said that, the majority of people have to get active once more, more or less throwing caution to the wind, or it’s game over economically in a very short time.

          It was just the same in the age of the great European plagues: work and a real element of risk came to be seen as preferable to lock-downs and starvation for the masses. The very rich, and royalty, of course, isolated themselves.

          • doomphd says:

            The Mask of the Red Death by Poe was very much a payback to the uppity rich by a nasty plague who doesn’t care about class story.

            • Robert Firth says:

              “And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

              Time to revisit the 1964 movie with Vincent Price.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Ron Paul has been speaking out vociferously about the COVID-19 propaganda war, and I find him a lot more credible than most of the media. Perhaps this is because his bedside manner is so reassuring.

        For months, The Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media kept a morbid Covid-19 “death count” on their front pages and at the top of their news broadcasts. The coronavirus outbreak was all about the number of dead. The narrative was intended to boost governors like Cuomo in New York and Whitmer in Michigan, who turned their states authoritarian under the false notion that destroying people’s jobs, freedom, and lives would somehow keep a virus from doing what viruses always do: spread through a population until eventually losing strength and dying out.

        The “death count” was always the headline.

        But then all of a sudden early in June the mainstream media did a George Orwell and lectured us that it is all about “cases” and has always been all about “cases.” Death, and especially infection fatality rate, were irrelevant. Why? Because from the peak in April, deaths had decreased by 90 percent and were continuing to crash. That was not terrifying enough so the media pretended this good news did not exist.

        With massive increases in testing, the “case” numbers climbed. This is not rocket science: the more people you test the more “cases” you discover.

        Unfortunately our mainstream media is only interested in pushing the “party line.” So the good news that millions more have been exposed while the fatality rate continues to decline – meaning the virus is getting weaker – is buried under hysterical false reporting of “new cases.”

        Unfortunately many governors, including our own here in Texas, are incapable of resisting the endless lies of the mainstream media. They are putting Americans again through the nightmare of forced business closures, mandated face masks, and restrictions of Constitutional liberties based on false propaganda.

        In Texas the “second wave” propaganda has gotten so bad that the leaders of the four major hospitals in Houston took the extraordinary step late last week of holding a joint press conference to clarify that the scare stories of Houston hospitals being overwhelmed with Covid cases are simply untrue. Dr. Marc Boom of Houston Methodist said the reporting on hospital capacity is misleading. He said, “quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now.”

        In fact, there has been much reporting that the “spike” in Texas cases is not due to a resurgence of the virus but to hospital practices of Covid-testing every patient coming in for any procedure at all. If it’s a positive, well that counts as a “Covid hospitalization.”

      • Yorchichan says:

        We never fully recover from EVERY illness or injury we ever suffer from. Whatever scare story you promote about covid-19 will apply equally to lots of other diseases.

      • Lastcall says:

        Nothing but vested interests in that list. Yawn.
        Nature is cleaning up the unfit. Shouldn’t have so complacent with diet, shouldn’t have trusted that medical system.
        Forget the pandemic, get ready for the panic

      • Robert Firth says:

        All of these stories are from the US medical establishment, which has a huge monetary interest in exaggerating the problem as much as possible. To be blunt: I don’t believe them.

  6. Rodster says:

    I don’t know if anyone posted Charles Hugh Smith’s latest blog post but boy is it ever timely and sums up how people are being played by the Elites.

    “Dancing Through the Geopolitical Minefield”

    • Herbie Ficklestein says:

      Good read, spot on regarding Imperial Rome and collapse….same here now

    • beidawei says:

      So, I wonder where the war is going to be? China? Iran? North Korea? Russia? All of them at once? (That would make for a proper WW3!)


    Shell follows BP in massive write down of fossil fuel assets.
    The Wall Street Journal’s assessment, below, is stunning.

    “Large amounts of oil and gas are likely to be left in the ground.”

  8. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    This day the Lizard King of the Rock World Collapsed…
    1971. Jim Morrison died taking a bath…..
    Jim is laid to rest in good company

    Too bad he had some ideas for a next album after LA Woman……
    You never know when the end comes down

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      1967 first album, and it was played constantly.
      Went well with Augustus Owsley Stanley III creations.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Miles Mathis says:

      “We now know that Jim Morrison was the son of Admiral Morrison, who was in command at the Gulf of Tonkin false flag (which the NSA now admits was a false flag). Just as Tonkin was staged, Jim Morrison’s career was staged by Intelligence. He was created and promoted by them, and his death was faked by them. ”

      These days Jim is probably living in a gated aging hippy commune somewhere with Janice, Jimmy and the other members of the 27 Club. 😉

  9. Rodster says:

    Another excellent Blog from Charles Hugh Smith:

    “How We Got Here: the Global Economy’s 75-Year Stumble to the Precipice”

  10. Kim says:

    Is it true that of all resources our human resources are the most important?

    Be sure to watch to the end when some of those interviewed reveal their educational background and how they make a living.

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