[ExI] Dodged the bullet maybe

SR Ballard sen.otaku at gmail.com
Sun Feb 9 03:25:09 UTC 2020

I’m not so sure the outbreak is as well contained as we would like to believe. 

Outbreak was during lunar new year, biggest travel event on the globe. US had the Super Bowl earlier, now the Rodeo, in a few days Valentines, then Mardi Gras in a two weeks. 

Asymptotic people can still transmit the infection.

HOWEVER, my largest concern is not actually the percentage dead. It’s the economic impact.

All Apple & Starbucks stores are closed in mainland China. Most car manufacturers have extended the lunar holidays (again). 

Cathey Pacific, based out of Hong Kong is so stripped for budget (no demand for travel to China) that their employees are on 3 week unpaid furlough. Of course, no real flights in and out of China is hard on most major airlines. 

Fully 30% of Japan’s tourism income comes from the Chinese, and it is concentrated around lunar new year. Huge hits have been made to their tourism industry, and in a while, they’ll feel the pinch from the factory shutdowns.

Now, the Summer Olympics don’t start until July, but many travelers may be spooked and decide not to go. Tokyo, and Japan as a whole, have invested heavily in their Olympic effort, redesigning signage over the entire 23 wards. Not cheap.

And Japan was just starting to recover from the pop of the 90s bubble. The only possible benefit to Japan is if this significantly reduced the elderly population, allowing younger workers to finally receive promotions, and correct the age imbalance which are straining the workforce and economy. 

Local Chinese who cannot work will be forced to pay rent with income they did not earn because factories are closed. I would expect them to struggle at home, and also travel less next year as the local economy attempts to recover. This will further damage Japan’s economy. China will also not have much tourism income this year, even if things settle down quickly. Next year probably won’t be much better.

The United States will feel the pinch in our imports sooner or later as shortages caused by closed factories trickle down to us. I think most of Europe will feel the pinch at around the same time. I expect prices to rise. Probably not dramatically, but enough to be difficult for low wage earners.

And also, people are panicking and doing stupid things — never great for the economy.

SR Ballard

> On Feb 8, 2020, at 8:15 PM, Keith Henson via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> write:
> snip
>> More to Keith Henson's original point, however, I am positively grateful that thanks to science, technology, and communication we have decent odds to actually CONTAIN a plague of biblical proportions.
> We are not out of the woods yet.  The situation in China may be
> controlled, but there is still worry about India, South America, and
> sub-Saharan Africa where they have weak health systems.
>> One that a mere 30 years ago, when I was high school student, could have easily killed fully a third of the world.
> That's still possible.  HIV spread to tens of millions.
> Keith
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