Impact of Coronavirus

Questioning the Impact of Coronavirus

Now that Brexit is over, the Iowa Caucus is over, Trump Impeachment is over, the market may be turning to the Virus.    Up to now it has been thrown it off as just a China problem, thinking that those sick and dying are in China, so no problem elsewhere.   Recent analysis says that we are still weeks away from any sort of containment.  Just this weekend the number of cases and deaths has actually accelerated.  

Those taking a harder look at economic implications are believing that the impact will be longer and larger than has been thought.  

We still don’t know how long this will last – even if cases peak in the province of the epicenter by end of the month, there will still be rising death and a need to quarantine areas for longer.  And now we are seeing spread across Europe from conferences and meetings – just as happened with SARS. 

So, I have to stick with what we saw with SARS and other diseases and guess that it will take into April before this all tapers off.   There will be business ramifications for the rest of the year.   In other disease periods the market pulled off by around 10%.  We haven’t seen that.

The markets are happy because the FoxConn factory in southern China (not the region where the virus first appeared) is reopening and (thank goodness) will resume shipping Apple Phones.  This is being held up as evidence that the epidemic is under control and declining.  Oops, another report is saying that the opening won’t happen quite yet. 

Hold on there.   New information from sources not part of the Chinese information machine are indicating that the number of sick and number dying are being significantly under-reported, and we simply do not know the trajectory at the moment. 

I’ve now seen several articles that are talking about misreporting of the number of deaths from the virus.   Interesting also that these are NOT from the traditional news media (CBS, NBC, ABC, NY Times, etc). 

Crematorium Information Suggests Deaths an order of magnitude higher than being reported: Here is one that runs the math on the uptick in crematory processing of bodies that suggest that not 900, but 10’s of thousands may have died from the virus.  One, for example, normally runs its ovens 4 hours a day and is now running them 24x7 and have been for several weeks.  From that operation alone the number of new deaths beyond normal is over 2,000, and that is just one of 49 facilities in the area.     This suggests that the infestation and deaths are an order of magnitude larger.

Why did new cases suddenly flat-line last week and now are declining? 

And, now a better understanding of why the contagion suddenly flat-lined in terms of number of new and continuing cases – it is in the way they are reporting. 

They are not counting all who test positive for the virus.

“Chinese National Health Commission has changed their definition of #WuhanCoronavirus "confirmed case" in their latest guidelines dated 7/2. Patients tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. This inevitably will lower the numbers.”

This shocking "change in definition" of a coronavirus infection naturally prompts the question: just how is China gaming the other infection data to make the disease appear more contained, and more manageable, and can one even remotely trust the official coronavirus numbers published by the National Health Commission?