38 votes

Is this unprecedented?

I'm only 30, but I can't think of a time entire sectors of the economy were shutting down like this.

I'm looking at statements from countries that appear vastly more prepared and honest, like Germany, who say they expect 60-70% of the population to contract the virus. Am I wrong for seeing the general lack of appropriate reaction from the US and expecting worse?

I expect the US will eventually be in a similar situation like Italy is. Most people staying home and most businesses shut down. How do people pay bills? Mortgages? Rent? Healthcare? Find money for basic supplies? Car loans?

Has something like this happened before to a modern economy?

54 comments

  1. [22]
    gpl
    Link
    I think this is an extremely unprecedented event and I would be cautious of anyone trying to dismiss or downplay it. The virus itself may have a relatively low mortality among the healthy adult...

    I think this is an extremely unprecedented event and I would be cautious of anyone trying to dismiss or downplay it. The virus itself may have a relatively low mortality among the healthy adult population, but the strain on our healthcare services coupled with no end in sight and a lack of coordinated responses from world governments could and might be a disaster.

    There’s a reason we didn’t see sectors shut down like this for Zika, Ebola, Swine, Avian flu, etc.

    32 votes
    1. [10]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      The 2009 H1N1 (Swine flu) pandemic killed 12,600 people in the United States in roughly eight months, and the CDC estimates it killed over half a million people world wide. How we reacted to...

      There’s a reason we didn’t see sectors shut down like this for Zika, Ebola, Swine, Avian flu, etc.

      The 2009 H1N1 (Swine flu) pandemic killed 12,600 people in the United States in roughly eight months, and the CDC estimates it killed over half a million people world wide.

      How we reacted to previous pandemics is not necessarily an indicator of how serious this one is.

      18 votes
      1. [9]
        NaraVara
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I think the big difference is that most of the previous epidemics were more about lethality than spread. This one is slightly worse than the flu, but seems to spread really easily. Also, during...

        I think the big difference is that most of the previous epidemics were more about lethality than spread. This one is slightly worse than the flu, but seems to spread really easily.

        Also, during previous such epidemics we had a functioning Center for Disease control that prepared adequately and coordinated response properly. This time we’re doing massive cash transfers to rich people because reasons.

        In one key way this will probably have less of a problem than the Spanish Flu, which this is being compared to, since the Spanish Flu tended to kill people in their 20s and 30s really strongly whereas COVID seems to not do much unless you’re 50+ and the risk doesn’t really ramp up until 60+. It sounds grim, but killing working age people has a way worse effect on the economy and shutting down big industries.

        The fact that it hits people in their 50s hard, though, is the main reason you’re seeing this kind of response. I guarantee you that if people at or above “senior management age” were untouched and it was us younguns at risk, they’d have our noses to the grindstone until we collapsed, without apology.

        From these extended shutdowns though, I fully expect this to slide us into 2008 level recession. Only the country will be in even worse fiscal and administrative shape to deal with it.

        22 votes
        1. Amarok
          Link Parent
          Actually, it's less about the age than about confounding factors. From the reading I've been doing, it seems like if you are in your 40s, you're old enough to be at serious risk if you also...

          Actually, it's less about the age than about confounding factors. From the reading I've been doing, it seems like if you are in your 40s, you're old enough to be at serious risk if you also are/have been a smoker, or have high blood pressure, or are obese. It seems like normal healthy people have a lot less to worry about, while people with even mild confounding factors experience a dramatic increase in risk.

          That risk doesn't necessarily mean death until you also realize that a lot more of the US population has these confounding factors than most other countries, certainly far greater than China. These factors increase the chance you'll need hospitalization, which in turn means that much more stress on the hospital's staff and resources. This could snowball into a mess that overwhelms the facility's ability to provide care - which means higher death rates for patients that otherwise could have been saved, as we've seen in Italy.

          This has the potential to become a perfect storm situation.

          It's rather ironic that we're having this happen during the most important election season in generations and that two of the major topics of this election season are universal health care and universal basic income - policies that would dramatically improve people's odds if they were in place.

          22 votes
        2. skybrian
          Link Parent
          "Slightly worse" doesn't seem like a good phrase to use here. It could be 10x worse by number of hospitalizations. But it's still flu-like.

          "Slightly worse" doesn't seem like a good phrase to use here. It could be 10x worse by number of hospitalizations. But it's still flu-like.

          20 votes
        3. [5]
          patience_limited
          Link Parent
          Just to be clear, there's serious risk to people under 50. Reported mortality statistics show that COVID-19 is still deadly to younger people, with mortality rates between 0.1 and 0.5% (with...

          Spanish Flu tended to kill people in their 20s and 30s really strongly whereas COVID seems to not do much unless you’re 50+ and the risk doesn’t really ramp up until 60+

          Just to be clear, there's serious risk to people under 50.

          Reported mortality statistics show that COVID-19 is still deadly to younger people, with mortality rates between 0.1 and 0.5% (with supportive care available) from 20 to 50 years old.

          That's an inordinately high death rate, typical for over 50's in a 'flu pandemic, and why they're all supposed to get vaccinated. Hospital beds are still full of 'flu victims right now.

          As much as we might hate default gerontocracy, it's more that the ruling classes have felt they could insulate themselves and their families from plebian illness. COVID-19 gets to everyone, and makes the globe-trotting, luxury experience-consuming privileges of wealth dangerous.

          The widely published numbers don't reflect your likelihood of becoming sick to the point of incapacitation, either, just the likelihood that you'll have some kind of recovery. No one seems to have published numbers on rates of severe lung scarring in recovered cases yet.

          Don't be complacent, don't underestimate the risk that you'll kill someone else even if you're not directly affected.

          9 votes
          1. [4]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            That seems about in line with what you'd expect for people with comordities. It seems to hit people with pre-existing respiratory conditions or habitual smokers especially hard. FWIW my wife and I...

            Reported mortality statistics show that COVID-19 is still deadly to younger people, with mortality rates between 0.1 and 0.5% (with supportive care available) from 20 to 50 years old.

            That seems about in line with what you'd expect for people with comordities. It seems to hit people with pre-existing respiratory conditions or habitual smokers especially hard.

            FWIW my wife and I suspect we've already had it. We've been quarantined at home for 2 weeks now. Testing wasn't available for us because our symptoms are very mild, but the doctor has "a strong suspicion" based on how differently the symptoms presented between the two of us.

            My wife was completely out for 2 days. She basically slept the whole time. Strong dry cough and very pleghmy otherwise. Me, on the other hand, was just chronically tired and suffering from body aches and headaches. It's possible it was just the regular flu but the flu tends to really kick my ass when I get it and I tend to get really bad sinus problems, which didn't happen at all with this. It felt much milder.

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              patience_limited
              Link Parent
              Sorry to hear you got sick, but your experience isn't necessarily representative of the broader risks. For instance, asthma prevalence is at about 8% of the adult population globally, generally...

              Sorry to hear you got sick, but your experience isn't necessarily representative of the broader risks. For instance, asthma prevalence is at about 8% of the adult population globally, generally worse in cities. Everyone with reactive airways is at much higher risk for bronchitis, pneumonia, and secondary infections, regardless of age.

              That's a huge burden of potential healthcare need, even for those who will recover easily. You still had to use a doctor's time - multiply that by a billion people with concerns.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                It sounds like you're inferring things about my attitude that aren't reflected in anything I've said. I fully understand the aggregate risks here.

                It sounds like you're inferring things about my attitude that aren't reflected in anything I've said. I fully understand the aggregate risks here.

                1 vote
                1. patience_limited
                  Link Parent
                  My apologies, I don't mean my comments as a personal attack, and I appreciate that you and your wife are doing the right thing in self-isolating. Given that Tildes skews younger, I just think it's...

                  My apologies, I don't mean my comments as a personal attack, and I appreciate that you and your wife are doing the right thing in self-isolating.

                  Given that Tildes skews younger, I just think it's best to emphasize that we're all both potentially vulnerable and responsible for doing what we can to prevent spread.

                  5 votes
        4. vektor
          Link Parent
          Nevermind shutting down vital infrastructure. Your basic needs aren't going to go unmet because retired people die. Infrastructure like food supply, utilities, emergency services, healthcare -...

          It sounds grim, but killing working age people has a way worse effect on the economy and shutting down big industries.

          Nevermind shutting down vital infrastructure. Your basic needs aren't going to go unmet because retired people die. Infrastructure like food supply, utilities, emergency services, healthcare - they'll continue to be staffed, somehow.

          5 votes
    2. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Those could be considered mostly regional. This looks more global.

      Those could be considered mostly regional. This looks more global.

      5 votes
    3. vektor
      Link Parent
      It's the combination of a high-ish mortality combined with relatively high amount of patients who need intensive care - combined with a disease that spreads easier than the flu. Anyone able to...

      There’s a reason we didn’t see sectors shut down like this for Zika, Ebola, Swine, Avian flu, etc.

      It's the combination of a high-ish mortality combined with relatively high amount of patients who need intensive care - combined with a disease that spreads easier than the flu. Anyone able to find numbers of how many flu patients need ICU care, for comparison?

      4 votes
    4. [9]
      smoontjes
      Link Parent
      An professor on Danish TV said that they think it will peak in April and subside in May - might only be the case for Denmark though

      no end in sight

      An professor on Danish TV said that they think it will peak in April and subside in May - might only be the case for Denmark though

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        nacho
        Link Parent
        There are a number of things we don't know because this virus is novel. Therefore these speculations on duration are just that - speculation. Is covid-19 like a cold, that you can get another one...

        There are a number of things we don't know because this virus is novel. Therefore these speculations on duration are just that - speculation.

        Is covid-19 like a cold, that you can get another one after a few weeks, or more like a flu, where you get resistance for months? Does wave 2 come where people who've already been sick get sick again?

        What about mutations? This is a novel strain. Does it mutate quickly or not? Do these mutations get tackled by immunity from previous strains? Will future vaccines work like ones we take a couple of times in our lives, or like seasonal vaccines we have to take every seaon?

        There are so many unknowns this is all guesswork. We hardly know what the world will look like in a month, much less in 3 months or longer.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          vektor
          Link Parent
          I think I heard(been a while though) that our best guess is that the immunity will last a good long while because the virus mutates slowly - a few years I've heard?

          I think I heard(been a while though) that our best guess is that the immunity will last a good long while because the virus mutates slowly - a few years I've heard?

          1. NaraVara
            Link Parent
            It's too early to know that for sure. Early reports suggested reinfection rates were really high, but a lot of what we know is still based on a biased sample (early infections in Wuhan) and we're...

            I think I heard(been a while though) that our best guess is that the immunity will last a good long while because the virus mutates slowly - a few years I've heard?

            It's too early to know that for sure. Early reports suggested reinfection rates were really high, but a lot of what we know is still based on a biased sample (early infections in Wuhan) and we're starting to see what the more general effects are.

            4 votes
      2. vektor
        Link Parent
        German authorities say it might keep us busy the rest of the year.

        German authorities say it might keep us busy the rest of the year.

        3 votes
      3. [4]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        It already peaked in China and has been subsiding for weeks. I don't see why we can't expect a similar timetable elsewhere as long as similar containment measures are taken. Obligatory "I am not a...

        It already peaked in China and has been subsiding for weeks. I don't see why we can't expect a similar timetable elsewhere as long as similar containment measures are taken.

        Obligatory "I am not a doctor or an epidemiologist" disclaimer.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          Turtle
          Link Parent
          Do you really think this is realistic? China is one of the most authoritarian countries in the world. It is also quite wealthy, relatively speaking. Most governments don't have either of these...

          as long as similar containment measures are taken.

          Do you really think this is realistic? China is one of the most authoritarian countries in the world. It is also quite wealthy, relatively speaking. Most governments don't have either of these advantages at their disposal.

          8 votes
          1. [2]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            They also have the disadvantage of a high population density, and being the first to have to deal with this virus. Places like the US are very spread out, making social distancing much easier....

            They also have the disadvantage of a high population density, and being the first to have to deal with this virus. Places like the US are very spread out, making social distancing much easier. People in Europe and the US are also a fair bit wealthier and better educated than our Chinese counterparts. There are lots of variables at play here, so it's impossible to really predict how this will play out.

            1 vote
            1. Autoxidation
              Link Parent
              I really disagree there. 80% of the US population lives in an urban area (including metro areas) and Americans move about the country more than most other countries.

              I really disagree there. 80% of the US population lives in an urban area (including metro areas) and Americans move about the country more than most other countries.

              6 votes
  2. [7]
    Amarok
    Link
    I'm in my mid 40s, and hell no, nothing like this has ever happened in my lifetime. Today was grocery day. I visited three different grocery stores. No bleach, no toilet paper, nothing with the...

    I'm in my mid 40s, and hell no, nothing like this has ever happened in my lifetime.

    Today was grocery day. I visited three different grocery stores. No bleach, no toilet paper, nothing with the word 'sanitizer' or 'antibacterial' on it left in any of the stores. Our local Walmart was about one quarter empty shelves. I counted thirteen employees furiously restocking while I was going through the store, they couldn't keep up. This is crazier disaster prep hysteria than I've seen when we know we're getting five feet of snow during the next 24 hours.

    On the plus side, no plastic bags allowed for groceries anymore. It was hellishly amusing to watch everyone shopping today wake up to the plastic bag ban going into effect, blissfully arriving at the checkout with overfull carts, and then having to pay an extra ten cents per paper bag. I haven't had that much fun watching people lose their shit in ages. The icing on the cake was that every single paper bag being sold at Walmart today had an Aldi logo on it.

    Take your victories where you can find them. :)

    26 votes
    1. [6]
      reese
      Link Parent
      I went to Costco this morning. The line to checkout wrapped around the perimeter of the store, we're talking longer than what you'd expect for a Black Friday sale of $299.99 sexbots that do chores...

      I went to Costco this morning. The line to checkout wrapped around the perimeter of the store, we're talking longer than what you'd expect for a Black Friday sale of $299.99 sexbots that do chores and fetch the TV remote. Of course, everybody had to be vocal, you know, with their saliva-replete mouths, about the absurdity of the long line. "Why, did you notice? We're in a long line." Yes, shut the fuck up and do not breathe in my general direction, please. One lady pretty much sneezed in my face which was awesome. The most entertaining thing I saw was someone whose cart prominently packed two cases of Corona.

      I'm normally stocked up on food for a month, because I hate people and don't want to be around them regardless of whether or not there's a global pandemic. Since this is an unprecedented situation, I bought some extra cat litter, saline solution, oats, etc., just because I'm trying to minimize my exposure to the outside world. I'm not panic-buying so much as I am doing my usual thing while trying to be rudimentarily prepared—I was careful not to buy any one thing in excess. I saw people who packed their carts entirely with toilet paper, stirring the thought that the less fortunate will just have to get creative with turkey basters and other household objects.

      17 votes
      1. [5]
        Amarok
        Link Parent
        The thought had crossed my mind that with a lengthy incubation period and many people who show no symptoms even during the peak of their infection, this week-long typical American disaster...

        The thought had crossed my mind that with a lengthy incubation period and many people who show no symptoms even during the peak of their infection, this week-long typical American disaster shopping spree may end up having rather dire consequences.

        I'm in a rural area and there's no reported cases anywhere near us, though we do have a small airport. I figure my risk was next to zero. I'd have a very different attitude if I'd been shopping in NYC or Boston today.

        12 votes
        1. reese
          Link Parent
          I worry about the same exact thing. I'm in a population-dense area. I figure my risk was questionable today, seeing as someone has for sure tested positive a county over, but I reasoned that the...

          I worry about the same exact thing.

          I'm in a population-dense area. I figure my risk was questionable today, seeing as someone has for sure tested positive a county over, but I reasoned that the risk would just be worse in the coming days and weeks. It feels profoundly stupid to cram oneself in close quarters with so many random people during a pandemic. But I have to eat. And at some point I'll have to get more food.

          6 votes
        2. [3]
          Parliament
          Link Parent
          You still got fiber for holing up?

          You still got fiber for holing up?

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            Amarok
            Link Parent
            Just cable, but since there are so few people on this particular segment, the speed is actually as advertised. :P

            Just cable, but since there are so few people on this particular segment, the speed is actually as advertised. :P

            3 votes
            1. Parliament
              Link Parent
              Not bad if it works! I just got a great deal on 4x12 TB WD drives to shuck and setup while we're locked down, so I'm good to go.

              Not bad if it works! I just got a great deal on 4x12 TB WD drives to shuck and setup while we're locked down, so I'm good to go.

              3 votes
  3. patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    It's unprecedented in the developed world, at least since 1918. I was around during the initial outbreak of HIV in the U.S. While there was fear, misinformation, public health incompetence, and...

    It's unprecedented in the developed world, at least since 1918.

    I was around during the initial outbreak of HIV in the U.S. While there was fear, misinformation, public health incompetence, and paranoia, the viral contagion itself was much more easily contained. Nonetheless, over a million people still die from AIDS every year, due to lack of knowledge, consent, drugs, and healthcare.

    I was in Houston in 2015 during a major variant H3N2 influenza outbreak, where existing vaccines provided no protection. The entire staff of the pediatric ENT clinic I was working with were infected over the course of a week, despite routine infectious disease precautions. All started on anti-virals immediately, and most kept working. About a third of the people who caught that 'flu required antibiotics for secondary infections, and one of the 35 staff was hospitalized.

    Aside from signs at the airport notifying people of the presence of a novel influenza, no specific precautions were recommended anywhere.

    About 400 children died from that outbreak. I can't find reliable absolute numbers for adults, but typical U.S. annual 'flu season infections are estimated at 20 - 30 million requiring treatment, with 30 - 60,000 deaths directly attributable.

    Needless to say, we've taken a frighteningly casual approach to epidemics until now, and there haven't been identified economic impacts.

    China has outbreaks of highly pathogenic zoonotic (originating in birds and swine) influenzas on a recurring basis, often with 40+% mortality. Their disease surveillance and containment has historically been relatively efficient, because of the dire consequences of community spread. In 2013, an avian H5N1 strain killed 800+ people before it was fully contained. Given this event, followed by SARS, it's very disturbing that even China wasn't able to contain COVID-19 without draconian measures.

    Recent confirmation that asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic COVID-19 infections are still contagious demonstrates that we really do need to stay away from each other for a while. I've seen estimates that a 1918-style pandemic would cut modern global GDP by about 5% if it spread unchecked, leaving aside the enduring devastation of all the attendant deaths.

    My sense is that we're going to see a major recession, if not depression. The markets were due for a 20% correction anyway, and corporate debt from near-zero interest rates is as massively oversupplied as U.S. home mortgages were in 2008. Central bank policies alone can't make up for a dearth of consumer demand, and the current demand shortage is just going to get worse with people staying home. [If ever there was a time for UBI and Medicare for All, it's right f'ing now.]

    Footnote: For comparison, the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in sub-Saharan Africa caused persistent GDP declines of 5 - 10% in the affected countries. It's not apples-to-apples, since Ebola is so pathogenic that it tends to self-contain, and global supply chains and currency flows weren't involved to the degree likely with COVID-19.

    24 votes
  4. [2]
    Deimos
    Link
    I was thinking about posting this article separately, but I'll just put it in here for now since it seems fairly on-topic: The world was not prepared for a pandemic. When one struck, international...

    I was thinking about posting this article separately, but I'll just put it in here for now since it seems fairly on-topic: The world was not prepared for a pandemic. When one struck, international coordination broke down rather than ramping up.

    21 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      This seems worth its own topic IMO. It really highlights the extent to which international institutions and cooperation have helped us handle these things in the past. It's all invisible stuff to...

      The world was not prepared for a pandemic. When one struck, international coordination broke down rather than ramping up.

      This seems worth its own topic IMO. It really highlights the extent to which international institutions and cooperation have helped us handle these things in the past. It's all invisible stuff to most people, but this is literally a big part of what the State Department does. Us gutting the State Department contributed to this. So much of the world was just running on American bureaucracy orchestrating events and keeping people on the same page. We're the only ones with the worldwide logistical capabilities to do it.

      13 votes
  5. [3]
    Omnicrola
    Link
    I'm almost 40, and I have no recollection of something like this happening before. The scares around SARS and MERS where much less pronounced. There was a month or so of CONCERNING HEADLINES, but...

    I'm almost 40, and I have no recollection of something like this happening before. The scares around SARS and MERS where much less pronounced. There was a month or so of CONCERNING HEADLINES, but the very low transmission rate allowed it to be contained fairly well globally speaking.

    I wouldn't say this is unprecedented (see: 1918), but this I think this is probably a unique event for most of the generations currently alive.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I'm 21, and I can't ever remember seeing something like this. The closest I can personally recall is swine flu, but that was just a vaccine at school, pretty much. I didn't read the news in...

      Yeah, I'm 21, and I can't ever remember seeing something like this. The closest I can personally recall is swine flu, but that was just a vaccine at school, pretty much. I didn't read the news in middle school, so I don't remember what they thought, but it didn't impact my daily life much. Here in Hawaii, we've had the occasional hurricane shut things down (especially Hurricane Lane, two years ago), but nothing like this, where our university will be closed for at least a month.

      11 votes
      1. Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        Part of the problem is going to be that people and organizations aren't prepared. Things like hurricanes happen often enough that people expect them, prepare for them, and know generally how they...

        Part of the problem is going to be that people and organizations aren't prepared. Things like hurricanes happen often enough that people expect them, prepare for them, and know generally how they will go (if they've lived through one before).

        This is something that isn't unexpected (from the WHO perspective) but is so rare that people aren't prepared, governments arent really prepared, and people are scared because they've never experienced one before.

        9 votes
  6. [8]
    skybrian
    Link
    From my reading I expect similar numbers to be infected, though of course nobody knows. Keep in mind that most people should recover and it's only people who get pneumonia who will need hospital...

    From my reading I expect similar numbers to be infected, though of course nobody knows. Keep in mind that most people should recover and it's only people who get pneumonia who will need hospital care. The problem is that it could be 10x as many who need hospitalization as the flu.

    The closest thing in US history is probably the 1918 Pandemic. Of course a lot has changed since then, so up to you if you want to call it unprecedented.

    From a financial point of view, 2008 was scary in a similar way. We will see if the impact is similar.

    Public confusion and the effect on the travel industry could be compared with 9/11. I wouldn't expect the political impact to be similar (I'm not expecting wars), though there's no way of knowing.

    I was encouraged by the number of events being cancelled and schools closing today. I don't know how much of it was last night's speech or just a coincidence, but it seems like most US opposition to taking it seriously has collapsed?

    18 votes
    1. [5]
      SantalBlush
      Link Parent
      Administrators of smaller and more rural towns seem to be having serious talks now. Probably a lot more closings to come within the next few days. Make sure you're stocked up on video games, people.

      Administrators of smaller and more rural towns seem to be having serious talks now. Probably a lot more closings to come within the next few days.

      Make sure you're stocked up on video games, people.

      11 votes
      1. [4]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        Friends where joking earlier today that Steam should have a COVID sale to make sure people stay home.

        Friends where joking earlier today that Steam should have a COVID sale to make sure people stay home.

        22 votes
        1. Amarok
          Link Parent
          That is a brilliant idea.

          That is a brilliant idea.

          11 votes
        2. [2]
          Parliament
          Link Parent
          I already texted my brother about playing some AOE HD during the quarantine since we're going to have to cancel our trip to meet up next month.

          I already texted my brother about playing some AOE HD during the quarantine since we're going to have to cancel our trip to meet up next month.

          7 votes
          1. moonbathers
            Link Parent
            Good pick! That's aged really well.

            Good pick! That's aged really well.

            3 votes
    2. [2]
      UniquelyGeneric
      Link Parent
      NASCAR is still going to run, albeit without fans. Given the part of the US that was claiming initial reports of the coronavirus was "fake news", it seems to me like they're not taking it as...

      it seems like most US opposition to taking it seriously has collapsed?

      NASCAR is still going to run, albeit without fans. Given the part of the US that was claiming initial reports of the coronavirus was "fake news", it seems to me like they're not taking it as seriously as liberal cities and corporations avoiding risk (Broadway cancellations and Disneyland shutdown).

      10 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        Without fans is big. We'll see if it lasts. Basketball was going to be played without fans too.

        Without fans is big. We'll see if it lasts. Basketball was going to be played without fans too.

        11 votes
  7. [6]
    Turtle
    Link
    On a related note, could someone explain what this means for the economy? I know the Dow has fallen a greater % than in 2008. Does that mean this is the recession they've been talking about for...

    On a related note, could someone explain what this means for the economy? I know the Dow has fallen a greater % than in 2008. Does that mean this is the recession they've been talking about for the past few years? Are you good if you've not invested in the stock market?

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      skybrian
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The Dow Jones is very old-fashioned these days. I would look at S&P 500 instead. It is down 20%. The last time it was about this low was around the start of last year, and it was also lower in...

      The Dow Jones is very old-fashioned these days. I would look at S&P 500 instead. It is down 20%. The last time it was about this low was around the start of last year, and it was also lower in every year before 2017. So you might say we lost 2-3 years of growth (in our investments, on average).

      In 2008 the S&P 500 went down by roughly 50% from the previous peak.

      However, it's not over. This looks comparable so far. No way to know where the bottom is, though.

      15 votes
      1. [3]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Myself and a co-worker just sold everything we had in the S&P. I just recently started investing, so I only lost a small amount of money so far. I guess as far as I'm concerned this is an...

        Myself and a co-worker just sold everything we had in the S&P. I just recently started investing, so I only lost a small amount of money so far. I guess as far as I'm concerned this is an opportunity to buy low.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Yeah, if it's anything like 2008, you won't want to miss the bull market at the end. In that case, though, it took six months before things started up again. But, of course nobody knows whether it...

          Yeah, if it's anything like 2008, you won't want to miss the bull market at the end. In that case, though, it took six months before things started up again.

          But, of course nobody knows whether it will be like 2008 or when the sale will be over. All I know is that we haven't seen prices this good (for buyers) for a while.

          I can sorta see things coming back when peak virus is over, but maybe we will get fires, hurricanes, or an earthquake to keep people jittery, so who knows. It's looking like it will be a drought year for California.

          5 votes
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            For someone thinking long term, it's just a matter of getting a good discount rather than the best discount. I have my stop order placed in case everything shoots up tomorrow, but the quick...

            But, of course nobody knows whether it will be like 2008 or when the sale will be over.

            For someone thinking long term, it's just a matter of getting a good discount rather than the best discount. I have my stop order placed in case everything shoots up tomorrow, but the quick drop/slow rise pattern of the market means I'm safe waiting for things to stabilize and return to normal growth to buy back in.

            S&P 500 is down 19% from a month ago ($2740 from $3386). If it ends up dropping 50% to $1700 I won't be upset buying back in at $2000 once I'm sure things are going up again.

            My job seems pretty dependable, so my only uncertainty is whether I should pull money from savings to buy at the bottom or only continue to trickle in funds from paychecks. My intuition says I should play it safe but I have more than enough in my emergency fund. Does a silicon valley software engineer really need 10 months of living expenses saved?

            5 votes
    2. patience_limited
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      We're choosing to split our risks; spouse sold stocks to invest in bonds, but my retirement funds are still in the market in index funds. As with prior crises, it's a question of how soon you'll...

      We're choosing to split our risks; spouse sold stocks to invest in bonds, but my retirement funds are still in the market in index funds. As with prior crises, it's a question of how soon you'll need liquidity; whatever happens is likely to unwind and recover on a 10 - 20 year horizon. COVID-19 is dire for those already retired or retiring soon, on multiple levels.

      As to whether you're "good" or not, that depends on how exposed your employment is to market contraction from corporate debt collapse, travel and oil industry shutdowns, discretionary retail spending shortages, etc.

      6 votes
  8. [3]
    moonbathers
    Link
    Imagine being 115 and living through Spanish Flu and seeing this all happen again.

    Imagine being 115 and living through Spanish Flu and seeing this all happen again.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      "The president of the US won the electoral college despite winning a minority of the vote because his opposition was divided, socialism is on the rise because the youth are not seeing the benefits...
      6 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        That's impressive. I wonder what the parallels between then and now in her native Japan would be.

        That's impressive. I wonder what the parallels between then and now in her native Japan would be.

        2 votes
  9. [2]
    0lpbm
    Link
    From a German speaking source on twitter, they quoted Merkel out of context. The figure 60-70% she mentions is for the case where no measures to curb the spread of the virus are taken.

    From a German speaking source on twitter, they quoted Merkel out of context. The figure 60-70% she mentions is for the case where no measures to curb the spread of the virus are taken.

    5 votes
    1. vektor
      Link Parent
      As far as I can find, that guy's not quite correct, but I might be wrong. What I can find indicates she said that experts indicate that 60-70% will be infected if we can not find a vaccine or a...

      As far as I can find, that guy's not quite correct, but I might be wrong. What I can find indicates she said that experts indicate that 60-70% will be infected if we can not find a vaccine or a therapy. That said, my sources are slim to shit: This peace of toilet paper grade fear-hate-tits yellow journalism and This snippet where her actual statement is cut off front and back and might be severely out of context.. Bild in particular only admits her narrowing down her statement way down in the article. This article from a reputable publication has her tell her party's faction in parliament that 60-70% could be infected.

      Curiously, all the other google results for my search turned up blog-style articles where the actual information can't be found anymore because it's buried. Seems german publications don't know how to blog, because there I'd expect to still find an older article easily because it's an actual document in it's own right.

      Anyway, as far as I can tell, her statement could quite plausibly mean that she expects to see that many cases even if we try to contain it, as long as we don't find a vaccine. Or that she expects that number in the long run. It's really not that easy...? In any case, I can't really blame foreign news outlets, if local news outlets are being very sparing with the full quote.

      5 votes