The world has gone nuts.
The reaction from World Governments appear to be in total disregard to the actual data and I really am at loss for how to wrap my hands around this.
For all the data I’ve seen COVID-19 deaths are far less than what we see from the normal flu and I don’t understand why we’re freaking out about this.
“So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 220,000 illnesses and more than 9,300 deaths worldwide. But that’s nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
But with that frustration, here are my thoughts on this subject.
Right now, countries are mandating that their citizens shelter in place and this means that economic commerce will come close to ceasing. We are embarking on an economic experiment that would’ve been unheard of in years past – The significant attenuation of global commerce for time periods of several months. This is very dangerous and has the possibility of causing a global recession or depression. This is huge and if governments don’t reverse course soon, we’ll be in unchartered economic territory. This is really bad and will make the 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis look minor in comparison.
We have to get back to work and out shopping soon, like yesterday.
Don’t’ Flatten The Curve
The prevailing thought is to ‘flatten the curve’ with regard to number of people who contract COVID-19 so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system and quarantining folks will help do that.
This is really a bad strategy.
Instead, we should quarantine the vulnerable folks (age over 60 years old with compromised immune systems) but the rest of us should continue with our daily lives and accept the high number of people who’ll get COVID-19 and move on. The number of folks who test positive for COVID-19 will sky rocket and commerce will be attenuated for a few weeks during that time but according to data, 99% will survive and get over this illness.
I prefer to do this, which is like ripping off a band-aid, instead of prolonging the agony. Let’s take all the losses in a short term and folks will build immunity to the virus after contracting it and recovering.
Turning Off The MSM
This COVID-19 scare has revaled how the current Mainstream Media (MSM) is really the enemy of us citizens and they are only interested in creating click bait to increase their revenue. Hopefully, when we’re on the other side of this, the American people will come together in alignment that the MSM is nothing more than a raging dumpster fire. They thrive on the stoking of fear and this is NOT helping, and I think most folks will come to this conclusion after we’re on the other side of this.
Bridging Of The Political Divide
I’ve noticed a bright spot with this COVID-19 issue – People who are pragmatic (which is really the majority of the US population) are coming together on common ground on this topic. I have had conversations with people who I normally don’t align with on political issues but on the reaction to this COVD-19 scare, we are almost 100% aligned in that we are overreacting to this in very dangerous ways.
This is a big deal since there are few to zero issues where this can happen in this hyper partisan environment that the MSM and Social Media has created. It used to be that we could all talk about the weather and have a constructive conversation without bringing politics into it but since the Climate Change scam, even that is off limits now
After a couple weeks of depressed commerce (and layoffs), the US citizens will be on the phone to their representative in Congress to demand we send folks back to work and this catastrophic economic experiment will be over. We’ll be back to business as usual by 13-APR-20. And then the triage will start about how we over reacted to this “crisis” and hopefully we’ll learn from it.
Below are a couple links to add to your bookmarks as we see how we navigate through this issue.
Bravo! I’ve been running the numbers and have come to some of the same conclusions with some additional thiughts. Let’s look a NYC as an example:
It’s impossible to keep New York City or London locked down for the next 12 to 18 months while the predicted contagion goes through 40% to 80% of the population. Simply impossible.
40% X 19.5m State Pop= 7.8 million people infected in New York state alone.
If it’s 80%, that’s 15.6 million people infected.
Current world-wide experience is 15% to 20% of infected will need hospitalization and half of those will need ventalators.
So, at minimum, if Cuomo is right, that’s 1.17 to 2.34 million people who will be infected and need hospitalization.
Bring out your dead! We don’t have nearly enough of everything.
At a 40% infecton rate, that’s 175,000 people who will require hospitalization in New York, if 15% require hospitalization…. It’s 234,000 people if 20% of those infected require hospitalization.
Double these numbers, if the infection rate is 80% and not 40%.
Now, consider we have 950,000 hospital beds in the entire US and about 50,000 of them are ICU beds that are normally at about 80% occupancy for non Coronovirus health issues.
I don’t know what percentage in New York is, but even if it’s 10%, we don’t have enough beds by a magnitude, much less the health personnel to man them, even if we had all the beds and the ventalators.
Here is what has to happen. The 16% of the New York population that is over 65 has to stay in isolation for at least the next 3 months.
The same for the 20% of the State population under 18 years old that are human Petri dishes.
We need enough test kits to do random geographic stratified samples of every SMSA (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area) in the country to determine true rates of infection and people who have already had coronavirus, recovered, but were undiagnosed.
All the immune compromised and people who can work from home should be encouraged to continue to do so.
Bars need to remain closed, but everyone else will need to go back to work just as soon as there are enough face masks so everyone on the subways, streets and in public can wear one which must be mandatory.
Face masks don’t work unless everyone, including asymptomatic people, are wearing them.
Also hand sanitizer stations at every building and subway entrance.
Hospital capacity, ventalators and health personnel must be expanded on a crash course, war footing basis, as well as face masks and plastic gloves for the general population.
In 1939, the US produced 2,000 planes and 6,000 in 1940 before Pearl Harbor. In the next three and a half years of WW2, we produced 300,000 planes.
Now, we need to produce and order from other countries, billions of disposable surgical face masks and require everyone in hotspot Coronovirus areas to wear them in public along with social distancing and other hygentic measures. This is possible if we switch the world’s clothing manufacturing capacity to producing surgical masks and use dormant airline capacity to distribute them. Face masks and gloves don’t take up a lot of space.
Place the order with Amazon and Alibaba.
The homeless will need to be placed in interment camps, er, I mean health sanctuary cities, where they will be paid to produce surgical masks, get off drugs and receive mental health services.
Never let a good crisis go to waste.
If we are lucky, the infection rate will go down as warmer weather approaches or it will mutate to a less virulent strain. (In rare cases it may get stronger) We need to prepare for a worst case scenario.
Of course, we are on a crash course of developing effective treatment protocols and a vaccine. That needs to continue and some risks may have to be taken before 100% normal protocols are followed.
Where am I wrong here?
In my fantasy, we default on the debt we have with the Chinese to pay for most of this but that would also cause a trade war, if not real war.
At the very least, we need to decouple and bring back strategic materials and manufacturing to the US.
Great analysis Blaine!
It’s an extraordinary crisis for sure so it requires extraordinary solutions and mitigation’s.
I like the “war time” suggestions and that may help offset some of the huge economic impact we’ll see for the next few months. At a minimum it may give some homeless folks a skill they can parlay once the crisis is over.
The whole world is in unchartered territory right now and I fear we won’t realize the implications this is going to have until the end of the summer.
You stay safe out there in California!
Interesting, Cosmocon! Regarding the comparison with the flu, it kills 0.1% of infected people, whereas COVID19 kills 2% to 5% (more in Italy, apparently), and COVID19 causes pneumonia, unlike influenza. Sweden is taking the approach you described, basically allowing the virus to burn through the population unmitigated (the strategy the UK was following first, until they changed course). It will be interesting to see how they fare. Here in the US, we need a strategy that gets us back to work safely. We need antibody testing to identify those who have developed immunity, and some system of clearly identifying immune people to the public so they can be allowed to work together. Germany is testing 400,000 people per week. Why can’t we do something similar? Strict contact tracing will be necessary to fight the unavoidable flare-ups, which means testing combined with some smart GPS-based contact tracing system, similar to what the Koreans are using.
I work for a Chinese company, and during a video call a few weeks ago I saw my Chinese colleagues gathering in large numbers (all wearing face masks) and close together. So it is possible to get back to normal, after an almost total shutdown. Of course, they had a coordinated national approach, which we don’t,
Well….this didn’t age well, did it?