Scary Times

I could go on and on about a multitude of issues that are anxiety-driven starting with William Barr but I won’t. What is the scariest thing right now is the Coronavirus, now called  2019-nCoV.

Is the US equipped for something like this? It appears that China is not although they are quite good at keeping information close to their chest. Just to prepare for a surge of this virus ripping through our shores is frightening but it is the economy that we should all be more attuned to.

As Trump and the Republican party have slowly (although not so slowly) worked on cutting us off from the world through immigration, trade, travel and more, having China under siege from a virus will prove the point that many economic experts have written about for some time. We are all connected.

Products are not being made in China, people aren’t going to work, items are not being shipped, and there is more. Coronavirus is creating havoc on the Chinese economy but the Chinese economy is also linked to the world’s economy. The longer this virus continues to rage, the reality of economic downfall looms large.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Yes, there is a lot to be concerned about, exacerbated by a lack of leadership around the things that impact us the most.Especially in our government.

    1. Gotham Gal

      The lack of leadership is the most frightening part.

      1. JLM

        .Specify two things that you think should be done, but are not being done.This is really a tour-de-force by some extraordinary professionals at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention who have protected the US from MERS, SARS, Zika, Ebola, and now, the Corona Virus.These professionals — since 1946 — are the best in the world backed up by an emergency preparedness plan second to none. You do them a huge disservice by spouting off based on your enmity toward the White House.Borrow some of that knee jerk cream from Arnold.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. JLM

      .You should put some medicine on that knee — it’s jerking uncontrollably these days.You could not possibly be more ill informed on this subject.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  2. LE

    With respect to China situation, the stock market ‘collective brain’ is not reacting as if it’s a problem or that it will be. And while there could be many explanations for that for whatever reason the market is not reacting. And it typically would (I even remember this from growing up). I would even argue that China’s woes are good for the US and the world in the sense that companies are accelerating having to find other vendors which has the potential to lessen China’s influence and power. Apple has relied heavily on China and the stock is pretty much at an all time high.One thing that tends to happen (economically with pricing) in a crisis is companies use it as a justifiable way to raise prices. Then their competitors follow suit. When the crisis ends or doesn’t materialize they then keep the higher prices (or extra fees) and make more money. (This happened with oil prices as one example). https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  3. LE

    Is the US equipped for something like this? It appears that China is notIn any complex system (or company) that does not have unlimited money there are always a 1000 things that should be done that simply can’t be done because of a lack of time or resources. Only after the fact is action taken. We saw this with 9/11. Let’s say hypothetically someone had thought there could be a terrorist attack (and in fact they did). Would it make sense to deploy resources to prevent it from happening (to the scale that they are doing post event)? No. Why? Because there are so many other things that ‘should be done’ where do you start? This is also what happens in not only any company but in particular any small company. Or in government local or otherwise. There are thousands (arbitrary number for making the point) things you need to do but you simply don’t have the money or the time to do them. So you take your chances. Now sure hindsight you say ‘wow I should have done that’.

    1. JLM

      .The US is extraordinarily well equipped to deal with this pandemic based on its experience with MERS, STARS, Zika, Ebola, and the seasonal flu.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the equivalent of Special Forces and has an emergency preparedness plan that can handle this as they did those other diseases.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  4. Lisa Abeyta

    I was bitten by a mosquito in 2017 and ended up contracting West Nile virus which became West Nile fever and subsequently encephalitis. I will live with some complications the rest of my life – loss of balance, etc. – but am grateful to be alive. The mortality rate for West Nile fever is 3-15%.Early guesstimates for the mortality rate for Coronavirus are in the same range, although it’s really hard to judge until more is known about the actual numbers coming out of China. But the scary difference is that while both are animal-borne viruses, Coronavirus is spread by sneezing and coughing, whereas the only way to contract West Nile is by being bitten by an infected mosquito.Lack of leadership in preventing contraction, combatting the spread and in developing treatments for Coronavirus is quite concerning. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone. The economic consequences are significant on a personal level and as a society. It isn’t just the cost of prevention and treatment, it is the cost of not being able to conduct business as usual. We’re seeing it in airports, global conferences closing down – the impact of this is going to be significant both in the loss of people and in the loss of economy.

    1. JLM

      .”Lack of leadership in preventing contraction, combating the spread and in developing treatments for Coronavirus is quite concerning.”Read the above comment and make your case for what you believe is not being done.BTW, the mortality rate appears to be in the 2% range. The big issues are the long incubation period with no symptoms, the spread through fecal matter, and range of severity (this is not a bad thing — some people may exhibit very limited symptoms, some may die).JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  5. JLM

    .Not sure why anybody is decrying a lack of “leadership” as it relates to the corona virus. A fair review of the facts shows a performance that is extraordinary (in the US).First, the Chinese have provided a full RNA sequence of the virus as of more than a month ago. This is the essential first step to working on a vaccine and understanding the virus itself.The World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations are on the case. I personally think the WHO is next to worthless, but they have lived through seasonal flu, SARS, MERS, Zika, Ebola, and they have experienced hands.The US has its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an enormous organization (founded in 1946 to deal with malaria which it essentially eradicated in the US South), which is world renowned for its communicable disease surveillance capabilities. It is the best in the world.The CDC has a Pandemic Response Plan (updated quarterly for world threats) that is the equivalent of FEMA and has the ability to marshal every single empty bed in America. An addendum has the military opening current and unused military facilities for use as quarantine centers. Last week, this was triggered by the CDC.The CDC has a $11B annual budget and can access emergency funds when needed — just like FEMA.Since the Chinese have given us the RNA sequence places like Inovio (public biotech company) have already “discovered” a vaccine. This is done with their software approach wherein they use the RNA sequence to fashion what is essentially a “bug fix” like a software patch for Chrome. They have a digital model of a human immune system.They received the RNA sequence on 9 Jan and had their vaccine designed within 3 hours. This is the benefit of being able to do this kind of biotech work with modeling. They got the RNA sequence and immediately designed a DNA fix using their digital human immune system.They are the guys who have designed MERS, SARS, Ebola, Zika, and other vaccines. This is not their first rodeo.They went from zero to a vaccine for Ebola in less than 90 days at a point in time that they did not have their “artificial human” immune system for testing. Today, they are light years ahead of where they were during the Ebola outbreak.Inovio says it could have the vaccine in the field by summer – much sooner if they could get the FDA to agree to abbreviated clinical trials.Another US company that has received the Chinese RNA sequence is Novavax from Maryland that says they will have a vaccine within 90 days. They made an Ebola virus in 90 days.There are a fair number of American and foreign companies working in parallel. Based on my study, I think there is an English company that will get to the finish line faster.Inovio is working with Beijing Advaccine, a Chinese company who has access to all of the information.The process looks like this:1. Identify the RNA sequence2. Design the DNA fix3. Make the vaccine4. Conduct animal clinical trials5. Conduct human clinical trials6. Make the vaccine at scale7. Distribute the vaccineWe are currently at #4 with an English company a week into animal clinical trials.I cannot find a single bit of evidence that there is a lack of leadership in meeting and overcoming this medical challenge that these organizations and companies have done multiple times before. Please tell us what you see lacking.It is fair to say that the Chinese have not been forthcoming on actual case data, but everybody knew that from the beginning. Hell, it’s China. They will likely infect the Uighers shortly (they have 3MM Uighers in concentration camps, what better place or way to get rid of them — right now the Chinese harvest their organs).There is no reason — no credible, evidentiary-based reason — to suggest there is a lack of leadership or performance. Those who are tempted to place every shortfall of mankind at the feet of this Trump chap, good luck with this one.The system and capitalism are working exactly as they were designed to work, and we will be looking at this in our rear view mirrors shortly.As to the actual US exposure — we have one death (an American in China) and 15 confirmed cases with some less than 100 potential carriers in quarantine.But, let’s understand the actual magnitude of the problem by comparing it to the US seasonal flu thusly:Total cases of flu: 19-26,000,000 <<< the US population is 330,000,000Total flu medical visits: 9-12,000,000Total flu hospitalizations: 180-310,000Flu deaths: 10-25,000 <<< fewer than 8,000 US military KIAs total in Iraq and AfghanistanThese numbers are from the time period: 1 Oct 2019 to 20 Jan 2020.The sky is not falling. The problem is one epidemiologists have solved before. American and foreign companies exist that can deal with this — MERS, SARS, Ebola, Zika — and will.Our government has spent billions to be ready and they are ready.This is not Trump’s fault, though he has ensured the CDC has what it needs including unlimited overtime authorization.We got this one. Go enjoy a Corona beer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      See? And I figured all of this out by just seeing what the market was not doing in response…. [1][1] But on a serious note (although I am serious in my sort take) if you follow the news long enough you find that everything appears to be drummed up worse than it actually is or will be. And yes I think we overreact vs. actual benefit. Part of this is a result of how the media operates and how they stoke fear in people because it benefits them as a business model.

      1. JLM

        .It could get away from China, but they honestly don’t care. I am hearkened to Mao’s conversation with Kissinger about the casualties from a nuclear exchange. Mao told Kissinger China could sustain the loss of 300MM people, could the US?China cares more about being perceived as in charge than they do anything else.We have no appreciation for how good the US has it as it relates to epidemiology. [I like using that word.]We have no idea how great the CDC is.It is mostly Trump’s fault, right?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  6. jason wright

    It’s not bubonic plague. Flu kills more people that Corona. Attention seeking media hysteria.

  7. Tom Labus

    You’ve inherited AVC’s far right crew. My condolences!!

    1. awaldstein

      Ain’t that the unfortunate truth.

    2. jason wright

      Political refugees fleeing despotic censorship. ∞:140? Er, no.

      1. Tom Labus

        still on TWTR,

        1. jason wright

          For me TWTR ‘gets in the way’ of things. It becomes ‘the thing’. That’s not good.