Coronavirus, the worst is yet to come

If this continues, the coronavirus would have a deep social, cultural and economic impact. At the other end of the tunnel, there is misery, either by sickness, hunger or bankruptcies and it is going to be ugly.

Coronavirus, the worst is yet to come

Lockdowns puts a halt to economic activity and coronavirus lockdowns is impacting the globe like nothing humanity has seen before. The world is already halfway into the recession. If this lockdown hide-and-seek with coronavirus continues for another month or two, People will forget about the "Great Depression of 1929" because the impact is going to be global.

Modern industry can be categorized as agriculture, manufacturing and services. For agriculture, most countries are self sufficient. Manufacturing, China is the hub while Americas/Europe economies mostly revolve around a service based industry. The few notable exceptions to this generalization are Brazil and Germany.

For services to thrive, there needs to be a demand for it. For that demand generation, there needs to be manufacturing and other economic activities in place. Then there is food production which requires mobilization of farmers and labors along with markets to function to trade in the produce. With the current model of lockdowns, we also need workers in warehouses working in close quarters that serves the online/offline marketplaces like amazon, walmart and alibaba et al.

The corona-curve flattens after a while, either with or without the lockdowns, case in point are Wuhan, China (with lockdown), Lombardy, Italy and Kirkland, Seattle, US (without lockdowns), 3 weeks worth of data does not prove that the recovered cluster cannot get re-infected again. Humanity does not have the answer to that question yet.

Besides, the attitude towards lockdowns is a cultural thing. China took some extreme measures when it locked down the entire Hubei province to effectively contain the coronavirus.  There are two parts of this equation, the draconian measures by the government and the attitude of Chinese people themselves towards this where the corona vigilantes were willing to dig up roads leading in and out of Wuhan or willing to snitch on people who escaped such brutal quarantine, probably because China had already seen a similar outbreak in 2003 which took about 9000 lives in a very short space of time. Italy has right now deployed military to take it to the Chinese lockdown level. New Zealand is doing the same now with only 102 patients.

This level of lockdowns is not sustainable in the long run, especially when we don't know if the already hit cluster can get disinfected again. For such clusters, if the virus comes back, there will be another lockdown drill. Reminds me of stories of German planes bombing London during WW2, and how the public went underground after the warning sirens rang.

The world is not prepared to deal with this, whether it is on the medical front or economic front. In the US, airlines are already looking for the government for a bailout package to the tune of 50 billion. Restaurants/Bars/Hotels have not seen any activity and they are out of ideas. For the common man, some have taken extra mortgages to invest in real estate and trying to break even by putting it on airbnb. In EU/US, with their system of credit, if one does not have a job for two months, one comes very close to sleeping on the streets. How many times, and for how long each time, do these people will be able to take that? For this reason alone, there has been an increase in gun sales in the state of California, and i would say, the fear of social unrest is not unfound. People might be able to take one lockdown, but if it strikes again, especially if the lockdown happens in an area twice which has never witnessed it up close and personal, people will not be very kind to the idea of lockdown.

While there has been some encouraging news,  in the same breath, it can be said with authority that Science has no answers what made spanish influenza so potent and deadly, despite reconstructing N1H1 successfully in.the lab. So we cannot be sure what lies ahead for humanity.

If this continues, the coronavirus would have a deep social, cultural and economic impact. At the other end of the tunnel, there is misery, either by sickness, hunger or bankruptcies and it is going to be ugly. We might also see a major geo-political shift. Brace yourselves for very hard times heading our way.

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