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.




This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged , , , , , by Gail Tverberg. Bookmark the permalink.

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. Demographics, SS runs out of money in 2035 ignoring this years economic issues, state and private funds aren’t much better. Sort of explains the ever increasing stock market, biggest holders of stocks are most likely pension funds, insurance companies, etc.

    “The fund’s Trustees noted in an April report that net inflows into the Trust Fund will turn negative next year, commencing a demise that will see the Trust Fund go broke in 2035. Then, payroll taxes will cover only 79% of promised retiree benefits. Here’s the troubling part: “The projections and analyses in this year’s report do not reflect the potential effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Social Security program,” the Trustees stated in the annual report. Clearly, benefits will increase as more workers retire early or claim disability while payroll taxes swoon with the drop in employment.”

    That is only fourteen years from now, the excitement will start before then.

    Dennis L.

    • “Demographics, SS runs out of money in 2035 ignoring this years economic issues, state and private funds aren’t much better.”

      when push comes to shove, it seems likely that programs/plans dealing with future money will be eliminated before present day transfer payments.

      the future is now.

      this could very well be the last decade of any kind of pensions or other retirement schemes.

      there is no way to forecast to 2035, but you are correct that the squeeze will start way before then.

    • Not a problem. They will just run a deficit supported by the Fed printing press. No boomer left behind.

      • Speaking of boomers left behind, I just did my taxes and I owe $10k (last year zero), due to being slightly over the “Obamacare cliff” (a thing of which I hadn’t been aware). Pre-adjusted income $66,106, Obamacare cost full freight $16,149, 24.4% of pre-tax income. Last year I paid no federal taxes, this year $9795.. all “restitution” of Obamacare subsidies.

        How can a shitty pseudo health insurance end up costing 25% of one’s income?

    • Why is the taxpayer lavishing money on the Trustees of a Trust Fund that no longer exists? The money was stolen by the Treasury years ago, and contains only government debt. Debt that, of course, will never be repaid.

  2. Effective treatments for CV19.

    Now, for some good news. There are several therapies that are being offered that appear to be safe, effective and affordable. However, these therapies must be utilized early in the disease progression.


    Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries have maintained a much lower fatality rate with Covid 19 then we have here in America, in spite of the fact they live in densely populated communities. Many people believe that it is due to their preferred method of treatment. They use a steroid medication that is inhaled in a mist through a home use nebulizer. I’m familiar with this since my 2 year old granddaughter needed this treatment with a similar drug for an upper respiratory issue that she had recently. That speaks to the safety and the commonality of this treatment. Watch the link of a Texas doctor who shares his patient’s experiences with this therapy method using the drug Budesonide and a course of antibiotics.


    Another treatment option that appears to be safe and effective is the use of the antiparasitic drug Ivermectin with the antibiotic Doxycycline. Just one Ivermectin pill and then the course of antibiotics for ten days resulted in a 100 percent cure rate for Covid 19 patients according to the attached study. Ivermectin has been widely used on the continent of Africa for many years as an anti-parasitic and is believed to be a primary reason that Covid 19 has not severely impacted the African population.

    Hydroxychloroquine & Zinc

    As we’ve seen above, this therapeutic regimen should be considered simply due to the efforts to prevent you from knowing the truth about it. As Shakespeare wrote, “Doth thou protest too much?”

    The challenge with this therapeutic is both finding a doctor who will prescribe it and finding a pharmacy that will sell it. This should be between you and your doctor. Not the governors of certain states. Considering that 20 percent of all drugs are prescribed “off label”, meaning that they are prescribed for a use other than intended, you and your doctor should have the liberty and the responsibility to make this health care decision.

    There are several other therapies that appear to be safe, effective and affordable. You may want to research Chlorine Dioxide, intravenous ozone, high dose intravenous vitamin C and another, glutathione which are popular treatments in the homeopathic communities.

    • Hi Ed. Chris Martenson posted his latest covid-19 update on YouTube a short while ago. Among other things he talks about the success of Ivermectin in treating the corona virus. Ivermectin is also used in veterinary medicine for horses…it comes in apple flavor. Anyway, I found his presentation to be particularly interesting.


    • Another factoid that might be worth considering is ….. mold.

      As 80-90% of all the “COVID” deaths in the US are in nursing homes, someone commenting at Jon Rappoport’s excellent blog named Haniel Adharhas suggests it could be “a cover-up for the dank and dirty conditions that lead to mold infections being rampant in nursing homes.”

      There have been many lawsuits that have been ramped up in the past few years accusing nursing homes of negligence and allowing aspergillus infection that lead to residents dying from the identical type of pneumonia that is being blamed on “COVID”.

      There is no virus causing this. It is invasive aspergiloma and it has been a nursing home problem for decades. Ask any HVAC guy and he will tell you that these homes’ duct systems are covered with black mold and it gets the residents sick as hell. This would also explain why the nursing home employees also get sick from colds, flu, etc…from being exposed to the same mold.

      Going by national character, I would expect the US, the UK and Italy to be lax in dealing with mold while the Germans and Japanese would be more likely to make war on the stuff in their nursing homes. But anyhow, after reading that, I think it’s time I scraped the mold off of my bathroom wall and gave it a fresh coat of paint. Otherwise it will be one more health hazard to keep me up at night worrying about.

      • Tim, I cannot speak for other nations but in the UK the CQC (regulatory commission) inspectors will shut a home down if it is found to be mouldy.

    • “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”, Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III scene 2

  3. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Weston Price.
    This old tome has everything you need to know about what is food and and what is not, and the effects on intergenerational health outcomes.

    The fact that food is an industrial product in many countries, with remarkably little in the way of nutritional value is overlooked by a narrow scientific approach based in the lab and then the factory. Guess what, a few hundred years of lab work has given us franken food and weak constitutions.

    Its prevention that matters. Fences, not ambulances.
    Weston was a dentist. I wonder if todays dentist’s were/are ever introduced to his thoughts.

    • Here are 41 of Dr. Price’s dos and don’ts from the Amazon Reviews. I wonder how many of them you are currently practicing and how many more you might consider taking up in the interests of better health.

      I warn you, it’s crazy simple, and it’s not a diet. Here are the one page guidelines, called Dietary Guidelines, from the westonaprice site, my comments are in [brackets].

      1. Eat whole, natural foods.
      2. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
      3. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
      4. Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
      5. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats [lard, tallow, goose, chicken], extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils—coconut and palm.
      6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
      7. Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
      8. Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
      9. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
      10. Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
      11. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
      12. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
      13. Make your own salad dressing using either fresh lemon juice or raw vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil or a mix of the two. [Do not use flax oil, after a 15 month study I found all to be at some degree of rancidity. Grind the seeds and eat within 15min as they start to become rancid (oxidized) at that time limit.]
      14. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, molasses, dehydrated cane sugar juice [rapadura, sucanat (sugar cane natural) date sugar (ground dates)] and stevia powder.
      15. Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals. [Pasteurization kills all the probiotics!]
      16. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel. [No non-stick.]
      17. Use only natural supplements.
      18. Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
      19. Think positive thoughts and minimize stress. [prayer, meditation, yoga, EFT]
      20. Practice forgiveness.

      Here, too, are the WAPF Dietary Dangers:

      1. Don’t eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
      2. Avoid all refined sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup.
      3. Avoid white flour, white flour products and white rice.
      4. Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
      5. Avoid all vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
      6. Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sauteing or baking.
      7. Avoid fried foods.
      8. Do not practice veganism; animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.
      9. Avoid products containing protein powders.
      10. Avoid pasteurized milk; do not consume lowfat milk, skim milk, powdered milk or imitation milk products.
      11. Avoid battery-produced eggs and factory-farmed meats.
      12. Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage containing MSG and other additives.
      13. Avoid rancid and improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains found in granolas, quick rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals, as they block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
      14. Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed, bioengineered or irradiated fruits and vegetables. [Eat organic!]
      15. Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauce and broth mixes and commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not so labeled. [make your own nutrient dense broth.]
      16. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Avoid chocolate. [Decaf your own tea by first steeping loose tea in a mug of boiled water for 10-30 seconds and tossing that steep out, then re-steep as usual. For teabags, only 5-10 seconds is necessary.]
      17. Avoid aluminum-containing foods such as commercial salt, baking powder and antacids. Do not use aluminum cookware or aluminum-containing deodorants.
      18. Do not drink fluoridated water.
      19. Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them.
      20. Do not drink distilled liquors.
      21. Do not use a microwave oven. [It changes food in ways that slow cooking does not.]

      • “8. Do not practice veganism; animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.”
        Vitamin B12 is the only nutrient we need not found in plants. The rest of this statement is simply not true, though it took me until age 63 to finally get it. Why should our diet be any different from our primate cousins. It’s not. Five years later I look like I did in high school and no longer need the usual meds seniors are put on for life.

        In the bigger scheme of things it really doesn’t matter. If Gail is right, and I suspect that she is, we will all be vegan in the not too distant future and will be lucky if we can sustain that.

        Everyone be well,

        • Veganism keeps us away from viruses passed on to us by animals. For this reason alone, it may have some advantages. I expect fish are enough different from us that they don’t pass along many viruses either.

          It seems like meat-eating cultures have had religions that encouraged having a lot of children. If these people didn’t have lots of children, they couldn’t keep up with the viruses and bacteria that killed them off.

          India uses milk but not meat. It has had a custom of killing some of the baby girls, to try to keep population down. It also has a more benign climate, allowing it to grow two grain crops per year. We don’t hear about viruses starting in India.

          We hear about viruses starting in China, where people eat any kind of animal that moves. Of course, it has an overpopulation problem as well, with modern medicine and modern food production techniques. The preference for boys tends to hold down population, since it is girls who become mothers.

    • Agreed. I have a well read copy of the book, and in line with the earlier comment of Mark’s daily apple blog – both good resources.

      If you generally treat your body in a species appropriate manner, you will generally find health and happiness. Whole foods, regular movement, frequent socialization, and sound sleep for the win.

    • “they” are not.

      as the global economy shrinks, which it must due to decreasing net (surplus) energy, some economic subsystems will have to be downsized or eliminated.

      international travel is one of the least essential subsystems.

      and this is not total elimination, not even close.

      this is the self-organizing economy at work, doing a little bit of downsizing.

      just one company is eliminating their international flights.

      this is good.

      it allows the other players in this same industry to take a bigger slice of the shrinking pie.

      it must happen.

      • This is a far better form of downsizing than any amount of bureaucracy can. Decentralized decision making at its finest.

      • This link from 15/06/20 tells us that all international flights to and from Austrlia are suspended.

        This is not a situation where “other players” can come in an take up the business. They are simply shutting down huge portions of the international economy.

        There is not the slightest good reason why this “must happen”.

        It is a controlled demolition.

        • Kim you need to go back and read Gail’s blog. This has been happening for a long,long time. There was not a healthy economy drenched with oil as the media told you.

        • huh?

          international passenger air travel is a (non-essential) small portion of the global economy.

          tiny small population Australia is a tiny small % of that travel.

          “they” are certainly NOT “shutting down huge portions of the international economy”.

          • This demolition has been happening for 20 years. The printing press has been running full speed. Where have you been? There is not enough cheap energy. You make it seem like they took a healthy economy and destroy it! Not so it’s been a sick patient for a long time

            • I’m still not 100% clear on what the motives for, and desired outcome of, a controlled demolition would be. Even the word “controlled” seems inapposite as the global economy is a self-organising, growth-dependent complex system, which by definition cannot be controlled.

              Kim? Adonis? Care to shed some light?


    “Florida’s 132 additional deaths topped a state mark set just last week. The figure likely includes deaths from the past weekend that had not been previously reported.
    The new deaths raised the state’s seven-day average to 81 per day, more than double the figure of two weeks ago and now the second-highest in the United States behind Texas.”

    it’s almost unimaginable, the carnage in FL.

    81 deaths per day. OMG!

    what if it continues to double every two weeks?

    22 million people there, but they’re dying fast.

    “Doctors in Florida have predicted more deaths as daily reported cases have surged from about 2,000 a day a month ago to a daily average of about 11,000, including a record 15,000 on Sunday. The state recorded 9,194 new cases Tuesday.”

    oh look, cases plunged from Sunday to Tuesday.

    9,194 x 0.26% = 24 of them will die (23.9).


    “Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said on Tuesday that a universal masking policy could bring the coronavirus epidemic “under control” in four to eight weeks, just one day after stating that cloth masks “may” help reduce the spread of the virus.

    “The time is now,” Redfield said during an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). “I think if we can get everyone to wear masks right now, we can bring this under control within four, six, eight weeks.”

    While the CDC did not initially recommend the general public to wear non-medical grade masks at the start of the pandemic, the organization formally issued the guidance in April.

    “I think we’re being very clear now,” Redfield stated on Tuesday. “Now’s the time to wear a mask.”


    and what’s the chance of every American doing the right thing?

    for four to eight weeks?

    • “we can bring this under control within four, six, eight weeks.”

      Yeh yeh yeh.. they told us back in March with the lockdowns it would just be two weeks, then four, then -all right- eight, etc.

  6. No matter where you look in the west (right back to March) around 2.4% of cases reported 21 days ago show up as deaths today. So you can look at cases reported today in Florida and be pretty sure of the number of deaths that are going to be reported in around three weeks. The seven day moving average for cases in Florida yesterday was 11119 (Worldometer) and so I can confidently predict the seven day moving average for deaths in 21 days will be 266.

    Write that number in your diary for the 5th of August and let’s see.

    • no matter what is said about reported cases, the expanded testing now is giving a much higher % of the actual total cases than even a few weeks ago when the testing was more limited and a high(er) % of cases were missed.

      while the 2.4% may have appeared to be TRUE in the recent past, there has been a significant change in the accumulation of data now.

      states are capturing much more percentage wise of the actual positive cases, and there are far less missing cases in the state data than when the rate “appeared” to be 2.4%.

      having figured this out, the scientists at the CDC state that the IFR is 0.26%, so I can confidently predict that the daily deaths in early August will be about 0.26% of the present daily positive cases.

      I trust the science and the scientists.

  7. yep definitely a controlled demolition by the elders ,thank god we are saved,bur not all of us.

  8. here is my prediction by the end of 2020 the controlled demolition of the worlds economy will be over

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