Let me first start off with a little bit of optimism. I’m personally leaning in the direction that the coronavirus scare of 2020 will turn out to be one of the biggest false alarms in history. I’m not saying there is no virus, but I think a confluence of issues such as a lack of information/false information from countries like China contributed to the rumor-fueled overreaction. I also believe the virus was already present for many months with most having no symptoms or ever showing symptoms. So when professionals started testing, they got the false impression that the disease was already out of control and widespread, but in fact it had been there for some time.
However, nobody really knows for sure, not the experts and not you or I, so we will all be figuring this out in the days and weeks to come. And as the popular meme goes, this article may not age well. But for your sake and mine, let’s hope it does.
With that being said, there is one thing I’m sure of after giving this many hours of thought, and that’s the fact that I don’t believe there will be any middle ground on this pandemic, at least for America. This whole event will will either be the biggest false alarm in our history with total deaths well under estimates, or the entire country will essentially start shutting down, including utilities and the banking system.
So here’s why I’m saying those are the only two possibilities and there is no middle ground where we essentially “flatten the curve” as has been said so many times in the news recently. The first possible outcome is definitely the “worst case” outcome, then after that I will describe the more likely “false alarm” outcome. So make sure not to get discouraged half way through and miss the happy ending.
If this virus is as advertised, there is no flattening the curve based on our current lifestyles. Even with shutdowns going on around the country, people are still out at the stores, they are picking up food, and doing other things. Not to mention, millions of people are going to work tomorrow and will be surrounded by millions of other people. Yes, many are working from home, but a huge number are still going to work. So essentially, if this virus is as contagious as the experts say, it will work its way through the population almost as fast as if we did nothing at all.
For example, just today I was in a city that is “officially” on lockdown where all businesses are ordered to shutdown except for so-called essential businesses. But at a large grocery store this evening the parking lot was full and people were coming in and out as if it was a normal day. If the virus is spreading, there is nothing we are doing to slow it down. People are coming into contact with almost as many people as they would normally. There is no way any of these mitigation factors are going to slow the spread by any significant amount. We are all still mingling on a daily basis. Only a forced lockdown in our homes would actually be effective and that is not the case in America nor is it even possible.
So based on that, if the virus is as bad as the experts say, we are pretty much screwed. Once people start hearing about 100 or more deaths a day, they will stop going into work, and our country and society will basically start to shutdown for real. The banking system, infrastructure, all of that will have nobody coming in to run it as everyone will start staying home if the death toll gets into the hundreds per day.
I know all that sounds pretty scary, but I honestly don’t see that happening, but it’s the only other outcome along with the one I’m about to describe next.
The other possible outcome is that this virus has in fact been around for many months already, if not a year. As many as 70% or more of the population has already come in contact with it or are carrying it with no symptoms. The reason I believe this is more than likely is because of the high number of high-profile cases that have tested positive. It’s statistically impossible for so many high-profile people to have caught the virus out of the tiny number of total cases so far. The odds are astronomical that people like Tom Hanks or other actors and sports superstars would be among the small number of total cases. This leads me to believe that instead, these wealthy high profile people simply have the means and connections to get tested first, as opposed to regular folks who can’t even get in to see a doctor right now. If you tested the entire country right now, I bet 50% of the population or more are carrying the virus with no symptoms and will never get any symptoms.
All of this isn’t just my theory either. A city in Italy was recently tested, the entire population of about 3K residents, and 70% were positive with no symptoms. This means it’s very likely that if an elderly person is dying with the flu or pneumonia, they will also test positive for coronavirus. And let’s not forget, South Korea had one of the fastest outbreaks after China, and right now they only stand at about 80 deaths out of a population of 51 million. That’s an incredibly small number and the outbreak appears to be subsiding there, so South Korea is past the worst of it and the death toll is under 100.
So what very well may have happened with this whole thing is that China indeed had an outbreak, but because of their disinformation or lack of information, speculation ran wild. There were stories of giant pits in the ground where thousands of bodies were being burned per day. It made the rest of the world freak out. But then came part two, many people were already harmlessly carrying the virus, so when testing started, doctors where shocked to find out how many people had the virus, and panic set in among medical professionals and the politicians they were advising.
All of this led to a hysteria and that’s where we are today. Of course, I can’t be 100% sure on this and nobody else can either. But when you really start to look at the facts as they stand now and use a little logic, you will come to the same conclusion that there are really only two outcomes, and those are the ones I described above. Of those two I believe there is a greater chance that this whole thing could turn out to be a giant false alarm with way less deaths than the regular flu. But if I’m wrong, I suppose it doesn’t really matter, because that means we’re all in for one hell of a ride anyway.
However, if this thing does turn out to be a giant false alarm, we need to ask whether it was simply an accident of mass hysteria, or was it intentional?
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