Pandemic

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by Bob Rinear, The International Forecaster:

Not two weeks ago, the CDC and the WHO were telling us that this virus was nothing to be concerned about. Now, the tune has changed in a big big way. How big? This big:

CDC: VERY STRONG CHANCE OF AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS OUTBREAK OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE UNITED STATES

On Tuesday afternoon the CDC did a live broadcast telling everyone that it wasn’t an “if” that this bug will be invading us, but when. They also went on to say that it’s going to last longer than just one season. So, they expect this bug to linger with us.

Why the big change of heart? I have a feeling that they were trying to HIDE the severity of this thing, hoping and praying it started to become contained, and when it was evident that there’s NO HOPE of containing it, they folded their hand and laid down their cards.

I’ve talked several times about preparing for this thing, and I’ll just briefly mention them again. The single most important thing you can do is ISOLATE yourself from as many people as possible. I mentioned shopping at night at 24 hour grocers. I mentioned staying away from large groups of people such as sporting events, etc. Naturally you want to continually wash your hands. You have to make a conscious effort to keep your hands away from your face.

The bug can only get into you via your mouth, nose and eyes. Keeping those areas away from people, and “things” such as fingers, will help. The one problem with this damn thing, is that it is indeed airborne. Meaning that it can travel through air ducts in big buildings. So technically, even if you had a bio-hazrd mask on when out in public, when you got to work in your high rise building and took it off, someone infected on the floor below you, could infect you via the A/C system.

It also survived on solid material for up to 12 days. So, if someone infected, sneezes in his hand, and then uses that hand to pull a 5 dollar bill out and hands it to you, it’s now possibly on your hand. If you don’t wash it and happen to rub your eyes, well… you probably have it now.

Isolation and cleanliness is paramount here. Even then however, there’s a lot of chances this thing can get you. I’m not spreading fear, I’m simply saying that we are woefully short of testing in the US. There’s only 3 states that have the amount of test equipment to check on the population. That means it is POSSIBLE that you’ve already been in contact with someone that has this thing, but they weren’t symptomatic yet. I’m sure that’s what happened in Italy. They have no idea who the person was that was “ground zero.”

Now, I’m not in any form of panic here. I’m simply trying to look at this with an eye toward caution. But I do want to change gears and talk about the markets for a minute.

You all probably know what’s happened Monday and Tuesday. We dumped 1000 points Monday and After a lackluster attempt at a bounce Tuesday, it rolled over and we dumped another 900. Which brings up a plethora of questions.

First question is this: I’m on record saying that I think the Feds are HAPPY about the virus taking down stocks. The Fed’s pushed this market into the biggest bubble in the history of man kind and this bug gives them the chance to let some of that steam off, They can come on TV and says something like “hey, we were doing wonderful, but this damn virus hit and there’s not much we can do about that!”

However, you can bet a pocketful of Benjamin’s that Trump and his cabinet are on the phone with Powell screaming “Cut rates! Cut rates! Print money! Save this market!!!” So it begs the question, which one wins?

Right now the S&P is off about 6+% from the highs. I think the Feds would like to see it peel off about 10 – 12 percent, before they make a move.

Now this is just my silly opinion. But I think that if I was a Fed head, and I know that I’m responsible for the market to be trading at nosebleed levels, and something rattles the market that “technically” can’t be solved by rate cuts and money printing, I’d let it fall a bit too.

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