Some Good News on the Coronavirus

We can’t focus every day on reading the news and saying, “OH MY GOD, THE WORLD IS GOING TO DIE!” 

That is not useful and it’s not even true. 

Media companies make money scaring you. Politicians stay in office (or get into office) by assuming the worst case and hoping for the best so they can say, “Look, we did everything we could.” 

So ignore that. Also ignore the market. As I said the other day, as long as it’s going up or down 5–10% a day, don’t invest. There will be opportunities later. 

Is the market cheap? It sure is. $5 trillion in stimulus is going to hit the economy, which is already assuming a worst-case scenario depression, which is not going to happen. 

Listen: Keep people safe. Social distancing is fine. I don’t want to get this virus. And I don’t want to spread it if I get it. I’m socially distancing. 

But, be reasonable. Be calm. This is the story of your life and you want to make sure you are the hero of your story. 

But it’s important to recognize that this pandemic HAS A LIFESPAN MEASURED IN MONTHS and not “forever” as some suggest.

This virus will run its course and we will face massive stimulus to get the economy back in shape. Chinese stock markets are back to all-time highs, for instance.

BUT… here is some good news.

First note: I’ve seen this list from a few different sources. Some people are claiming it’s “fake news.”

So I went and CHECKED EVERY, SINGLE ITEM and can say these are all true positive developments.

  1. Vaccine development

An experimental vaccine developed by Moderna, Inc. began the first stage of a clinical trial on Monday, testing on 45 healthy adults in Seattle.

[Note: People say 12 months of study is needed to prove safety, but my guess is they will figure out how to make this faster.]

  1. China’s new cases plummet

China has now closed down its last temporary hospital built to handle COVID-19. There are not enough new cases to warrant them.

[Note: Not sure if this is proof that containment worked, since its lockdown occurred late in the game. Containment DOES reduce transmission, though. BUT… this pandemic has a timeline regardless of containment.]

  1. Drugs that work

Doctors in India have successfully treated two Italian patients with COVID-19, administering a combination of drugs — principally Lopinavir and Ritonavir, alongside Oseltamivir and Chloroquine. Several are now suggesting the same medical treatment on a case-by-case basis, globally.

[Note: Chloroquine is a prescription. I’ve been taking Lactoferrin as an over-the-counter substitute, but consult your doctor. The basic components come from the same bark. Again, consult your doctor.]

  1. Antibodies to the rescue

Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody that can fend off infection by COVID-19.

[Note: I looked this up. Previously discovered for SARS and not being tested for COVID.]

  1. 103-year-old recovery

A 103-year-old Chinese woman has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for six days in Wuhan, China — becoming the oldest person to beat the disease.

  1. Stores reopening

Apple has reopened all 42 of its retail stores in China.

[Note: Further evidence that the timeline for this pandemic is about three months from beginning to end.]

  1. Test results in 2 hours

Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center has developed a COVID-19 test that can now deliver results in just two hours, rather than in a matter of days.

[Note: True. Question: Why isn’t this being used by everyone?]

  1. South Korea’s dramatic drop in new cases

After its peak of 909 newly reported COVID-19 cases on February 29th, South Korea has now seen a dramatic drop in the number of new cases reported daily.

[Note: More evidence of a three-month timeline on the pandemic.]

  1. Mortality rates inflated?

Experts predict that Italy has seen a higher mortality rate of COVID-19 given its significant aging population, as well as its higher percentage of COVID-19 patients with pre-existing health conditions. This might suggest that COVID-19’s fatality rate may have been slightly more inflated than previously thought for the general population.

[Note: New cases in Italy seem to be stabilizing the past two–three days.]

  1. Israeli vaccine development

More than 50 scientists in Israel are now working to develop a vaccine and antibody for COVID-19, having reported significant breakthroughs in understanding the biological mechanism and characteristics of the novel coronavirus.

  1. Full recoveries

Three patients in Maryland who tested positive for COVID-19 have now been reported to have “fully recovered.”

  1. Isolated virus

A network of Canadian scientists isolated the COVID-19 virus, which can now be replicated to test diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

  1. Yet another vaccine in the works

San Diego biotech company Arcturus Therapeutics is developing a COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore.

  1. Treatment protocols

Seven patients who were treated for COVID-19 at Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh (SFS) Hospital and Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital in India have recovered. The treatment protocol will be widely scaled to other hospitals.

  1. Another treatment

Plasma from newly recovered COVID-19 patients (involving the harvesting of virus-fighting antibodies) holds promise for treating others infected by the virus.

[Note: Oddly… true. People saying this is “fake news,” but look up Takeda Pharma in Japan].

“Good news” doesn’t mean “ignore bad news”

But understand:

  1. The pandemic has a timeline
  2. The level of contagion (the “R naught” number) seems to decrease over time. The virus gets weaker after the initial elderly population gets hit with it.
  3. Economies past the peak are moving forward.

In other words:

We will survive this, we will move on, we will have vaccines and treatment. We are acting like it’s a worst-case scenario (which is fine), but realize that the fears are probably more used to manipulate than to inform.  

As for stocks. I dusted off my playbook from the Great Recession in 2008/09. The same strategy will work now. 

Tomorrow I’ll show you some of the stocks I’m considering buying as the news goes from chaos to a little more certainty and the markets start to stabilize. 

I am focusing on good, stable stocks and companies that are paying very high dividends and have a lot of room to go once the market recovers and the stimulus hits the market. 

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