The Coronavirus – Panic? or No Big Deal?

A viral disease that spreads at the rate the coronavirus moves through a population is very concerning. But the answer to the title question above lies somewhere in between.

Conservatives chastise liberals for the sky is falling rhetoric and Liberals criticize for conservatives for minimizing a potential pandemic.

So what is going on? And what are we supposed to do.

The coronavirus is a serious problem. The major problem is how easily it is transmitted. It moves much more swiftly among the population than the flu. And it is more deadly than the flu – although the vast majority who contract it do recover. The current data seems to indicate a death rate just above 2%. While that may seem like a small number, it is the mounting number of cases which makes this a serious problem. If the entire US contracted the virus (which it most certainly won’t), that would be over 6 million deaths. That is a big number. If you consider that this has a global impact scale, the death rate of 2% is even more daunting.

In reality, there is no need to panic about it. If you are generally healthy and contract the virus, you will get uncomfortably sick but the risk of it being fatal is even lower than the 2%. But if you have an underlying medical condition, especially respiratory, your risk is much, much higher.

The main reason I bring this up right now, however, is the incompetent response of the Trump administration. Information is power and this administration wants to choke off information or filter it to their own purposes. That is absolutely wrong.

Trump has purged many of the science experts, including his entire pandemic team in 2018. Expertise that is critical when a health emergency develops. But Trump has never been a forward thinking individual. He does not have the capability to plan ahead or even imagine potential scenarios. And since he refuses to listen to advisers, he continues to operate in a vacuum.

There is little question in my mind that Trump is going to cause needless deaths. I used to think he would be dangerous for foreign policy and get us into another useless war. But domestic policy can be just as vulnerable and we are looking at a big issue requiring a rapid response.

So far, all Trump has managed to do is to try and minimize the problem and dump a bunch of false information into our laps. And meanwhile, the stock market tanks because they do not know where this is going.

We can get through this situation with the virus. It will be difficult but it is survivable. However, the inadvertent “black swan” event in the stock market could send us into that long feared recession. Commerce is going to be affected by the lifestyle changes needed to combat this disease. Restaurants and recreation venues will be hit hard….and airlines could be severely damaged. What I find even more curious is that gold – normally an investment haven – is getting hammered as well. We are sitting on a precipice with a President who is basically “winging it”.

I think we will survive all of this in spite of our President – not because he did anything beneficial. But we need to end the incompetency of this administration in November. We will face more crises in the future and we most assuredly need someone else in charge.

Tags: , , ,