Wuhan ManiaMar 12, 2020
THE END IS NEAR!
lol. No it's not.
COVID-19 (the Wuhan Virus if you're a maniac xenophope or geographobe...or whatever) is a serious threat if you're old and/or infirm.**
If you are young and healthy you're in no more danger than you are from the flu.
Have kids? To date ZERO people under age 10 have died.
But wait, there's more!
- The World Health Organization estimate that the virus has a mortality rate of 3.4% is absurd. It disregards the likely large number of people who never know they are infected.
- Coronavirus similar to the common cold. Cold and Flu season ends in the good old US of A in March or April. As I sit here typing this it's March 12th.
If you have elderly parents or kids with sickle cell anemia or some other issue causing their immune system to be depressed you need to be extra careful.
For everyone else we need to wash our hands more often and not jam our fingers in our eyes after shaking hands with dozens of people at Home Depot.
**So as not to offend the perpetually offended I will henceforth refer to COIVID-19 as Commie Fever.
Note - Pandemic Doesn't Mean World War Z
A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that impacts the entire world or region. That's it.
"Pandemic" is not synonymous with "everyone is going to die" and has no bearing on how dangerous a pathogen is.
Stop Calling People Stupid
Or sheep or whatever.
First, it's rude. If you work 10 hours a day, come home, sit on the couch and see the stock market is down 20%, the NBA is suspending its season and schools are closing around the country it's natural to freak out.
Not every American consumes news all day and thus does not know the utter fecklessness of our crony-click-bait media.
Second, declaring people with different opinions "stupid" is a bad way to advance an argument or narrative.
It's why I hate those political "gotcha" segments where a correspondent goes to the Lincoln Monument then makes fun of people for not knowing who gave the Gettysburg Address.
I'm willing to bet the super smart correspondent would look similarly uneducated if a plumber ambushed him in the bathroom and asked him to instal a toilet.
Question - why the freak out?
Answer - one word, Katrina.
The roots of the current panic stricken response to Commie Fever can be traced back to Hurricane Katrina.
President Bush took a political beating for "not doing enough" leading up to and then after the storm.
Ever since the government and media overreact to everything.
5 days before the storm - "Possible category 1 million hurricane to hit from Florida to Hawaii! OMG GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL! Evacuate or die!"
Day of the storm - "Turns out it was a mild tropical storm. Oopsee-doodle, sorry you spent your life savings preparing. In other news, President Trump claims rain is wet...which is exactly what a Nazi would say!"
As the virus spreads around the globe and "elites" panic, President Trump has no choice but to massively overreact. If he doesn't and 1,000 people die from Commie Fever he's toast.
If the NBA keeps playing and Greg Popovich (the oldest head coach in the league), or a player, or someone working concessions dies or almost dies the NBA will be demolished by the media and then sued for billions of dollars.
South x Southwest had to cancel their festival.
The NCAA can't have fans.
Schools will close out of an "abundance of caution" for fear of a kid getting sick.
These choices have short term economic and long term cultural consequences.
Example - NBA
We'll use the NBA suspending the season as an example.
The NBA already has lagging ratings - down double digits for the last 2 years in a row.
Fewer people are going to games and fewer people are tuning in to watch on TV.
Suspending the season is going to make things WORSE next year.
At what point do I emotionally invest in my team? Should I buy season tickets? What if there is a bad flu next year? Will they suspend the season again?
When is it coming back? Will there be playoffs? What about ticket refunds?
The SXSW event in Austin, Texas is cancelled and they aren't issuing refunds (as of today...I have no clue what will happen in the future). The cost of "better safe than sorry" for SXSW, the city, local businesses and would-be attendees is massive and will last well beyond 2020.
Would you buy tickets next year? I wouldn't. No way.
The panic is driven by media hype but We The People are allowing it to happen.
The media sells what we consume. Until we have a culture that tells them to pound sand this is what we're going to get.
Question - is this the New Normal?
Answer - let's hope not.
This is a phrase thrown around a lot and is lame, but I'm going to use it anyway.
Is this how we act now?
Are we going to shut schools down during flu season if a kid gets sick?
What about TB or some other disease?
What about sports? Are they worth the risk?
How about driving?
Over-the-top risk aversion has real world consequences.
As a culture we need to ease-off the "better safe than sorry" pedal and calm the hell down.
Question - are we heading to another Great Depression
Answer - that is HIGHLY unlikely.
Economies and markets are driven by people.
Panic freezes people in place while they wait to see what is actually going on.
The economic consequences of the massive reaction to Commie Fever will be very real.
Hopefully only in the short run.
However, the European, Russian and Chinese economies are not terribly stable.
If panic grips Europe for a couple of months the survival of the European Union is in jeopardy.
A global economic slowdown combined with falling oil prices would CRUSH Russia...and Iran.
The Chinese Communists are totally dependent on low cost manufacturing, property theft and American technocrats' ability to convince the American people it's totally a-ok to be dependent on our mortal enemy.
- Their grip on low cost manufacturing has been slipping for years.
- President Trump and many American businesses are no longer willing to allow intellectual and property theft as part of the cost of doing business.
- 90% of American antibiotics are produced in China? Do you think that number will be even half that in 5 years? I sure as hell don't.
Furthermore, Chairman Xi's control of the Communist Party is tenuous and there are rising freedom movements throughout the country.
Commie Fever Fear Porn pumped out 24/7 by the mass media will damage the global economy and could push almost every country on the planet into an economic malaise.
Except for us. We'll be fine.
Our economy is amazing compared to the rest of the world and we have massive capacity to jumpstart manufacturing by bringing companies back to the US. Preferably with a 10 year corporate tax hiatus. USA! USA!
Tomorrow we'll cover some politics. This is all I have for you today.
Wash those hands and try not to die.
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