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.

Why Is The Government Turning 11 Military Bases Inside The United States Into Quarantine Camps?

If this coronavirus outbreak is not a serious threat, then why is the U.S. government preparing to quarantine victims all over America?  As you will see below, 11 U.S. military bases located close to major airports are being converted into “quarantine centers” for potential patients.  When I first learned about this, I was greatly alarmed, because we have all seen what is going on in China right now.  People are literally being physically dragged out of their homes and are being forcibly relocated to “mass quarantine camps” with hordes of other very sick people.  Sadly, many of them will never come out of those camps alive.  If this virus starts spreading like wildfire here in the United States, is it possible that something similar could start happening here?

The vast majority of the confirmed cases are still in China, but over the last couple of weeks the number of cases in the rest of the world has escalated dramatically.

Back on January 20th there were only 4 confirmed cases outside of China and now there are 464.  At this point there are victims in at least 28 different countries, and that number is almost certain to keep growing.

The reason why the virus has already spread to so many nations is because it is highly contagious.  Scientists have discovered that it can be transmitted from person to person very easily, it has an incubation period of up to 24 days, and it can survive on smooth surfaces for up to 9 days.

If this coronavirus starts spreading very rapidly in the western world it is going to create a tremendous amount of panic.  Many are still trying to compare this virus to the common flu, but that is a huge mistake.  China would never lock down major cities for weeks on end for the flu.

Obviously something really big is happening, and the U.S. government is preparing for a worst case scenario.  According to the Miami Herald, 11 military bases inside the United States are currently in the process of being transformed into “quarantine centers”…

Eleven military bases near major airports in the United States are setting up quarantine centers for possible coronavirus patients, the Department of Defense said.

The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon for quarantine space in case beds fill up at other coronavirus centers around the country, according to a DOD statement.

Is this an indication that the threat that this virus poses to our country is far greater than we are being told?

The Department of Defense has released a statement about this new program, and in that statement the 11 military bases were specifically identified

  • JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI (HNL)
  • Great Lakes Training Center Navy Base, IL (ORD)
  • Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, TX (DFW)
  • March ARB, CA (LAX)
  • Travis AFB, CA (SFO)
  • Dobbins ARB, GA (ATL)
  • Fort Hamilton, NY (JFK)
  • Naval Base Kitsap, WA (SEA)
  • Joint Base Anacostia, DC (IAD)
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ (EWR)
  • Fort Custer Training Center (DTW)

Hopefully not all of those facilities will be needed, but things are certainly looking more grim with each passing day.

For example, the number of confirmed cases on a cruise ship anchored off the coast of Japan nearly doubled on Monday.  Of the total number of people that have been infected, at least 24 of them are Americans

There are at least 24 Americans among the 135 people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to information from Princess Cruises and a CNN tally.

Japanese authorities are still testing hundreds of passengers on board the ship, which has been stuck at a harbor south of Japanese capital Tokyo for almost a week now.

Once the quarantine of that cruise ship is over, those Americans will certainly want to return home.

Will they be allowed to do so, or will they be required to go to one of these quarantine centers first?

Elsewhere in the country, people are being put in “self quarantine” until officials believe that it is safe for them to resume their normal lives.  According to local officials, this is being done to “an unspecified number of people in Bexar County” right now…

A number of Texans have been put in ‘self quarantine’ in their homes in case they have the coronavirus after recently returning from China.

Officials in the city of San Antonio confirmed that an unspecified number of people in Bexar County were being confined to their homes for 14 days.

Their quarantine period began at 10am Sunday, News 4 San Antonio reported.

Hopefully they know what they are doing, because if this virus gets out of control it could potentially sweep across America like wildfire.

We have already seen what has happened in China, and we definitely do not want that to happen here.

The Chinese have implemented extreme measures in a desperate attempt to slow the spread of the virus, but so far the most effective thing that they have done to reduce the numbers is to literally change the definition of a “confirmed case”.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

As reported by local media this morning, the Chinese National Health Commission quietly changed its definition of Coronavirus “confirmed case” in the latest guideline dated 7/2. As a result, going forward patients who tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. As Alex Lam observes, “this inevitably will lower the numbers.”

Of course there has been a tremendous amount of skepticism about the numbers that China has been giving us from the very beginning, and so this latest move isn’t that surprising.

But no matter how much China tries to spin things, there is no hiding the fact that this is a very serious outbreak, and it will almost certainly continue to intensify in the weeks ahead.

At this point, even the director-general of the World Health Organization is admitting that “we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, warned that the numbers may not tell the entire story.

“There’ve been some concerning instances of … spread from people with no travel history to China,” Tedros said. “The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries. In short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

As I discussed yesterday, humanity is now facing a “perfect storm”, and what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Personally, I am still hoping that this outbreak will fade.  I don’t know if this is the sort of extremely deadly global pandemic that so many experts have been warning could happen one day, but without a doubt it is definitely clear that a lot of people are dying over in China.

Will the final death toll from this outbreak eventually number in the thousands or the millions?

I don’t know, but all of us should definitely continue to monitor the latest developments on a daily basis.

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.

Cruise Ship Horror: Confirmed And Potential Coronavirus Cases On 4 Different Ships Cause A Frenzy Of Panic All Over The Globe

If the coronavirus is not a serious threat, why are countries all over the world acting so crazy all of a sudden?  Perhaps someday we will look back and laugh about how this coronavirus outbreak caused so much hysteria, but right now government officials around the globe are certainly acting as if we were right in the middle of a really bad science fiction movie.  Are they just being overly cautious, or is this virus actually more dangerous than we are being told?  As I discussed yesterday, one AI-powered simulation is projecting that this virus could kill 52 million people.  Even if that projection is off by 95 percent, it would still make sense for countries to do all that they can to keep infected people from crossing their borders.

So that may help to explain why there is such a frenzy of panic about confirmed and potential cases aboard cruise ships right now.  For example, a cruise ship named The Diamond Princess is anchored off the coast of Yokohama, Japan at this moment.  There are 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members on board, and the ship has been placed under strict quarantine since Tuesday.

And they are being quarantined for good reason.  At this point, the number of confirmed cases on board the ship has now risen to 61

At least 61 passengers — including 11 Americans — aboard a cruise ship in Japan have been infected with the coronavirus. The number of cases on the ship tripled overnight from 20 to 61, CNN’s Will Ripley reports.

Ripley reports that passengers aboard the ship have to stay inside 23 hours a day. They are allowed outside for less than an hour under close supervision, and they have to stand 3 feet away from each other and wear masks.

The quarantine of the ship is scheduled to last for 11 more days.

There are 428 Americans on board, and when the quarantine is over they will want to come home.

But will it be safe from them to do so?

In an interview with Fox News over Skype, two of the American passengers were pleading for help from President Trump

‘We are kind of worried because we’ve still got two weeks on here assuming that works out in our favor and we still have to get onto American soil,’ passenger Gaetano Cerullo explained to Fox News over Skype from their cabin on board. ‘And, if Donald Trump could help us in any way…’

‘We need help. We are in a desperate, desperate state,’ his wife Milena Basso pleaded. ‘We’re American citizens and we just want to get home.’

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas is currently docked in Bayonne, New Jersey.  Of the 27 passengers that had “recently traveled from mainland China”, four were taken off the ship to a nearby hospital

More than two dozen passengers on a cruise ship docked near New York City have been tested for the new coronavirus, state officials said Friday, and four have been hospitalized.

Personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship to test 27 passengers “who recently traveled from mainland China,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday.

We haven’t been told if any of those passengers are infected or not, but what we do know is that the emergency workers that took them to the hospital were not wearing masks, and considering how easily this virus spreads that is quite alarming.

A third cruise ship that is making headlines doesn’t have anywhere to dock because it has been turned away from four different countries.

The MS Westerdam is operated by Holland America, and it left Hong Kong on February 1st carrying 802 crew members and 1,455 passengers.

The crew insists that there are no coronavirus cases on board at all, but they are being turned away at port after port

More than 2,000 people are marooned at sea after four countries denied entry to a cruise ship over coronavirus fears – despite the crew’s insistence that there are no virus cases on board.

Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and the US territory of Guam have all denied permission for the MS Westerdam to dock.

Japanese leader Shinzo Abe yesterday said his country would not allow foreign passengers to disembark, saying there were suspected virus patients on board.

Is this a case of needless hysteria, or is the crew not being entirely honest with authorities?

According to CNBC, a fourth cruise ship that is currently docked in Hong Kong is being quarantined after “several crew members reported symptoms” that are associated with the coronavirus…

And almost 2,000 tourists are being held on a cruise ship operated by Genting’s Dream Cruises in Hong Kong and being tested for the coronavirus after several crew members reported symptoms associated with the illness.

Things are getting crazy out there, and I have a feeling that they are only going to get crazier as this year rolls along.

Stock prices had been doing relatively well this week, but concern about the coronavirus pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 270 points on Friday…

Stocks fell on Friday as worries over the coronavirus’ impact on the Chinese economy outweighed the release of stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 277.26 points lower, or nearly 1%, to 29,102.51. The S&P 500 dipped 0.5% to 3,327.71. The Nasdaq Composite also slid 0.5% to close at 9,520.51.

If this coronavirus outbreak fizzles out, and that is what I am still hoping, then the impact of this crisis is not going to weigh too heavily on Wall Street.

But if the number of cases worldwide soars into the millions, it is going to be absolutely devastating for stock prices.

We will wait and see what happens.  Here in the U.S. authorities continue to insist that we don’t have very much to be concerned about, but at the same time the WHO is warning of “a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment” around the world…

The world is facing a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment in the fight against a spreading coronavirus epidemic, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

The U.N. agency has been sending testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns to every region, Tedros told the WHO Executive Board in Geneva.

Will lots of “testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns” soon be needed in every part of the globe?

Is there something they aren’t telling us?

Unfortunately, there is probably quite a bit that they aren’t telling us.

In any crisis, one of the top goals for authorities is to keep the public “calm”, but that comes at a great cost.

Right now most people are not doing anything to get prepared for a potential pandemic, and that could have very serious consequences down the road.

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.

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