My god, the US is headed for virus disaster

It’s everywhere:

Surely this cannot last:

In terms of economy and markets, there are any number of scenarios but the best way to think about it is:

  • the worse the pandemic the quicker it will be over;
  • the more the virus is checked then the longer the shutdowns.

The problem is, the US is a mishmash of state run responses that mean the country will be in and out of partial lockdowns for months to come with no consistency of response, state borders closing and supply and demand shocks ebbing and flowing all over the place.

Surely markets will crash again as this develops and the mass bankruptcies begin.

David Llewellyn-Smith


      • Yes I saw Pelosi was telling people not to avoid crowds etc about a month ago. This really comes down to how poorly the threat was communicated at the source.

        • Pelosi, Trump left or right many are rich idiots who care only about imperialism and protecting the ruling classes. Same as our LNP. Therefore they have zero care about environmental or biological threats. These threats do not register on their radars. China shifting a tonne of sand to create an island now that is code red.

        • MacondoMEMBER

          Did that excellent ‘wow’ of a program mention Trump?
          # ‘You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus, you know you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is’
          # ‘Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion’
          # ‘I’ve always known this is a real – this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. I’ve always viewed it as very serious’
          # ‘It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle – it will disappear’
          # ‘We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.’
          # ‘Anybody that needs a test gets a test. We – they’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful’
          # Americans will have access ‘to vaccines, I think, relatively soon’
          # ‘We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.’
          # ‘Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.’
          # ‘And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.’
          # ‘So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!’
          # ‘So you’re talking about 2.2 million deaths, 2.2 million people from this. And so if we could hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000 — it’s a horrible number, maybe even less — but to 100,000. So we have between 100 [thousand] and 200,000, and we altogether have done a very good job.’

      • Any equivalent clip from the MSM in AU? Or are we still at the “No-one could have foreseen it.” stage?

  1. Goldstandard1MEMBER

    Sheesh they are some big numbers and winding up.
    Peak will be mid May. Beyond the numbers, that’s a humanitarian disaster.

    I could see China taking advantage of this. Maybe it was viral warfare-seems to be working out well for them.

  2. The more old sick people die and the faster this is over, the better it is for the US economy

    You may not agree with the morality, but the economic efficiency is undoubtable

      • Lenny Hayes for PMMEMBER

        It’s your patriotic duty to die ?!.

        Seems you can do just about anything to the American people and they will suck it up. Especially if it is wrapped in the flag.

      • Sure

        Old sick people produce nothing and consume resources

        If they die, the society loses no production but has more resources available


    • Well, it’ll certainly put a dent in the Medicare (and Medicaid) budgets. State pension too. Probably put a dent in the homeless population as well.

      Interesting times – mother nature vs humankind.

      • Locus of ControlMEMBER

        My money’s on Mother Nature.

        This is the Spanish Flu of our times. Natural selection’s at work and it’s going to weed out the old, the weak, the genetically susceptible and the immune compromised/ deficient/ dysfunctional. The vast majority will survive. Is it nice? No. Fair? No. But that’s nature. We’ve gotten so good at ignoring natural processes and delaying the inevitable (death) we freak out when we’re forced to confront our own mortality. I honestly believe we were better at this (psychologically) 100-200 years ago when mortality rates, particularly child mortality, were much higher.

        • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

          You make that statement like you expect to be one of the living. Would it change your attitude if you thought you would be selected by the virus to die?

          • Locus of ControlMEMBER

            Nope, if I die, I die. When your number’s up, that’s it. I have come to terms with the fact that I’ll die one day. You don’t get to choose the manner and timing for the most part

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      With the side benefit for the rest of the world that this cohort is more likely to watch and believe Fox News and think Trump is a good idea for president.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      You may not agree with the morality, but the economic efficiency is undoubtable


      They’re only numbers, not people. Just generic cogs in the machine easily replaced.

      After all, what is the point of the economy, other than to simply produce MOAR !

    • mikef179MEMBER

      You are making a bunch of false assumptions. It may kill more old people but a reasonable proportion will be younger (below 60). Plus, a whole lot won’t be the same even after they’ve recovered. They will likely be more frail than they were before. Medicare costs will likely increase. Less old people to look after grandkids also means increased daycare costs. It goes on and on.

      Thinking the US will just get back to business as usual after an event of this magnitude, as if it never happened, is also quite silly. People will be scarred by the experience and behaviours will be different for some time. At the very least, people on the whole won’t be as eager to spend, spend, spend like there is no tomorrow for some time.

      Your economic efficiency argument doesn’t actually hold up to scrutiny.

      • Mike we’ve been through this

        80% of people who are ventilated will die

        The 20% who are ventilated and survive will be the ones with permanent lung damage

        The more people who are critically ill that you save, the more respiratory cripples you will deal with afterwards

        Your argument is therefore a nonsense since the only purpose of lockdown is to flatten the curve and allow more patients to be ventilated

        The other effects will be the same regardless of whether you drag it out or get it over and done with

    • Mind you, if the virus is anything as bad as it seems or is said to be, then rational economic agents would eventually isolate anyway, to avoid risk…hence a kind of lockdown / gutting of the economy is foregone, in one or another sense.

      I think it’s fair to just put it down to an unavoidable pandemic issue, regardless of how it is handled: economy gets gutted, probably much the same in any scenario.

  3. GlendaFMEMBER

    ‘Surely this can’t last……Trump approval rating 47.3%’
    I’m telling you the majority of the population are incapable of looking objectively at a situation, they are sheep that will follow the flock in terms of what others think and what they are told…
    Repeat a lie often enough and it will beocme the truth!
    And put a thin veneer of civility and positive spin on a turd and it becomes……..our society…..
    The emporer has no clothes!!!!!

    • He’s going to win again in November. Can the blue checkmark brigade really sustain another 4 years of faux outrage?

    • At least he’s going all in now — not so much the condescending slob who runs our sh*tshow.

      Trump Tells America “Get Ready For A Painful 2 Weeks” As Task Force Goes ‘All-In’ On Mitigation

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Ditto Straya – the number of Strayans who think Scotty from Marketing is doing a good job is ridiculous. Feed AJ, Credlin, Bolt and MAFS and that’s all that counts for brain exercise.

      • mikef179MEMBER

        It’s like I often say, if the average Australian had brains, property prices never would have got so high.

        That quite honestly, is the mistake I made in my analysis of the situation. I assumed Australians weren’t completely stupid. They kept proving me wrong.

  4. As Trump noted last week “The USA was not designed to be shut down!” and he’s right.
    The Constitution doesn’t allow him to say “Ok you guys. Stay at home or I’ll send the National Guard out to shoot you if you leave your front door” as ,say, China could/can.
    He’s between that proverbial Rock and the Hard Place….

    • elasticMEMBER

      Isn’t there an amendment somewhere in the constiution that could help them out here? What about the bible?

      • “And spotteth twice they the camels before the third hour. And so the Midianites went forth to Ram Gilead in Kadesh Bilgemath by Shor Ethra Regalion, to the house of Gash-Bil-Betheul-Bazda, he who brought the butter dish to Balshazar and the tent peg to the house of Rashomon, and there slew they the goats, yea, and placed they the bits in little pots. Here endeth the lesson.”

    • They’re pretty big on freedom over there and the heinous amount of guns both proves it — and protects it.

  5. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    remember when the Japanese bombed pearl harbour ….. well I don’t actually I wasn’t alive but ya get my point

  6. We need a graph with Trump’s approval rating scored against the death rate in the USA

  7. Geez, if you can’t keep it out of the Northern Mariana Islands you can’t keep it out of anywhere.


      Florida reached 5000 cases one day after hitting 4000!
      No way Straya gonna be any different. Small numbers of confirmed cases only reflect narrow testing requirements to receive one. The ‘community’ cases are the bulk of the pyramid’s surface area; ‘overseas’ cases are the genesis for the community.
      We’re not prepared at the medical or social or emotional level for what’s coming at us. MSM reporting has focused on Europe and the USA and lately, the youth (backpackers) as some external threat that will avoid Straya, but everyone is a threat to everyone once this takes hold.

      • Jumping jack flash

        Florida is mostly older people, so yeah. Not too surprising.

        I saw some virus death demographics for various countries after a bit of searching on Duckduckgo. They are a little hard to find, surprisingly.
        Basically up to about age 60, you pretty much don’t die if you get it. After that age, well, its not real pretty.

        In OECD countries up to 20% of the population is over 65. Infer from that what you will.

  8. Sparsely populated states have the lowest infection rates and lowest death tolls. Quelle surprise. Meanwhile cosmopolitan, overpopulated sh!thole NY leading the charge.

    But hey, how about Bernard Salt now proclaiming lower density is now a great thing?

    • If only 2% of people spot the hypocrisy / inconsistencies in what you say then, it’s all good!

  9. Its actually worse than you think.
    America has a Positive test ratio of 17%, with New York and New Jersey running at 37% and 40% respectively.
    Australia is one of the better countries with a 1.9% positive ratio.
    UAE and Russia are the best with a 0.26% and 0.31% positive ratio.
    Philippines at 54% yikes.

  10. Free-dumb.

    Oh. And may as well call it the TrumpVirus now. Well, until that approval rating chart starts dropping as his supporters start dying off in the thousands.

    • Yeh, not sure the world’s longest running convict colony with citizens punching on over TP, can really claim moral high ground status and hand out snarky remarks over freedom and liberty.

      Hold On, President Xi is calling.

    • David, let’s make a deal: You fire Chris Becker and I’ll subscribe to MB. I can’t be the only one who’s tired of his smug anti-Americanism.

      • I’m not anti-American. I’m anti-stupid.

        The fact that 75% of Americans didn’t vote for Trump/GOP means I’m not in the minority. There’s plenty of great things to say about the USA, its just the stupid minority seems to crowd it out…

        That’s not smug, its just pointing out the facts.

        • Hydroxychloroquine Azithromycin

          Poor Chris – suffering from severe case of TDS. The fact Trump’s approval is so high right now must be causing you sleepless nights and breakouts of sweat. There there…November isn’t too far away. You will be able to experience 2016 all over again soon…

          • migtronixMEMBER

            It’s ratings thing, there’s no real approval it’s just that more eyeballs are on the reality tv president…

        • Oh he’ll get re-elected this year for sure. You’re right about the sleepless nights though – the markets are providing amazing – no wait, tremendous opportunities while Trump is in office – up and down! Another four years of it? Bring it on!

        • Whatever dude. David, my offer still stands. Like the Chinese I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            Err, John, why is “member” beside your name ?
            Just curious since you infer you are not.

          • Keep scrolling. Chris made me an offer I couldn’t refuse so I am now a member. A real-time example of the art of deal, so to speak. 😉

        • Here’s my offer John, a compromise if you will. In fact, it might make quite a few subscribers and non subscribers happy. If you subscribe, I’ll stop commenting (I’ll leave my TDS outbursts to my own posts) until the TrumpVirus is over.

          • Done.

            Incidentally I noticed that MB subscription payments are handled by Stripe. Good choice, I use them myself. Stripe is of course an American tech company, founded by two Irish brothers. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

          • I reject your compromise offer and prefer the noisy minority of 1 commenter not cause such an overreaction

            Deary me.

          • I would rather hear from Chris than John. C’mon Chris, selling out for one year’s membership is about as cheap a price as our politicians selling out to China! Can we not hear from you both?

      • DingwallMEMBER

        I hope CB’s offer of a subscription includes ensuring you post in the forums. Look forward to your views on things but please be aware the forumites will challenge you a lot as they do with others…..anti-americanism lol

    • Shame on you John. Absolute overreaction, especially given that there are Plenty of people over here in the US and worldwide who share Chris’ sentiments. Why don’t you just plug your ears and close your eyes, then you won’t see anything you don’t like.

  11. The deaths in the low socioeconomic hoods of America are going to be ground zero. People are so unprepared there and not practicing any type of social distancing or sanitizing.
    A friend who is a doctor there told me the other day, the hospitals in NYC are full of covid patients and if you have a heart attack, the last place you want to go is a NYC hospital.

    • Good point. it will probably be more to do with pre-existing conditions with African American population centres with poor nutrition and poor access to adequate care.

      LA is interesting though, it seems to be the West Hollywood area with super rich juice and white people who have the highest number of cases.

      • Yeah, pre-existing conditions will definitely play a big part. Not to mention the $30,000 bill if they go to hospital with no health insurance. These people will just die in their apartment in the projects. I watch another guy on YT ‘charliebo313’ who drives around different hoods in America. The other day he posted Atlanta, with video of young African-American people just hanging out. Not social distancing. If they catch it they will take it home to the older folk in their community. The spread in America is going to be far and wide.

        I wonder if West Hollywood testing high is just thru better access to testing? $$$

  12. I am waiting to see how Sweden reacts once they hit 20k infections and systems starts to overload.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      It’s interesting to me how Sweden is going under the radar whereas the US is copping lots of heat. Yes, I know the US is vastly more important and populated but it seems odd that a country held up so often as an exemplar of what we should all be if only we were better people is being so scrupulously left out of news reports. You really need to go looking to find out that they, while having some ‘restrictions’, are pretty much doing the least – certainly of any developed country on the planet.

      • because of Trump mainly but there are other aspects.
        Sweden has one of the best health systems in the world and I think they are ready for surge of infections. I am just not sure if they have taken everything in consideration. And it seems the Swedes are accepting that many will die.
        Wealth equality also may play part.

  13. spoke to my sister yesterday was told from 11th Mar in Macedonia grocery shops only allow 2 people inside (these are small shops anyway so 10 people will make the place crowded) and on entry every customer’s hands are sprayed with hand sanitiser before they are allowed to touch any product. Also, on exit hands get sprayed again. A poor country can do this and we can’t even do proper and safe testing at Syd airport.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      By Easter!


      You don’t know if your Coming or Going!,…Coming.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      These people are sociopaths!

      “begin a gradual, quiet and controlled opening of our society again”

      Who do these people think they are, gradual opening up of society? Thank you Premier Xi

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Started March 11, now extended two weeks until after Easter (and longer if required).

      So at least a month of “lockdown”. Probably about as much as needed if you get it early enough (we haven’t).

      You seem to think you have a point here ?

      • Yeah I said restrictions would be lifted after Easter after the massive overreaction becomes apparent

        Sweden has fewer cases per capita than Denmark, despite having almost no lockdown

        How will the danish government explain that away?
        How will you ?

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Yeah I said restrictions would be lifted after Easter after the massive overreaction becomes apparent

          Were you talking about Denmark or Australia ?

          Because Australia’s “lockdown” has only just started. Assuming 4 weeks minimum (as Denmark has committed to), that’ll be about May 1st.

          Which is “after Easter”, I suppose, so you’re technically correct – the best kind of correct !

          Sweden has fewer cases per capita than Denmark, despite having almost no lockdown

          How will the danish government explain that away?
          How will you ?

          I’ll wait until this is all over and see what the data says.

          But there’s no shortage of examples of the consequences of a “let it rip” attitude.

          That said, Sweden’s curve looks to be increasing so you might want to leave to cork in the bottle for a bit longer.

        • Yeah I’m pretty sure that even the dim-witted and compliant Australian populace will start to get jack of this nonsense by Easter

          When we only have a handful of deaths average age 80+

          Even without them realising or understanding that ventilation saves an almost negligible extra number

          But who knows? We are probably the dumbest white(ish) nation on earth

  14. Ronin8317MEMBER

    The number actually looks pretty good, as the increase in cases in most states are below 10%. Uncontrolled is 25%. At this rate they would peak below 400k infected.

    • Good comment, I was going to say something like that. The perspective that this requires, is the normal rate of deaths from respiratory diseases. The mere public awareness and self-restrictions over COVID-19 almost certainly would make “deaths from all respiratory diseases” lower than normal and the lives saved from “other respiratory diseases” would be the majority, not the COVID-19 cases!

    • So you’re thinking that the current growth, let’s say 20k a day, won’t continue for at least 10 more days?

  15. Ajaydee73MEMBER

    I hope they’re not testing for local transmission. The virus can only be caught from people who have flown internationally.


    The Government has released details of its strategy to eliminate coronavirus. … Thomas Coughlan … Stuff NZ

    The Government has released details of its strategy to eliminate coronavirus.

    There has been criticism that it was unclear whether the Government was trying to manage the outbreak and “flatten the curve” or trying to eliminate the virus completely. … read more via hyperlink above …
    Live: Coronavirus testing ramps up, total cases in New Zealand jumps to 708 … Stuff NZ

    … extract … key points …

    * 61 new cases were announced on Wednesday – 47 confirmed and 14 probable. This takes the total count to 708.

    * One person has died from coronavirus on the West Coast.

    * 14 people are still in hospital – 2 stable in ICU, while 82 people have recovered. … read more via hyperlink above …