THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Coronavirus Slams Airbnb, Airlines, Hotels, Casinos, San Francisco, Other Hot Spots

It’s not only Chinese tourists, business travelers, and property buyers who’re not showing up, but also travelers from all over the world who’ve gotten second thoughts about sitting on a plane (10 minutes).

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  284 comments for “THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Coronavirus Slams Airbnb, Airlines, Hotels, Casinos, San Francisco, Other Hot Spots

  1. 2banana says:

    China is fooked. And not just in the lack of hordes of Chinese tourists not traveling.

    For at least the next six months.

    And to all you American companies and CEOs that moved your entire “supply chains” there…

    You dumb and greedy fookers. You deserve everything that is coming.

    • brad says:


      • joe saba says:

        I particularly liked one were someone recovered and then got RE-INFECTED with severe complications since meds they took to recover caused breakdown in immune system

        • Dr. Vee says:

          Update: I just read that the meds for the first infection damage tissue in the heart causing you to die of a heart attack the second infection.
          How nice is THAT?

    • DR DOOM says:

      I am having a mike Myers moment with fook you and fook me headed our way.

      • Frederick says:

        Or a Dr Strangelove moment God willing NOT “That’s the whole point of the Doomsday machine, don’t ya know” you have to tell the world about it Or something like that

        • Sammy Iyer says:

          Just checked in IMDB (8.4/10) for “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” and downloading the movie via Piratebay. Thanks

        • GirlInOC says:

          I have a Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Love The Bomb movie poster framed in my office. The movie is timeless. 5 stars!

        • Frederick says:

          Strangelove, that’s not a kraut name is it?

    • curiouscat says:

      Thank you for your contribution to the conversation. I certainly learned a lot.

    • Jeff says:

      Those who are really fooked are the losers in west virginia, kentucky , and Ohio who are opiod addicted illiterate fools. While China educates its citizens the US has them dying and a lowering of life expectancy. Fooked

      • BKMD says:

        It’s spelled “opioid”. If you are going to make insulting comments about the illiteracy of others, you might want to check your own spelling. Your own lack of intelligence and insight is quite apparent.

        • cfb says:

          Maybe knowing exactly how to spell opioid is really showing off how familiar you are with opioids?

      • polecat says:

        Real classy Jeff. Their all just dumb f#cking Deplorables, right ! Did the DNC send you out to disparage the down and out, or was it the Oligarchs ?

      • Suzie Alcatrez says:

        There is not a direct correlation between education and addiction.

        • Frederick says:

          My father was a Dentist and spent a few years in a MASH unit in Korea putting kids jaws back together He became an alcoholic and eventually added drugs to the mix evidently to escape his demons Died at 46 Just one very good man whose life was destroyed by war You are correct Plenty of highly educated people end up in a bad place for many reasons

        • raxadian says:

          There is a direct relation between future prospects and addiction. People who think they have no future are most like to do self destructive behaviour.

        • Simon Morahan says:

          There actually is.

      • George says:

        You mean opium-addicted

      • Frederick says:

        “Losers” is a bit harsh and uncalled for Many of those people are victims of the system You are foolish and ignorant to make such a judgemental statement

        • HowNow says:

          To a certain extent, I agree, that these are “victims of the system”. But, where do you draw the line on “the system”: environment, parenting, schooling, religious upbringing, skin color, influential friends, DNA?
          Some people have the luxury of being able to take responsibility for their own lives; others really can’t and don’t take responsibility. But when it comes to the “supremacists” that I know (a few are relatives), they turn the notion of “supremacy” on its head. In other words, you wouldn’t want them on your debating team. And, when it comes to trustworthiness, honesty, humility, and decency, some are truly deplorable.

      • Tinky says:

        The irony of your comment is that COVID-19 appears to hit those with existing respiratory issues particularly hard, and an exceptionally large proportion of the “educated” Chinese population smoke.

        • roddy6667 says:

          50% of Chinese men smoke, but only 6% of the women. In the cities, a lot less people smoke. A lot less. In the rural areas, it seems most of the men smoke. I noticed this years ago. And the country men seem to be day-drinking a lot.
          Chinese citizens in all the large cities now live longer than Americans. In the rural areas, they die a lot sooner. Smoking, drinking, poor diet, and dangerous occupations cause a big spread in the urban/rural death rate divide.

      • Deanna Johnston Clark says:

        John Denver’s “Country Roads” will haunt you now…

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Figuratively speaking, I thank the lord every day for the fookers who keep West Virginia sereotyped. Keeps the fookers away from here.

        • Frederick says:

          I had a neighbor when I lived in Sag Harbor , Ken Yardley who was a village native and he and his wife had a second home in West Virginia I’ve never been but I hear it’s beautiful and I agree the last thing you want or need is a bunch of NYers there Most of them are totally useless in the real world anyway I never fit in there honestly being a hard working, heterosexual, white male

      • Shiloh1 says:

        Pretty sure those locales will be self-sufficient for water, food and energy when TSreallyHTF. Empty shelves of Chinesium at Wally World etc. best thing that could ever happen to the local economies.

      • joe says:

        Hmmmm. Seems you disagree with the government educating the citizens. I agree abolish the Department of Education.

      • Jon says:

        While China educates its citizens the US has them dying and a lowering of life expectancy.

        You meant to write: While China educates its citizens, the US has them dying and experiencing a lower life expectancy. You could change lowering to a verb, too. The point is, you need two verbs in that sentence for it to make sense. Lowering is not used as a verb in this case.

        Signed: A deplorable from one of those red states.

        • WES says:

          Jon:. As another deplorable, who failed English repeatedly, who was forced to become a technical writer, the only thing I learned about English, is that there are no rules for the English language!

          And if there are any such rules, they are repeatably broken!

      • Tonymike says:

        While he may not have spelled one word incorrectly, what part of his statement is incorrect?

        The war on China continues unabated.

    • Cas127 says:

      That obscure concept of diversification is looking better all the time…

      • Winston says:

        97% of US antibiotics are made in China. We can’t even make aspirin any more. 80% of all generic meds are made in China. Virtually all medical personal protective gear is made in China.

        Reliance on China for key, strategic -anything- is a huge vulnerability even without a pandemic. That monopoly could be used for blackmail, too, in crisis. Book authors have been pointing this out for years, including to “our” government… but since the fedgov is bought by corporate money and Chinese “favor” bribes to high level influence peddlers in the fedgov, nothing has been done.

      • Frederick says:

        Absolutely You need to go International like that Casey guy recommends and ye stacking

    • Daniel Herrera says:

      Lol…. Yesssssss!
      Oh Behave baby!!
      Unfortunately we’re all going to feel the pinch baby. Bad crap usually flows downwards.

    • dr_doomz says:

      “Fooked” this “Fooked” that. Impressive.

      Looks like is starting to turn into that other site. Wolf??? A little venting is okay, but the first thread could be a clip and paste right from… you know where.

      • A/C in SD says:

        Agreed, let’s keep a high bar here folks.

        • 2banana says:


          Like demonizing people who you disagree with as opioid addicted supremacist “looser” deplorables who deserve nothing but misery and death.

        • joe says:

          No “fooked” allowed is a high bar? What century do you come from? I assume you don’t get out a lot.
          Although I sympathize with you, that boat has sailed.
          I too read Marcel Proust but I expect nothing.

        • dr_doomz says:

          @2banana – careful with accusations. What makes you believe I’ve demonized anyone or spoke of opioids?

      • timbers says:

        Apparently, the important thing is to be the one who gets the first comment posted. Also, it IS an improvement over some his/her other comments, like SS & Medicare cause deficits but not the military, or Iran sponsors terror but US doesn’t, or global warming is just the weather….

      • Wolf Richter says:


        Yeah, too bad it happened. But by the time I noticed it, there were already a bunch replies attached to it, and by deleting the original “fooked” comment, I would have automatically wiped out all the replies to it.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Thanks Wolf. And thanks for having a thick skin. Censoring is a hard and tricky job that you do exceptionally well. Please hang in there as long as you can as your work is very, very much appreciated.

        • joe says:

          Welcome to ZH.

        • polecat says:

          Wolf, I don’t know if it’s my comment ‘you’re’ (hat tip to mr. Jones ‘;] .. ) that being refered to (in my defense, I pun in an #, to soften the cursing blow), but really, there are many folks, through no fault of their own, who have completely fallen through the cracks of support. So when someone utters a nasty, flippant comment about those lowly ‘others’, I can’t help but get a bit steamed. It’s that kind, or should I say ‘unkind’ of talk that is, to a great extent, destroying any commonality amongst the plebs ! And believe me, as we go forward towards, ever steering into the ditch, commonality will be at a premium.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          “I don’t know if it’s my comment ‘you’re’ (hat tip to mr. Jones ‘;] .. ) that being refered to…”

          No. At least my comment didn’t. I know the long comment threads are nearly impossible to follow, but this was about the very first comment, by 2banana, and his eloquent use of “fooked.”

      • Vegan Shark says:

        No kidding. Please don’t let the comments section here turn into a parade of vulgarity like the one at … the Brand X site.

    • john mosbrook says:

      Well said.

    • rhodium says:

      The “free market” demands goods be produced in other countries (the dollar is strong and foreign workers willing to work for far less, would you?). DT is something new and both parties are drifting far more populist with a protectionist angle. Between coronavirus and the gig economy trying to wreak havoc on American consumerism, we have companies being squeezed by their own manufactured demand crisis (no thanks either to the unrelated nimby induced housing crisis in large cities).

      Somehow supply side economics is still being preached from the pulpit, hence tax cuts that resulted in what exactly? Oh yeah, share buybacks rather than raises as was touted. After all, why would a profitable company invest in the ability to produce more goods and services (or raise their costs via raises) when they have little to no competition, especially when they know the consumer won’t show up anyway? They complain about this stagnation in demand to their Fed buddies who grasp at their hair roots. Their solution to a demand issue is to insist consumers save too much and need to be extended more credit, but they already flooded the system with liquidity so that the banks could lend it out into the system. The banks look out across the landscape and see way too many subprime borrowers. They nervously shrug and extend the credit anyway. Financial non-bank entities would quickly steal their business if they did not keep up, besides 2008 taught them they are too big to fail. It’ll be a real gear grinder in this system if suddenly supply lines fail in Asia. You can extend more credit to Americans, but will they have anything to buy at Walmart or through Amazon? The horror…

      • IdahoPotato says:


        Everyone loves the “free market” of goods, they but don’t want the market to be free in determining how the goods are produced. They certainly don’t like the free movement of labour. When they want “safe spaces” they turn to the military to bomb this or that nation ‘cos they want to freely use and access those resources and markets.

        At their core, capitalists who claim to be protectionists are hypocrites. CItizens of Tweetocracies need to either get used to forking out more money for locally produced goods and services, or shut the heck up.

        I prefer socialists who don’t talk from both sides of their mouths.

        • wkevinw says:

          Idaho Potato-You are on to the result there with “get used to forking out more money for locally produced goods and services”.

          This is the reason for the “theory” of regional trade agreements. In principal all of the markets, labor, shipping, etc. are more in alignment in a regulatory and price sense.

          Friedman: “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state…” (I would say you can’t have “free globalism”-including trade).

          The welfare state isn’t part of what they call “capitalism”; what is really meant is “totally free markets”- which we might be close to, but actually are not a reality.

      • Simon Morahan says:

        The crony capitalist market requires goods to be made in other countries. The free market allows all goods to be made everywhere and sold everywhere. The crony capitalists require manipulation and trickery and corruption to allow them to get on with what they do.

    • joe says:

      “And to all you American companies and CEOs that moved your entire “supply chains” there…”

      They got theirs a long time ago. You are holding the bag.

      And you may not even be able to get an aspirin for your headache (since all NSAIDS and antibiotics are made in China).

      And your government regulators? What were they doing?

    • Old Engineer says:

      I would agree with you entirely. But Hubei is the center for the manufacture of many of the precursor chemicals used in the generic pharmaceuticals we get. India, a large supplier to the US, is mulling putting a ban on pharmaceutical exports as it has, or course, around 1 billion people to worry about.

      While I wouldn’t mind seeing the “dumb and greedy cookers” suffer, life has taught me that in the end it is mostly us schmucks who suffer.

      • nhz says:

        Who knows, maybe average health in the US will improve when they are without most of these “miracle” drugs for some time.Many popular pharma drugs have far more serious side effects than benefits (for the patients, it’s obvious that someone is receiving a huge benefit from them …). And a lot of useful pharmaceuticals can be produced locally if necessary because they have natural sources; might be a problem scaling up production though.

    • Angela says:

      the CEOs will not be troubled, just their lowest paid employees

  2. Ron Kallhoff says:

    Greed never wins don’t put all your eggs in one basket no common sense from Ivy League educated privileged fools

    • joe says:

      Depends on your timeline of expectations. Short term – OK. Long term – we are all dead.

      • Cas127 says:

        Actually, I always thought that Keynes quote (“long run we are all dead”) betrayed the rot at the heart of Keynesianism…self centered expediency, writ large.

        Because, at the end of the day, we are not “all dead” – there will be generations after us…crippled by the debt so enthusiastically embraced by the popularity purchasing politicians of today.

        When logically cornered, Keynes became flip and blasé…a trait shared by his descendants.

        • joe says:

          Good point mostly forgotten in this age of self-idolatry.
          Family structures such as the Rothchilds et al and in more traditional Oriental environments are a strong force but require self-discipline sorely lacking in today’s single parent households.

  3. Bobber says:

    I think some companies are going to learn the downside of taking on too much debt. High debt and revenue declines are not a good mix.

    • p coyle says:

      surely the experts at the fed can not-QE our way around this minor obstacle.

    • joe says:

      You miss the point. The company takes on the debt to pay bonuses to the officers. When you retire as a CO with your bonus, who is left with the debt?

      • exiter says:

        It’s the owner v. hired manager syndrome.

        Owners are mostly dead and forgotten.

        Hired managers’ prime motive is to grab/milk all they can before leaving.

        It’s the lot of Homo Sap.

      • polecat says:

        CEO: “You look like an honest chap … here, watch this .. and hold my bag ….”

        you chump !

  4. Tony says:

    This whole situation is ridiculous. It’s 100% fear mongering. Out of all confirmed cases…2% are fatal (According to China’s data) You have more of a chance of getting hit by a car than getting this virus. Notice how all the data on the deaths are being kept from us also, e.g. age, sex, demographic. They’re literally keeping so much information about this virus…I’m not trying to spew “conspiracy” but eh, what a great time to be alive. Seems to me that the media is the virus in this situation. :P

    • Ron says:

      You sound like my many of my conservative friends who consider this nothing more then a common cold but it may be that the Media rather then creating 100% fear mongering are in fact playing down the implications and conditions on the ground in China and elsewhere, They have to report the obvious Cruise Ships situations but otherwise the media seems to be trying to keep a lip on fear as it impacts their dollar inflow advertising from a variety of sources and I expect the Government expects them to downplay this event. Wolf in this article is simply telling you that the tourist and travel industry is taking a hit you may not like that information but it’s the reality on the ground on the West Coast which is tied closely to Asia.

      • nick kelly says:

        ‘You sound like my many of my conservative friends who consider this nothing more then a common cold…’

        Incredible. Be interesting to know how many would take an all- expense paid trip to China. This wouldn’t be the anti- vaccine or ‘the earth is ten thousand years old’ crowd?

        • Whatever says:

          Most anti-vaccers are left wing granola vegans keeping impure substances away from their kids, why breakouts of old diseases happen in enclaves like Oregon, WA etc. This is why there was a left wing outcry when CA suggested mandatory vaccinations for school.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          That was almost funny. But your Oregon, WA, statement set off my BS-o-Meter. The outbreak in Washington state was mostly confined to Clark County, which is a swing county, not a left-wing bastion, much of it rural. So I looked it up. In the last presidential election n Clark County, Clinton got 46.7% of the vote and Trump 46.4%.

      • Tony says:

        Yes, I agree. I wasn’t criticizing Wolf’s analysis of the travel decline. That’s pretty obvious. I was just being a cynic on the whole general situation according to the data being released as in “confirmed cases” to “mortality rate” Why hasn’t the common flu created this much of a financial decline? The flu kills tens of thousands globally each year supposedly, but no economic outcomes stem from that. That’s why I’m questioning/downplaying this whole situation. The exaggerated media doesn’t reflect history. We live in a very reactionary age. A fly farts and the media takes a big whiff.

        • Willy Winky says:

          We are obviously not being given the full story.

          But as always, if you dance about with the MSM you can possibly work out what the truth is – they will never outright give that to you because that’s not their mandate.

          1. You do not lock down a massive country like China unless you fear something very nasty.

          2. That one cruise ship had 350+ infections. That seems to be an incredibly high rate of infections. I suspect this ‘flu’ is highly contagious and thus has the potential to overwhelm countries if it gets out of control. Hubai province is obviously overwhelmed.

          3. Nearly 2000 medical staff have been infected. Again that seems like a very high rate.

          Catch 22 here.

          Keep the factories and the country locked down to try to contain the virus = guaranteed collapse if that persists for more than a few more weeks (all you MBA geniuses who worship at the altar of Just in Time supply are about to observe its Achilles Heel)

          Open the factories to try to keep the supply chain operational and risk massive spread of the virus = guaranteed collapse.

          Funny, I had to order a part at the plumbing shop today and asked the guy if they were running into problems with parts.

          So far not.

          Every day that passes without the factories opening puts us a step closer…..

          How did the global supply chain collapse? All at once (there won’t be a gradual phase)

        • Edgar says:

          “Why hasn’t the common flu created this much of a financial decline?”

          Okay, let’s answer that question and address your previous post equating the Corona Virus as being less dangerous than being hit by a car.

          First of all no one actually knows the source of the virus. Speculation ranges from being man-made to natural. Several interesting papers and other releases point to the man-made scenario.

          Second, speculation rages on how the virus started. Some say it was from a ‘wet market’. Over half the known initial stage cases had zero connection with the ‘wet market’ or other people connected with the ‘wet market’

          Given the lack of knowledge about the above two items makes it an unknown situation just by itself.

          We know about the flu, how it starts and the transmission vectors.

          Third, in talking about the transmission of the virus we again know very little. People can’t even agree on how long it takes to get infected, how long until symptons show up, let alone how long one can be a carrier and not be infected and still pass along the virus to others. Then there are ‘super spreaders’ who carry the virus and infect numerous people whereas others don’t. People can’t even agree on how long the virus is actually active on objects either.

          The R0 for flu is known. The R0 for this virus is not known.

          Fourth, the medical treatment of the flu and procedures are well established. Everyone in the world knows how to treat the flu. In many cases you can treat yourself at home. There are medicines that can be used to treat the flu. What about the new virus?

          Fifth and the most important: nothing that China has told the world about the flu, the number of cases of the virus,a nd the number of deaths is true. it is all fake.

          So how in the world can anyone make an educated, realistic estimate about the virus?

          Your posts are the most dangerous of all in that reagrd.

        • Xabier says:

          The annual flu deaths are just background noise, as TB and typhus used to be, and have no implications at all for the global supply chain and the viability of companies.

          Just as, when you or I die of a heart attack, cancer, develop Alzheimer’s, etc, it’s no deal at all for the flow of goods and services.

          That is the difference, which should preoccupy us on a finance and economics site.

          Moreover, this new virus is turning out to be a very different kind of beast, with a much higher % of serious complications and greatly elevated mortality rate – above all if health services are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of patients.

          Comparisons with the commonplace flu are therefore quite beside the point, and the media have done great harm in mis-educating the public on this point in an attempt to induce a false state of complacency.

          Panic is no good for anyone, but complacency can be even more fatal.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      Not doubting your words, but they may be all HYPE also!

    • Stan Sexton says:

      We know that the aged and smokers are more prone to die.

      • polecat says:

        For now …

      • California Bob says:

        re: “We know that the aged and smokers are more prone to die.”

        Whew. As long as drinkers are immune I’m OK.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Most of us die prone …

      • backwardsevolution says:

        Stan Sexton – that’s not what the report I saw said, which categorized death by age and smoker/non-smoker. The highest proportion of deaths came out of the middle-aged, non-smoker category.

        The corona virus appears to be affecting Chinese people ONLY. People have tracked down the race of people who were infected in the U.S., Germany, Australia, Canada, etc., and they’ve said that so far they are all Chinese people. Are other Asians getting this virus? Are whites?

        I’m not trying to be racist, but certain races might be more susceptible, some more immune. Southern plantation owners discovered this centuries ago. They initially tried to use workers from Europe, but they died from malaria. Same with the Native Indians. They then started bringing over Africans because most of them were immune to malaria. The Blacks became slaves because they were immune.

        This might be a disease that fits into the Chinese, but not others. Time will tell.

        • nhz says:

          I commented before on this subject but apparently several of my comments were removed later on.

          It doesn’t affect Chinese people only, but there are reasons to assume they are more vulnerable to the disease; another side of this is that people of EU/US origin might be more likely to spread the disease without showing symptoms (initially, at least). This isn’t really tied to race of course, only statistically because certain gene variants (like ACE2, check details online) are more common in certain population groups which can be related to race, region, diet and many other factors; it’s almost never “black or white”.

        • backwardsevolution says:

          nhz – are you the fellow from the Netherlands? If so, I heard that 91 passengers off the Westerdam cruise ship just flew back to the Netherlands today. Just booked flights and off they went. One American passenger off this cruise ship ended up flying from Cambodia (where the ship had been docked) to the Philippines, where they then tested positive for COVID-19.

          See if you can find out whether any of the people headed back to the Netherlands end up getting sick. If so, find out whether they are Chinese or not.

          Stay healthy and safe.

    • Willy Winky says:

      Ok, if it’s all hype, then what is the point?

      China is locked down and the factories are mostly closed.

      Global tourism is decimated.

      One might suggest that the world is conspiring to put a bullet in the head of the vile Chinese government.

      But that would be committing suicide wouldn’t it? If you kill the CCP and China you kill the global economy.

      You’ll have to do better.

      • dr_doomz says:

        “if it’s all hype, then what is the point?”

        Supply disruption.

        • Willy Winky says:

          Supply disruption. Supply disruption?

          China has nearly 3,000,000 factories

          If they do not re-open there will be supply disruption alright.

          Just about every product on the planet will be disrupted.

          So you are suggesting that governments are conspiring to kill all of us?

          Because if the factories do not open soon that is what is going to happen.

          This is a million times worse than the GFC – basically the engine of the world is stalled and having difficulty getting restarted.

          I think quite a few people here are having difficulty grasping the gravity of this situation.

          There is panic buying in Hong Kong right now. But the shelves continue to be restocked.

          If the engine does not restart there will be panic buying everywhere – but the shelves will NOT be restocked at some point

    • China Reality says:


      Wuhan has a problem, but its because there are 11M people in a small area, and the virus was allowed to fester for weeks, the market where it started has 100’s of 1,000’s a day shopping, then they go home, and the virus quickly passed.
      But yes the death is less than 2%

      BUT more important is say Vietnam, or Thailand; There the death rate is less than 0.2%, this is because everybody entering from Wuhan has been inspected and isolated

      Other places are much the same, now of course nobody is accepting flights from China, and if they do they go over you very carefully

      With the total lockdown in China, this thing is contained, Xi has already announced its “OVER”

      Yes, almost all the hysteria is from western MSM, and mostly trolls on the internet, then you also have the anti-china people in HK ( ran by west ) that want to create a hysteria in China.

      If you get the disease in China, you must report yourself, otherwise you face serious long-term jail-time. The thing is under control.

      • Xabier says:

        I don’t think anyone informed at this point would take a statement from Xi seriously and at face value.

        Such pronouncements are more political than having any medical credibility. He has put everything on the unimpeded super-growth of China, and whatever he says must be read in that context.

        As to it all a media-fomented panic, it is actually the medical specialists who are saying – in a very low-key way – that the global spread of this is inevitable, that it is perhaps manageable but not controllable, and all that can be done is to delay and frustrate its spread buying time for a possible, but not certain, vaccine to be developed.

        At present, medical authorities are trying to extinguish foci as they appear outside China,and trace contacts,and this is being done without much publicity.

        This may succeed, but the chances are actually quite slim.

        • nhz says:

          Agree, this is not under control at all and I think China is doing its best to keep things under control, and preventing outright panic is part of the effort. If this is the best possible approach could be debated, but I have zero doubt that most EU countries and the US would do WAY worse controlling such a situation (including much worse censoring of medical facts).

          People who say this is all scaremongering and under control are clueless. Even the scientists don’t know most of the facts about this new virus, they are guessing based on incomplete or possibly wrong data. That also goes for Chinese scientists, who have published very different views on virus origin and other properties. E.g. scientific estimates for R0 are now ranging from a little below 2 (which is bad enough) to nearly 20 in one study, and the very long time that the virus in infectious without causing symptoms is a BIG problem.

          My country is still releasing people who had contact with proven (often after the fact …) CoV patients out in the open, without real quarantine because “the patient didn’t show any symptoms at the time of contact”. Chinese policy seems a lot more prudent :(

      • Wolfbay says:

        We will know shortly if this is contained. In the next month or so if cases really spike in the US we have a global pandemic.

    • Paulo says:

      Hey Tony,

      Good deals on S Pacific cruises these days. No particular reason for the deals, or the unlimited kleenex, hot soup, fluids, and netflix as long as you stay in your room for 30 days straight. Must be some kind of media scam.

      I read the cruise industry is down 80%. Airlines next…but it’s probably just a conspiracy put on by the media.

      Those empty Chinese cities, bigger than NYC, have probably just been photo shopped bare.

      On a serious note, the data says 2% death, but never include how many have actually recovered? 70K with the virus, 2% dead, the rest still in quarantine or hospital. Plus, it can return. Yes, there are a lot of secrets, but how many think it’s just all the good news kept hidden? I sure don’t. I think all Govt everywhere is terrified this is just the beginning and are trying to calm the waters and avoid panic.

      yes, good to be alive….for sure. Perhaps a plan is a good way to stay alive as this unfolds. You know the old saying, “hope for the best and plan for the worst.”

      • Cas127 says:

        “or the unlimited kleenex, hot soup, fluids, and netflix”

        Netflix and chill…to room temperature.

      • nhz says:

        recent data for recovery rate for proven CoV cases is around 80%. Which means that ultimately the death rate could be anything between 2 and 20%; Or below 2% for all cases because we really don’t know how many people are infected but unsymptomatic or slightly symptomatic, as most people in the area haven’t been tested and the CoV tests seem to be extremely unreliable (sensitivity like 20-25% reported from some areas). Or above 20% because we can’t be sure that those we “recovered” won’t get hit hard later on (there are some theories about that).

      • Tony says:

        Yep. Watch out! Those African Killer Bees will get ya. Spew pandemic without the pandemic. The cases are already in America and there has been barely any fatalities in the rest of the world except China. Does that not say anything to anyone? In construction, we would call this an “RFI” (request for more information) That means don’t freak out until we get more information. The media is clearly freaking everyone out without any facts.

        • Frederick says:

          I don’t know about African bees but I had a run in with some Asian Hornets who took up residence in my attic and let me tell ya I couldn’t walk properly for over a week Nasty things about the size of a small bird and I got 12 stings including one on my eyelid

    • IdahoPotato says:

      “Out of all confirmed cases…2% are fatal”

      The 1918 Spanish flu circled the planet thrice in 18 months before commercial air travel. It killed 50 to 75 million. It had a case fatality rate <2%.

      • Cas127 says:


        One of the interesting aspects of the US during the 1918 flu, was that some of the leading medical researchers investigating the flu made the decision to self-quarantine after they themselves got sick – away from hospitals.

        They really followed very, very basic supportive measures and mostly came through ok.

        The outcomes were seemingly worse in the hospitals, which makes sense if there is the possibility of infection and reinfection in very, very densely populated focal pts of sickness…the hospitals.

        That possible tradeoff between theoretically more extensive supportive care (which might break down under stress) and the possible dangers of physically concentrating the ill – is about the hardest decision imaginable.

        It would be nice if the issue were addressed here in the US *before* a serious outbreak occurs.

        I don’t think I have seen any discussion of this in the media.

        • nhz says:

          I have noticed some discussion in scientific/medical circles about a very similar issue with the Ebola epidemic of a few years ago.

          With Ebola (too), people are quarantined or declared virus-free based on unreliable tests. If the test is false-positive (the patient has some symptoms though like a fever due to malaria) and the patient is quarantined with true Ebola patients, they are pretty sure to get Ebola anyway in a few days which “proves” that the false-negative test was true-positive instead of false-negative. Of if the patient is lucky and survives it proves that the magical treatment that was used “works”.
          If the patient has Ebola but gets a false-negative test and is released into the community again without any precautions, you are sure going to get more cases later on but will often not know that this test was false-negative. We know now that patients who recover from Ebola still have the virus (e.g. in genital fluids) and are potentially contagious 6 months later without showing obvious disease symptoms, although most of them have health issues. All this makes a total mess of any strategy – garbage in, garbage out and the bigger the scale, the more messy.

          The Ebola tests were already bad, the nCoV tests seem to be even more unreliable :(

        • nhz says:

          sorry, correction on my comment above:

          … which “proves” that the false-positive test was true-positive instead of false-negative.

        • HowNow says:

          “It would be nice if the issue were addressed here in the US…”
          Is this being addressed by the “govment”, or by invisible hands?

          Sorry about being a pest, and I won’t do it again, but here’s a perfect example of how the government is important, how government agencies are fast at work trying to handle this, and how, if there was no organized response, we’d be in even greater peril.

          Yes, “at best” there are warring special interests dividing up the wealth of the nation, but, regardless of party, we need campaign finance reform to have any hope of reducing corruption.

        • IdahoPotato says:

          People who hate government should not be assigned to run government.

          “For the United States, the answers are especially worrying because the government has intentionally rendered itself incapable. In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it isIf the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is—not just for the public but for the government itself, which largely finds itself in the dark.”

        • H says:

          Can you reference that? That info may come in handy and I am sure we won’t get it thru normal media channels

      • Deanna Johnston Clark says:

        Most of the deaths were caused or hastened by a huge intake of aspirin prescribed to treat the fever necessary for fighting the illness. Look it up in a serious site.

        • nhz says:

          Yes, there is some debate about that but difficult to prove. Another point is that the Spanish flue killed primarily young and healthy people, totally unlike the common flue. CoV doesn’t seem to specifically target the young and healthy.

    • Alberta says:

      Hi Tony,
      Search Pirbright patent Corona virus funding courtesy of Bill and Melinda Gates, 201 pandemic trial run held 2019, again hosted by Mr. Gates, and finally, Bill and Melinda’s pending vaccine patent for …. corona virus.
      A real eye opener.

      • Frederick says:

        NICE Bill Gates again He can keep his vaccines to himself and his family thank you

      • Tony says:

        yes, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba has also donated millions of dollars to the Coronavirus.

        • Frederick says:

          Why don’t we send him a free sample Maybe Jeff Bezos too while were at it

    • Mark says:

      There’s too much we don’t know yet.

      #1. Only the first few cohorts of infected patients are now seeing the virus through to its natural end. The 2% number may well be revised upward as time passes.

      #2. The current death rate is only sustained so long as the current state of medical care can be maintained. When medical systems that are overburdened at baseline are overwhelmed, sick patients receive increasingly sub-optimal care, and death rates will push up.

      #3. China is a communist oligarchy with the ability to lie without consequence. They have every incentive to continue the ruse that social stability is being maintained and the virus will soon be contained. The nearly perfect exponential growth curve of ex-China cases (is, true data) proves the Chinese data is being goalseeked…

      • nhz says:

        Lie without consequence, unlike the US or EU CDC’s? I have a bridge to sell you …

        I have lots of experience with those institutions and lying is their default mode.

    • Frederick says:

      Two percent fatal? Are you sure? Can you trust the statistics? And the media is definitely a virus A propaganda virus

      • China Reality says:

        Talk Reality folks.

        In the real places on earth, where people are infected, they’re seeing a 0.2% death rate

        Everywhere now as soon as they know you got it, they put you HIV drugs and the symptoms are quickly under control. This has been known for 3+ weeks that HIV drugs take the person out of critical care.

        The problem with Wuhan is.

        1.) We ( westerners ) don’t know, all we ( I’m a westerner living near China border ) get is the lies from the internet, and bogus Youtube videos that could have been made anywhere.

        2.) Given some +100,000’s have been infected in China out of a population of 1.4B, they have broke the medical system, too many patients not enough drugs and/or beds. Infected people being sent out the door, triage only for the most critical.

        Applying Occam’s Razor say’s to look at the places that are known, and you will see the death rate is 0.2%. That’s a known-known.

        The only other highly concentrated infection is the cruise ships, that’s expected they eat at 24/7 buffets, where the food sits out, and people cough&sneeze on the food. It’s surprising that 100% are not infected rather than 10-20%.

        Most agree that it started at the fresh-fish market, this place is HUGE, and is visited by 10’s of 1,000’s of people hourly, they run 24 hours a day, but most people shop 4am-6am; It’s wet. Most markets in China are slopping wet of blood, garbage, produce dirt, feces & urine; It’s the real world, because the people want their food FRESH, they don’t eat the canned/frozen crap that USA people are fed. If Chinese don’t see something killed in front of their own eyes they don’t eat it, most Asians are this way “They only eat fresh kill”.

        Nobody knows how the virus got into the market, or whether it was foul-play or natural. At this point it doesn’t matter, all that matter’s is containment.

        The problem of course is it originated in Wuhan at a principal fresh-fish-market, where 100,000 people shop daily, then go home; Thus it can be assumed that a huge number of people within a 1-2 mile radius of the market were exposed. Then when Chinese New Year hit mid January, everybody went home, it is estimated 5M left Wuhan region ( normal Chinese new year travel time ). Most go to the villages, or to other city’s so entire family’s can be together.

        It’s now been a month. Normal return to work should have been two weeks ago, it was extended to Feb 15, now it appears nobody knows when things will return to normal.

        Xi say’s its under control; I suspect that they need time to get things under control, meaning staff for hospitals and supply’s. It was only a few days ago Xi sent in 25,000 PLA (army medical) staff to assist the medical caregivers. Once the system is capable of taking care of the infected, without sending infected patients out the door, then the system will return to normal.

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          Most of your data is wrong.

          Case fatality rate with excellent care outside of China is 2%. You can do your own math in this in minutes. Deaths / (Deaths+Recoveries). WHO situation report has the underlying data.

          Same answer for inside China excluding Hubei.

          Hubei is far worse because system was overwhelmed.

          If the “HIV drug cure” has been known for weeks and actually worked, it would be getting a lot more press.

          Many early cases Had no association with the Wuhan market. Origin unknown.

          And If it mutates like the other viruses do, all bets are off.

          If things were under control we would see quarantines and lockdowns being lifted. The news is running very much the other way.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      Estimated deaths in China from annual influenza in 2018 ~715,000 (55 per 100,000). That’s deaths not illnesses. Keep this stuff in perspective.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Lisa – good point. And if that’s “normal”, how much worse does it need to be to trigger their current reaction?

    • Cannot believe you think 2% is an acceptable risk. Assume 1/3 of Americans contract, 200000 will die. (WHO says it could be 60% of the world population). Assume the labor force is half the population, we lose 100000 from that number. What measures does the US have to take to reduce the number of those who contract? New cases in the US. like China, will depend on how anxious we are to grease the economic wheels? If you are president how many are you willing to sacrifice, even while your administration cuts health services to the poor and immigrants, who comprise the service sector of the economy, and 70% of GDP. Or as Wolf notes what happens in the tourism industry, before any real outbreak has started? The lifetime risk for smoking is about 6%, which are 30% of all cancer deaths. We could easily compress that process into a few months.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Ambrose you are short a zero on your numbers. 2% of 1/3 of 300 million is 2 million. And it could be worse if your hospital gets impacted like Wuhan’s.

  5. GotCollateral says:

    You see Japan GDP print for 2019Q4? And that was before people started poppin coronas!

    Starting to see supply chains (that originated/passed from china) in Indonesia getting hit and prices going up (from food to industrial parts).

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Yes. On Oct 1, the consumption tax hike took effect (from 8% to 10%). This made nearly everything that consumers bought about 2% more expensive. Consumers didn’t have this extra money, and by having to pay more for each item, including services, they ended up buying less stuff. GDP got knocked down 1.6% (6.3% annualized).

      This was the worst quarter since the 1.9% (7.4% annualized) plunge in the Apr-Jun 2014 quarter, after the last consumption tax hike on Apr 1, 2014, from 5% to 8%. That 1.9% GDP plunge too had surprised economists for some reason. But not consumers.

      This is now a well-established ritual: you tax Japanese consumers more via a consumption tax, and they spend about the same amount of money by buying less stuff.

      • GotCollateral says:

        Yeah, I think you mentioned awhile back about the tax thing (or someone else I follow or heard around these parts) who were expecting something like this.

        Just more fuel for short JPY/long USD duration unhegded trade in a environment where 71% of IG is bid to call and 91% of HY is bid to call… no tail risks as far as the eye can see! Lol

      • otishertz says:

        A system based on declining population has to build entropy into its models. The problem is getting everyone to go along with it.

        • polecat says:

          Entropy ?? HA! Tell that to the mighty Unbridled Market !

          Mr. Market don’t need no stinkin Entropy .. but it appears like it might get some anyway.

      • Jack3 says:

        Wolf, apparently, people are confusing Corona beer and the Coronavirus (now we’re really in trouble ;_)

      • Ted Tanaka says:

        They also brought forward a lot of their buying prior to the imposition of the 10% tax which made the current quarter’s numbers even worse.

      • nhz says:

        We had a very similar consumption tax hike last year in Netherlands (VAT from 6 to 9% for most “necessary items/services”) which increased CPI to the highest in the EU, but GDP increased and didn’t plunge. Maybe that’s because going into debt became even cheaper while Japan had already exhausted that possibility? Possibly also because people on social security and old age allowance were partly compensated.

  6. NotMe says:

    Since consumption is 70% of US GDP and trade deficit with China is about 600B$/year, this looks to be a possible reduction of GDP by at least 3%. I am looking at -6% to -12% overall GDP reduction as the loss of China trade will propagate through retail, auto and home building.

    Does anyone have a better figure?

    This will trigger a major recession, if not a depression which had a similar figure annually. The value of the dollar will explode and blow up loans and dollar shorts everywhere. The possibility of widespread real estate sales to generate cash need to be accounted. I cannot seem to get my hands around all this.

    • Willy Winky says:

      Here’s the thing people need to understand about China (I’ve asked plenty of cab drivers about this when I’ve been up there for biz).

      Basically they tell me they had the CCP. The despise their corruption and they particularly despise their spoiled offspring who prance about the world posting how wonderful life is (as daddy’s thieving pays for the new Ferrari in Vancouver).

      BUT – they tolerate them because they are delivering prosperity. Of course this prosperity is built upon sand as well as gargantuan debt and ghost towns.

      That’s all the Chinese care about – do not rattle their cage about the Potemkin Village, they are busy shopping for LV and Prada bags!

      I recall soon after the GFC a property developer had the temerity to reduce the prices on the second phase of a development. What did Phase One buyers do? They smashed the developers sales office!!!

      Why? Cuz the developer reneged on the promise of prosperity for all.

      You just watch what happens if this virus continues to spread and smash GDP. The ‘mandate from heaven’ will be lost and the rabble will come for Mr Xi and the princelings.

      I am not exaggerating – the earth will shake.

      Already there are murmurings blaming Xi and the CCP for this disaster.

      If the people are unable to get back to work they will start to run short on cash, and prosperity will turn to desperation.

      Clearly such a situation will not bode well for the rest of us.

      • Cas127 says:


        Nice use of the “Mandate from Heaven” concept – the relationship between the people of China and Central(ish) gvts has always been interesting.

        China has always been so big and so heavily populated that the natural tendency has been to fragment – but the central gvts usually manage to rally and find a rationale to convey power back to themselves…but they better deliver – at least to an extent…otherwise the mandate is withdrawn and we start back to regionalism (you can see how oscillating, counterpoised yin and yang tends to be a very Chinese concept).

        And…you can see how very Chinese the Confucian concept of the State is…at least paying lip service to the thought that the Rulers had extensive ethical obligations to the ruled. And we are back to the “Mandate from Heaven”

      • Auld Kodjer says:

        Phew. Lucky for Xi he has a high Social Credit Score

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      Not to worry, nominal GDP will fall less because items out of production will become scarce and command higher prices.

      Meanwhile, need for disease action will drive higher spending.

      Luxuries and recreation will be hit. Durables purchases that can be postponed will be.

      Use the next month to get everything in your home in good working order so you do t get caught by an outage or breakdown when the virus arrives in your city.

    • polecat says:

      Well, look on the bright side .. the youngins will then be able to truly afford a home !

  7. otishertz says:

    What I don’t get is how according to current population estimates, the population of the largest 50 cities combined equals 291 million people.

    Yet we frequently hear estimates in the news of 400 million people quaranteened.

    Based in the 2010 cencus if 1.4 billion people this implies 1.1 billion people wandering around not under containment without considering that I earlier quoted 2020 population estimates for the largest 50 cities.

    Something doesn’t add up here. If you look at population density maps it doesn’t seem to be possible for there to even be 1.4 billion people in China.

    • Suzie Alcatrez says:

      Chinese statistics never really add up.

      That there are so many cities quarantined makes me suspicious that the Chinese know something that they are hesitant to make public for fear of losing control.

    • china boy says:

      Well are you reading them or Them?

      I know what’s coming out of the USA is 100% BS

      Then what’s coming out of the internet is 500% BS ( Between HK trolls, and USA trolls 1000% of what’s being pushed say on ZH is BS )

      Take Wuhan City its 11M been locked down for a month now, but the entire province is also locked down, and now several other provinces are locked down, so that’s your 290M

      The majority of all people in China live in City’s, 40 years ago the majority lived in villages, all city’s are suspect, so let’s say that is 80% of 1.4B, that’s over a billion, so its safe to say 1/2 of those are being closely watched.

      Then of course they say 5M vanished from Hubei ( the state/province of wuhan ) the first few weeks of January, they probably went back to the villages if they were smart. Almost everybody that went to the city’s in the last 30 years, left a home in the villages, when I lived in the villages in the 90’s in China, I saw that some 50% of the homes were vacant, real nice homes 2-3 story’s concrete walls, wood windows. They just sealed them up, and the entire familys went to Shanghai to work, and then in the past 20 years to Wuhan region ( like they say the ‘chicago of china’ ), or IMHO the fullfillment center of china.

      The important thing to know is Xi say’s its over, I would suggest just reading china-daily ( english ) version, and see what’s really going on. Trump & all the USA has a vested interest in making China look bad. The Chinese just want to move on, and get back to business.

      Don’t believe anything you read on the internet, its now just a hodgepodge of BS.

      The Chinese have no reason to lie, there is a trust system in china between gov&people, not like in the USA where the people are just minion’s debt-slaves to gov.

      • Willy Winky says:

        ‘The Chinese have no reason to lie, there is a trust system in china between gov&people, not like in the USA where the people are just minion’s debt-slaves to gov.’

        Can you warn us before you make your next China post — I will make sure to put on an adult diaper – I laughed so hard reading the above that I’ve soiled myself. And I think I have a hernia now.

        Gosh that is funny stuff. You should do stand up!

        Maybe you could start with how Xi and the CCP arrested the doctors who tried to warn about this virus before it spread out of control in Hubei.

        And the punchline — the one doctor died of the virus last week!!!

        HAHAHAHAHA… Ha Ha Ha…. ha ha……. ha……..

        To redeem yourself when the crowd throws warm beer at you shout:


        • Zantetsu says:

          Willy Winky, China Boy sounds like he has inside information on how things work there given that he has lived there for decades.

          You on the other hand have nothing but biased or lying media and a desire to fit what you read to your own stereotypes. So … I know whose comment I found more insightful.

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          Zantetsu I know a loooot of people who live in China and “trust the government” is Not in their vocabulary. Unless the government is watching.

          Very good people and patriotic for their country … but they know how their system works.

          Willy is right.

      • otishertz says:

        Cool story, bro.

        • nicko2 says:

          The chi-bots have invaded WS, WOLF must be flattered. ?

        • Willy Winky says:

          Zanetsu – sorry mate but I’ve lived in both Shanghai and Hong Kong for the better part of two decades.

          However it does not require living there to understand that China Boy is either clueless or a troll.

          Since when does the Chinese government have a reputation for telling the truth?

          Hey China Boy – if you live in China how are you accessing this site? VPN?

          Because if you do live in China you would know that virtually all western websites are blocked.

          Now why would a regime that is hell bent on telling the truth limit the websites that its people are allowed to read?

          Surely if they were all about the truth they’d open up the fire wall and let people decide for themselves?

          China is a TOTALITARIAN NIGHTMARE.

          Stand with Hong Kong.

          We need to stop the CCP there because otherwise they will use their economic heft to destroy free speech everywhere.

      • elysianfield says:

        “The important thing to know is Xi say’s its over,”

        China boy,
        Excellent! I assume then, that the factories will be churning tomorrow?

        Whew! That was close. For a minute there, I thought that we were in real trouble.

  8. NotMe says:

    The simple commercial aspects are one thing. The US CDC has been likely concealing the true nature of the pandemic in the USA, having admitted of at least a 1000 cases in the USA already.

    The lack of candor by all governments (other than perhaps the leader of Singapore) is creating an air of panic. Only an outsider like Trump can get ahead of the institutions in the government that are afraid of the public. The CDC needs transparency and a lot of it. We don’t even know what we know, much less know what we do not know. Never mind what we simple do not know.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      The CDC “having admitted of at least a 1000 cases in the USA already.”

      Where do you pick up this fake news BS? Just check the CDC’s website to find out what the CDC has “admitted of.” And this is the latest from the CDC, as of Friday 4 PM:

      People under Investigation (PUI) in the United States:
      Positive: 15
      Negative: 347
      Pending: 81
      Total PUI: 443

      In other words, the CDC has “admitted” to 15 confirmed cases in the US (not 1,000) and 81 pending cases.

      • NotMe says:

        I consider this an admission. You may not, but a federal official doing this is poisonous.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Good lordy. Some BS an anonymous person or bot posted on Twitter. That’s how fake BS news spreads. If you want to know that the CDC “admits” to, go to the CDC website.

        • NotMe says:

          Here is a detailed response.
          Here is why I believe the 1000 number, no matter the source.

          Let’s use the cruise ship as a laboratory.

          On the 4th of February, there were 10 cases. By the 15th, there were 355 identified infections. That is a factor of 35 increase in eleven days and these were patients isolated in their rooms, not taking cabs buses trains Uber, eating in restaurants, going the grocery store, pushing shopping carts, or using any public facilities. The US identified its first community spread infection in Hawaii yesterday. Note also that in the USA, about 3000 traveled from Wuhan just to LA since this epidemic started. Others include 1000 to NYC, 10,000 to Singapore, and 3500 to Dubai, among many, many others. The worst may be UAE since it is such a monster airline hub.

          So with that many travelers, finding 1000 cases in the USA seem to me to be a very small number.

          They are being frank on the other hand admitting to the pandemic proportions, which frankly do not scare me, nor should they scare anyone. The latest R0 are around 2.2, but estimates do vary and it makes little difference. If we take care, we can slow the spread to a level where resources will not be overwhelmed. You are going to get it and you are not going to die.

          Given the rapid spread that is becoming apparent, we need to recognize that we should not go the hospital for sneezes and sniffles. There is no treatment except for the pneumonia, and it is my view that all such cases should be treated at home, and visited by care professionals at home for diagnosis. This was done in the 50s. You never visited the doctor’s office with a communicable disease. What they are doing in China is insane by everyone hanging out in a hospital lobby and large wards exchanging diseases and air.

          Fundamentally, we need to return to handling all communicable disease with residence visits, and refuse entry to all hospitals carry a communicable disease or symptoms. When I had notable diseases as youngster, you had a disease card placed on the door of your house warning any entrant, and the physician or nurse would visit. We did not take public transportation to hang out with other sick people in doctor’s office or to a hospital. Seriously, have we lost our marbles? Public health, the medical professions, and the public, get a grip.

        • nhz says:


          “we need to return to handling all communicable disease with residence visits, and refuse entry to all hospitals carry a communicable disease or symptoms”

          much of your basic precautions and solutions are of little help when people can be contagious but asymptomatic for at least 2-3 weeks. Hospitals and doctors offices are not the only place where CoV spreads.

    • California Bob says:

      re: “Only an outsider like Trump can get ahead of the institutions in the government that are afraid of the public.”

      Yeah, he really ‘got ahead’ of that pesky CDC:

      Republicans hate, Hate, HATE the gubmint until, of course, they need it.

  9. 319KYO says:

    The USA does not make its own medicine anymore. Most is imported from China and India. We don’t do much of anything that supports mission critical operations and products. Our politicians and “captains of industry” sold out the USA back in the 1990’s. I saw all the mills closing, the producers of necessary staples being outsourced to China. . . what a disgrace. The taxpayer and average Joe are the ones going to suffer no matter what happens to the economy. Politicians have their kick-backs and the “captains of industry” have their billions.

    • Sammy Iyer says:

      Global Pharma Generic major medicine makers like Teva, Wokhardt, Sandoz, Endo, Sun Parma,Lupin,Zydus Cadilla and many more Indian /Global multinational Pharma co’s manufacture finished generic product in India (Indian Factories must be approved by US FDA standards +physical inspection to enter in to USA market).
      But even Indian Pharma co’s depend on import from china for many basic raw ingradients. I saw chatter in the local press that prices for raw materials for say Ibubrufen, Paracetamol ,Amoxicillin etc has gone up atleast 40% as Wuhan is the industrial heart of China.( I stocked up on prescription + OTC medicines like Brufen, Combiflam, multi Vitamins & many more to atleast last 3 months).
      Shoes, dresses, mobile phones,electronic goods etc (90% of walmart mechandise) depend on import from china . That is ok . we can live with out these new stuff for 3-6 months. But essential medicines !!?? Let us see how it plays out..

    • Deanna Johnston Clark says:

      …don’t forget most of our vitamin C tablets and natural herbs.

    • timbers says:

      You know, someone should get POTOS ear, and tell him that.

      Not a fan of him, but fixing the Medicine made in China seems to be a hot button issue that might hook him into desirable action.

      Or not, because so often he announces goals/policies that the people he surrounds himself, clearing will not implement such a policy.

      Ex: Have John Bolton head up peace talks with NK.

      Seriously? Even POTUS should see how that will never work.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      The notion of “national defense” has been perverted as the U.S. became obsessed with world domination. It has become de facto “plenty of capability for international offense”.

      Defense used to mean an armed populace, hence the second amendment. Our borders were important. “Remember the Alamo!”

      Today, the President is faulted for taking $3.5 billion dollars from the “Defense” budget to build a wall defending our border.

      There is little consideration of the vulnerability of our country when it allows the exporting of its vital industries and even the production of its life-sustaining medicines.

      • Harrold says:

        The Battle of the Alamo did not occur in the United States, it occurred in Mexico.

        I’m not sure what point you would be trying to make referring to a pivotal event in the history of The Republic of Texas.

    • Ed C says:

      Yes, Wolf pointed this out recently in a column.

  10. Willy Winky says:

    I just received a video clip on Whatsapp from a mate in Hong Kong. He’s walking through the main restaurant district, SOHO, and it looks like about 80% of all the restaurants/shops are now boarded up.

    HK doesn’t even have 100 registered infections and the city is shutting down.

    Imagine what it must be like in China.

    You cannot ‘board up’ the second largest economy in the world and the key manufacturing hub for just about everything for very long, without deadly global consequences.

  11. Keepcalmeverythingisfine says:

    2 months and we are out of brake pads. Seriously though, my hunch is that the current form of the virus is not the reason for the big quarantines, it is the high probability that the virus can mutate into more deadly versions of itself. There is clearly something different about this one, and science has not got the risk fully understood. We shall see.

  12. HollywoodDog says:

    China comprises 22% of world GDP. Sources (okay, ZeroHedge) are providing data that suggest that Chinese economic activity may be off by 70%. That represents more than a 15% hit to global economic activity. Regardless of the coronavirus’s eventual footprint and mortality rate, we’re plunging into a global recession. And lowering the federal funds rate isn’t going to help: sensible people aren’t going to want to get into an airplane (aka Covid-19 incubator) at any price.

  13. GrassRanger says:

    We had better get used to the idea that this virus is going to be around most of 2020. It hasn’t gotten a foothold yet in India or Africa but I can see no reason that it won’t eventually make a breakout in both. I see repeated comments about the mortality rate being only 2% of total infections, but if millions are infected, the fatalities will run into the multiple 10s of thousands. Mortality rate for flu in the US this season is running at 1% or less, a serious issue for sure, but Corona virus seems to be much more contagious than this season’s flu.

    • Paulo says:

      During the Spanish flu we had ship and train travel, and it still killed millions.

      “The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.”

      Granted, for some, (a minority of the World’s population), there is better health care and knowledge than 100 years ago. But…….

      “At least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services, according to a new report from the World Bank and WHO. And each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets.”

      The other factor is air travel as opposed to ships and trains. I live rural and all it would take is one Thai vacation goer to infect our valley. Air travel makes it spread like an Australian bush fire. It’s not if a country becomes exposed, it’s when. China just got there first.

      • Suzie Alcatrez says:

        The US medical system is not setup for a pandemic like the coronavirus. Look at what a mess Ebola was with a handful of infected. Remember the women in New Jersey forced to live in a tent outside?

        Imagine 20,000 infected people living in tents.

        • Cas127 says:

          “Remember the women in New Jersey forced to live in a tent outside?”

          Remember the health care professional who thought it was a wise move to do some bicycling in a more densely populated area a day or two after returning from an African hot zone…

          Sometimes blithe egotism affects professionals the worst. This is not unknown in medicine.

        • nhz says:

          imagine ten-thousands at least needing weeks of intensive hospital care, $$$$$$ (I guess that is bullish for the stock market too …).

        • polecat says:

          There aren’t nearly enough respirators to accommodate whatever pneumonia cases develop that might very well result from a Covid19 pandemic in this, uh, ‘greatest of nations’…

          Well Ain’t That Just .. Grand.

          But we CAN engage, with endless funds, wars of choice, the world over.

          sigh !

    • nick kelly says:

      The mortality rate for flu in those under 45 -50 is .01 %.
      The rate for those with Corona in this age group might be 1 % or 100 times more. The 34 year old doctor died!
      Have I led a lucky life or something? I’m no spring chicken and I’ve never known ANYONE who died from a cold or even seasonal flu.

      When an 80 yr old dies with flu- like symptoms, they don’t rush samples to the lab. There is no mystery: he died because he was old, but something has to finish him off.

      Corona seems to be wildly infectious, plus you may go up to 20 days without symptoms while infecting others.

      I could (sort of) understand this ‘it’s just a cold or just the flu’ two weeks ago but… keerist, you think F#cking China shuts down its economy because people have colds?

      The top US health guy estimates 25 % of cases will need intensive care.

      • roddy6667 says:

        According to the CDC, in the 2018-2019 flu season in America, 80,000 people died. So far here in China, 1777 people have die, mostly in Hubei province. China has 5X the population of the US, so ordinary flu deaths would total 400,000 to match the last complete flu season in America.
        Here in Qingdao, and most large cities, it was a bad flu year. We pulled our granddaughter out of daycare, art classes, and English classes. All her playmates had flu, and so did their families. My wife went to a doctor at the hospital for her back and was there half a day. Thousands of flu patients. That was just before the new virus came out. That’s one reason why it was not easily detected. The only difference in symptoms is a chest X-ray that has “ground glass opacity”. It’s slightly different than a normal pneumonia X-ray. Eventually enough doctors started noticing the new symptom and started isolating them.

        • RD Blakeslee says:

          This level of detailed, hands -on information is mostly available only on the internet and, even there, mostly on sites by bloggers determined to offer factual content. Such sites attract like-minded readers (e.g. roddy triple six plus seven).

          Thanks Wolf and all the commenters.

        • nick kelly says:

          ‘According to the CDC, in the 2018-2019 flu season in America, 80,000 people died.’

          True. And 2. 4 million of the 350 million population’s deaths were not attributed to flu. (total deaths around 2.5 million) So what did they die of?

          Old age was the largest factor but a death certificate can’t say that. ‘Congestive heart failure’ is a typical way to fill in that blank space.
          Now here is the thing: detectives become very suspicious if that appears on the certificate of someone 45 years old. To a cop
          that translates as: ‘he died but we don’t know why’

          The vast majority of the 80K deaths to flu from the 350 million pop was from the aged.
          Fatality goes from .01 % for young adults and well into double digits for those over 80.

          The Chinese doctor who died at 34 was not aged. As in SARS, a key difference from the seasonal flu is the threat to young medical personnel.

          During the SARS outbreak in Toronto a defense of the response was undertaken in I believe the Globe to the effect that way more died of the flu. It was needless to say authored by pundits with no medical training, or apparently math training
          because the deaths from SARS including a doctor and several nurses were from a few hundred cases, not hundreds of thousands.

          To keep quoting this typical flu stat while the largest country in the world is largely shut down is simply refusing to engage.

          Since this is a financial site: in last 24, China’s two largest oil and LNG importers have declared ‘force majeur’, saying that circumstances beyond their control require them to default on contracts to buy oil.
          There have been disputes about Chinese invoking FM, especially when it’s really a price haggle.

          But it’s unlikely that the suppliers will say: ‘FM over a typical flu!’

      • Xabier says:

        I knew one person die from the flu: about 60, very heavy smoker and drinker.

        Bought a book from him at his shop in the morning, when he looked as though he had a dreadful cold, he went home to bed and was dead by the evening – heart gave out. His glass a day of orange juice didn’t do the trick…..

        This coronavirus is a very different kettle of fish, as all the reliable medical stats on the progress of the infection indicate (total death stats etc can be taken with a large pinch of salt as things stand).

      • nhz says:

        Also nearly 2000 medical personnel infected in China on last count, that tells you this is no ordinary flue; definitely wildly infectious.
        I guess in hindsight we will learn from the “cruise ship experiments” :(

    • Xabier says:

      The Ethiopian government still, at China’s behest, permits regular flights so that Chinese projects and workers in Africa can be serviced.

      Kenya pleaded with them to shut the air border, but they refused, being a Chinese client state.

      • roddy6667 says:

        Flights between China, Japan, South Korea, and a lot of other Asian countries are still flying every hour. South Korea has not had a new case in 3 days, 30 cases total, are all quarantined. My wife and I flew from Qingdao to Seoul and back two weekends ago. No biggie.

      • Sammy Iyer says:

        Ethiopia is not alone.
        Cambodia & Pakistan (who have borrowed to their eye balls from china ) have refused to repatriate their citizens in Wuhan & standing with China as their true comrades in this calamity(they can not afford not to )

    • Petunia says:

      My great grandfather died, at the age of 40, of the Spanish flu in Puerto Rico in the early 1920’s. I don’t know the exact year. It took several years for the flu to get to a town at the end of the railroad line and kill the local hotel owner. It killed him long after anybody would have expected it.

  14. Rcohn says:

    According to the most recent official estimates ,there have been 71,000 cases of Coronavirus causing just under 2,000 deaths.These numbers are only from late Jan, 2020.
    China has quarantined from 400 milllion – 750 milllion people in reaction.

    Let’s compare this to the CDCs numbers on the regular flu in the US from Oct 1,2019-Feb 8 ,2020.

    26-36 million cases
    250,000-400,000 hospitalizations
    14,000-36,000 deaths
    And this season is NOT categorized as a severe one in the US

    There are a few obvious conclusions to draw from these numbers

    1.China is VASTLY underreporting their numbers. And I don’t mean by just %50 .
    2. China is very worried that the Coronavirus has the capacity to spread very quickly. However, this is contradicted by the reopening of a number of factories last week.
    3 . The rest of the world is very worried about the spread of the virus. Can anyone imagine NYC CITY or LA or London being under quarantine for 2 weeks.
    4. Why has Africa reported so few cases of Coronavirus , given the large number of Chinese working on construction projects .
    5. The lack of treatment facilities , the lack of supplies, the poor construction (one of the hospitals built so quickly looks to have extensive problems with flooding in the hallways) , among other examples devalues the Chinese image that they can produce quality medical care .

    Until the number of world wide cases increased dramatically ( which might very well happen), the Corona virus is nothing more than a MINOR LOCALIZED seasonal flu virus . This us what the stock market is getting on.
    The idea of just – in- time global production is being called into question . If the number of Coronavirus cases increase dramatically worldwide from current levels, there will be considerable political and economic pressure to bring production back to the US.

    If the Coronavirus ever expands to pandemic levels , the stock market will CRASH from current levels, no matter what the FED does. Printing money out of thin air will not substitute for lack of antibiotics( most are manufactured in China) or lack of auto parts.

    • nhz says:

      Yes, just read the official reports (no tin foil hats needed) about the massive bioweapons research and production in the US over the last decades, most of it clearly offensive and NOT defensive in nature. Plus the way many US experts now and then are/were boasting about the way this can be used to kill off the population or food supply of another country without them being able to prove who did it. I would also feel uneasy about the fact that this is a virus that seems to have more affinity to people of Chinese/Asian background compared to EU/US, given the enormous efforts in the US and some of their close friends to design bioweapons that target a specific genetic group..

      It could be just nature taking its course, bad luck etc. … but there are many suspicious factors.

  15. Asian Expat says:

    Not a good time to go to mall’s, have food delivered to your home, take taxi’s

    Not a good time to go to public places, or eat at a buffet, or anywhere out

    Cook at home for a while,

    This hysteria will pass

    But yes, I’m not flying in the next six months, just for the simple reason that flying is now a hassle, you land they can spend hours inspecting the plane and running FLIR ( infrared face scanning ) on all passengers, you miss your connecting flight.

    Then of course all flights to USA from SE-Asia, connect via HK, Taiwan, China; So there is no way to go to to USA or back&forth now without a total hassle.

    So the smart thing to do is sit tight and wait it out, it will be forgotten in a few months and things will be back to abby-normal

    The problem is you don’t want to take a chance, once you get swept up into a ‘quarantine box’, your stuck and you probably will get sick. Not worth the risk. Say you fly, your fine, you sit next to somebody with a runny nose, they get reported to the flight-attendent, then upon landing you get taken to ‘quarantine’ as well, just because you sat by that person.

    Saw it happen manys times during the SARS in 2003-2004, Japan/Taiwan took no risks, when in doubt take them to ‘quarantine’ that’s the easy part, try to get out of that hell-hole. Jail is jail, and airport jails are the worst of the worst, because they’re usually ran by private prison companys with little to no government over-sight, its not unusual to get swept into one and be forgotten, because like a hotel its in their economic incentive system to keep your there, they always want full-occupancy to maximize ROI

    So yes, hotels are in trouble, all tourist areas in asia are in trouble, they closed all the casinos in macao, everything has ground to a halt.

    In the future people are going to venture back slowly, on the other hand there may be hell of some deals, say in Macau and they could return in massive hordes.

    They say people aren’t eating at Chinese restaurants in USA, is this true or not?

    This was bound to happen, they have been putting more & more people into tight-fitting aircraft, then the boeing-max fiasco, something had to give, I think when this thing is over your going to see a lot less air travel.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Asian Expat,

      “They say people aren’t eating at Chinese restaurants in USA, is this true or not?”

      Yes. Restaurants in China Towns around the US are deep trouble. Here in SF, there are places where there is always a disorderly line outside on weekends at the right time. My wife walked through China Town today, and she was shocked by the absence of lines and people, and she told me about it when she came back, not knowing that I’d just finished my podcast on this topic.

      • Frederick says:

        Isn’t there a discount window at the FED for Chinese restaurants Ohh the humanity No more General Taos chicken for lunch I guess

      • Cas127 says:


        If the virus can persist on surfaces for an extended period (of if merely believed to…even erroneously) contemplate what the resultant impact might be on Chinese sourced *imports*…if people are freaking out about US based Chinese *restaurants*…

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Yes, that’s certainly one of the big issues in China Town here, where a lot of the Chinese tourists head (when there were still Chinese tourists) for their favorite soul food. This is real Chinese food, not American-Chinese food, and in many of these restaurants, it’s a lot easier to order if you speak Cantonese.

        • Cas127 says:


          I was not really thinking of the Chinatowns-sized imports, I was thinking of the $600 billion per yr sized total imports from China.

          I have never really been able to get good stats on what percentage of say, Walmart’s US retail sales comes from Chinese imports, but I don’t think 33% to 50% would be out of the question.

          So, back to the possible impact of panic (justified or not) if the virus is ever thought to persist on China-sourced surfaces.

          This is a good example of how GDP denominated measures can mislead…it is easy to pooh pooh 600 billion out of a “20 trillion” GDP…until it is realized that those 600 billion are made up of rather more indispensable physical goods than the 80% of GDP in the service economy (including Golgafrinchian hairdressers…altho, not, perhaps, Golgafrinchian telephone sanitizers…)

      • Jos Oskam says:

        Here in France there are a number of Chinese “wok” buffet restaurants in the town not far from us. Last Friday at lunch time one of them had a line outside the door, and we just about got into another one before it completely filled up as well.

        OK, it was Valentine’s day, may have something to do with that, but I remember my wife remarking that obviously, nobody seemed to be bothered by any virus fears.

        I do not really know what to make of this.

        • nhz says:

          Well, that’s extremely different from Netherlands then. People with Chinese background are reporting widespread discrimination and sometimes “panic reactions” over here, related to CoV. And we don’t even have an official CoV patient in the whole country yet (although I guess that’s only a matter of time ).

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        But here on the small-town local scene we aren’t seeing that yet. My wife and I ate last Friday at a Chinese buffet restaurant we frequent in Lewisburg, WV and the patronage appeared about the same as usual.

        I joked to a waiter who knows us well “Anybody here from Wuhan?”

        We laughed – Nobody’s uptight here, yet.

    • Bob says:

      “They say people aren’t eating at Chinese restaurants in USA, is this true or not?”

    • Petunia says:

      I was at the local Vietnamese nail salon this past weekend, in southern flyover country USA. I was one of two customers in the 1.5 hours I was there. I consider this extremely light traffic for the day and time.

  16. Augusto says:

    This Virus is an economic disaster. Travel and Tourism is just the beginning, if this goes on many more industries will be affected and it appears it will. That being said, people should worry about their health and not the economy or the Stock Market. People are smart to avoid unnecessary travel, or stay out of congested airports and planes with crappy air. Stay at home and pay off some debt, or travel locally. Better for all concerned

    • Paulo says:


      I talked with my son the other day at work. He commutes by air, every two weeks for a two on and two off shift. He’s freaked about it. My nephew works for a major auto parts manufacturer and travels extensively as part of his job as he is a VP in charge of logistics and supply. They have no choice about traveling by air. It is their employment.

      Besides, when you next go to the store how would you know the checker isn’t a carrier? You can’t stay home forever. With air travel, once this gets going there is no way to contain the spread.

      How would you like to be a flight attendant these days, or a nurse? Nope.

      • Augusto says:

        I agree. I travelled for work, internationally, and am now retired, but I know there is a lot of unnecessary travel. Visits can be rescheduled, put off, or work that can be done by video conferencing/email, using local agents, etc…It is not always optimal, but it can be done. I just think people and businesses should be as careful as possible.

      • polecat says:

        Petunia, you might be on to something (bad pun, sorry). In honor of your musings, the next time I go grocery shopping, I will don full-on biohazard gear.. complete with hip holster to carry my squeeze sprayer of 25% bleachwater, to sanitize any and all suspected store &merchandise surfaces … including the checkout Staph.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      Re local vs. air travel: My son is agonizing whether to fly to Austin TX for a relative’s wedding, but none of us are feeling constrained to avoid local travel, yet. As a pandemic develops, that will change, of course.

      A few of us have been moderate preppers for years and can be self-sustaining in isolation in the countryside, for months. Us oldsters are likely the ones needing such preparations the most.

  17. Curious says:

    No doubt the business atmosphere in San Francisco is due for some interesting times. The Bay Area is the top travel destination in California, which in turn, is the No. 1 destination in the United States. In 2018 S.F. had 26 million visitors, including meetings and conventions, which brought in $10 billion in revenue. 7% of the visits came from from out of state.

    I understand that restaurants in tourist towns often operate on pretty thin margins, something like 2%. So once those tourist buses stop unloading large groups at spots like Fisherman’s Warf, there’s bound to be a lot of pain felt by the businesses there and the rest of S.F. That will mean layoffs and reduced tax revenue for S.F. if the virus is still spreading by this summer.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      Just the sanitation problems of San Fran gives me the heebee jeebies!

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Getting your info about SF from Zero Hedge?

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          No, Business Insider and the growing homeless population. Many large cities have this problem, but the virus on the west coast could be a major problem!

        • Petunia says:

          There’s lots of video on the SF homeless, open drug use, and sanitation problems. No need to lie or exaggerate.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          There are plenty of homeless in SF for sure. They’re everywhere. And it has become a political problem. But these endless stories about “needles and feces” everywhere are ignorant BS. I have lived here for 14 years, and I walk everywhere I go, across the entire City, and outside of a few blocks in the Tenderloin and some alleys South of Market, there is practically none of it. Even on those blocks, there is not nearly as much as you imagine.

          I understand that if you encounter this just once or twice in 10 years, it’s a big issue, because you never want to encounter this. But if you stay away from those few blocks and alleys, that’s about how often you might encounter it.

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          I doubt Business Insider is untruthful, and this is no exaggeration.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          I actually hope people will massively believe all this and never move to or visit SF. It’s way too crowded and congested and expensive here, even with the Chinese tourists gone. The last thing SF needs is more people chasing after housing, restaurant tables, parking, etc. :-]

  18. Bet says:

    I have seen the xrays of lungs after corona virus. Honey combed. It’s not the percentages of dying but of permanent damage and infirmity Humans have never been exposed to this virus so there is no immunity in place. It can mutate as well

    • Sammy Iyer says:

      you are right ! Xray/CAT scan showing honey combed bronchioles is the shocking part (bit different from ordinary flu ) when the patient is not showing any symptoms of cold ,fever, running nose, body pain etc ! This virus is indeed different. only 2-5% of those who got infected might die due underlying additional diseases . But hospital tratment for serious sick (respirator machine as lungs are inflammed & no oxygen intake) in a mass cale is not possible. In Wuhan many died due lack of hospital beds/respirator machine+ lack of early strong medication or compulsory quarantine in their homes (building entrances welded shut) . Let us hope such a scenerio does to come to USA/ UK. we will know by March-April if any sleeper super carriers in the western world infect a lot of others or themselves get very sick!

      • nicko2 says:

        SARS caused immune system to punch holes in the lungs as well. Bad way to die.

    • Anmol says:

      Bet. What are the side effects of the meds used for treatment? If you are young and healthy,are you better off getting fresh air and living near the beach? Good doses of vit c vit d,selenium and turmeric?

  19. 747_BRANIFF_PLACE says:

    Another twist – but will show-up in a few months…

    The big boys at AA, DL and UA have used the Coronavirus to “suspend” flights to China and Hong Kong (In fairness to DL, they dropped their only Hong Kong route back in 2018 – SEA-HKG). Sure, both AA and UA had already dialed back service to Hong Kong due to the protests.

    With Hong Kong inbound/outbound traffic having turned into a dumpster fire – compounded with the woes on mainland China, you will not see a normal resumption of routes/service by the big 3 U.S. airlines in the near 6 month to 1 year term.

    They all ahve been able to draw down the excess capacity to both Hong Kong and China – and no one will blink an eye.

    The Big 3 will just redeploy capacity and/or sub out larger aircraft used on Chinese routes to South America and India.

    Yields and profitability are too low on the Hong Kong routes…ditto for mainland China. Even with the big corporate contracts UAL has mostly flying from SFO, with AA and DL getting smaller slice of that pie from LAX and SEA respectively.

    The big 3 can code share where they already have authority to do so and off-load the low yield Hong Kong and Chinese traffic to their partners – after normal business travel resumes.

    It will be a shame to see the end of ultra low fares that have prevailed in the Chinese and Hong Kong markets.

    • nicko2 says:

      I’m in North Africa, I’m enjoying the cheap airfares to Asia and Europe.

  20. FinePrintGuy says:

    The SF tourist traps may have a traffic drop, but any drinking and dining establishment frequented by locals will remain over crowded and over priced.

    And don’t hold your breath for real estate prices to drop. Mainland Chinese will be more motivated than ever to get themselves out of China ASAP.

  21. MCH says:

    Wolf, great commentary, the words that ran through my mind as I listened to you: “knock on effects.” This thing is going to snowball like nothing we have seen in a while. For one thing, All that missing travel is going to impact oil prices, then it will impact oil industries and their supply chain. Places like TX are going to feel this. That’s just one small part, the lack of Chinese real estate dollar is going to slowly or perhaps quickly whack real estate prices. That is going to have a huge economic impact within this year if the restriction isn’t lifted as you said in the next few weeks.

    Worst of all will be the fear, rightly or wrongly, no one will believe a thing coming out of the Chinese news media, literally everyone I talk to or heard from thinks China is lying about the magnitude of the problem. Regardless of whether that is true or not, it will drive fear of this virus. This is unfortunately a problem of their own making, Xi could be 100% accurate about every single statistic and the Everyman is going to still believe he is lying.

    I was talking to friends who planned to fly to Singapore in March, they just cancelled everything. Nothing to do with China, and the rest of Asia is going to take a hit too.

    MWC is only scratching the surface. What people will be watching for is when factories like the ones owned the Foxconn will open up, that will be a sign that things are on the right track. But as long as Hubei is locked down, not all the truth in the world is going to convince anyone the problem is over… the sad thing is that the Chinese government could actually be overly cautious, but even that is playing against them. But those guys are in a bind, if they open things up, and the virus is more contagious than expected, then China will get locked down even further and that is going to whack the world economy.

    That old saying when the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold, now applies to China as well.

    Welcome to the new world. Reminds me of that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade scene where the Nazi says right after the Austrian, “And this is how we say goodbye in Germany.” and this is how we say goodbye in Germany.

  22. drg1234 says:

    This virus has a long way to go before it’s done. The two week incubation period is entirely outside our normal experience. This means the epidemic will be prolonged but conversely means that modern medicine will attack it in a way never before possible while in the midst of an outbreak.

    It looks to be about as contagious as seasonal flu but 100x or more lethal.

    There is already a clinical trial underway for a particular anti-viral drug, based on a case report from a couple of weeks ago.

    The first human vaccine trials will probably start in about three months. The vaccines were already under development for SARS and have been rapidly modified.

    I think it’s safe to say that medicine has never moved this fast, ever.

    • Curious says:

      Yet after 17 years since SARS, there is still no vaccine for it.

      • roddy6667 says:

        Only 774 SARS deaths worldwide over two years. Not worth the effort. Millions die from A, B, and H1N1, and there is no good vaccines yet.

    • MCH says:

      The one drug that may have some effect is coming out of Gilead Sciences: remdesivir. It’s still on phase 2, and originally targeted on Ebola. It was the one over which there was a lot of talk last week when some Chinese company started manufacturing it or filed patents on it as it related to the coronavirus. It is interesting though how fast people are lining up on these molecules considering how many possibilities there are.

      Time will time if this one really has an effect, but then again, people looked at one of Abbvie’s drugs a couple of weeks ago, so there is no telling what’s effective.

      • JoAnn Leichliter says:

        Apparently Thai Covid patients treated with AIDS drugs all recovered. That may be because, according to an article I read, one segment of Covid DNA is an AIDS segment as well, and that happens to be the part of the DNA strand that determines what receptors are used. Intetesting, if true.

      • Sammy Iyer says:

        remdesivir may be produced soon.
        In the mean time (according to china daily)
        Favilavir, an anti viral that has shown efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus, was approved for marketing, the Taizhou government in Zhejiang province announced Sunday.
        It is the first anti-novel coronavirus drug that has been approved for marketing by the National Medical Products Administration (similar to US FDA) since the outbreak.
        Developed by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Company, the drug is expected to play an important role in preventing and treating the epidemic, the China government said on its official WeChat account.

    • nicko2 says:

      — the question of lethality requires more data. The consensus is 2% fatality rate (possibly higher), that makes it atleast 20 times more deadly than the usual flu. At the very least, will cause great strain on healthcare systems.

  23. Curious says:

    Can someone try to explain this?

    A Bloomberg headline just now states, “Hong Kong is facing “tsunami-like” shocks, and may incur a record budget deficit in the next fiscal year as the city counts the costs of the coronavirus outbreak after months of social unrest, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said…The impact of the epidemic on the Hong Kong economy is being felt beyond retail, food and beverage and tourism-related industries.”

    Yet the Hang Seng Index, which is like a mini DJIA for Hong Kong, of the largest companies that trade on the Hong Kong Exchange, is at the exact same level it was at on Jan. 24th, when the SHTF over there. Same with the Shanghai Composite Index, which is China’s version of our DJIA.

    How is there such a disconnect between headline fundamentals and projections with the markets over there? If events and forecasts like that happened in the U.S., would our markets also brush them off?

    • Wolf Richter says:


      I don’t have an answer for you, but I and others have struggled with the same theme. You’re not alone:

      • Anmol says:

        Wolf, do you think rumours of the ppt buying in us stock markets is true? It’s odd how this new bubble began when trump declared the 20% correction to be over in Dec 2018

    • travis lewis says:

      The shorts had their money taken off them.

      Markets will fall, when all shorts are terrified.

    • Willy Winky says:

      Here’s your answer:

      In 1998, the Hong Kong SAR Government acquired a substantial portfolio of Hong Kong shares to sustain linked exchange rate during the Asian Financial Crisis. To minimise disruption to the market, the Government chose to launch the IPO of the exchange-traded fund, “the Tracker Fund of Hong Kong”, in 1999 as the first step in its disposal programme.

      When things get really bad, as Mr Juncker is fond of saying ‘You need to lie’

      And I will add, when things are so bad that to not intervene would mean the collapse of the markets, you call the Plunge Protection team and you tell them to buy until they bleed from their eyes.

      The goal is to demonstrate to those who would short the market that they are fighting against unlimited fire power. Even the biggest fund in the world is dwarfed by the HKMA.

      The funds quickly get the message, turn on a dime and ride the HKMA coat tails.

      They did it in 1998. They are doing it again now.

      I am fond of saying ‘when the shelves go empty everywhere, stock markets will hit record highs’

    • Cas127 says:

      Maybe it really isn’t a market so much as a simulation of one.

      Once market influence via indirect means such as ZIRP is admitted is it really beyond conceiving that direct means – extra Constitutional or not – might be employed.

    • MC01 says:

      Speaking as a Hang Seng investor: many of the stocks traded there pay excellent dividends, which became even more attractive in real-yield-terms after the HKSE collapsed during the Summer due to civil unrest in the city.
      Now real yields are going down as stock valuations recover, but they are still excellent, especially compared to Euro Area securities and equities, with their crazy prices and minuscule coupons.
      For a foreign citizen or company buying Hong Kong equities is not as easy as with US securities (the push of a button), but it can be done over the phone with your bank and is much easier than buying Mainland Chinese or Japanese stocks and you don’t get wild currency swings like you get with Brazilian or South African stocks.
      In short if you want fixed yield and aren’t afraid to see prices seesaw higher and lower HKSE equities are still an excellent place to park your money.

  24. David Hall says:

    China is printing money in response to the crisis.
    This is why the Chinese invested in real estate.

    The numbers of infected in Japan and Singapore indicate contagion rather than prove containment.
    Factories outside of China may wait for parts from China. They fined people for not wearing face masks in China. A passenger from a cruise ship docked in Cambodia tested positive for COVID19. The virus has been transported to Egypt.

  25. Willy Winky says:

    China Evergrande slashes prices of new flats by a quarter as coronavirus leaves developers struggling with plunging house sales

    China Evergrande says it will offer a 25 per cent discount until the end of February, narrowing to 22 per cent in March, at all 811 of its projects

    Developers are grappling with a cash-flow crisis and mounting debts as the viral outbreak threatens to derail China’s vital property market

  26. CRV says:

    Didn’t anybody pick up the news that the Chinese government is taking in all the cash money in the quarantined area, because it might spread the virus? (i heard it yesterday on dutch (Jazz) radio news. Nothing on MSM though). It will be replaced with new money in the future (if ever).

    You might say that something ‘good’ (for governments and bankers) has come of the virus in the sence they finally have a reason to get rid of cash. And with it, the black market fuel. I can imagine there is a thriving black market for goods that are getting scarse in that area.

    I wonder how long it will take for western governments to pick up on this and copy it as fast as possible. Who could resist?

    More scary is, if the Chinese are right about cash being a means of spreading this virus. Because, not only cash will be a carrier, but everything going from hand to hand.

    • Sammy Iyer says:

      According to RTHK news- chinese banks are using ultraviolet light or high temperatures to disinfect yuan bills and are then sealing and storing the cash for seven to 14 days( quarantine the cash !)before recirculating them, the chinese central bank said at a press conference.
      The mainland is disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
      Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China said that banks have been urged to provide new banknotes to customers whenever possible.
      The central bank made an “emergency issuance” (printing !)of four billion yuan in new notes to Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak,
      The measures are intended to “secure the public’s safety and health when using cash”, he said.

    • HollywoodDog says:

      It says right in the Bible: “The root of all Ebola is money.”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      China is hugely into mobile pay systems via smartphone — something that’s slow taking off in the US (but you can pay with Alipay at my local Walgreens here in SF where thongs of Chinese tourists used to pass by). The use of cash to pay for things in China has plunged in recent years. So it makes sense for the government to take the possibly infected notes and dispose of them properly or disinfect them, and give people credit for them in their accounts.

      • GTA Guy says:

        Wolf: How can I get the picture of “Chinese thongs” prancing down the street out of my mind? (Smile!!)

  27. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    Remember, all sorts of viruses and bugs go through us all every day…millions of them…including TB, leukemia, Mono, strep, cancer, colds, flu…
    Sunshine, enough sleep, lots of water and fruit juices, fresh air walking….our immune system is made to encircle and toss out any danger like that.
    Unfortunately, the people of Wuhan have little of those things. Huge protests against the air pollution and unhealthy food were just beginning last fall….

    • Sammy Iyer says:

      Wuhan air quality is as such very bad due to heavy industrial activity+population density . But quantining people (though justifies to prevent spread of virus to other areas) makes most of them sick. This was evident in Cruise ship quarantine + front line docs/nurses getting infected.
      Average chinese in wuhan with mild symptoms is afraid to go to hospital (2 days minimum hanging around the corridors to get a doctor consultation/bed etc ) as they know they will get COVID19 defenitely even if they have only common cold,flu etc. At the moment common citizens go to hospital only when it is too late . They get a bed only when they collapse in the corridor . Medical staff / hospital bed -respitaror- anti vral stocks capacity still not enough to treat all the sick in wuhan ( other areas are better).
      China willing to sacrifice the unfortunates in wuhan for the greater good of china( by not allowing to spread to other regions since Jan 23) .
      More stricter home quantine / no vehicle movements other than Govt vehicles on the road measures announced in wuhan few days ago.

    • andy says:

      So true. Sugar pills too work like half the time for many conditions

  28. nicko2 says:

    Just to keep it a little ‘real’ as I’m in Egypt, some local news; China just put in a order for 200 million Egypt factory made medical masks. 200 million is a lot.

    Another top story, local prices for masks have gone up 500% —- a bit of hysteria… but take my advice, be prepared for anything. USD$ is back near 100 again. There is consensus, we may be facing a pandemic in the next 2-3 weeks.

  29. nicko2 says:

    Singapore/thailand/japan are all signalling recession. EU on cusp of recession. Tokyo Marathon cancelled… what about the Olympics? what about Dubai world Expo?…. Globalised world is having a heart attack.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Certainly, there is the possibility of this new virus being pandemic sooner or later; however, so far as seen, the AVERAGE age of death attributed is 75.5, so clearly old and elderly and most likely already close/marginal are worse off.

      Link is to NIH person who should know what he is talking about, though, to be very clear, still very speculative at this point.

      Other points of interest are that it has been shown Covid is capable of surviving 9 days on some surfaces and it’s likely it can go 24 days in a person before any sign of it surfaces, and that person IS contagious during the 24 days; that alone is ”different this time.”

      Other than that, it appears even the usual home type care is sufficient for folks formerly in good health, as is true of common cold, flu, etc.

      My conclusion as a ”War Baby” and advice to older boomers etc., is to do your reasonable best to be prepared, but not to let fear/hysteria be the basis of your activities, YET…

  30. nhz says:

    Bullish!! All those Chinese sitting at home, unable to visit the Macao casino’s can buy even more US or Canadian real estate. I’m sure Mr. T is clinching a deal with Xi to make the Chinese buy at least double the volume of US RE compared to last year! Maybe that’s why the stock market is at all time highs? ;( Or maybe it is because the FANGS will see their profits explode due to all those extra people clicking on their ads?

    Today the biggest Dutch pension fund says their coverage ratio (?) is declining due to CoV, which could lead to pension cuts later on. Never mind that the Dutch stock market today is within 1% of its highest value in 19 years or so … How convenient that they now have a scapegoat for pension cuts, although weird that this time it isn’t the Russians who did it ;(

  31. timbers says:


    Putting on my Fed Thinking Cap, to come up with traditional and time tested Fed polices to address the threat to the economy cornovisus poses:

    The Fed needs come up with a way to target QE and rate suppression to those affected by cornovirus.

    Perhaps it could announce a multi-trillion program of funding extravagant funerals for those affected. Mostly for the Super Rich.

    The Fed could set up a Repo Desk with unlimited funding or better yet, negative interest rates. That way, the more you borrow on funerals for the rich, the less you have to pay back.

    The repos lent out would, of course, trickle down to The Little People.

  32. Breamrod says:

    the new york fed has a trading floor bigger than most of the big broker dealers on Wall Street. You can bet that they’ve been supporting the market thru all of this. How long they can keep this up is anybody guess!

  33. Sammy Iyer says:

    In other news: (From SCMP @ 7.30pm HK time today)
    Xiaogan, China’s second worst-hit city, bans people from leaving their homes!
    Order applies to urban residents, while rural villagers cannot visit each other or hold gatherings, and those who flout the order face 10 days in detention.
    Some supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open to deliver supplies.
    Similar tougher home quatantine -no private vehicles rule was imposed in Wuhan greater metro few days ago.

    • nhz says:

      10 days detention instead of 14 (or 24?) days in quarantine, maybe a good deal depending on how people are locked up?

  34. CreditGB says:

    Changing tack here,… to pick up on one other facet of this story….

    “but also travelers from all over the world who’ve gotten second thoughts about sitting on a plane.”

    When I started using business air travel in 1978 it was a vastly different experience. Well organized, relaxing, even restful if you have a long flight. Now, it is akin to a cattle car. Barely tolerable and of course you risk being infected by every global disease from the pages of the magazines left in the seat pocket.

    Now retired after 40 years of it, I have a well developed distaste for what used to be commercial air travel. I am determined to use any mode of travel other than air travel. I’d rather spend 4 days on the road than 4 hours in a commercial airline. I’m done with it, and good riddance. Feel a bit sorry for those who must still travel often on commercial airlines, they missed the heyday of the mode, it was really great for a while. Even the verable DC-6 was a pleasure…indeed an experience…to fly. I’d do that if I could find one still flying passengers, but not much else.

  35. cd says:

    Wolf, did you take your short off?

    Noticing a lot less Chinese tourists walking around in the GG Park. I’m there every weekend, so its noticeable…

  36. Gershom says:

    The PBOC just invested massive new “stimulus” into the ailing Chinese financial sector, and the algos are juicing global Ponzi markets in a Pavolovian response to more central bank financial crack cocaine. At this point we could all be in soup lines outside silent, shuttered stores and factories, and these rigged, broken “markets” would still be hitting all-time highs.

  37. Gershom says:

    The coronavirus has fully exposed China’s evil, mendacious Communist Party overlords to tens of millions of its people. Some of the latter have reached the end of their tether, with anger overcoming fear, as they blast the inept, malign tyrants ruling over them. The one thing the CCP fears above all else is social unrest, and if this lady’s epic rant is anything to go by, the reckoning day might be coming sooner than they think.

    • nhz says:

      Pff, none of the two bad things you mention would ever be considered by the holy US government and the FED? Sounds like a pot and a kettle to me.

  38. Gershom says:

    Do-nothing AG Barr is whining about Trump’s Tweets. Hey Barr, how about locking up a few dozen Deep State criminals and Wall Street grifters for their multiple felonies? How about purging corrupt elements from the DoJ and reforming out two-tier “Justice” system where the really big criminals can break the law with impunity?

  39. Ed C says:

    And to think that this disaster was caused by the Chinese appetite for filthy ‘exotic animals’ supported by that one marketplace in Wuhan. Chinese authorities have ‘temporarily’ shut down said marketplace. Hell, they should raze it and cover it with six feet of concrete. Would they be stupid enough to allow it to come back?

    No ‘sweet and sour pangolin’ for you!!!

    • Tinky says:

      Actually, that is not at all clear. Some of those detected early had no contact with the market, and the proximity to a known bioweapons lab has raised plenty of questions.

    • nhz says:

      The good news is that this disaster may save the pangolins and some other exotic species – whether a factor in the pandemic or not – from extinction by removing them from the Chinese menu.

      Next, get rid of the even more damaging practices in livestock farming industry of the first world (anyone remember where the “Mexican” flue came from? It’s all managed propaganda …).

  40. Sammy Iyer says:

    Wet market selling all kind of wild animals (live& slaughtered side by side) as origin of corona virus is a bs story. Virus had originated around wuhan since end Nov-raly Dec & had 6-7 weeks to fully get entrenched in the broader wuhan population. In end Dec-early Jan few doctors recogonised vast no of pneumonia like cases showing up in all hospitals and that it was SARS. but they were silenced by Wuhan local CCP. Dec 31st they closed the wet market.Only after Jan 15 , party HQ realised the full scale of virus infection & closed down the Wuhan City on Jan 23. You dont quarantine 10 million people with out real information (which ofcourse is not being released to outside world.) WHO is joke. Daily they are telling different stories as per china’s dictation… Trump is cutting funding for WHO for sure!

    • nhz says:

      The wet market story is not bs, it is just a possibility – we simply don’t know. The researchers that most of the “Umbrella” type stories are based on say the same. We don’t know who the first patients were and so we also don’t know how and when they got infected (could be longer ago). Even if it came from a local lab, we still don’t know how it got there or if it was locally changed (some stories trace back to virus tinkering in Canada and/or the Netherlands).

      I doubt T. is cutting WHO funding because most of the times WHO is in perfect sync with the US Big Pharma interests; maybe even this time ;(

  41. Just Some Random Guy says:

    We’re all gonna die from SARS!!!! Err I mean H1N1. Err I mean ebola. Errr I mean Corona. Yeah that it’s Corona.

    • WT Frogg says:

      JSRG : Learned a long time ago that when your number comes up there is absolutely SFA you can do about it.

      • Jeff T. says:

        I saw an old western movie from the 1950’s where soldiers had been attacked and harassed by Apaches and the company was down to a dozen or so men. They were trying to decided to stay and fight or try and run for it. Someone asked their Apache scout what he thought. His reply was, “if death is coming for you, why ride out and greet him.”

  42. Nestor Petrovich says:

    It will all be over by April/May, just like SARS – virus can live long in hot/humid conditions – very “interesting” that nobody mentions this simple fact !

  43. How does this affect the trade deficit? Nominally both China and the US derive about the same amount from tourism? Chinese tourists spend more at the gift shop (RE). China may cut back on oil imports from the US. The bottom to all this is how it affects US monetization policy. China’s declining foreign reserve levels flattened in 2016, which is about the time that the costs of funding US government (federal deficits) started to rise. Seems likely China would try to step up trade in this instance to bring in revenue. Low inflation is seldom a cause for concern, while historically periods of low inflation do not correlate with good economic conditions.

  44. Michael Engel says:

    1) Future wealth distribution :
    the coronavirus might start a global recession, but the process of shifting
    jobs from China back to US will intensify.
    2) Favorite districts will be rewarded, but salt water cities on the east and west coasts will be punished, drawing a new poverty belt.
    3) Thanks to King Faisal and Iran / Iraq war Japan
    became the new rising sun empire. When prime minister Nakasone (82 til 87) offered China a fist full of dollars, R/R kicked Japan out of UST.
    4) In 1989 the Nikkei collapse and never recovered, but Japan GDP kept growing and growing for additional 6Y !!
    5) From $0.213T in 1970 to $1.1T in 1979.
    From $1.1T to $3.131T in 1989.
    From $3.131T to $5.379 in 1995.
    6) In 1995 Japan GDP had a Minsky moment. Japan GDP never recovered ever since.
    7) New oil fields in Alaska, Siberia, the N.Sea and the Gulf of
    Mexico caused a decade long oil glut til 1995. In 1995, WTI jumped above a 10Y trading range (ex the 1990 spike, when USSR caught a Dutch Disease) 8) Japan & other ASEAN nations were subjected to new troubles induced by China/ HK multi BK’s and devaluation, during HK delivery.
    9) Since 1998 WTI made a decade long bull run, til the 2008 peak, bad for Japan.
    10) From $5.379T in 1995 Japan GDP dropped to $4.877T in 2000.
    From $4.877 to $5.039T in 2007, to $5.7T in 2010 after the recovery and==> another drop major to $4.8T in 2017. In 2019 Japan GDP was $4.97T, after printing so much debt.

  45. TownNorth says:

    Hmm, off topic, or maybe related, seeing news that Pier One Imports declared bankruptcy.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Not related to China but to the brick-and-mortar meltdown in the US. Pier One has been a bankruptcy candidate for a long time. Surprising how long it could hold out.

  46. Gian says:

    Just returned home from Amsterdam. Security at both airports (Seattle and Amsterdam) queried everyone on whether they’d traveled to China recently. Other than that, both flights were full with a few nuts wearing surgical masks (all Asians from what I saw). Don’t think most people are that concerned yet. I also heard there were no reported cases of non Asians with Corona virus???

    • WES says:

      Gian:. There are 454 confirmed cases on Diamond Princess.

      There are less than 454 Chinese on the ship!

      There are 15 Canadians with the virus!

      Does that answer your question!

  47. BenX says:

    There are 454 infected on the Diamond Princess cruise liner. Why are there zero deaths? At two percent mortality, there should be nine. Or if that’s too high – there should be one by now, right?

    • WES says:

      BenX:. I believe 1 Japanese from the ship died..

      • BenX says:

        I’m not finding it. One Japanese woman died on Thursday – the first in Japan. She wasn’t on the ship. They turned that ship into a floating petrie dish, so solid statistics should be easy to calculate.
        2,666 guests and 1,045 crew = 3711 people. As of today, 454 infected.
        I can’t find any reports of deaths from the ship, although some have been hospitalized.

    • elysianfield says:

      “Why are there zero deaths? At two percent mortality, there should be nine….”

      …because…the obese cis gendered female has not warbled….

    • fajensen says:

      Statistics only works with large populations (That is why all of the weirdos are found in small populations, like people on cruise ships not dying from coronavirus as the models say).

  48. Michael Engel says:

    1) Phase I between US & China was signed last year,”allowing” US financial institutions banks to flood China with $USD.
    2) On Oct 2007 SSEC, Shanghai stock market first bubble peaked
    @ 6,124.04.
    3) Within a year it collapse to a selling climax @ 1.664.92 on Oct 2008.
    4) The collapse was followed by a sharp rally to 3,478.41 on Aug 2009.
    5) SSEC long term trading range are : 1,664.92 to 3,478.41.
    6) After June 2013 low @ 1,849.65, China welcomed foreign investors in 2014.
    7) A new bubble was formed and in June 2015 it reached 5,178.19. Bubble II was lower than bubble I.
    8) The bust came fast. Foreign investors fled China, sending SSEC to 2,638.30 on Jan 2016.
    9) A bear market rally sent SSEC up and On Jan 2018 it made an upthrust, above Aug 2009(H) @ 3,587..03.
    10) The UT sent SSEC lower. It tumbled to 2,440.91 on Jan 2019.
    11) USD are not pouring in. The coronavirus scared the Mad Rat
    year and SSEC gap sharply lower. Short covering in Feb 2020 sent
    SSEC higher to close a gap. For 2Y, since Jan 2018, SSEC is infested with large gaps.

  49. WES says:

    Comparing the coronavirus to the ordinary flu is being very nieve.

    The difference is in how wide spread the flu is compared how wide spread the coronavirus may be.

    I suspect the coronavirus has the ability to spread to far larger numbers of people faster than the ordinary flu.

    This ability to spread to a larger population is what makes the coronavirus far more deadly!

    Another concern is the lasting damage this coronavirus may due to those who do survive the virus. Later we might see serious knock on effects for survivers if they are weakened by exposure to this virus.

    That people around the world are re-evaluating their future plans is helpful to reducing the spread of this virus.

    Most people around the world know better than trust their governments or their media, and thus act accordingly.

  50. pieter says:

    Yellowstone and other Western National parks will be empty of Chinese tourists this year…. Yup just checked Zanterra website…. wide open for 2020. First time I have ever seen availability for most of the summer.

  51. Max says:

    Wife made me postpone trip to Bangkok and Vietnam. We are now going in March. Probably just when they loosen the criteria and the Wuhanese will be out and about again. Glad we are not going on a cruise. Who in their right mind would be one of them now!

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