Misc

What I Learned During Covid

COVID

  1. The regular influenza infects 36 million people and kills 35,000 in the US every year. That is about a .1% death rate. The coronavirus as of Nov 17th has killed 1.33M people  with 387M infected globally. In reality the number of people really infected by COVID is about 7 times the number of reported cases so about 550M which puts the COVID kill rate at.34%. 
  2. We needed to overreact back in January which would have done the most to stop the spreading of the virus
  3. America went into lockdown way too late allowing the virus to spread unnecessarily
  4. Eating or selling wild animals, rodents, insects, reptiles in a seafood market increases the chances of zoonosis (virus jumping from animal to man)
  5. Bats, pangolins, rats and the ilk were never meant for human consumption
  6. America was hopelessly underprepared for a Pandemic. We were short on masks, gloves, testing kits and ventilators. And it turns out most of these items are made abroad.
  7. The US had no unifying way of making testing easily accessible nor widespread
  8. The influenza and Coronavirus are two separate types of viruses
  9. The seasonal Influenza virus has 4 strains, 2 of those strains cause the same “flu” every season
  10. The more powerful and deadly the disease, the less it spreads (Ebola)
  11. COVID can affect people of any age. But if you are obese, have an underlyng condition or are very old, your chance of beating the virus decreases alot
  12. It seems that the NY Corona strain came from Europe and the California strain came from China
  13. Just because COVID mutates does not mean that it becomes deadlier. Mutation is just a change in the genome. It does not necessarily mean a more lethal virus.
  14. The Coronavirus is a RNA virus which means it has a very high rate of replication which means that it also has a higher mutation rate. See above point.
  15. Only the Hubei province of China was affected, while Shanghai and Beijing were strangely untouched
  16. The virus that existed during the Spanish Flu was unlikely stronger than the one today. Human behavior (movement of troops back to home, hanging out in the trenches, staying together, poor quarantining/distancing) resulted in a higher death toll.

ECONOMY

  1. The markets and the economy are two different things. The economy represents how much revenue businesses are bringing in and the markets represents perceptions and future value of what a stock should be worth. 
  2. The Federal Reserve is dumping money into the economy through the CARES Act and spending bailout money on a variety of businesses
  3. Some businesses should not receive bailout money as they spent the last few years spending money on buying back shares (Marriott, Disney, American Airlines etc) to enrich executives and shareholders
  4. Some small to medium sized businesses (tech, non-tech) have paid their CEO’s incredible paychecks and have still requested and received bailout money. 
  5. The stock market began one of the fastest crashes on Feb 19 and reached its lowest point on March 23. One of the steepest declines ever.
  6. Q1 earnings were not that great, but Q2 earnings were differently terrible. 
  7. There was no double bottom, at least not as of Nov 2020. The markets have recovered above where they left off in Feb. 
  8. Blackstone has been hired by the US Gov/Fed to do it’s bidding. Essentially go into the markets to help the Gov buy bonds and invest in the markets. Essentially guaranteeing profits for both Blackstone and the Gov.
  9. The Gov makes interest money on whatever it loans out as bailout money
  10. The Fed has created an artificial playing field by injecting trillions into the stock market and economy in general
  11. Certain Financiers and investment personalities are predicting the end of fiat currency and urging people to purchase a ton of Gold and Silver. From them.
  12. BTC is over $17,000 a coin and is potentially the biggest idea in the world, making Gold and other precious metals much less desirable.
  13. Tech stocks did fabulous for the first 5 months after March, but have ran out of steam. Not all, but some. (Lot of horizontal movement)
  14. Market pricing is heavily influenced by news. News like Pfizer coming out with a vaccine dropped a lot of stay at home stocks (Peloton and Zoom). 
  15. It’s better to pick a few companies and study them in depth rather than track a bunch of companies that you don’t know much about. 

SOCIETAL

  1. From a cultural perspective, American’s are too individualistic and freedom oriented to behave in unison, something that is required to collectively defeat the virus
  2. The different rules, laws and cultures and overall fragmentation of the US caused by 50 different States has held us back to make quick progress on the spread of this disease
  3. There are some incredibly educated and smart people who think it’s ok to open up businesses in spite of an active disease going on 
  4. Conspiracy theories: It’s incredible what people are willing to believe. The coronavirus is overly hyped, doctors are not busy at the hospital, hospitals are really empty in reality, there’s already a vaccine but the masses aren’t allowed access….the list is endless and baseless
  5. America is well on its way to a breakdown of the moral fabric
  6. The 2020 election really has showed us that society is bifurcating into two groups: The Haves (wall street, professionals) and The Have Nots (farmers, blue collar, unskilled labor)

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