Holiday Schedule: No US market activity today due to President’s Day. As a result, there’s little in the way of insightful comment on the financial side, other than our awe-struck sense of wonder at idiots in Finance who can’t understand medicine. First, though, let’s talk about the…
Re-Screwing of Bernie
The Hildebeast is back. In what promises to be a horrific sequel to her first disaster, Mike Bloomberg is reportedly considering HRC as vice president. Hold on while I light my crack pipe. HRC 2.0? YGTBSM, right?
Sadly, we said several months ago that the “little people” who were running in an honest effort to win hearts and minds would be “Big-Shotted out of the way” when Big Money decided to put the darkest of the Deep State players back in the Oval.
Frankly, I’m not sure WHY anyone would self-identify as a democrat with this kind of screwing of Bernie looking like the game-plan. I’m no fan of Bernies mad socialist agenda – devoid, near as I can figure it of any understanding of finance – but if we’re going to implode (virus, compound interest of national debt, running out of social security money, yada, yada, yada) why in God’s name would be install the Soda Shrinker and Ms. Foundation?
Boggles the mind…really. As luck would have it, though, the world isn’t just stupid…it’s sick….
CNN has the “happy-talk” version here: “The US is finally evacuating Americans from the Diamond Princess. Here’s why that’s made them mad.”
The disaster angle becomes focused in the Johns Hopkins data:
What begins to come into focus is just how bad things could be in as little as two month’s time. While we have only 15 cases (confirmed) in the U.S. this morning, the “flying germ tubes” (commercial air travel) have always been one of our “worst case/nightmare” scenarios.
One of the projects over on our Peoplenomics subscriber site has been running out our own “back of the envelope” SWAG about where the spread could take us. It’s not pretty:
If you want to play along at home, the method here is pretty straightforward:
The idea is to make a “Case Factor” by dividing today’s case count by the case count from 5-days ago. The factor today is 1.5894. Then you GUESS that the same rate will be felt 5-days into the future. So, on February 27, we MIGHT see cases around 114-thousand.
Since this is a linear projection it’s only useful for close-in expectations. Like sughgesting that later in the week we will pass 100-thousand cases and will pass 2,000 dead.
We then continue and observe (down in the wildly speculative lower rows in the project) that the number of cases worldwide MIGHT be up in the 30-million range by May 1.
Applying the same logic (using a case factor based on deaths from 5-days back) on the death count, we see by May 1we could be passing 1-million dead.
Horrific as they are, the reason for running them out is to scale our personal responses.
A doc friend of mine called from a conference this weekend and he’s come up with something he calls the “100 person rule.” This is, when 100 people are confirmed in the USA, then your odds of coming in contact with the active virus would be around one in every 663 people you meet. Thing is, though, if you go with your spouse out and about, now the odds come down tyo more like one in 332 people. Got kids are school? Two of ’em, you say? Then one in 166…
The math on this is just a “ruel of thumb” but my doctor friend is frustrated. “Are we just going to wait until we have decontamination tents outside the ER?” he posed at a staff meeting. But, he was quickly over-ruled by peers. “What can we do that CDC and WHO aren’t? We don’t want to waste resources duplicating their work…”
And that’s the hell of it. We live in a horrifically complex world of competing hierarchies and experts galore. But, resources are limited and – like money – can only “be spent once.” Global pickle, anyone?
At some point, things will begin to fall apart rather quickly: the realization of a mass die-off underway will arise quickly. Panic may be expected. Airline travel will stall, hotel bookings will fall apart, and cruise ships will just tie-up. Concerts will cancel, big public gatherings – conventions, casinos, sporting events, will all dry up.
Thing is, we just don’t have a current mental model. EXCEPT, one of our brilliant readers offered some historical perspective in an email I don’t think he’d mind me sharing parts of…
“Looked into the 1918-18 Spanish Flu for comparison. Could be twins. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/journal-plague-year-180965222/
Please read amazing article, because it is a PREDICTIVE EXACT X-RAY of current situation. It’s a “summarization” of a book written by a researcher on the topic. Takeaways:
It came in 3 waves: First mild (early 1918), several months later in Fall the Second wave was lethal & took only ONE DAY to kill, Third (Dec 1918- early 1919) seemed to be medium. Killed mid-range ages healthy people. Individual in charge of national health service at the time believed it might cause mankind to go extinct. Nurses refused to report for duty. Hundreds of thousands of people died in a short time in individual cities. People died because all individuals were sick: no one was strong enough to get them water or make them food, not because there weren’t supplies. Victims were also horribly ravaged by cytokine storm, much like is happening in this current virus outbreak. Lung autopsy showed devastating injury that looked as if the individuals had been exposed to a nerve agent there was so much damage. This flu likely actually began in Kansas in the USA, & was carried around the world by troops going to World War I (like commercial travel today). Researchers say Pres. Woodrow Wilson ordered coverup & actually had it instead of a stroke during his illness while negotiating end to World War I. Spanish virus never completely went away: it just mutated to a less invasively lethal form. It is now part of some of the seasonal flus that go around each year. The original more lethal form has been isolated from corpses & being studied since 2017 to TRY to make a more all-encompassing flu vaccine instead of a yearly one.
So, off top of my head, with the current coronavirus spread I think we can possibly quit worrying about products JUST FROM China. It has reached so many countries that we buy products & foods from. Not to mention right here in the good old USA. I’m thinking about putting stuff on the screened porch and just letting it sit for 30 days. One of the biggest problems we’re going to have is going to be medication shortage, and medical and surgical supply shortages because it’s all made in China. And not enough hospital beds. Not to mention economic crash & medical costs. AND what happens if nuke plant engineers die? China has sewage worker problems now….”
And so many people have been walking around asymptomatic, with possibly up to 24 days incubation. Tests are only about 30 to 50% accurate. It also just does not seem possible that Mexico and South America have zero cases. Note: There are also indications that it is possible that the “health authorities” & Media in this country are hiding outbreaks ALL AROUND the country right now. “
One other point about the Spanish Flu most people don’t know: Some of the deaths were caused by taking too much aspirin. People literally died from internal bleeding. Aspirin was new at the time and – as people well – they assume more is better. Except, in the case of the power blood-thinking effects of aspirin, too much of a good thing is death.
Thanks to reader DJ for the thinking. And yes, his idea of under-reporting by corporate media is all too likely. There was a million+ follower vlogger on YouTube this weekend, who is Asian and has lots of family in China, reporting that the incidence it about an order of magnitude greater than what the Mainstream reports are saying. – that’s ten times more cases if the report is to be believed.
Meantime, Twitter pages, like this one, are trending.
A Cover for Disclosure?
We are also shocked today by the timing of a HUGE UFO disclosure story in (of all places) Popular Mechanics magazine online. Their article “Inside the Pentagon’s Secret UFO Program” is lengthy, but it’s a grand diversion from as the bad crap floating around.
OK…breakfast and a snooze seem like worthwhile pursuits…
Write when you get rich,