The coronavirus is not an epidemic, and the panic is self-inflicted. There is no real threat. This is a virus and not a disease. We need to act as if it is what it is — governmental justification. The real threat is what we are allowing government to do. The real disease is the panic of the host and the capitalization of the parasite.
SARS is a strain of coronavirus. It was a giant scare back in 2003. At that time, we believed that we needed a vaccine for SARS, and the government began investing money into the development of one. What then happened is that people began to do naturally what they normally do — build up an immunity to a virus. Funding for a vaccine dried up and we moved on. Now we have another strain of coronavirus, and we are beginning to build off the research that preceded.
Currently this strain of coronavirus has killed less than a hundred people in the United States. Most of these people were elderly and in bad health. The coronavirus isn’t even seen as a threat to children. The flu kills more people in a year than coronavirus has. Still, we have a panic that has ensued and is looking like it will lead to destructive public policy.
This type of panic is self-inflicted and leads to a domino effect.
The first thing that happens is that the media plays this virus up as a major danger. A small number of people go out to stock up on supplies because they don’t want to leave their house in fear of contracting this virus. Other people begin to follow suit nationwide. The media then begins to report on this, and social media creates a sense of scarcity. This drives more people to panic and flood the markets. Then even those who are not fearful, but know they need to get out there and buy specific items before they are gone, engage in similar behavior. All this then contributes to the idea that there is actually something to fear.
The panic continues when private and public places shut down. Concerts and festivals have been postponed and cancelled. Schools are shutting down as well. Service-based businesses are temporarily closing or laying people off. This is causing an employment scare. Not only are people being laid off or leaving their jobs; many are trying to figure out how to take care of their kids since they are not in school. Not everyone can work from home. This is also causing employers who are not service-based to be short-staffed during this time of economic panic.
If this were a real zombie apocalypse, I might suggest stocking up on ammo, dried food, and alcohol. But it’s not.
The influx of people purchasing goods stimulates production. If Lysol is out in every store, then the CEO will surely ramp up production. After all, CEOs are greedy and evil, right? See, they want their products back on the shelves as soon as possible during this panic. This means that there is an economic incentive to get the products to market. This also shifts the number of diminishing returns because demand has shifted. Stores are even ordering more to prepare for the people camped outside and waiting for the next shipment. This is why stores like WinCo are not accepting returns at this time.
We have a President who has unabashedly taken credit for the stock market and economic boom. Anyone who is paying attention knows that President has little effect on the economy and stock market.
However, his assertions tie his presidency to the economy and stock market more than other presidents. What this means is that if we enter a recession or depression, it could cost him his election. Since we are in an election year, we are just now seeing that President Trump is looking to pass an $850 billion stimulus package. This comes after we have already seen the Federal Reserve inject over $1.5 trillion into the economy.
This is an effort to save his election by demonstrating that he is doing something. What this will actually do is send a number of false signals to the economy, and while it is trying to adjust, we will have the election. Then we will see the aftermath and destruction of another stimulus package.
However, the Democrats will not be outdone: To save face and not look like the party that doesn’t care, they have proposed a $750 billion stimulus package.
The panic surrounding the coronavirus is a non-starter and only as dangerous as the snake eating its own tail. If people would act normally, the virus would be here and gone more quickly than we realize. Since this has not happened, we now have government out there attempting to capitalize on the panic. When this happens, we are inevitably the ones who lose.
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