I keep getting feedback about the Coronavirus, indicating I should write about it.
I really don't know much about it. Most of what I know is speculation. I'm not an expert in this field at all, so take it with a grain of salt. Of course I also think you should be skeptical of anyone claiming to be an expert.
From what I understand, most people have really mild, flu-like symptoms. And some 2-3% end up dying.
Men get it worse than women, Asians worse than any other group. And then your usual sick and elderly are by far the highest risk, as with any virus.
And it's true, more people are still dying because of the flu every year.
From a first person medical aspect, unless you're in a high risk group, I don't think you shouldn't be worried about the virus.
I think it's silly when someone is a 20 year old healthy woman (best case scenario) and she's using Purell constantly, going out with face masks, etc, only because of her own health. Now maybe she'd be right and more information will come out, but based on what I know even if she gets sick it's not going to be a huge deal.
The bigger risk is your family and friends. Do you have parents who are old and sickly? If you get it, you might pass it on to them and it might be enough to get them fatally sick. If you don't interact with anyone like that, there doesn't seem to be any significant health risk to you or those around you.
But then again, maybe one of your buddies has an elderly and sickly neighbor who you don't know about.
Medical System Risk
Now if enough people get infected at once there could be another problem. Supposedly there's about a 10% rate of people going to the hospital. I don't know if that figure is anywhere near the necessary number. Maybe 20% really should go, maybe 3%. Either way, I think there's something like a million hospital beds in the US. It would not be hard to fill those up and generally tax the medical system so that other, more serious issues, are unable to be treated.
If the spread is slowed down significantly then there's much lower chances of hospitals and doctors being maxed out.
Countries with socialized medical care tend to have people going to the doctor more often because it costs little or nothing. Even over common colds. In the US, an advantage of the price is that people are likely to go only if they need it. So the US may do better in that regard. Obviously, some people who need to go won't end up going which isn't good, but then many people who don't need to go aren't going either so there's more capacity for the truly sick.
I think some people are panicking unnecessarily, others are not taking enough precautions. But on the whole, I think the biggest risk is panic in general. The media is constantly pushing the Coronavirus and I just don't think it's being done in a reasonable manner. Again, I'm not the expert here. But a sickness blown out of proportion? Happens all the time. On the other hand, it's totally possible it does sweep the earth and kills a notable percentage of people. One person gets sick and passes it on to two others and so forth.
A lot of consumers are really stupid in the US. We're having shortages of toilet paper, of all things. People are panic-buying toilet paper, causing more people to panic buy toilet paper. Unfortunately, some places are putting in price gouging laws which will likely make the supply dry up even faster, rather than rising prices slowing people down in both purchase and consumption (maybe I can wipe with 2 sheets and not 5).
The Big Picture
I don't know how this will all play out. I think of all things, if there's no reasonable medical risk to you or those you are physically close with, there isn't much direct risk to you. However, the effect on the economy is huge. The stock market crash and Bitcoin price crash are of epic proportions. This means there's an opportunity for you to make money. If you predict the price is too low, you can buy up helping bring the price back up. If you think it's overvalued, sell. But you have the chance to make money in making a good prediction for the future of the country (or the world).
But there's also a good chance, whether logical or not, it will be harder to find work, and everything is kind of up in the air. And it could be for months. I think that is a bigger risk to most of you. Myself included. It may be really hard for me to find work now.
On the flip side, remote work is getting much more common, so I have that edge. But then with stock prices tanking some 30%, companies might be doing more layoffs than hiring overall. Trying to trim the fat rather than add it on.
And with the weakened state of the US and much of the world, this would be the prime time for terrorist attacks of all sorts. Will it happen? I don't know. But you do a lot better hitting someone when they're down than when they're up. I'm not saying I am in favor of this in the slightest, just that I predict it could happen. If it were going to happen in a few year window, I'd say it'd happen sooner than later.
I also predict this might lose Trump the election. Not because it has anything to do with him -- I think it doesn't in the slightest. But because people went from very comfortable to very uncertain in the US. Trump's biggest play has been the economy, which has been doing great. And this reverses it and thensome.
In general I am skeptical of urban society and having so many dependencies in life. Not making your own power, relying on an internet connection, not having your own well, food, etc. While centralization of those things tends to be more efficient and reliable, it can catastrophically break and you're not prepared to deal with it on your own. But having extra water on hand, extra food, a generator, ammunition, etc, is not a bad idea in general. Even if you are prepared, your neighbors may not be and some of them will turn to violence to survive.
Perhaps as a rule of thumb, anyone should be able to last at least a week without leaving their property without being in complete misery.
Personally, I feel very underprepared and this could not have come at a worse time having just moved up to Idaho. But it does give me a fresh perspective on things and wondering about what's really important, who I should trust, and whether it's better to have an extra $500 camera or some more tools and some food supplies.
Crises make you appreciate the good times. Make the most of it. And if you want to talk about it, feel free.