Schools are closed. Sporting events are canceled. Restaurants and bars are closed. The stock market is cratering.Coronavirus March 2020. An event we'll remember the same way we remember September 11, 2000 and the 2008 financial crash.
As I am writing this note, the total known world-wide coronavirus or COVID-19 cases is 200,000, with 8,000 deaths. In comparison, in the U.S. alone, annual flu cases are about 50 million and deaths are 50,000. These numbers suggest flu is a much bigger health risk than coronavirus. But our response to coronavirus is to shut down our social and business life. Image: an empty Metro station in Washington, DC.What is the reason for this extreme response?
The best reporting, by far
, I have seen on the risk posed by the coronavirus is by Tomas Pueyo. The numbers reported in the press of known cases are far lower than actual infection rates and hugely misleading.
Pueyo reports the historical data in China, the US, Italy, Iran, and other countries showing the low initial number of known infections and the actual infections over the full cycle of the disease.
China did not understand the implications of the early coronavirus cases in the city of Wuhan and did not respond until infection rates were widespread. Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong took lessons from the SARS virus and responded to the first cases of coronavirus, thereby limiting its spread to the general population.
Take a few minutes and read Pueyo’s report HERE
. You will better understand the risk we are facing, the time urgency of our response, and the implications of different responses.The coronavirus threat is real.
The number of infections today is much larger than reported. Breaking the chain of person to person transmission is the goal of the draconian limitations to our daily lives. The best public, business, and private response is still not clear.
We are in an era of media hype and political pandering and posturing when too much and too little will be done. My hope is that by design or chance enough of the right things will be done to limit the disease in every part of the world and quickly bring our lives back to some level of normalcy.
Be careful and be safe.