This is just a memo.
It is mid-March and I think it is worth writing a few words of what is happening: a pandemic. Something I have not experienced before. In some places also a pandemonium.
What information do I have at this moment?
- The virus originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan. The type of markets where they have animals crammed side-by-side and, well, virus can jump from one animal to another, to us.
- It is easily transferable.
- It’s death rate is speculated from 0.1% (like the flu) to 2%. Apparently the Spanish flu, an infamous pandemic that killed a lot of people, had 3% or so.
- I am fine, so is my family.
- They cancelled the NBA season.
- It is likely they will cancel the summer Olympics! Unbelievable if this happens.
People in Tokyo are wearing more masks, working from home is encouraged (thought many people keep going to the office), schools are out for the month, more alcohol for hands… that kind of stuff.
Today Trump announced no flights from Europe for the next 30 days. That has some people panicked. (Looking at you CE.) Apparently, the thing to have is toilet paper – everyone is freaking out about it.
We are in Kumagaya right now. We’re going back to Tokyo this Saturday.
Markets are panicking too since Italy is quarantined, supply chains (many of them depend on China) are also suffering since many parts of China have basically stopped working.
So what now?
Speaking from ignorance, it seems unreasonable to isolate everyone who is infectious at this point. Coronavirus shennanigans might be here until we find a vaccine.
I get the feeling that this is going to promote local businesses, new supply chains that are closer to home, less susceptible to this seemingly single point of failure.
Two Days Later (3/14)
Now that things are picking up outside of China, people are panicking a bit more. News are all about COVID-19. Schools are closed.
I just heard in the news, “Europe has become the epicenter of the epidemic.” Stay safe JC.
6 Days Later (3/20)
Well, shit. Seems the virus is really fond of Europe and getting a taste of North America. The US brushed it off during Jan and Feb and, well, I think it’s going to hit from now on.
What about the economy
The world economy is basically halting. In North America restaurants have been halted.
In Venezuela… no one really knows. Apparently open radio and TV started having “technical problems” and information is not flowing. Worrying.
I am sure that in a few years there are going to be new services and business that we today we can’t see as necessary. Sure, everyone will be saying, “I told you…” to what will be evident. But we’ll have to wait for that.
And in Japan…
Who knew that Tokyo, Taiwan and other fairly dense Asian cities would weather this much better than the less populated cities.
Yes, yes… If some time has passed from this post, it is probably obvious. Who would like to say, I told you… ?
9 Days Later (3/29)
Well, interesting seeing the previous posts. The virus is infecting the world. The US is in the lead after failing to take this seriously at first.
The stock market in the US continued to crash, but with talks of “the stimulus package” things bounced a bit. I’m not sure how long this will last but people are preparing for a 2-3 month rough ride.
And in Japan…
The Olympics were cancelled. I thought that was going to be shocking, but compared to the numbers we are seeing, it was more of a reasonable move.
A day after the cancellation the cases in Tokyo went from 10 a day to 40 a day… Perhaps is a coincidence, but awfully suspicious. It feels like the wave is coming to Tokyo. The government asked for people to stay inside but there is a lot of talk that a wave is coming to Tokyo.
More Days Later (April 4/10)
Umm…. what? It is hard to grasp the impact about to hit the different countries. I suspect this will be a push away from globalization and nations becoming somewhat more independent, able to better withstand lock-downs, not have the risk of supplies of critical things being affected by other countries… but, what a time to speculate.
The word on the street is that things will not come back to normal until the vaccine is out. And also that the vaccine may take 1-2 years. Ouch.
Almost a Month Later (5/1)
I’ve been super busy with work, studies, and this “work from home” situation that takes away quite a bit of time.
We are all safe, lucky to be busy at work and healthy.
Here are the numbers…