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.




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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.

2,824 thoughts on “COVID-19 and the economy: Where do we go from here?

  1. Reality . 140 million infected in India . ICMR(Indian Council Medical Research ) a semi govt body research .

      • Gail, ICMR is not the only one . Here is another by a USA based organisations forecasting 200000 cases per day by August . By the way the interviewer Karan Thapar is what Stephen Sakur does for ^Hard talk^ in BBC or may be Murrow use to do . Highly credible .

        • Just checked ,official data says 13.26 million infected worldwide . This throws water on everything . Just for your info I have immediate family (brother,sister,in laws ,childhood friends ) living in ground zero New Delhi, Mumbai , Bengalaru and other cities . This is happening . There are no testing facilities ,nothing and nothing means nothing .

        • I agree. There are going to be a lot of cases in India. There are going to be a lot of cases everywhere else, as well, I expect. I am not convinced that there is anything that we can do to fix the situation.

        • Let”s say 500,000,000 case in India by Nov 1. At 0.25% death rate 1,250,000 dead by end of Nov.

  2. Likely the video below is just propaganda by China, but they are claiming there is a new virus spreading and killing a higher percentage of people (than covid-19) in Pakistan. It’s a form of pneumonia and therefore presumably Covid but is it possible the virus has mutated into something deadlier? Let’s hope not.

    • I don’t think there is much disagreement that based on current info, Covid is very contagious. But to add insult to injury, any subsequent mutation that increases further transmissibility will continue to be selected for. This would be as bad as any modification that prolongs the incubation period.

      At this point, I get into a quandary because the lethality is so low. A very high lethality rate would be counterproductive to a virus spreading.

      Therefore, because the lethality rate is so low and the transmissibility so high, the virus has no pressure to evolve into less lethal strains, which if happened typically would increase its prevalence/incidence. This means that there is plenty of wide-open upside for lethality to increase even as it becomes more contagious.

    • Economic disarray has resulted in the expected malnutrition/homelessness. Subsequently we see the populations becoming more susceptible to any and all of natures arsenal of pathogens.

      Unhealthy people are susceptible people; susceptible to disease and disinformation. The herd panics. A new fear arises. Rinse. Repeat

      • Yes, precisely! The herd will panic, everywhere will be disease and rumors of disease, and before we know it we have a new Black Death on our hands.

  3. 1789 — France: Storming of the Bastille heralds the French Revolution. Begun by Parisian crowds seeking arms & the liberation of political prisoners. Signals a new period in history with the taking of power by the nascent capitalist class, the French bourgeoisie.

    Happy Bastille Day comrades!

    • When the mob stormed the bastille, they found exactly seven prisoners. In the aftermath, seven members of the garrison were murdered, the two most senior members mutilated and their bodies paraded in the street. Perhaps this is an episode in their history the French should “cancel”?

  4. Pingback: Good Words – DeLand, Florida Commentary

  5. Fecal material and virus:

    Did some research, CDC seems to indicate the the virus in fecal material is a shed virus and no longer active.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the virus found in feces may be capable of causing COVID-19. There has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from feces to a person. Scientists also do not know how much risk there is that the virus could be spread from the feces of an infected person to another person. However, they think this risk is low based on data from previous outbreaks of diseases caused by related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

    Believe what works for you, there seems to be nothing one can do except become younger each day, please forward that cure if discovered.

    Dennis L.

    • the virus in fecal material is a shed virus and no longer active.
      We have a winner.
      Now a little more basic knowledge is appropriate—-

      • We also know that there are other illnesses that spread through fecal matter. I don’t think we necessarily know that virus in fecal matter is no longer active.

        According to the government of Australia:

        The germ which causes hepatitis A is commonly found in the faeces of people who are already infected. The germ can be passed directly from person to person, or indirectly, by food or water which has hepatitis A virus germs in it.

        Gastroenteritis (gastro) is a disease caused by a virus germ in faeces. People can become infected with this germ when they eat food or lick fingers or use eating equipment, such as knives, forks, plates and cups, which are contaminated with the germ.

        Tetanus is a serious disease caused by poison produced by the bacterial germ Clostridium tetani. This germ can be in human and animal faeces. It can get into the soil and onto other objects on the ground if faeces are left lying around. The germ and its poison can last in the soil and on objects for a long period of time.

    • Thanks for the extra footwork, Dennis.. and for the “cure”, which I shall strive to keep in mind.

      • The “cure” is a robust immune system. We are the descendants of the survivors of all previous plagues, famines and wars – survival is our game WHEN HEALTHY.


        #1. Eat whole, natural foods, plenty of fat (suet, tallow, butter). Eat enough animal protein to maintain highest possible muscle mass.

        #2. Lift heavy things often to create & maintain said muscle mass.

        #3. Sleep well (dark, chilly, humid) each night, for sure over 55 hrs per week.

        #4. Stay calm and breath, and enjoy friends and family, FFS. We all leave this mortal coil, some more easily than others.

        Review above for a longer, happier stay 🙂

        • “1. Eat…plenty of fat (suet, tallow, butter). Eat enough animal protein to maintain highest possible muscle mass.”

          Google vegan bodybuilders. You will see many examples of athletes who would disagree with you.


          • My college buddy a year ahead of me and who is now 66-7, was a distance runner in college. We would work out together at the college gym. I really didn’t know why he did because he didn’t need upper body strength for cross-country, but he was sure was strong. (I trained for wrestling.) He later got into triathlons until he sorted out all the mumbo jumbo and became a nutritionist and exercise physiologist. I bought his book. I ( MS, MD, ) think his nutritional and exercise physiology advice is sound.


          • High testosterone virile and psychologically healthy? Vegan gains(YouTube channel) is absolutely psycho.


    “Despite a rise in new cases, the U.S. is “in a much different place than we were several months ago, a much better place,” Giroir said. About 63,000 people are hospitalized, down from about 85,000, while a lower share of them are on ventilators, he said.

    The mortality rate has fallen across all age groups, he said.”

    it only appears to be a rise in new cases, since 90% of cases in March/April were missed.

    even with a “rise” in new cases, the US is in a much better place.

    • Covid, this is not true. If you look at cases in Florida from 21 days ago against deaths yesterday, deaths are 2.4% and the same as in April in NYC.

      • if 90% of infections are missed, (mild cases) the ones who barely feel sick at all, then the death rate will appear to be 10X higher.

        here, the CDC says the IFR is 0.26%.

        they are scientists.

        what is the scientific consensus for IFR in the UK?

        I would tend to believe it, if UK scientists say so.

  7. Every snowflake is the unique.
    Every life journey is unique.
    The darkness remains the same.

    Every photon is unique.
    The laws remain the same.

    I am alfa and omega.

    • every person orbits through the same universe
      every empty past is fourteen billion years deep
      every cancelled future is nothingness eternal sleep

      yet the minuscule miniature middle lingers
      a handful of decades slipping through our fingers
      Oh grip hard onto its illusion of importance

      once I was not
      now I am the air and the water
      the liquid and the solid
      soon I will not be

  8. Here is Dennis…
    ‘There will be consolidation at the community level, as local groups reorganize to sustain their lives and livelihoods in the throes of their changing conditions, choosing polices that favor resilience over those that promote growth. Tribal modes of organization have served our species far, far longer than the alternatives – monarchy, autocracy, oligarchy, democracy. I expect they will prevail again.’

    Well, I guess, if you discount the toxic by-products/structures that this economy will leave behind.
    I think increased environmental stressors and reduced ecological resilience will be a vicious selection environment.

    • Sat beside him in DC at an ASPO breakout meeting, very nice, quiet man, he was generous and answered a few questions. I had hoped he was off by a few decades on the coming issues, nope, things were pretty much on track. Bummer.

      Dennis L.

  9. Florida Labs Acknowledge “Major Errors” After Reporting Positivity Rates Of 100%
    The report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.

    The Orlando VA confirmed a similar discrepancy.
    The report also showed that the Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76%. A spokesperson for the VA told FOX 35 News on Tuesday that this does not reflect their numbers and that the positivity rate for the center is actually 6 percent.

    FOX 35 is still waiting to hear back from the Florida Department of Health about an explanation for these errors.

    • Hint:

      Wear a mask, or watch the economy go to hell as shutdowns come back and get enforced.
      It’s not complicated.

      • I think the economy likely falls apart with or without masks. We are expecting too much of masks. The economy was already in trouble, pre-COVID-19. People will remain too worried. Air traffic won’t bounce back to its previous level and continue to grow from there. Vacation travel will remain very diminished. Way too much will be spent on testing, protective equipment, contact tracing and treatments. The economic down-spin we were in previously will continue.

      • Fear speaking – “Bow to the mask or the world will be broken!”

        Reasonable pragmatism – “Umm, the world was already breaking, and will continue to do so, but wear a mask if you’d like.”

    • One possible explanation: the Florida Department of Health made up the numbers in order to discredit the Republican governor, and hence the Republican President. Open a criminal investigation tomorrow.

  10. All roads are leading to collapse. Or, The Great Reset, as the WEF are branding it.

    Not long after reading this article, I saw that Joe Biden made a big announcement about his $2 Trillion Green New Deal initiative. Yeah, right. More subsidies, more malinvestment; what could possibly go wrong!

    This is something that you have written about extensively, and given your views of the subject of renewables, this bizarre proposal is crying out for some of your expert analysis.

    Who would’ve thought it would cost as much as 2 trillion totake us back to the stone age!

    • I think the economy likely falls apart with or without masks.
      We are in late stage capitalism, of course it is falling apart.
      With masks, possibly a minor blip in the process.
      The survival of our species is the question—-

      • 100% mask wearing in public and when otherwise socializing would probably move the R0 below 1.0 and therefore end the pandemic sooner.

        but as we know, many persons are iggnorant more ons and/or stubbborn foools.

        so there is no chance that mask wearing will end the pandemic sooner.

        a local area where the population is sparse has a chance at eliminating the virus in their local area, if most of the citizens are somewhat intelligent and mature, as in 95+% masks.

        but then it would only take one outsider to start the spread again.

        my local area is a bunch of small towns, and I see almost everyone wearing masks.

        I think we are safer than bigger areas, and we hope to stay that way until the HIT reaches all of the bigger population areas in the entire country, which should happen sooner rather than later.

        after HIT, the decrease of the virus will be about as swift as the increase was earlier this year.

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