Covid-19 Wildfire

We now have a handful of friends who have Covid-19, and the problem is, if you live anywhere in Europe and test positive, you’ll end up in a corona hospital zone and that is scarier than having corona.

This virus spreads like wildfire, it is not just the common flu as many thought, highly contagious and targeting adults so far. Some wonder why children aren’t susceptible although every effort has been made to protect this population, a wise step taken by governments.

The fact is testing when available seems almost too late and once you have it the virus runs its course. If your immune system is compromised it will likely be problematic causing hospitalization. One of our friends said Covid-19 is a nightmare while others felt little to no impact.

The main target groups have been identified as 60-80 years old and you can well imagine the possibility of the virus hitting hospitals and homes for the aged. This is cause for concern and so we see in Italy a high percentage of people are in their 70-80 range.

Covid-19 will inevitably spread to all parts of the world, sparing no one and all individuals still have some ability to change the disease’s trajectory or do they?

I am sitting here in Japan and watching the global economy shrinking, I seem to care more about economical stability more than anything else. I worry about the common devastation of markets and the tremendous losses individuals are sustaining, as the supply chain is choking.

Now think about retirees and their pension invested with the best names like Omers, Teachers, etc. I shudder to think of what can happen and what will happen if the virus continues to disrupt businesses globally and inevitably it will.

In Japan, we have limited cases but I wonder if it is due to the lack of testing, non-performance of the healthcare system? That is a good question and we will only know in a year from now or less. 

In Japan, the fatality rates are relatively low, and while there are fewer cases, the Japanese officials believe it’s better to manage it without the hysteria. If hysteria sets in, all healthcare facilities would be chocked.

We cannot stop it, we can slow it down and protect ourselves and as the virus grows in numbers it causes alarm. If Japan gets anywhere near the number of cases of Italy the Japanese economy would start to come under pressure.

Believe it or not, in Japan, there is a shortage of caregivers and retirement homes and care facilities are sending patients home to their families ~ that’s just incredible. Can you imagine, now your Mom or Dad comes home after being in a facility for years, and you now they’re in your home nest, and you are no spring chicken, 65 or older. I cannot think it’s possible but true. 

I am not sure isolation is the best practice even as attractive as it is, and I know the importance of social distancing is key to the trajectory. What bothers me is while we prevent the spread (social distancing) isolation isn’t going to eradicate the virus, it just slows it down and then?

Italy will be the best showcase and study, and if Italy cannot contain the spread, and or the fatalities continue to rise, what scares me is eventually the isolation starts to fail.

So either the ban is lifted out of frustration, desperation, people revolt, and or the number of cases subsides. Then it will be lifted and now consider the devastation should the virus reappear?

What I am thinking about is Italy is not out of the woods, and Hong Kong too. Now they have bracelets to monitor their residents in Hong Kong and are we “in the free world” so are you going to wear GPS bracelets? I doubt it and I know I wouldn’t. But many Asians will conform and westerners are chilled by this.

But the reoccurrence of the virus after so much trouble will devastate everyone mentally, physically and economically. But let’s say it doesn’t spread, and the bans are lifted.

Consider Italians go back to work and the manufacture and their orders go up in smoke. Remember, the rest of the world on lockdown who denies any cargo from Italy. Italians manufacture back orders so they can deliver what has already been committed. But will the orders still be delivered or get paid and if not more devastation? Few companies will be willing to take delivery when the world is in isolation and layoffs are happening, business shrinking and to add insult to injury, all goods could get stuck in transit, or end up in a warehouse.

This is just part of it, and once the isolation is lifted we face the closed borders and essentially Europe will hold travel bans, and or isolation of travelers who would travel if the airlines are still standing. But think about it, the physiological damages are enormous and who will travel once bans are lifted out of sheer fear. Can you risk being on an airplane with someone asymptomatic?

Now think Italy in the summertime, or Greece or France or Portugal, they all depend on summer tourism. What I hear is Italians will travel within Italy but will their appetite be ready, I am not sure. It will all depend on how the European Union works, or if there is a union after the crisis. Now, what happens to the global mood and the trust factor, something I haven’t mentioned. The greatest factor is the disruptions to our lives and we all accept a new normal until the virus eradicates itself, or as I’ve said before we have the cancer effect, and we accept and live our fate.

If Japan we would start to see fatalities rising it would add to the added disappointment in trusting the government, and more global devastation. Believe it or not, here we have no strict isolation yet people are working from home, restaurants work despite there are no tourists which makes up a major part of the cash flows. The Olympics are scheduled but I am still doubtful. When and if the news breaks it will be devastating to the Japanese markets and in the meantime, we are still hopeful. 

The reach of the economic impact is long and far, and I heard yesterday a small high-end retailer who operates 47 boutiques in America, they closed like most retailers, and if this continues into the summer (July) they face bankruptcy.

Almost everyone in the high-end fashion game is going to feel the squeeze either because of the closures and or supply disruptions or lack of demand appetite. If you own a small business test your burn rate to see what will happen the next months if you haven’t already.

The fact governments are pouring billions into trying to prop up markets isn’t helping and savvy investors are protecting themselves against financial collapse. I am worried about the financial institutions and governments can back them up but in the end, the paper will have little value. Commodities and falling and demand will diminish and oil is in the shit, a good thing for China. Trump’s oil plan is toilet bowled and if he continues to insult Chinese America will eat more shit. 

Read my February take of Covid19 and you will understand: and its not important if you believe in a conspiracy theory or not, the fact is China lives off communism and they can starve before they crumble. But if their GDP falls, and it will, we eat shit globally, so it is the dog’s tail theory.

I am not sure where this can lead but no one is protected and even commodities (gold) have been under pressure while investors scramble for cash to cover positions or pay short term debts. This is unprecedented and no one knows where it will lead. The idea of Fox news telling viewers it is a Democratic scheme to discredit Trump was more than absurd. 

I am not sure who will still be standing even in the near term when governments institute all kinds of financial support. Those who are not big businesses implement an emergency plan ~ don’t wait until you get caught with your pants down and private investors who have market exposure reduce exposure and consider banks can go bankrupt. Limit assets on banks’ balance sheets and try to stay as liquid as possible until the global situation settles down.

Consider the worst and what will happen to Amazon if the US postal system shuts down for a few weeks or months, even if they have their own networks of transport it will be susceptible to the same Covid surprises.

Do gunslingers who are waiting for this moment to happen to start to get gun-happy ~ no one knows and time will tell.

Categories: Cycles

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