This Coronavirus Outbreak Just Took Some Bizarre New Turns

Many were hoping that this coronavirus outbreak would begin to subside, but instead we witnessed an explosion of newly confirmed cases over the weekend.  In fact, the number of confirmed cases outside of China has doubled over the past five days.  If that number continues to double very rapidly, authorities will be talking about a full-blown “global pandemic” in no time.  When I watched a victim suddenly collapse and start to twitch on a subway in Hong Kong, I thought about the sort of panic that would set off if that happened in New York.  When I saw a video of Chinese authorities using butterfly nets to capture sick people, it made me wonder what U.S. authorities might do to round up those that are ill.  The level of fear that a full-blown pandemic would cause would transform our society overnight.  Even now, Chinese restaurants in Canada are completely empty due to concerns about catching this virus.  But once this virus is being spread in virtually every city in North America, many of us won’t want to go anywhere at all, and that would bring economic activity to a complete and utter standstill.

For a while, it seemed like this outbreak was almost entirely a Chinese problem, and most Americans were not too alarmed about it.  But over the weekend the rapid spread of the virus in South Korea, Italy and Iran spooked financial markets and mainstream news outlets in the U.S. started publishing stories about this outbreak with very alarming headlines.

And those alarming headlines are justified, because experts are telling us that we could very well be on the verge of a horrifying global pandemic

“We are at a turning point in the Covid-19 epidemic,” said Lawrence Gostin, a global health law professor at Georgetown University. “We must prepare for the foreseeable possibility, even probability, that Covid-19 may soon become a pandemic affecting countries on virtually all continents.”

Once this virus starts to spread in a community, the number of cases can explode within hours.  For example, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea went from 30 to 602 in just 96 hours

Confirmed infections in South Korea have exploded over the last 96 hours from just 30 cases to 602 confirmed cases. Local residents there are scrambling to purchase preparedness supplies, stripping shelves bare and leading to a sense of urgency. Some cities in South Korea have already taken on a “ghost town” vibe, with streets emptied and nearly all community functions shut down.

And as I write this article, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea has now shot up to 763.  By the time you read this article, it will probably be even higher.

In Italy, the number of confirmed cases went from 3 to more than 150 in just a couple of days

In Italy, officials said a third person infected with the flu-like virus had died, while the number of cases jumped to above 150 from just three before Friday.

Authorities sealed off the worst affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe.

Alarmingly, Italian officials can’t even figure out how the virus got to Italy in the first place, and then have now placed “almost a dozen towns” under quarantine…

Italian health authorities were struggling to find out how the virus started. “If we cannot find ‘patient zero’ then it means the virus is even more ubiquitous than we thought,” said Luca Zaia, the regional governor of the wealthy Veneto region.

Almost a dozen towns in Lombardy and Veneto with a combined population of some 50,000 have effectively been placed under quarantine.

This morning I went to take a look at the Serie A results from over the weekend, and I was particularly interested in seeing how Atalanta had done after their stirring Champions League victory last week.  Unfortunately, their game was among three matches that were called off due to the virus

On orders from the government, the Italian league games that were set to be played today – Inter Milan v Sampdoria, Atalanta v Sassuolo and Hellas Verona v Cagliari – were called off.

However three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday were allowed to go ahead as scheduled with many fans wearing facemasks while sitting in the stands.

This is basically the equivalent of cancelling NFL games in the United States.  It is something that simply does not happen under normal circumstances.

But these are not normal times.

There has also been an eruption of cases in Iran, and five of their confirmed cases have already died

As of Sunday, Iran reported 28 cases, including 5 deathsdays after authorities there said they had no Covid-19 within their borders. Cases with links to Iran have already turned up in Canada and Lebanon.

Very quickly, the country’s narrative about the virus has changed. Schools and universities across the country are being shuttered as a “preventive measure,” along with some cinemas and restaurants, according to Al Jazeera.

So now we can’t just try to isolate ourselves from China and assume that everything is going to be okay.

This virus has already spread all over the world, and that means that it could come into the United States from almost any direction.

Of course China continues to be the epicenter of this outbreak.  According to Epoch Times reporter Jennifer Zeng, there are tens of thousands of people in the hospitals in Wuhan, and crematoriums continue to burn bodies 24 hours a day…

50-60 K people in hospitals in #Wuhan, out of 18 cremators at a crematorium, 3 were burned out due to overuse. Other 15 in operation 24/7. Many families died out.

Here in the United States, we only have 35 confirmed cases so far, and many have been wondering why that number has stayed so low.

Well, perhaps it is because the CDC has only tested 414 people so far…

Given the tens of thousands of Chinese nationals entering the United States of America every month, the thousands of Chinese students and the many thousands of residents who are under “observation” by state health authorities in places like Washington and California, a reasonable person might expect that the CDC has so far tested at least 10,000 people for the CoVid-19 coronavirus. But guess how many the CDC has actually tested?

To the great shock of anyone paying attention, the CDC’s own website admits the agency has tested only 414 people in the entire country.

As I discussed the other day, there are thousands upon thousands of people currently under “self-quarantine” in the United States.

Why have the vast majority of them not been tested?

And it looks like the quarantine period being used in the U.S. and in much of the rest of the world may be way too short.

In fact, Chinese officials are telling us that one Chinese man “took 27 days to show coronavirus symptoms”

A Chinese pensioner who took 27 days to show coronavirus symptoms has sparked fears that a 14-day quarantine is two weeks too short.

The 70-year-old man was infected with the killer virus in China’s Hubei Province and showed symptoms nearly four weeks later, the local government said on Saturday.

So we may be releasing countless numbers of potentially sick people back into the general population way too early.

This is a nightmare that is getting worse with each passing day, and if this turns into a true global pandemic the impact on the global economy is going to be off the charts.

We can get an idea of where things could be heading by taking a look at what is already happening inside China.  Small businesses all over the nation are rapidly running out of cash, and in just a matter of weeks virtually all of them will be out of cash.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Let’s start with Chinese businesses: while China’s giant state-owned SOEs will likely have enough of a liquidity lifeblood to last them for 2-3 quarters, it is the country’s small businesses that are facing a head on collision with an iceberg, because according to the Nikkei, over 85% of small businesses – which employ 80% of China’s population – expect to run out of cash within three months, and a third expect the cash to be all gone within a month.

Should this happen, not only will China’s economy collapse, but China’s $40 trillion financial system will disintegrate, as it is suddenly flooded with trillions in bad loans.

Now try to imagine what that might look like on a global scale.

We have never dealt with something like this in the post-World War II era, and there is still so much about this virus that is not known.

Personally, I am still hoping that this outbreak will start to fizzle out once warmer weather arrives.  But so far nothing seems to be able to slow this virus down, and it appears that a “tipping point” has now arrived.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Most Americans Are Not Taking This Coronavirus Outbreak Seriously, And That Is Potentially Very Dangerous

We still don’t know if this coronavirus outbreak will become a horrific worldwide pandemic or not, but what we have seen so far is definitely very alarming.  People have literally been dropping dead in the streets, the Chinese government has locked down major city after major city, and the virus kept spreading very rapidly on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan even though a strict quarantine was instituted.  Scientists that have studied the virus are telling us that it “could be 20 times more lethal than the flu”, and it binds to human cell receptors much more easily than the SARS virus did.  Unfortunately, because the epicenter of this crisis is on the other side of the globe, most Americans are simply not paying much attention to it.  In fact, most of the people that my wife and I have been talking to and hearing from don’t think that the coronavirus is much of a threat to the United States at all.

And if the coronavirus does start to become a problem in this country, a new survey has found that most Americans are quite confident that the government can handle it

More than three in four Americans say they are very confident or somewhat confident in the US federal government’s ability to handle a coronavirus outbreak, a Gallup poll has found, a higher level of confidence than in previous health scares.

Gallup said the results were from a February 3 to February 16 poll that began just days after the Trump administration announced it would suspend entry of foreign nationals who had been to China in the previous two weeks.

Hopefully this coronavirus outbreak will not explode in North America and our normal lives will not be disrupted.

But considering what is happening over in Asia, it would definitely be prudent to take some precautions.  Unfortunately, most Americans are not really doing much of anything to prepare for a potential pandemic at this point.

If a pandemic does not materialize, that won’t be a problem.  But if this virus starts spreading like wildfire in the U.S., we are going to have a massive crisis on our hands.

The time to stop an outbreak from happening is at the very beginning, and the lack of urgency about this virus that we are witnessing from local health officials around the country is absolutely stunning.

According to NBC News, there are thousands of Americans that are currently “under voluntary self-quarantine”.  These individuals have either recently traveled to China or they have recently had contact with someone that was infected.

As you might assume, a “voluntary self-quarantine” is not mandatory.  Instead, NBC News says that it is “strongly encouraged”

Self-quarantining isn’t mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.

It’s up to the state and local health departments to decide how to manage residents under self-quarantine.

So anyone that doesn’t want to participate can feel free to mix with the general public as much as they want.

Isn’t that great?

And since it is “up to the state and local health departments to decide how to manage residents under self-quarantine”, there is no single set of standards that is being followed.

In other words, state and local health officials are free to make things up as they go along.

We aren’t talking about a small number of people either.  In fact, more than 5,000 people are under self-quarantine in California alone

The California Public Health Department said there are more than 5,400 such people in the state. In Washington state, 745 people have been asked to self-quarantine. Georgia health officials identified about 200 travelers.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said more than 300 people were referred for monitoring.

All it takes is a couple of “super spreaders” to get a real good outbreak going, and to see such a lack of concern about preventing the spread of this disease is quite disheartening.

And this lackadaisical attitude has even extended to actual victims that have been confirmed to have the virus.  The CDC specifically warned against putting infected people on the same flight with non-infected people, but the U.S. government did it anyway

Fourteen Americans who tested positive for the Coronavirus were flown back to the US on a flight with over 300 people who were not infected, despite objections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The flight was filled with people who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, which had been quarantined due to an outbreak of the virus.

Reading this sort of thing makes you want to tear your hair out.

Despite such extreme negligence, hopefully everything will be okay.  But it should be noted that the CDC is telling hospitals that now “is the time to open up your pandemic plans and see that things are in order”

“This is the time to open up your pandemic plans and see that things are in order,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, a top official of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged hospitals last week as an outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus ravaged much of China.

“For instance,” she continued, health-care providers need to plan for a “surge at a hospital, the ability to provide personal protective equipment for your workforce, the administrative controls and so forth that you might put place in a health care setting.”

Anyone that assumed that this crisis would be largely confined to China has been proven wrong.  At this point, we have already seen significant outbreaks erupt in several other countries in Asia.  In fact, there are now six other nations where “community spread” is taking place…

  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Perhaps the most notable outbreak on that list is in South Korea.  According to the Guardian, 31 brand new cases were announced on Thursday…

The South Korean city of Daegu was facing an “unprecedented crisis” after coronavirus infections that centred on a controversial “cult” church surged to 38 cases, accounting for nearly half of the country’s total.

The city of 2.5 million people, which is two hours south of the capital Seoul, was turned into a ghost town after health officials said the bulk of country’s 31 new cases announced on Thursday were linked to a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

If we don’t want the same thing to happen here, we need to take this virus very seriously.

Unfortunately, that is simply not happening, and all of us could end up paying a great price as a result.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Shocking New Study Says The Coronavirus “Could Impact More Than 5 Million Businesses Worldwide”

When was the last time that we witnessed a disaster that severely disrupted the supply chains of over 5 million companies around the globe simultaneously?  Looking back over the past couple of decades, I can’t think of one.  In recent days I have written a number of articles about the economic impact of this coronavirus outbreak, and what we have seen so far could be just the beginning.  With each additional week that much of the Chinese economy remains at a virtual standstill, things are going to get even worse.  Today, China accounts for approximately 20 percent of global GDP, but that doesn’t tell the entire story.  At this point the rest of the world has become so dependent on Chinese exports that any sort of an extended shutdown for Chinese manufacturing would be a complete and utter nightmare for global supply chains.  In fact, a brand new study that was just released by Dun & Bradstreet has concluded that the coronavirus outbreak in China “could impact more than 5 million businesses worldwide”

The new coronavirus outbreak and subsequent shutdown of huge swathes of China could impact more than 5 million businesses worldwide, according to a new study.

A special briefing issued by global business research firm Dun & Bradstreet analyzed the Chinese provinces most impacted by the virus, and found they are intricately linked to the global business network.

Many people may assume that we could just “make these things somewhere else”, but that isn’t so easy.

New factories would have to be built, workers would have to be trained, etc.

And as Harvard Business School’s Willy Shih has pointed out, there are “some things that are only made in China these days”…

There are some things that are only made in China these days, and not just the usual electronics and toys — consumer products — it’s active pharmaceutical ingredients that go into pharmaceutical supply chains worldwide.

So what is going to happen if economic activity in China does not return to normal any time soon?

That is a very good question.  Unfortunately, there will be shortages, and global supply chains will become incredibly strained.

According to the brand new study from Dun & Bradstreet that I mentioned above, 938 of the Fortune 1000 companies have at least a “tier 2” supplier in the region

Dun & Bradstreet researchers found that at least 51,000 companies worldwide, 163 of which are in the Fortune 1000, have one or more direct or “tier 1” suppliers in the impacted region, while at least 5 million — and 938 in the Fortune 1000 — have one or more “tier 2″ suppliers.

The impact on businesses in China and around the world is already dragging down economic growth forecasts for the year.

In some cases, the breakdown of global supply chains will simply lead to higher prices for western consumers.

But in other cases there will come a point when certain products are not available at all.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

A new poll via Shanghai’s American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) discovered that 50% of US firms operating in China say shutdowns of factories have impacted their global operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak, reported Reuters.

About 78% of these firms warn that their staffing is currently short at the moment, which would prevent the resumption of full production, leading to massive shortages of products in the next several months for Western markets.

Massive shortages of products?

That doesn’t sound good at all.

Hopefully this outbreak will start to fizzle out and such an ominous scenario will not materialize.  But at this point even Apple is admitting that revenue will be well below expectations this quarter.  In explaining this to the public, Apple cited a couple of reasons…

  • The first is that worldwide iPhone® supply will be temporarily constrained. While our iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province — and while all of these facilities have reopened — they are ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated. The health and well-being of every person who helps make these products possible is our paramount priority, and we are working in close consultation with our suppliers and public health experts as this ramp continues. These iPhone supply shortages will temporarily affect revenues worldwide.
  • The second is that demand for our products within China has been affected. All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed. Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic. We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can. Our corporate offices and contact centers in China are open, and our online stores have remained open throughout.

Needless to say, U.S. financial markets are not responding favorably to this announcement.

But what is happening elsewhere is nothing compared to the economic nightmare that is unfolding inside of China right now.

Because of the virus, very few people even want to leave their homes.  As a result, consumer spending has almost entirely disappeared.

In fact, one CEO claims that there is virtually “no domestic consumption” in China right now…

Alan Lim of E-Services Group says there is “completely no domestic consumption” now and “factories are, at best, this week at 25% production … you need approval by the government to say you [can] work.”

Of course it is entirely possible that what is taking place in China could start happening elsewhere if this virus continues to spread.

The total number of confirmed cases outside of China is rapidly approaching the 1,000 mark, and that isn’t something to be extremely alarmed about yet.

But if that number continues to rise at an exponential rate, we will soon see a tremendous amount of panic all over the globe, and that will be extremely bad news for the entire global economy.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

World Economy Projected To Shrink For First Time Since 2009 As Coronavirus Plays Havoc With Global Supply Chains

For more than a decade, the global economy has steadily grown quarter after quarter, but it looks like that streak is about to come to a very abrupt ending.  The coronavirus outbreak in China has brought the Chinese economy to a virtual standstill, and as a result critical supply chains are in a state of chaos all over the world.  And since it doesn’t look like the Chinese economy will be able to return to normal for an extended period of time, it appears that a worldwide economic slowdown is imminent.  I warned about this the other day, but now we have even a clearer picture of what is happening.  According to Capital Economics in London, this coronavirus outbreak will cause the global economy to shrink this quarter, and that will be the very first time this has happened since 2009

The economic casualties from China’s coronavirus epidemic are mounting as Asian and European auto plants run short of parts, free-spending Chinese tourists stay home and American companies brace for unpredictable turbulence.

That’s just the start of a financial hangover that is expected to linger for months even if the flulike illness is soon brought under control, economists and supply chain experts say. The Chinese epidemic’s aftereffects will likely cause the global economy to shrink this quarter for the first time since the depths of the 2009 financial crisis, according to Capital Economics in London.

And if the global economy shrinks for two quarters in a row, that will officially meet the definition of a “global recession”.

So here we are on the verge of the worst economic downturn in more than a decade, and even if this outbreak miraculously ended tomorrow it would still take quite an extended period of time for global supply chains to return to normal.

In particular, the auto industry has been hit extremely hard

The ripple effects of China’s shutdown are spreading, with the auto industry especially hard hit. Nissan temporarily closed one of its factories in Japan after running short of Chinese components, one week after Hyundai in South Korea did the same. Fiat Chrysler warned that it may shutter one of its European plants. Some U.S. manufacturers could face parts shortages in one to two weeks.

“I worry that it’s going to be a bigger deal than most economists are treating it as right now,” said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, the German financial services company. “It will take time to restart all these economic engines.”

Of course the global economy was already slowing down before this coronavirus outbreak started, but this has definitely helped to accelerate our problems.

One big red flag is the fact that Caterpillar’s sales are suddenly dropping.  After “33 consecutive months of increases”, Caterpillar’s sales have now fallen for two months in a row.  In fact, January’s enormous 7 percent decline caught many analysts completely off guard…

If Caterpillar is still the global industrial bellwether and leading manufacturing sector indicator it has been for the past century (and absent the Fed somehow printing buildings or excavating mines, it is), then the world is about to enter the worst manufacturing downturn since the financial crisis.

According to CAT’s latest retail sales data, in January the company posted a 7% drop in machine sales, the biggest drop since Jan 2017, and only the second consecutive negative print since December’s -5% drop following 33 consecutive months of increases.

Across the Atlantic, major supply chain headaches have contributed to stunning factory output declines throughout the eurozone.

Just check out these numbers

Factory output fell by 4.1 percent in the final month of the year compared with the same month a year earlier, according to figures published by Eurostat on Wednesday. Germany was among the states which suffered the most, as production dropped by 7.2 percent. Italy was close behind on a 4.3 percent decrease while France was down 3.2 percent.

Those numbers absolutely scream “recession”, and they aren’t likely to get any better until this coronavirus outbreak is over.

So all eyes will continue to be on China, and right now activity in major Chinese cities is way, way below normal.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Specifically, Morgan Stanley suggested that real time measurements of Chinese pollution levels would provide a “quick and dirty” (no pun intended) way of observing if any of China’s major metropolises had returned back to normal. What it found was that among some of the top Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu, a clear pattern was evident – air pollution was only 20-50% of the historical average. As Morgan Stanley concluded, “This could imply that human activities such as traffic and industrial production within/close to those cities are running 50-80% below their potential capacity.”

If the number of cases continues to rise at an exponential rate, there won’t be a “return to normal” any time in the foreseeable future.

So barring some sort of a miracle, we should all settle in for a very long global economic downturn.

But at least one small segment of the global economy is booming at the moment.  Thanks to fears about the coronavirus, demand for private jets has absolutely skyrocketed

Wealthy travelers and major corporate clients are rejecting commercial airline travel and looking to private jets as a way to isolate themselves from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The uptick in interest comes as more airlines cut scheduled flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong in the wake of the spread of the disease that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The elite are going to do all that they can to insulate themselves from this virus, and considering how easily it spreads, it is hard to blame them.

As I discussed earlier this week, a prominent medical expert in Hong Kong is warning that 60 to 80 percent of the total world population could ultimately end up catching this virus.  And if that were to happen, it would greatly escalate all of the other problems that we are currently facing.

I am still hoping that such a scenario is not going to happen.

I am still hoping that global authorities can get this horrible virus under control soon, but with each passing day it is becoming more difficult to be optimistic about this outbreak.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Number Of Coronavirus Cases Has Just Exploded, And Many Fear That The Worst Is Yet To Come

Just as the mainstream media was starting to speculate that China could be getting this outbreak under control, a dramatic spike in the numbers has changed everything.  All of a sudden people are freaking out again, global financial markets are gyrating all over the place and medical experts all over the world are making bold pronouncements of doom.  On Wednesday, Hubei province reported 14,840 new infections and 242 more deaths from this virus.  But the biggest reason why there was such a jump in the numbers is because a decision was made to reclassify patients that had been “clinically diagnosed” but up until now had not been counted as “confirmed cases”.  The following comes from CNBC

China’s Hubei province reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases as of Feb. 12 — a sharp increase from the previous day. The province said it is starting to include “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figures and that 13,332 of the new cases fall under that classification.

The government said that a total of 1,310 people have died in the province and that 48,206 people have been infected in the region.

So this really wasn’t as big of a change as many are making it out to be.

The following is what Hubei province is saying about the decision to reclassify patients

With the deepening of understanding of new coronavirus pneumonia and the accumulation of experience in diagnosis and treatment, in view of the characteristics of the epidemic in Hubei Province, the General Office of the National Health and Health Commission and the Office of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine issued the “Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for New Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia (Trial (Version) “adds” clinical diagnosis “to the case diagnosis classification in Hubei Province, so that patients can receive standardized treatment according to confirmed cases as early as possible to further improve the success rate of treatment.

According to the plan, Hubei Province has recently conducted investigations on suspected cases and revised the diagnosis results, and newly diagnosed patients were diagnosed according to the new diagnosis classification. In order to be consistent with the classification of case diagnosis issued by other provinces across the country, starting today, Hubei Province will include the number of clinically diagnosed cases into the number of confirmed cases for publication.

Overall, there are now 59,805 confirmed cases inside China, and the death toll has now passed the 1,300 mark.

But those are not the most important numbers.

To me, it is far more important to watch what happens to the number of cases around the rest of the world.  Ultimately, that will determine whether this becomes a true global pandemic or not.

A week ago, there were 227 confirmed cases outside of China, and now there are 524.  Over the course of about a week we have seen that number more than double, and that is definitely very troubling.

And we continue to get more anecdotal evidence that the situation inside China is far more dire than government officials are admitting.

For example, the Chinese government has been encouraging many businesses that shut down for the virus to reopen so that the economy can start humming again, but it looks like that may have been a huge mistake.  In the city of Suzhou, a confirmed case was discovered right after one company reopened their doors, and that resulted in 200 employees immediately being placed under quarantine.

This virus is completely and totally out of control in China right now, and any attempts to “return to normal” too quickly will just make things worse.

Wishful thinking isn’t going to solve anything.  It has become exceedingly apparent that this virus can be transmitted from person to person with extreme ease, and the Chinese need to settle in for a very long battle with this virus.

At this point, this virus is spreading very rapidly even among the police and the military

A staff member at the Central Theater General Hospital (Hankou Hospital) in Wuhan confirmed armed police officers were hospitalized.

Among them, 1,500 Chinese soldiers and 1,000 armed police are being quarantined, and China Human Rights and Democracy Information Center, headquartered in Hong Kong, reported on February 10 that 10 CCP soldiers and 15 armed police have been diagnosed with the new virus in Hubei province.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital (Hainan) Hospital in Sanya is preparing to test 3,000 people for new virus pneumonia samples.

300 armed police were isolated to a training site of the Hubei Provincial Corps of the Armed Police.

An epidemic has emerged in the Chinese Navy. After a serviceman of the Navy Submarine Force in Sanya, Hainan, was diagnosed with Covid-19, 300 sailors were isolated, and training programs on nuclear submarines, scheduled to start this month, have been suspended.

As this crisis continues to intensify, experts all over the planet are fearing the worst.  Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London says that the death rate among those that have the virus in Wuhan could ultimately go as high as 18 percent, and Hong Kong epidemiologist Gabriel Leung is warning that most of the population of the globe could end up being infected if dramatic action is not taken.

But other medical professionals believe that this outbreak will start to fade once warmer weather arrives.  Hopefully they are correct, but Dr. Nancy Messionnier says that it is still way too early to make that sort of an assumption

Dr. Nancy Messionnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounds a similar note when it comes to predicting a slowdown of cases with warmer weather. “I think it’s premature to assume that,” she said during a call with reporters on Wednesday. “We haven’t been through even a single year with this pathogen.”

We shall see what happens.  But even if this outbreak subsides when the weather is warm, it could still flare back up again in a massive way once next winter arrives.

In fact, many experts believe that we will now be dealing with this coronavirus year after year for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully that is not true, but without a doubt our world is getting a little bit crazier with each passing day.

It seems like one crisis after another just keeps popping up, and there will almost certainly be more great challenges that we must face in the months ahead.

For the moment, this coronavirus outbreak is taking center stage, and the numbers are getting significantly worse every 24 hours.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

This Coronavirus Outbreak Is Really Starting To Take A Very Serious Toll On The Global Economy

Factories all over China have been shut down, global supply chains have been hit by an unprecedented shock, the Baltic Dry Index is absolutely collapsing, the tourism industry is being absolutely devastated, and companies all over the globe are warning that sales will be lower than anticipated this quarter.  This coronavirus outbreak is already taking a very serious toll on the global economy, and experts are warning that we could still be in the very early chapters of this crisis.  If this outbreak ultimately evolves into a horrifying worldwide pandemic that kills millions of people, what will the global economy look like a few months from now?

For the moment, more than 98 percent of the confirmed cases are still in China, but that could soon change.

And if this virus does start spreading in other countries like it is in China, that could rapidly push us into a deep global recession.

Many are fearing the worst.  In fact, Forbes is already labeling this outbreak as “a black swan event”…

A black swan event is a term used on Wall Street that refers to a rare and unpredictable occurrence that is beyond what is expected and has severe consequences. It’s derived from European explorers who had previously thought that all swans were white and only white, as that was all they knew. They were overcome with shock and confusion when Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered the existence of black swans in Australia.

The coronavirus is a black swan event, which may have serious consequences for your job, the stock market and global economy.

Needless to say, China is feeling the most economic pain from this outbreak so far.  In this sort of an environment, it makes sense that very few Chinese citizens would want to buy homes, and that is precisely what we are currently witnessing

Bloomberg cited a new report via China Merchants Securities (CMSC) that said new apartment sales crashed 90% in the first week of February over the same period last year. Sales of existing homes in 8 cities plunged 91% over the same period.

“The sector is bracing for a worse impact than the 2003 SARS pandemic,” said Bai Yanjun, an analyst at property-consulting firm China Index Holdings Ltd. “In 2003, the home market was on a cyclical rise. Now, it’s already reeling from an adjustment.”

We have never seen an economic catastrophe of this nature since the communists took power in China, and everyone agrees that all of the Chinese economic numbers are going to be absolutely terrible for the foreseeable future.

And since more global trade goes through China than anywhere else in the world, the ripple effects are literally being felt all over the planet.

In fact, the Baltic Dry Index has fallen more than 80 percent since September and is rapidly headed toward an all-time low

The BDI is now in freefall, closing at 466 on Monday, down over 80% since September 2019. Rates for Capesize bulkers (vessels with capacity of around 180,000 deadweight tons) are now at around $3,500-$4,000 per day — less than a third of their mid-teens breakeven rates.

With economic activity all over the world steadily slowing down, there just isn’t a lot of demand right now, and large shipping companies are potentially facing an extended slump.

But things are going to be even worse for the tourism industry.  After what we have witnessed in recent days, very few people are going to want to set foot on a cruise ship any time soon.  In particular, the case of the Diamond Princess continues to make headlines all over the world, and the number of confirmed cases on board has now risen to 174

After a relatively quiet 36 hours for the ‘Diamond Princess’, Japanese authorities reported 39 more cases, bringing the total to 174 out of 492 people on board tested, while Japan’s defense Minister Taro Kono tweeted that a quarantine officer from the health ministry also tested positive for the virus. As Bloomberg notes, Carnival’s Diamond Princess cruise ship has become the biggest center of infection of any place outside of China. The Diamond Princess was placed under quarantine last week and checks were conducted after a passenger from Hong Kong who had been on the ship tested positive for the virus. The ship has become a case of concern because of the possibility of more infections in the vessel’s confined spaces, and the increased risks to elderly passengers.

To a lesser extent, the airline industry is being affected as well.

Many airlines have already suspended all flights to China, and on Tuesday American Airlines actually extended their flight cancellations until late April

Due to a reduction in demand, American Airlines on Tuesday extended its flight cancellations to and from mainland China and Hong Kong amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a company statement, the airline is extending the suspensions between mainland China and Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles through April 24.

Flights from Dallas to Hong Kong are suspended through April 23. Flights between Los Angeles and Hong Kong are suspended through April 23.

So what is going to happen if this virus starts spreading all over the globe like it is currently spreading in China?

At that point, very few people would want to fly anywhere at all.

In fact, most people would want to avoid public places entirely.

If this crisis gets bad enough, we are potentially facing a global economic shutdown unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Let us hope that we never get to that point.

Here in the United States there have only been 13 confirmed cases so far, and most businesses continue to operate normally.

But without a doubt this crisis will have an impact, and the truth is that the U.S. economy was already starting to slow down before this virus appeared on the scene.  For example, the number of job openings in the U.S. plummeted dramatically in both November and December

The number of job openings in December dropped by 364,000 from November (seasonally adjusted), after having already plunged by 574,000 in November, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This two-month plunge of 938,000 job openings came after a series of ups and downs with downward trend starting after the peak in January 2019.

If this virus gets out of control in this country, it is probably going to be impossible to avoid a very serious economic downturn.

Of course even if this virus were to completely disappear tomorrow, the truth is that we would still be headed for very difficult times.

Life as we have all known it is starting to change, and the chapters ahead are going to be very, very painful.

As for this virus, let us keep hoping that this outbreak will start to subside.  Because we already have enough problems, and a horrifying global pandemic would definitely be more than enough to push us over the edge.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Nancy Pelosi Essentially Guaranteed Another Painful Government Shutdown When She Said This…

Federal workers need to be prepared for more pain.  If President Trump and Congress cannot make a deal, there will probably be another very painful government shutdown in just a couple of weeks.  Even though he agreed to temporarily reopen the government, President Trump made it abundantly clear that there would be no long-term deal without wall funding, and that wall funding is supposed to be part of the current negotiation process in Congress.  But according to Nancy Pelosi, that isn’t even on the table, and she told a press conference on Thursday that there is “not going to be any wall money in the legislation”…

“We’re not having a negotiation now — over this right now. There’re having a negotiation over it in there. There’s not going be any wall money in the legislation. However, if they have some suggestions about some localities where technology, some infrastructure, as I’ve said, about the ports of entry, they might need some ports of entry, some roads — that’s part of the negotiation.”

Pelosi’s wall-money refusal comes just hours after Trump tweeted, “The Wall is getting done one way or the other!”

Of course this is perfectly consistent with what Pelosi has been saying all along.  She has pledged to never give Trump a single penny for a border wall, and she intends to never, ever move from that position.

But on Thursday she suggested that Trump could call Normandy fencing a “wall” if he would prefer to do so

“Three hundred of them are Normandy fences,” she said. “They go like this, do you know what a Normandy fence is?” she asked, crossing her hands to show what they look like.

“Three hundred miles of this so that the cars cannot go by. If the president wants to call that a wall,” she shrugged, “he can call it a wall. He’s referencing what we already have.”

The Pelosi press conference was another glaring example of why we need congressional term limits.  Pelosi was incoherent throughout, and she had many observers openly wondering about her mental stability.  The following comes from the American Mirror

What’s wrong with Nancy Pelosi?

The House Speaker spoke to reporters today for only about 21 minutes, but there were plenty of strange moments as she botched words, suffered face spasms and brain freezes as she attacked President Trump’s proposed border wall and his leadership during the recent partial government shutdown.

If you have not seen video of her terrible performance yet, you can view it right here.

But even though she can barely put two words together, Pelosi is still definitely a tough politician, and now the ball is in Donald Trump’s court.

He basically has three options.  One option would be to simply sign whatever deal Congress puts in front of him even though it doesn’t have money for a border wall.  Thankfully, Trump seemed to completely close the door on that option during remarks to the press

He again vowed that if there’s no money for his wall, there’s no deal.

‘If they don’t have a wall I don’t even want to waste my time reading what they have,’ he said of the bipartisan committee working on a solution for border security.

His second option would be to veto the deal, and that would set up a very interesting scenario.  There are some that believe that there are enough Republicans willing to override the veto and keep the government open.  The following comes from Jim Newell

Overriding Trump on the wall is a place where congressional Republicans, who know their base, are loath to go. But they also know that avoiding another shutdown is, as Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts told Politico, an “absolute necessity.” Though McConnell publicly played the role of lockstep Trump ally during the shutdown, he has made no secret since it ended that he thought it was a dumb idea all along. For years after the 2013 shutdown, for which Republicans took blame, McConnell’s favorite saying when the prospect of another shutdown came along was that “there’s no education in the second kick of a mule.” At his Tuesday press conference, when asked about the possibility of a shutdown after Feb. 15, he amended his statement, saying “there’s no education in the third kick of a mule.” A Trump veto threat over a wall-less bipartisan bill might not be enough to prevent it from getting the 67 Senate and 290 House votes to override that veto—and Trump could then pin the blame on congressional Republicans for being “weak.”

Lastly, Trump could declare a national emergency and use it to build the wall, and on the surface that seems like a simple solution.

But as I have explained before, the Democrats would immediately take Trump to court and the construction of the wall would be tied up in the court system for years.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “If President Trump Tries To Declare A National Emergency To Build The Wall, The Democrats Plan To Use Lawsuits To Keep It From Ever Being Built”.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that Trump’s wall is going to move forward any time soon, and that is just one of the reasons why the 2020 election is going to be so critical.  We have got to get Trump some reinforcements in Washington, because otherwise his full agenda will never be implemented.

And the hatred on the left for Trump and his supporters just continues to grow.  For example, one restaurant in California has announced that it will refuse to serve anyone wearing a MAGA hat

An award-winning cookbook author and California restaurant owner says anyone wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap will be refused service at his restaurant.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a chef-partner of the Wursthall restaurant in San Mateo and says in a tweet Sunday that he views the hats as symbols of intolerance and hate.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday that Lopez-Alt’s decision was met with mixed reaction by restaurant clients.

When I read something like that, it makes me want to drive down to San Francisco and walk in there proudly wearing my MAGA hat.

For the next two years there will be gridlock in Washington, and we will just have to deal with that.  But the battle is not over, and many believe that the Trump revolution is just beginning.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the nation.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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