Will coronavirus be the Black Swan that brings down the global economy in 2020? In my article, “The Things We Believe That are Untrue”, I discussed how governments worldwide have been hiding recessionary numbers from global citizens since 2008. Consequently, with the world economy already so weak, if coronavirus causes substantially slower economic growth rates, it could serve as the pin that finally pops the unsustainable Bubble of Everything.
So what is the coronavirus, and is the media concern surrounding it justified? A coronavirus is a type of normally mild virus that causes non-lethal respiratory viruses, but sometimes can be lethal, as has been the case with the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. The particular trait that makes coronavirus especially sinister, however, is that, unlike its previous siblings of SARS and MERS, the Wuhan coronavirus is contagious during its asymptomatic incubation period of one to fourteen days, and therefore, can be transmitted from carriers that appear to be healthy although they already have been infected. Consequently, because its method of transmission is so stealth, it is truly difficult to assess how many people have been infected, even though media reports put the number at 2,000 to 4,000 with 100 dead thus far.
Since the transmission rate has been estimated at 2.5 people for every infected person, and the asymptomatic incubation period is up to two weeks, with 2,000 to 4,000 symptomatic people reported, realistically, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people could potentially be already infected, depending upon the rate of transmission from infected to non-infected. Furthermore, with many Chinese traveling outside of China for the long Lunar New Year holiday, there really is no way to estimate, at the current time, how many others outside of China have been infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.
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