Will the Corona Virus Panic End in Mid-April?
The corona virus panic seems to be going overboard in its efforts to limit exposure to the virus and to prepare for any potential adverse effects. Just consider these recent facts:
- There are shortages of toilet paper on the shelves of some stores in the United States, the U.K., Singapore, and Australia, due to panic buying related to the corona virus – despite the fact that there are no real shortages of the item in the usual supply chains for this household product.
- Harvard University has told students to leave campus and is moving to online classes for the foreseeable future – despite evidence that the corona virus greatest impact is on those age 80 and above, especially if their health is compromised.
- Many professional sports are shutting down events from basketball to baseball to tennis – despite evidence that probably 80% of those infected with the corona virus will likely get only mild symptoms according to Tarik Jasarevic from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The list of cancellations of public events including St. Patrick Day Parades and professional conferences continue to build.
Will the corona virus panic of 2020 come to an end in mid-April? Will it take longer?
Let’s look at other virus attacks and pandemics to get an idea of how appropriate the current panic is. Let’s attempt to forecast when the corona virus panic will end.
What is Our Experience with Previous Virus Attacks and Pandemics?
In 2009, we faced another pandemic virus attack, officially called by the CDC as ” influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus.” We can call it H1N1 for short. Here are the key impacts of H1N1:
- There were an estimated 61 Million cases
- With about 275,000 hospitalizations and
- Approximately 12,500 deaths
During the 2018 – 2019 flu season, the predominant virus attacks were from two specific viruses, ” influenza A(H1N1) pdm09)” and ” influenza A(H3N2).” Let’s call them H1N1 and H3N2 for simplicity. Here are the impacts of these combined two virus attacks:
- There were about 36 Million people infected with these viruses
- They resulted in about 491,000 hospitalizations and
- About 35,000 deaths
How Do these Statistics Compare with the Current Corona Virus?
Globally the corona virus has infected about 124,000 people and resulted in about 4,600 deaths. In the United States, we have seen approximately 1,300 cases and 35 deaths.
Doctors and scientists are quickly studying the corona virus and seek to know two key pieces of data: (1) what is the true mortality rate of the virus? and (2) what is the virus transmission rate? (or how many people does one person with the virus typically infect?).
According to the World Health Organization, 80% of likely cases of corona virus infection will only result in mild symptoms that can be handled with home care. Staying at home is one key in preventing the virus from spreading to others.
Will the Corona Virus Panic End in Mid-April?
While it’s difficult to forecast precisely when an event will end, the corona virus panic will end.
I predict that most likely (probability 80%), the corona virus panic will end when the normal flu season ends and the impact of the corona virus also begins to diminish. While estimates of the total impact of the corona virus on the number of cases and the death rate might vary, the end of the corona virus panic is finite and will likely end in the mid-April to mid-May timeframe.
At some point most people will return to “business-as-usual.” People tend to get emotionally drained and tired from fear and other negative emotions. Events will return to normal scheduling and toilet paper will no longer be hoarded. (People, who stockpiled toilet paper, will be able to skip buying TP for quite a long time.)
Is it a Good Time to Buy Stocks?
When the corona virus panic ends, some stock market analysts might think it’s a good time to buy stocks, when their prices are so much lower than their levels a few weeks ago.
Socialism Often Thrives on Crises
As I have mentioned in the past, one of the strategies of socialists to get and keep power is to create false crises and to generate fear in the minds and hearts of citizens. Then, they offer their socialist policies as the only means to solve the so-called crises.
Some people believe that the current corona virus panic is being provoked and inflamed by socialists to hurt our economy and to undermine President Trump’s reelection.
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