3 min read
March 9, 2020
With the Coronavirus in full swing in America, things seem like they’re slowly falling apart. No industry is safe, with airlines estimated to lose $113 billion in revenue worldwide this year. As an unwanted addition to the chaos, Saudi Arabia sliced oil prices causing the S&P 500 to halt on a 15-minute circuit breaker after a sharp 7% plummet. That definitely doesn’t help the current state of the market.
The panic is still in full force, unfortunately. The virus demands attention and its news can heavily influence stock prices. The DOW, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have all suffered in recent weeks. Spherix (SPEX) shot up 57% after the bell hit from its simple news report about how Coronavirus “poses no negative effect on [the] company’s operations.” Go figure.
Through all the hysteria, the virus’s widespread effects cannot be understated. Major events were canceled like the Ultra music festival, which usually hosts 70,000 people. They haven’t needed to cancel an event since 1999. Intrusions are also present in tech: Google had to cancel its annual April I/O developers conference. The ‘big four’ tech companies (Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook) are encouraging their workers to work from home if at all possible.
The main thing here is to avoid getting caught in the mess. Watch out for any excursions that may run into complications. The isolated Grand Princess cruise ship is finally letting its passengers off to undergo a 2-week quarantine after 21 people tested positive out of 42 tests on the ship. The country is hoping all near-future cruises get canceled; however, that hasn’t been formally implemented yet. Either way, it’s not an ideal time to travel in a condensed space.
Demystifying the Disease
There’s some hope though. Thankfully, we finally have some concrete answers to the virus and its nature.
The World Health Organization has been doing great work collecting data on the Coronavirus and monitoring its spread and impact. The highest mortality rate noted from the virus is 21.9% for people over 80, with the rate going as low as 2% or less for most age groups. Although this isn’t good news for everyone, it at least puts some people at ease and shows that it isn’t the end of the world just yet. An important factor is your overall health and immune system (much like typical viruses), so stay healthy my friends. If infected, the typical life cycle of the illness is 2 weeks for mild cases and 4-6 weeks for more severe ones.
A New Reality
All in all, these times are indeed favorable for those who have the fortune of working from home. Amazon ordering has skyrocketed, with the company already issuing delays on orders. I’d expect this trend only to increase as time goes on. These are certainly strange times, but things seem to be moving fast. My hope is that we can all focus on the things that we can still control and not let worry or panic get the better of us.
Concerning the virus, we can’t control its spread around us, but we can control ourselves. According to the WHO, effective prevention of the Coronavirus entails washing your hands often, keeping your distance from others when able, keeping your hands away from your eyes, mouth, and nose, maintaining proper hygiene, and covering yourself when coughing. This is just part of reality for the present times.
Keep in mind that facemasks will not necessarily protect you from the virus; they only benefit others when you wear them by keeping your germs to yourself. There has been a shortage recently where everyone seems to be buying a mask and leaving none in supply for nurses. Truly strange times we’re living in, folks.