Sunday, March 22, 2020

Great Viral Depression

The number of things that are happening in the context of the Covid-19 hysteria is too high. Billions of gullible people were programmed to be impressed by every death caused by this flu-like disease if not every infection – and to eagerly expect the news about a new death. So they're even more impressed when these numbers doubled in a week, and they did. There will be more doublings. The propagation looks almost identical to flu: in two or three months, it may also spread from "almost nobody" to 2-3 percent of the Czech population.

However, before the Covid-19 deaths are substantially above 600,000 (let's assume that in 2020), we can't even say that this is a year with the higher-than-average mortality due to flu-like diseases. This is obviously one of the basic points underlying any rational perspective on this new virus type. Even now, it's possible that the number of flu-like deaths (which is meant to include pneumonia) will be globally lower in 2020 than it was in 2019 or 2018.

Meanwhile, the civilization is being totally deconstructed. An economic growth in 2020 seems impossible and the word recession seems like an almost guaranteed euphemism, too. Due to the hysteria ignited by the filthy scum that we should have neutralized but we were too obviously too weak, we're surely heading towards a Great Depression. I will call it the Great Viral Depression, GVD. Whether it will be deeper than the Great Depression of the early 1930s is yet to be seen.

Our civilization should have better and more rational ways to deal with infections and deaths than around the 1918-1920 Spanish flu (and even the 1968-1969 Hong Kong flu). Instead, we seem more chaotic and, in many respects, more vulnerable. It should also have better financial tools to shorten and end a depression. I suppose that trillions of dollars will be poured into the economies, bonds, stock markets, and thrown from the helicopters in very many ways. It's already starting. It's kind of needed. Inflation may be restarted – which could have been a better way to proceed after 1930, too. But the waters will be wild and many companies and individuals will suffer.

Lots of chaos will arrive. Even if you imagine that the virus is completely eliminated – which I consider about as hard as eradicating the seasonal flu at this moment – there will be huge consequences due to the new phobias that have been maliciously pumped into so many people's minds.

So OK, you had over $5,000 a month to spend. It was nice, you could afford many things. Without savings, you will have less. But your effective rights to move and do things will be greatly limited. So you will realize that $500 a month is really enough for your food and you won't need much more because it will be hard to do many more things.

Of course for some time, the societies will have resources to serve soup to the unemployed. The Summer 2020 picture will differ from the picture above by the required 2-meter distance in between the impoverished men. It's not hard to calculate that with this spacing and the expected unemployment rate, our cities will be completely covered by the unemployed hungry people before every lunch. Silicon Valley companies will be mainly making profit by designing the optimal shape of the queues which is a puzzle par excellence. 50% of the U.S. GDP will be agriculture, 50% will be designing the soup queues.

The agriculture and food industry will be generously allowed to survive, I guess, because it would be otherwise obvious that the "author of the ban" is responsible for tens of millions of deaths due to starvation. But you may have overlooked how tiny fraction of our economies is agriculture and food. This page on the U.S. economy says that 1% is agriculture, 19% is industry, and 80% is services.

Look what will happen: The agriculture will be mostly fine because people still need to eat. Most of the food industry will be fine. The rural places will be doing fine – it largely means the red states in the U.S. (which also have the advantage of being less densely populated, and therefore viruses spread more slowly). The industry is being partly turned off. For example, cars aren't being produced in Europe now. Similar shutdowns may erase a big part of the industry which is 19% in the U.S.

And then you have those 80% of services. Try to think what those people are doing. Many of them are running restaurants, hotels (10% of the world's GDP is tourism, most of it will be gone), airlines, cutting people's hair, teachers, or they are elegant marketeers who prepare coffee for potential business partners or investors in order to charm them. Taxi drivers, postmasters, drivers of delivery services, personal bankers, dentists, prostitutes, cosmetic surgeons. Singers in concert halls, actors in theaters, and priests. Athletes playing games for thousands of viewers at the stadium. Add dozens of occupations you can think of. Try to think about the people from your neighborhood. About various jobs you and your relatives have been doing in their lives. Try to count how many people they normally met every day, how many hands they shook. How many people they could infect per 3 days when the disease is asymptomatic: a hundred? Can these jobs be allowed to exist assuming that the "social distancing" hysteria persists?

If we are going to keep this "social distancing" hysteria for years, and the virus won't get extinct for years (if ever), it seems unavoidable that a majority of those 80% people in services will lose their jobs. Many of them will be permanent losses. Everyone will be scared of a human contact but a big majority of the "80% services" component of the U.S. GDP is almost all about the interactions between the people.

OK, so good bye, barbers, bosses of children's camps, traveling salesmen, maybe even individual janitors, and hundreds of other occupations. Good bye, most hotels. Incidentally, lots of these communication-based jobs have loans and mortgages because the recent years looked so optimistic and prosperous. Some of them will soon undergo personal bankruptcies. The houses will be foreclosed. Banks will try to sell many of them. A new collapse of the real estate market is likely, especially in big cities across the Western world. Some banks will be under existential pressure, too. People will probably want to sell houses and apartments in big cities, even because of worries about their health. Maybe you will get a Hollywood villa for your log cabin, a fair swap. The general wisdom that real estate prices in big cities can't ever drop will probably be shattered soon (and again). It is the big cities that are more affected by infections – and whose superior wealth also more depends on the jobs that require the human communication. Note that these two traits aren't quite independent from one another. Our world has just evolved in the (unhealthy) direction in which most of the money is paid for some communication with the other people. These "communicators" are the same broader class of people who kickstarted this insane hysteria (after the climate hysteria, a rehearsal) but they will also be the main victims of the Covid hysteria. Most of them are so stupid that they don't realize what they are doing to their future.

Occupations such as teachers may keep on existing online but people will soon realize that most of this activity is a farce and e.g. online courses may be created with a minimal number of instructors. One teacher per nation is really enough for a subject. Everyone may effectively "watch TV" instead of going to a school. It is hard to imagine that nations won't realize that most of the teachers will have become redundant and should be fired.

Look around. Think how the economic relationships would change assuming – for many years – that the human contact must be almost completely avoided. The transformation of the economic, cultural, and related landscape would be absolutely devastating. A majority of the people would probably be unemployed. What could they do? We are basically talking about the transformation of mankind into a bunch of rats that just eat and try to make sure that they will have something to eat tomorrow. And assuming that outcome, try to imagine whether the bulk of the people will be excited about extending the life of a bunch of ill 80-year-old seniors for a few months. Will this excitement last for a year? Two? How could it last? When people are miserable equivalents of rats, they won't care about some longer survival of some (mostly ludicrously old and often ill) people. Of course, there will also be a massive backlash and the sacrifices of early 2020 will be considered absolutely insane.

Every rational person must realize that this "war on Covid-19" is absolutely suicidal. Either we are able to drive the virus to extinction or at least near-extinction (some containment in an isolated geographic area or something that is "almost as good as extinction") by approximately one month of really strong global efforts; or we must accept that Covid-19 will be a part of our lives just like flu is a part of our lives, and we must simply adapt to a new sustainable equilibrium that includes a new species. For a few years, before the immunity becomes widespread, Covid-19 may become more important than flu as we knew it. Because the flu season is ending and Covid-19 is still starting, the number of people with the Covid-19 virus (which may be a million now) may be higher than the number of people with flu now! So how could we kill Covid but not flu? Later, these two similar diseases may compete in a more balanced way. It is primarily Mother Nature that determines the outcome of this flu-vs-Covid contest because our draconian yet superficial policies suppress flu as much as they suppress Covid-19 (if they do it at all). Anything else than "successful elimination" or "adaptation of the bulk of nations to Covid-19" is a complete suicide that will surely bring more deaths than a virus.

Covid-19 spreads like flu (in large enough droplets originating from the respiratory organs, and it's shocking that the hysterical misinformers in the media still keep on hiding these absolutely elementary facts from billions of people and deliberately nurture all kinds of superstitions about how the virus spreads and what it can do), and because even flu may start from a tiny number of infections in a nation and spreads to several percent, Covid-19 has the ability to spread to a greater percentage at the beginning because almost no people have antibodies yet. That's not anybody's fault. It's just some upwards fluctuation in the challenges that Nature brought us in early 2020. We can't really "undo" this upwards fluctuation by some massive economic sacrifices that resemble the medieval sacrifice rituals by their despair and irrationality (Feynman's Cargo Cult Science is a super relevant reading now, focus on Dr Young and the crackpots running the generic sloppy rat maze experiments). The laws of Nature cannot be bought or bribed, not even for trillions of dollars.

As others said, we must switch back to highly targeted "surgical strikes" that are effective. The bulk of the society isn't really threatened by Covid-19 which means that the bulk of the society shouldn't be involved in an insane huge "war on Covid-19", a war that is almost impossible to end with a "complete surrender of Covid-19", at least before we get a vaccine. This just isn't a problem for an average person and the very fact that most people are being entangled with this challenge – which should be reserved to a very small number or professionals (plus the people who are actually endangered) – is an incredible, existential mistake.

Most of the Western nations just seem brain-dead at this moment. Brainwashed hysterical cowardly sheep that have been switched into an irrational survival mode in which they behave as the stupidest animals you can imagine and that don't understand that they support absolutely suicidal policies that will have deer consequences for themselves, too. But if you're Indian or a member of another nation that isn't hysterical yet, please, keep it this way. You may be the future of mankind after the West demolishes itself. This disease differs from flu in some technical aspects but it's still analogous to flu, not to an invasion of Martians as the fake news media claim 24 hours a day. That's why you should behave approximately similarly as you behave towards flu. Like flu, Covid-19 will cause extra deaths. But the alternative scenario, the full-blown "war of whole nations on Covid-19", is guaranteed to turn these nations into complete losers. The more economically poor the nations will be, the more hopeless the fight will become at the viral medical level, too.

If Covid-19 is strong enough to cause a few million deaths in a year or two, it just will. The results of policies in Italy (with a draconian shutdown) vs other countries indicates that if the "not so sophisticated" shutdown brings advantages at all, they are tiny. Millions of deaths per world is still not a remarkably high number that could be claimed to be "worse than the societal destruction" that the dishonest hysterical loons have been working on for a month or two. Events like pandemics may happen, perhaps a few times a century. Centuries ago, they were common. However, the death of the civilization only takes place once in the modern history. Mankind of 2020 is the first iteration of mankind in the recorded history that seems willing to buy the insane idea that "we must pay whatever it takes" to fight this virus. Our ancestors knew better.

Japan wisely reopened schools and businesses two days ago and started to behave as if nothing "totally special" were taking place – because nothing totally special is really taking place. They surely hope that the Olympic Games will take place as planned. Taiwan has continued with "surgical strikes made by special professionals", too. There are countries that have gone this path and they're surely not doing worse than the countries conquered by the complete hysteria. Their infection numbers are below 1,000 and these low numbers are probably bogus. But it doesn't matter because some precise measurement of these Covid-19 numbers just isn't a top priority there and there is no reason why it should be.

The U.K. has largely abandoned the intelligent policies but it still preserved more freedom than other European countries. It surely doesn't seem to hurt them at all. The economic advantages even of this partially opened system will be tremendous.

If you're from India or even Brazil, Russia, Africa etc., I strongly recommend you to avoid all special measures that strongly affect most citizens. The nations that will avoid these suicidal shutdowns – shutdowns that will become increasingly difficult to exit from – will have an incredible advantage over others, an advantage that will soon be seen to be much more important than even the 1% of deaths from the worst case scenario. Covid-19 may kill many people in a wave but it is extremely far from being an "RNA sequence with the ability to ruin whole nations". On the other hand, the hysterical loons' policies to "fight" with the virus on the national level "whatever it takes" are capable of ruining whole nations. Whole nations may become so weak that they will go financially bankrupt and they will really disappear from the maps because they won't be able to sustain basic tasks. They won't be able to defend themselves, either. They won't even have the money to motivate the soldiers – perhaps because that money will be considered worthless. Their languages may disappear. The DNA of these people may disappear. Again, Mr Modi, when you take over Europe and America, behave as a wise new owner and heir, not an enemy. There's a lot you may inherit from the disappeared civilization. You may call the European province of India "The Holy European Empire".

These are the actual dangers we are facing, a flu-like virus is truly irrelevant in comparison. Every calm enough, intelligent person has understood it by now.

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