I’ve worked in the news industry. The news industry (not all, but a lot) is filled with angry, bitter people who want you to be as angry and bitter and miserable as them.
They type their headlines:
“BLAH BLAH DEATHS BLAH BLAH BLAH MISERY!!!!”
And they joke around how shitty their bosses are and how shitty average people are and then they go home to their unhappy families.
You don’t have to listen to them. Find your own data. Find your own sources. Be skeptical.
Here are the dangers if you are not ALWAYS skeptical:
- Population: 10,000,000
- Coronavirus cases: 447
- Number of deaths from coronavirus: 15 (two yesterday).
Guess what they did today:
- Suspended Parliament
- Gave infinite power to the prime minister
- Suspended future elections
- Total lockdown
- People who ignore lockdown can get up to 8 years in prison
- People who spread “rumors” (define that?) can get up to 5 years in prison.
For fewer car accident deaths than have happened in Hungary in the past month, they just suspended all civil liberties.
That’s what happens when a population is not skeptical. It doesn’t mean you will be right when you are a skeptic. It means just what it says: Be curious. Ask: Is that really true?
Here are some recent events that I view as positives…
- “Daily new deaths” in Italy and Spain “seem” to have stabilized, but we’ll see. I’d like it to continue another week.
Scroll to “daily new deaths” and look at the trend. If you believe the reporters, the bars should be doubling every three days right now. That is not what is happening.
- Daily new deaths in China are minimal (five yesterday).
This is important because Wuhan is going back to work. A spike in cases/deaths would mean the virus coming back. This is a good indicator of what will happen here if we go back to work.
- New analysis of possible deaths
The latest paper out of Imperial by Tom Pike suggests there could be about 28,000 deaths in the U.S.
Remember just a week or so ago, Harvard and The New York Times were saying 2.2 MILLION deaths possible in the U.S.
This is what happens when you just believe people who are supposed “experts.”
Here is a link to Tom Pike’s profile at Imperial College and you can read his latest paper there.
- Novartis is in trials to test hydroxychloroquine.
And the FDA has approved its emergency use to treat coronavirus.
Obviously, people will only use it under medical supervision. But there have been many hopeful anecdotes and small trials.
Also, this is a drug that is already FDA-approved for other antiviral and antibacterial uses. so there is a lot of optimism here.
But, in general, there are MANY trials for cures going on. Here’s a link.
- Federal stimulus passed
Check out my podcast with Tyler Cowen. He is very optimistic the stimulus package will push back the consequences of an economic lockdown.
Earlier, I was thinking we had to reopen the economy to avoid a worst-case scenario. Now, I agree with Tyler that we can probably handle a few more weeks.
By the way, everyone acts like “economy vs. lockdown” is either one or the other. I see people asking, “Are you choosing the stock market over LIVES?!!!”
Don’t be an idiot. An economic lockdown, like anything that negatively affects 300 million people, is also going to have its cost in lives.
Here’s a great analysis of that cost.
- Best way to relieve anxiety and stress during this time
Although I hate when people tell me, “Be productive!” (it feels like a homework assignment during an already difficult time), you can’t THINK your way out of anxiety.
It’s best to do something.
Either be creative (to get in that state of “flow,” which boosts immune system, etc.)
I don’t want to sound like a cliche.
Here’s a link for some things you can do to help people.
Or find shelters where you can help distribute food (volunteers helping people stay six feet apart in line are even necessary, among many other things).
Here is one thing I am volunteering for.
Not many market notes here.
But the stock market will live another day. And there will be more opportunities in the weeks to come than there are now as we start to piece together what the “new normal” might be.
Tomorrow I’ll think a bit more about which industries could surge from the stimulus.
But for now, watch some funny videos.
Speaking of which…
Sitcoms I’ve been watching during quarantine:
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Hello Ladies
- Arrested Development
- Freaks & Geeks
- The Larry Sanders Show
- The Jim Gaffigan Show