More Wall Street Breakfast Podcasts » "Despite several issues of importance - national riots, Chinese relations, an ongoing pandemic - the stock market is primarily focused on a single thing: the restart of U.S. and global economic activities," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group. The sentiment led S&P 500 futures to tack on another 0.6% gain overnight as Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed renewed "optimism" about a coronavirus vaccine. On the economic calendar, the ADP Employment Report today will give a fresh read on the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, while oil climbed 2% on anticipated output cuts at the upcoming OPEC+ meeting. submitted by
Come on and Zoom!
A surge in video conferencing usage saw revenue growth at Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) jump 169% to $328.2M as the company reported top and bottom line beats for Q1. Zoom also doubled its revenue guidance for the year, pushing up shares as much as 4.5% in AH trading on Tuesday. In keeping with its previous practices, the firm didn't disclose active user numbers, though analysts at Bernstein estimate Zoom's mobile app had 173M monthly active users as of May 27, up from 14M on March 4.
Zuckerberg stands firm after walkout
Facing internal unrest over the company's gentle approach to moderating posts from President Trump, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees he stood behind his decision, one he called "tough" but "pretty thorough." Policies will be reviewed to see if they need to change for the future. Facebook employees particularly took issue with a post by Trump that threatened violence, including the words "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Similar posts on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) were flagged for violating policy.
Apple is tracking looted iPhones
Thieves who made off with iPhones from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington and Philadelphia quickly learned that they were loaded with special security software. On-screen messages displayed: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted." The social unrest sweeping across the nation comes just as Apple is in the process of opening more than 100 stores following an extended closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump administration is opening a "Section 301" investigation into taxes on digital commerce - proposed by a range of trading partners - that could affect revenues booked by tech giants like Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The move could ultimately lead to punitive tariffs and heighten the chances of another global trade dispute. France already agreed to postpone its new digital tax until at least the end of 2020 after the U.S. threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100% on imports like French wine, cheese, handbags and porcelain.
Will negative rates be needed?
Many have doubted that the U.S. could go negative like Japan and parts of Europe, but St. Louis Fed economist Yi Wen says that's what it would take to achieve a V-shaped economic recovery. "I found that a combination of aggressive fiscal and monetary policies is necessary. Aggressive policy means that the U.S. will need to consider negative interest rates and aggressive government spending, such as spending on infrastructure." Wen cited historical examples like President Roosevelt's aggressive fiscal stimulus package during the 1930s and huge surge in government spending once World War II began.
Britain news roundup
The Shanghai-London Connect program, years in the making, has so far produced only one listing - Huatai Securities (OTCPK:HUATF) - which raised $1.5B last June. China's market regulator has now approved a fresh listing for China Pacific Insurance (OTCPK:CHPXY), signaling a revival of the program. While the ties could bring the nations closer, other news overnight may go in the other direction. Boris Johnson pledged to let into the country nearly 3M Hong Kong citizens - who are British overseas passport holders - due to China's new national security law, and place them on a possible path to U.K. citizenship.
One of the most widely prescribed antidepressant medications in the U.S. has fallen into short supply, according to a new list from the FDA. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said some versions of its name-brand Zoloft, such as 100 milligram tablets in 100-count bottles, were scarce because of higher demand during COVID-19, while generics faced shortages of certain ingredients. Zoloft prescriptions climbed 12% Y/Y to 4.9M in March, the most ever in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg, but receded to 4.5M in April.
French luxury goods group LVMH’s (OTCPK:LVMHF) $16.2B takeover of Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) is looking less certain, according to Women's Wear Daily. It's the latest big merger said to be on the rocks amid a deteriorating situation in the U.S. market brought on by a COVID-19 pandemic and severe social unrest. Further challenges include spending pattern shifts, the collapse of international tourism and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
'Biggest Sale in the Sky'
After postponing its annual Prime Day event due to COVID-19, Amazon (AMZN) is reportedly setting up a "summer sale" for June to boost sellers hurt by the outbreak and swimming in inventory. The company told brands it would launch a fashion sale June 22, to run anywhere from 7-10 days, and that participation in the event was "invitation only." It's building landing pages with a working title "Biggest Sale in the Sky," and has asked brands to meet an end-of-Wednesday deadline to submit deals with a discount of at least 30%.
What else is happening...
Sports betting to the rescue in California?
Twitter (TWTR) names Pichette as new independent chairman.
Google (GOOG, GOOGL) faces $5B lawsuit over 'private' internet use.
FAA boss to testify at Senate hearing on 737 MAX (NYSE:BA).
Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) trims loss forecast after May rides jumped 26%.
Tuesday's Key Earnings Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) -3.7% AH on light revenue guidance. CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) +6.2% AH following a beat-and-raise. DICK'S Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) +3.7% as e-commerce sales rose 110%. Zoom Video (ZM) +1.4% AH posting Q1 beat, aggressive outlook.
Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +1.3%. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.1%. India +0.6%. In Europe, at midday, London +1.5%. Paris +2%. Frankfurt +2.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.8%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude +1.7% to $37.43. Gold -0.6% to $1724.40. Bitcoin -5.6% to $9527. Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 0.71%
Today's Economic Calendar Auto Sales 7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 8:15 ADP Jobs Report 9:45 PMI Services Index 10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index 10:00 Factory Orders
Friday Night Pyro #420 April 3rd, 2020 Los Angeles, CA The Barracks
Opening Segment: Golden Bryce says Blitzkrieg was a success NOW ON TO THE RUMBLE.... - Leonard McGraw enters with Ryu McGraw to Bryce: “And I plan on winning that Xtreme Rumble match in just 3 weeks and any piss pants punk in the back can file back cause come April 26th brother I’m coming for ya... - Alveno enters “Who’s to say I don’t have a chance to shock the world” - Leonard to Alveno “You wanna back that up kid” - GT and Bedlam enters “Leo you got more problems considering saving your bollocks. Last Sunday at Blitzkrieg you won that cage match within an inch of your life. You should be more concerned about me - Leonard signals GT “Get your finger out of Ethan’s ass. Cause Garrett I’m fixing to fight you right now c’mon son take your best shot” - GT to Leonard “Perhaps later” - Bryce “Perhaps you take your best shot against me. Because Garrett you know in this business and lately you’ve been beating around the bush with Leonard McGraw so I say this in this locker room you either act tough or talk tough and you a pussy - OHHHHHHHHHHHH SHITTTTTTT
- Mandy Leon consort promo “The roaring 20’s-esq promo”
1 on 1 Non-Title / Exhibition Match M1: Golden Bryce defeats Garrett Thompson w/ Bedlam
- Bedlam interference consistently but smarty Bryce avoids many of his antics. Referee Kevin Madrox officiates it well and doesn’t completely blind himself like the typical ref spot. He continuously is catching Bedlam off guard before he does heelish tactics. GT is able to get upper hand on Bryce for a long time so much so that commentary points out “Garrett Thompson a former Lockdown main event himself. Main evented Lockdown 5 unsuccessfully but despite never being a world champion GT has always remained IN THE HUNT. And a win over Bryce tonight can put him in that position; potentially in 3 weeks at the Rumble” Finish: GT is setting up Bryce for the Wasteland. But in the follow-through of the maneuver Bryce is able to cradle GT in for a crucifix roll-up for the 1-2-3 Bryce defeats Garrett Thompson After the match GT Irate calls for a “2” towards the ref. Bryce hits the 6 rings on him for good measure. And just like that the world champion is on nothing but a positive momentum swing as we treach toward the rumble.
After the match Leonard McGraw runs down to the ring and “gets a piece of GT’s ass” Bedlam tried to evade him but Leonard tosses Bedlam right over the top rope to the outside and then Lou Thez press on GT, punches him and then GT rolls out the ring. McGraw then all hype backs up into Bryce’s chest and turns around quick and fake him out with a Buckshot clothesline ONLY a fakie. Bryce DID NOT flinch and McGraw nods his head up and down then points up 3 fingers as to signal just 3 more Pyro’s until the Rumble. Then he points up at the Lockdown 7 sign.
- Camera follows Bryce from the ring, up the ramp and even behind the curtain.
- The Set is chilling right behind the curtain smoking weed “as ya do” Ruckus, Jordan Oliver, Myron Reed, Kotto Brazil, Siaka Lexoni & Chrissy Rivera Jordan Oliver to Bryce: Hah! Nice roll up champ. Bryce: It wasn’t pretty but it was a win Jordan: Yeah it was a win but c’mon I’m undefeated. You’ve lost a couple bucko. 2020 is the year of The Set. 2020 is my year. And in just 3 weeks I’m gonna throw out all those clowns and I’m gonna unify our titles pimp Myron & Kotto: laughing Ruckus: gets up from chair and looks Bryce up and down** psssk let’s get outta here Bryce: What? Ruckus: looks Bryce up and down again Bryce: What’s wrong Ruckus? If you don’t talk, I’ll talk to this talkative punk Jordan Oliver: Me? Bryce: Yeah..I don’t have the authority to unify titles. I certainly wouldn’t classify myself a “Junior”weight. So how bout this junior, take on the heavyweight. Champion. And we’ll see how long your solid that undefeated streak of yours is. Jordan Oliver: You want me? Your own. I just think it’s a bad marketing move to do the Lockdown main event next week but that’s cool. You and me. 1 on 1. Juniorweight champ vs Heavyweight champ. Bryce: And by the way “The Set” your welcome to be at ringside to play cheerleader for Jordan. Just know that if you step in my ring during the match. As soon as I see some ass I’m kicking it. Get it. (Looks at Myron) Got it. (Looks at Kotto) Good. (Looks at Ruckus)
- Bryce walks off The Set stares at him walking off (((Clustered talking))) “Fuck that nigga” “Lame ass Busta” “Green Bryce lookin ass”
M2: Tag Team Action! Myron Reed & Kotto Brazil w/ Jordan Oliver defeat 3M3 (wearing 3M protective facemasks)
(((Ruckus and Lexoni on commentary put over Myron, Kotto & Jordan)))
Backstage: Amy Lee knocking on Kiera Hogan’s Dressing Room door. “Are you ready?” Kiera: I can’t open the door... Amy: I’m coming in Kiera: I need help... Amy: Ok I’m coming in (Kiera Hogan is screaming with both hands stuck to her weave not natural hair (not a weave that she typically sports) Amy: are you gonna put your hands down? Kiera: That bitch Priscilla has put glue all over my weave and now I can’t remove it from my hands. Amy: our match is next we gotta go Kiera: no no no no no I can’t no no no Amy: Oh yeah the title, I’ll hold your belt for you (Amy Lee practically pushing Kiera Hogan down the hallway) Amy: Champion’s don’t take breaks Kiera: that is the un-truest statement ever
- Tag Team Action! (Kiera Hogan not in ring gear with hands glued to her head (on apron most of match, can’t tag in)
M3: Prisiclla & Doxy defeat Amy Lee & Kiera Hogan (c)
*comedy match with spots revolving around Kiera Hogan not being able to use her hands since they were glued meticulously by Priscilla when she put on her weave *Priscilla and Doxy have had a barbed-wire massacre match in the past so seeing them team up for once they weren’t very chummy but both have a grudge to settle with Kiera now
Finish: Priscilla hits osteoporosis on Amy Lee for the win and after the match Kiera is able grab her title and scram once she un-glues her hands but her weave is still stuck so she has just a basket use for hands. “I’m gonna finish you once and for all you tramp” *Doxy standing side by side in the ring with Priscilla *Doxy grabs the mic “Prisiclla tonight we were a team but there aren’t women’s tag titles In this promotion. So we are not friends. I’m looking at one thing. My women’s championship. Priscilla: Well I’m looking a two things. A bimbo with her hands glued. And the women that took that title from me. I’m not friends with ANYONE. Bite me
*Backstage: [Pre-Recorded Promo] ((Looks to be inside of a car)) Rosemary and Lotus with Slayer Slayer: 30. 30 dived by half is 15. 15 in 3rds becomes 5. And just like the lotus blossom. You can pluck it away 1 by 1 by 1 by1.........then that petal remains. That petal will always be remembered. In 3 weeks. I am that petal. And my seed is another. I’m not a betting man. But betting odds. Lotus or myself main eventing the biggest event in XPWEW history. I’m just waiting. I don’t have anything to prove.....
In Ring Segment: (((Joe Gacy needs to find a tag team partner worthy of being champion with him since Brodie Croyle is injured His first trial: Soloman Nasty
Tag Team Action! M4: Joe Gacy & “Soloman Nasty” defeat 2 jobber local talents
Bully Jaxon & “Mr. Insane Replay”
After the match Joe Gacy gives Soloman Nasty a “thumbs up” Nasty smiles Gacy then gives a “thumbs down” and pounces Nasty Gacy then sets up a table in the ring and presses him through it Joe Gacy: “I guess Soloman Nasty isn’t Plagueground material and isn’t worthy of being my tag team champion partner” *lifts Soloman Nasty up and slams the microphone on his head! EMTs didn’t even bother helping the jobber Soloman Nasty tonight here folks
Main Event! 3 Way Match (first fall wins) Leonard McGraw defeats All Man & Slayer
Finish occurs when Slayer gets thrown to the outside. All Man is getting momentum he’s going crazy shaking the ropes but off the ropes on the other side of the ring BOOM! TEXTBOOK TITAN TRON LEVEL Leonard annihilates All Man with a CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL aka “The Buckshot” Leonard McGraw picks up the WIN by pinning the All Man
IN RING SEGMENT: James Westerbeck: Ladies & Gentlemen for the first time speaking in over 6 months. Troy Clausen
- Champagne Clausen enters
- Champagne about to speak...
- Troy Clausen enters
“Troy: Well, dont look at me like I’m fricken Frankenstein you don’t wanna give me a hug. That’s fine. I don’t want it. 6 months ago I got into the ring for the first time and I got my ass handed to me. And since then that man hasn’t won a match huh huh (Hi Jacques, how ya doing) In those months we’ll we’ve entered a new decade. Kobe Bryant passed away. Terrible. Corona Virus has changed the everyday world, as we know it. Jacques Dudley has a losing streak...Jake Awesome doesn’t even work here anymore. Golden Bryce won a match on PPV. Champagne: I was the World HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION Troy: Yeah well I didn’t see it Champagne: I was Troy: Oh yeah you were, but not the Curtis Clausen I knew. Before you won that title 45 minutes before I was incapacitated. You were different. And then when you seen I was going to make a full recovery I was told you amped my meds? You amped up my dosage? How is that legal? You won that title and you became vindictive, vengeful, hateful, mean, calculating, heartless, relentless and god damned GUTERRRRAL .......Just like me! :) But Curtis you’ll never be evil as me :) You’ll never be as good at bein one VILE SON OF A BITCH LIKE ME! You’ll always be...a Troy. Clausen wannabe. You took me out of the picture because you wanted to be the center of attention well now you got it. You got it. I like it You know why? Cause I would have done the same DAMN THING!!!! But now your times up. Freight Train told me everything. But now I’m awake and I don’t care what title you won, you are a pissant. You couldn’t keep me down! And I love it! I love it! Vindictive! Calculated. Vile. You tried but Damnit son lol I’m just a whole lot better at it Now look at ya You got no title You have no sedated father Where’s all the attention you wanted Well that’s fine cause you’ve paid yourself an ass whooping And this means I got one more chance to beat the fuck outta you Champagne: You won’t Troy: Oh I won’t SLAPS CHAMPAGNE
((Champagne tackles troy and punches him repetitively over and over. ((Troy just Eats all those punches)) Troy laying on mat on his back: You got nothing.. heavily breathing
((Champagne looks under the ring and grabs a Singapore Cane)) Troy: Do it. Do it you Jagaloon Champagne: thwaks
.......again.........again....then hits Troy on the back about 6 times (((Champagne goes back to punching Troy on the head over and over until blood is spilled and Troy has a crimson mask just flowing from his forehead (( Champagne un-do’s his tie and leaves the ring )) Troy: You and me...Lockdown Seven Champagne: mouthing since he has no microphone
“I’ll be doing the main event” Troy: No heavily breathing
I’ll make damn you won’t..... Camera zooms in on a bloody crimson masked smiling Troy Clausen SHOW ENDS
! Last week I posted an analysis I did on jump balls
and it was well received. With the NBA season only a few days away, and now that the whole China talk has died down (for now), I wanted to share one more quick project I did this week.
This week I wanted to see if there is some way to quantify team chemistry. We can "feel" team chemistry improving or decaying, whether that is from hostile post-game interviews, trade rumors, toxic personalities joining/leaving the team. But how does this translate to actual play on the court, in a measurable way? That is what I want to explore using some "alternative" game stats.
This is more for fun than for anything that I use in my betting, although I do sometimes "qualitatively" consider chemistry. The results aren't perfect, but I think there are some interesting observations to note.
To see the results of each team, see the Imgur gallery
, and I will point out a few good examples in the sections below.
First I needed to come up with some measure of team chemistry. This is hard to do with basic box score stats, and even some of the advanced ones like offensive/defensive rating can be affected by a poor shooting night rather than bad chemistry. Therefore, I turned to some more specialized stats from stats.nba.com
that, in my opinion, are more directly related to how well a team is playing together, or "chemistry".
I chose two stats that represent what I consider offensive and defensive chemistry, and these stats are as follows:
- Screen Assists: The number of times an offensive player or team sets a screen for a teammate that directly leads to a made field goal by that teammate. A team that is playing well together will have great off ball movement, and set screens on or off ball setting up scores.
- Secondary Assists: A player is awarded a secondary assist if they passed the ball to a player who recorded an assist within 1 second and without dribbling. This shows how well the ball is hopping. Commentators always praise teams who are willing to make the extra pass, turning a good shot to a great shot.
- Contested Shots: The number of times a defensive player or team closes out and raises a hand to contest a shot prior to its release. This stat shows how well the defense is moving together. More contested shots means the defense is not breaking down as often, most likely due to good chemistry and communication.
- Deflections: The number of times a defensive player or team gets his hand on the ball on a non-shot attempt. A team who gets more deflections should be a team who's players are well positioned. Again, this should be due to playing well together defensively, and communicate well
I took the stats each team accumulated over every game, and with these four metrics, I did an equal weighting to create a single metric, which I call "Chemistry". Because each stat can vary in magnitude, I scaled each variable on a scale of 0-100 and take the average. I take a moving average of 8 games (~10% of the season, larger moving average would yield a smoother curve but there would be less data points) then I scale the Chemistry metric so that the starting value is always 100. So what we finally have is a measure of how a team's chemistry has changed relative to what they started at the beginning of the season, somewhat like a "Chemistry Index".
The resulting metric definitely has ups and downs, and it's not always super clear why. Could it be chemistry issues, or just some bad games vs. tougher opponents? Maybe. For now let's move on to the results and see if there is any information in there.
I plotted the Chemistry Index for all 30 teams. See the Imgur gallery
for each team.
I was interested to see the results of a select few teams, ones that we already know had some chemistry issues. For every team I could think of, I added some points of interest where some potentially chemistry changing event happened (trade, coach firing, etc.). If you have any others to add, please let me know!
Here are a few examples I was excited to see:
Houston Rockets plot
There are two main events that happened during this season: Carmelo being dismissed from the team after a terrible start, and then Chris Paul returning from injury after James Harden was carrying the team at MVP levels.
Carmelo's dismissal is pretty obvious. The team was performing very poorly, and Carmelo was not a good fit for this team. We can see here that shortly after Carmelo is dismissed, the Rockets' Chemistry Index notably improves.
After the season, we heard about Chris Paul and James Harden not getting along, and we were not too surprised when Paul got traded to OKC. Everyone within the Rockets denied there was any beef between the two, but the Chemistry Index shows a decline when CP3 returned from injury. Perhaps his and Harden's games just did not mesh well, and having two ball dominant players absoultely killed their offense.
Los Angeles Lakers plot
The Lakers had a pretty disappointing season last year. They started off poorly, but looked to be picking it up, peaking at the Christmas Day game when LeBron went down with his injury. We can see here that the team started to suffer in chemistry shortly after LeBron went down (of course it would).
The other interesting point of the season is at the end of January, when Anthony Davis informed the world he wanted out. The trade rumors started swirling, and everyone on the Lakers not named LeBron was avaialable and involved in trade talks. We can see here that the Chemistry Index plummeted during this time, and didn't recover until the trade deadline had passed (and LeBron returned from injury).
The Warriors have some of the best chemistry in the league. However, the whole season was marred by Kevin Durant's coming free agency status. In fact, in early November, it culminated to a point where Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had a spat and had to be separated after a game. As can be seen, their Chemistry Index dropped quite a bit during this time though it did quickly recover.
Last one I want to point out. We all know that Kyrie was an issue with the Celtics last year, and they had a very disappointing playoffs because of it. After some googling, the first instance I could find of the chemistry issues starting was on January 9
, when Kyrie was reportedly upset that teammates went out to party in Miami the day before a game. As we can see, this is also around the time their Chemistry Index drops quickly.
This was a very quick and dirty analysis I did on a lazy Saturday, but it was surprisingly interesting to uncover some insights on team chemistry and how it affects performance on the court. I feel like this is a little more retrodictive than it is predictive, as most likely these stats are affected after
the chemistry starts to decay, and there may be other and better ways to measure chemistry. But still this was a cool insight to back up the qualitative feeling of a team with no/great chemistry.
Also keep in mind that it's difficult to really measure one team's Chemistry Index with another's. This is because each index is relative with how a team started the season. A similar study could be done where we compare these statistics with say the league average.
Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas to improve this. To see the code used to build this, see my github
Thanks for reading!
(Thank you to Flu_Monger for this comprehensive writeup!)
I put together this document to share with my extended family and friends over the past couple days (2/24/2020-2/25/2020). It is a basic beginners guide to the virus and a look at the current world situation. It also addresses basic preparation strategy. This is geared toward all of those folks who may be not paying attention, laughing this situation off, or who have no idea where to start with all of this. Please share with them as you see fit. Hopefully this is able to help some folks. Good luck to you all!
- Virus Information
This is the basic information regarding the virus. There is a ton more information out there now, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ve kept it bare-bones. If you want to learn more, I would suggest researching on your own.
A. What is it? – Coronavirus is a family of flu-like viruses that are normally carried by specific animals such as bats. The current virus moving through China is one specific strain of Coronavirus. It is novel, meaning brand-new and has never been seen before. It has been officially named COVID-19. In the early 2000’s, the SARS illness moved through China. SARS was also one variation of Coronavirus.
B. What are the early symptoms? – According to the Center for Disease Control: Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath (formerly Runny Nose, Sore Throat, Diarrhea were included)
C. Is it Contagious? - Extremely. It has gone airborne through aerosols, which means that anytime someone coughs or sneezes, the virus will attach to the air particles and can be breathed in, or it can enter the body through the tear ducts. It can also be spread through fecal matter. It can survive on surfaces for up to 9 days. Finally, it has up to a 30 day incubation period, with one case showing a 38 day incubation! This means that you can catch the illness and be very contagious for 30+ days before beginning to show any symptoms. If you recover from the virus, you can still infect other people around you. Finally, even if you catch it and recover, you can catch it a second time. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.07.20021154v1.full.pdf
D. Is it dangerous? - Yes. The seasonal Flu is easy to spread but has a mortality rate of around .1%. COVID-19 has an average mortality rate of around 2% - or about 20x higher than the flu. A virus’ ability to spread is measured by something called the “Basic Reproduction Number” or R(x). This number Is an average expectation of how many people will catch the virus from a single infected person. The average flu has an R-Value of about 1.3. So 1.3 people will be infected by someone who has the flu. COVID-19 has an R-Value of between R2.6 - R6.6, meaning up to 6.6 people could be infected by every person who has it! So while you may hear many arguments from people saying “the flu has killed way more people this year”, the fact is that this virus is brand new, and it hasn’t yet begun to really spread according to its abilities. Its like comparing apples to oranges. The flu has infected 6.4 million people in the US this season and has killed 2,900, or roughly .05% of them. COVID-19 has infected 80,000 and has killed over 2700 of them, almost 4% so far! When you compare sample sizes and ability to spread, this virus is light-years ahead of the flu in terms of danger and risk to the global population. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.07.20021154v1.full.pdf
E. The symptoms don’t seem that bad…why is everyone freaking out? - COVID-19 tends to cause rapid-onset pneumonia requiring hospitalization and a ventilator. Once caught, it generally progresses into pneumonia very quickly to the point of death. There have been reports of it targeting elderly folks and little children just like the regular flu, but also it has shown preference to middle aged men, more specifically to people who smoke. This is due to a higher level of Ace2 inhibitors in their blood that smoking produces, as the virus gains access to the cells through Ace2 inhibitors. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200131114755.htm
F. If 98% of people survive its not a huge deal then right? – Wrong! The terrible thing about this virus is that it can be caught again! And the second time around generally produces more severe symptoms including heart attacks/failure. Test Kits are struggling to confirm the virus, often producing false negatives, and are in extremely short supply, with only a handful of states in the US even having any. There are currently countless videos on twitter of individuals in China collapsing randomly in public while experiencing heart-failure. There are also rumors coming from China that you can still spread the virus AFTER you’ve recovered from it.
- Real-World Consequences
A. World-Wide Spread
a. The virus originated in Wuhan, China, and has since spread to many other nations around the world. Most notably, South Korea, Iran, and Italy are showing explosions of the virus in many major cities. Governments there have put massive cities into lockdown/quarantine. The virus has spread to 33 nations currently, including the United States.
b. Many Nations such as Israel and UK have closed off their borders to international travelers from hotbed regions. Currently the US is very lax on its travel limitations, only stopping people who are coming directly from the Wuhan region of China.
c. Cruise Ships have become breeding grounds for the virus, resulting in multiple ships being forced into quarantine over the last month, not allowing passengers to disembark. This has resulted in the virus spreading significantly on board most ships, and the US has issued travel warnings for American’s regarding cruise ships heading to any part of Asia. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html
B. Chinese Response
a. China has been reporting infection and death numbers consistent with an exponential growth rate, but considering how early in the cycle we are, they’ve only confirmed roughly 80,000 infections and just over 2700 deaths.
b. CCP (Communist Party of China AKA Their Government) has a history of spreading false information and using propaganda to shape narratives and world-wide views of their nation. Despite the numbers they’ve reported surrounding COVID-19, their response measures have been swift and extreme from the beginning, leading the world to doubt their claims and worry that the situation is much worse than we know. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/02/10/coronavirus-killed-hundreds-china-giving-full-picture-column/4712579002/
c. Hundreds of millions of people have been quarantined throughout China, including multiple MASSIVE cities (larger than NYC) which have been placed into mandatory lockdown. People cannot leave their homes. Many videos have come out of entire apartment buildings having their entry and exit doors welded shut by Chinese authorities in full hazmat suits. People suspected of infection are being taken forcibly against their will by groups of police in hazmat suits with semi-automatic rifles. There are countless people dying in their homes in quarantine from the virus, being collected by teams in full protective gear. Countless trucks spraying giant clouds of disinfectant are moving through the cities.
d. Chinese hospitals have been overrun, to the point where dead and sick people line the hallways. The CCP had an emergency hospital built in 6 days in Wuhan, and has since planned 19 more hospitals to be rapidly built across the most heavily affected areas. All Sports arenas and warehouses have been turned into makeshift field hospitals with thousands of beds. Once people are taken to these places, they are not allowed to leave as it is forced quarantine. To check the truth of these statements, and to see pictures/videos form countless people, just to go twitter, and search #coronavirus – you can then filter to videos or pictures.
C. Media Coverage
a. As I’m sure you’re aware, this issue isn’t being heavily covered by mainstream media. In fact, our US media has been almost silent on the matter despite 53 confirmed cases in the country. There have been many people placed on self-quarantine, including 1,000+ in Los Angeles, and over 300 in Metro Detroit. Finally, as of 2/24/2020, both NPR and Fox News have come out with headlines regarding impending pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the old standard for pandemic is “the worldwide spread of a new disease”. But as of today the WHO has decided that they will no longer use the term “Pandemic”. Instead they use “Global Emergency”, which has already been issued for some time.
b. Every year, a handful of representatives from the world’s leading governments, businesses, and public health organizations gather together to participate in something called “Event 201”, a global pandemic simulation. The event took place in October of 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak. Representatives from the following groups participated: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mariott, United Nations, Chinese CDC, Columbia University, ANZ Bank, Edelman (Global Communications Firm), Lufthansa Airlines, UPS, U.S. CDC, Vice President of NBC Universal, Johnson & Johnson, and the Singapore Government. Upon completion they held panel discussions about the simulation, including one centered around communication after the outbreak. During this panel they discussed how they would control narratives and hide information, to the point of forcing sites like Facebook and Twitter to delete all info regarding the true severity of the pandemic, in order to foster calm, and avert panic. They discussed also using social media as a broadcast tool, inferring they could control what things get shared or go viral. They discussed getting to the point of controlling cable TV networks and forcing talking points that negated the severity of the pandemic, and a pushed a mentality of “its just the flu” or “Its not that serious”. Finally, they discussed things such as complete internet shut downs once the pandemic progresses. I share this information with you because the people involved are all extremely high up in these companies/organizations, and have much influence over the US and world populations through their respective groups. http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/scenario.html
c. For more reliable and current media coverage, your best bet is to refer to foreign news agencies, rather than American based agencies. Reddit is a great resource, as long as you visit the correct sub-forums. Sub-forum Wuhan_flu
is a good resource, as it is the only subforum which is currently not being heavily censored by Chinese moderators. Unfortunately that subforum has been quarantined, being accused of sometimes providing untrue or hoax information, so it is difficult to get to. You will need to search for the sub forum from an actual computer on the reddit website (not a mobile phone), and also will need to create an account and verify your email address. Also, since reddit is essentially a large bulletin board, where anyone can post anything, just be weary of what you believe, and also be aware that some portions of the website can host inappropriate content. I generally will only believe posts that are backed with a link to a reputable news source or a verified twitter account of a person in a position of leadership. In this way, you can weed out info that is most likely hearsay or questionable. For those that don’t know, Reddit is known as “the front page of the internet” – most worldwide news anymore breaks there first.
- As of 2/25 the US CDC announced that they expect the virus to soon begin spreading at the community level in the U.S. and that “disruption to everyday life may be severe”.
D. Supplies and Material Effects
a. Since the virus erupted in China, production across that country has ground to a halt. Due to lockdown across most of the nation, the world’s largest supplier has shuttered its factories. Along with that, most importing nations have closed off goods coming from China in order to stop the spread of the virus. At this point there is no end in sight.
b. The Global Supply Chain is currently being crippled by the results of COVID-19. As it stands, 940 of the Forbes top 1000 (companies) are being affected by supply chain issues, as well as countless mid-range and small businesses. This means that goods are not being shipped, therefore we will start to see shortages of supplies on the shelves around us. Right now, most retailers are relying on their warehouses of stored inventory, but once those run out, there will be nothing coming in. Recently, emails leaked from Amazon showed that they were mass purchasing inventory from Chinese sellers in preparation for the supply chain disruptions (this happened almost 3 weeks ago, so they were fully aware that a massive incident was going to take place to hurt the economy). Apple also recently announced that Iphone production has been significantly impacted and may not return to full capacity until May/June. The way I see it is this, if the big guys are stocking up, we should probably pay attention and follow suit!
c. For us little people, this will affect us in a number of ways. You may start seeing shortages of specific items at your local stores. Some items that are most likely to see shortages are:
i. Medicine – Much of our medicine is made in China, including almost 97% of our antibiotics. You will most likely see flu/cold meds run out first, but medications in general should be considered most important.
ii. Medical Supplies – Masks (RatedN95 or better -these are almost impossible to find currently), Latex Gloves, thermometers, first aid items
iii. Personal Hygiene- Shampoo, toothpaste, Soap, Makeup Remover, hair spray/pomades, etc.
iv. Consumer Electronics – TV’s, Computers, Hard-Drives, cell phones etc. Lightbulbs may also become increasingly difficult to find.
v. Paper Products – Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, paper plates, etc.
vi. Cleaning Supplies – Clorox Wipes, bleach, hand soaps and dish soaps, rubbing alcohol (70%+), Laundry detergent.
As time goes on, you will continue to see these items decline in availability. As cases continue to rise in the US and news becomes more widespread, you will start to see the beginnings of “panic buying” of more rudimentary supplies like foodstuffs. This has begun in some states where larger groups of people have been quarantined. I will go into this more in the third section.
d. Should things progress toward more widespread illness across the country, there is the possibility of cities or entire regions being placed into lockdown like we’ve witnessed in MANY other nations around the world. Currently there is spread happening in western Canada. If you begin hearing of confirmed cases in your region, or folks being put into quarantine in your region, that means other people will have heard that as well and folks will begin naturally stocking up on food, water, and medicines, just like with every major snowstorm or hurricane. If a lockdown of a city is abruptly announced (like it was in northern Italy late last week), the supermarkets will be flooded immediately, and will most likely sell out of most foods/supplies pretty quickly. If either scenario were to occur, it would be difficult and very stressful to attempt to stock up on supplies while people are panicking or panic-buying. And depending on where you live, it could also be dangerous, as we’ve seen with how people act on Black Friday. Imagine that same atmosphere but over essential life supplies.
E. Financial Effects
a. If you don’t pay attention to the stock market then you may be unaware of how it has been performing throughout this situation. Amazingly enough, its been steadily still rising despite the supply chain failure (which is currently in full swing affecting world-wide businesses). Many financial experts feared that the US government was propping up the market by pumping massive amounts of cash into it, and that inevitably, the bottom would fall out. Unfortunately they were correct and on 2/24/2020 amid fears of the virus, the DOW lost 1000 points! On 2/25 it continued to fall another 900 points by later afternoon. We are seeing drops across the board, as the Market is beginning to retract in response to the world’s biggest manufacturer shutting down and people growing fearful. If you monitor the market each day you will see a small picture of how the worlds is responding to the virus. Huge drops may infer that many investors are fearful, and that will be a reflection of the overall populations around the world. So if you notice the market crashing, you can be sure that people will very quickly be panic-buying soon after.
b. As of 2/25/2020 the White House has put together a request for supplemental funds to fight the virus in the States. Usually these requests are for wartime or natural disaster responses. The White House is requesting $2.5 Billion, $1.2Billion of which will go directly towards funding COVID-19 vaccination research. The rest will be for supporting preparedness and response activities and to stock up on supplies. The U.S. Military also has been preparing for possible pandemic scenarios and 15 “Quarantine Camps” have been established around the nation. https://www.businessinsider.com/us-military-bases-coronavirus-quarantine-locations-2020-2
c. Many of the worlds leading banking systems in Asia, such as the Chinese and Singapore banks, are expecting to see major losses due to souring loans and reduced spending as a result of the virus. Some cities in China have seen the banks closing, leaving crowds of people outside unable to withdraw their cash.
d. If the situation worsens, you may see certain markets start to also slow down, such as the real-estate market or the Auto-market. This would be a result of people becoming fearful of over-spending, while trying to hoard cash or not over-extend themselves when the economy is wavering.
A. Why should we prepare? - I know that not everyone who reads this will agree with or care about this reasoning, but I feel that The Lord has placed this concept heavily on my heart over the past few months. The book of Genesis talks about how Egypt sees 7 years of abundance. During those 7 years, God tells Joseph to collect all of the excess food and grains and store them in the cities. After 7 years of plenty, 7 years of severe famine sweeps the land. When all other nations begin to starve and die, the nation of Egypt is well taken care of and provided for. Today we live in the richest, most advanced nation in history, with food and drink available to be delivered to our doorstep at any time of the day or night. We have money for leisure and vacations, grocery, hardware, and specialty stores within driving distance, and as much fuel as we could desire down at the pump. We have electricity and water and heat in our homes. Yet despite all of this, 90% of American families have enough supplies to last 3 days in their home at any given time. There is no excuse for this! Even the most poverty stricken homes can take small but purposeful measures to prepare for longer-term emergencies. Not only is it lazy to not prepare for the “famine” (or whatever emergency may arise) but it is also ignorant, and, I believe, downright wrong. We have been given much, and we need to be good stewards of our opportunity and riches while those blessings are on our nation, because there may come a day when that isn’t the case.
B. There are different types of preparation
a. Some folks like to go all-out, with the end goal being off-the-grid sustainability, defense, and health. These are the Doomsday Preppers. They are the people who are on TV shows decked out in camo who live out in the middle of nowhere with a pile of MRE’s. They will have large amounts of cash, or even physical gold or silver on hand.
b. The next group are The Preppers with a Plan. These would be the folks who have a stockpile of supplies to last a month or two, with the necessary tools and materials needed to survive should they have to leave their homes and head out into the woods or to a different area. These folks live with a foot in each world, one in everyday life, with the other ready to react if they need to. They are usually on alert for what is happening in the world. They also will generally keep an emergency fund in cash, of anywhere from $500 to $5000.
i. Most of the time, these folks will have an item called a Bug-Out-Bag, which is a backpack or duffel filled with essential survival items to keep them alive and moving for roughly 72 hours should they need to leave home in a hurry. This is sort of along the lines of an emergency kit for your car, but more advanced and able to help you get by for a few days if needed. A bug-out-bag is a really great system to have in place for every person in your home. I would highly encourage you to consider getting one started. For more information just google search bug-out-bag. You can customize yours to your own lifestyle!
c. The final group is just your average everyday folks who try to have basic all-around preparations in place for lower-grade emergencies (like extended power outages, etc.) These people will normally stockpile enough food, beverages/water, and everyday supplies to last a few days to a few weeks, or just try to keep a full pantry. They will also generally have extra batteries, candles, everyday medicines, and maybe some extra gas for their generator. Normally these folks will keep little to no cash on hand.
C. What kind of preparation is currently necessary? - Well, there are many opinions on that, but since I’m a pretty well-rounded person, I think I’ve got a decent handle. Right now, there’s no need to build a bunker or move into the woods. This isn’t doomsday. But COVID-19 is also nothing to scoff at. A middle of the road approach is what I tend to shoot for on average, especially with how intense the world is today. We should currently be preparing for supply-chain shortages and extended in-home quarantines. Not saying that we are all going to catch this illness, but the neighbor might! And you don’t want to have to be in line behind them at the grocery store in case they do have it. But if the call comes for your city to be locked down for 2 weeks, would you be prepared to shelter in place? In Italy, the call came very unexpectedly, and caught many people by surprise. The result was a mad-dash to the grocery store with people fighting over the last loaves of bread and bags of rice. You don’t want to be in that type of situation with a very contagious sickness going around! Luckily, from what we’ve seen in Wuhan, China, the lights and water have (mostly) stayed on, its just people that are going stir crazy and running out of food because they can’t leave their homes. So I think that preparing for an extended stay in your house would be a great place to start. And maybe beginning to think about a bug-out-bag wouldn’t be such a bad idea should the situation end up going south around your town.
D. How should I prepare? - Well, you can start by snagging a few extra items every time you go to the grocery store. Whatever you do, don’t go stocking up on MRE’s and powdered eggs. You’ll never eat that stuff unless you’re starving and you (hopefully) won’t ever get to that point. Focus on the non-perishables that you currently utilize the most in your life. Canned/frozen veggies, frozen meats, boxed foods that will last forever, rice, beans, soda and water and candy or treats. The idea is to just have a big stockpile of things you normally use, so that you can keep rotating items out of your storage so that nothing will go bad. Water is of course very important. Having enough water and food to last you for 2-3 weeks is a great place to start. Try to consider everyday items that you might overlook but are super important, such as:
a. toilet paper, paper towels, napkins
b. shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothpaste, makeup remover
c. batteries, band-aids, well stocked first-aid kit
d. Over the counter medications (Tylenol, flu meds, allergy meds, etc)
E. This all may feel overwhelming, and you may feel like you don’t know where to start. Don’t be discouraged! What I’ve found is the best place to start is to understand your end goal. In our current situation, I believe that if quarantines were to happen, they wouldn’t last more than a few weeks, and then life would resume. There shouldn’t be any disruptions to utilities or internet during that time. So we want to focus on needs to shelter in place for an extended period. Start by just making an exhaustive list of everything you can think of to get you and your family through everyday life. Maybe try jogging your brain by going into every room in your house to see if there’s anything directly related to that room that you could run out of, but don’t want to. Just make a list of anything and everything! Once you’re done, cross off anything that you feel like you could live without if you had to. Next, just begin working on stocking up on the other things, one or two items at a time. Personally I would shoot for 3 weeks worth of stuff just to be safe. Just take it slow and work within your financial means to prepare. Remember, even if you don’t fully get through your whole list before something potentially forces you to stop, then you are still much better off than before you started! Grab the crucial things first, like water, and go from there. It may also be wise to grab a weeks worth of supplies to help out if utilities do go down, such as water, or firewood for the fireplace, etc.
F. Cash on hand is a must-have. Even for people who aren’t preparing for anything, a cash emergency fund is always a great tool when you need it. In the case of a prepping situation, cash is essential. Remember that Cash is King. You never know when there may be an issue with the banks (like in China currently) or when a poweinternet outage could cripple our use of credit/debit cards. Back in 2003 the entire Northeast United States experienced a power outage that lasted over 2 days in some parts. During this time credit/debit cards were useless. Cash was the only way to purchase fuel, food, or water. If you ever find yourself in a situation like this, it is best to have small bills. People generally don’t carry around change for a hundred, so 1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s will be the best denominations. For our current situation, I would suggest keeping at least $1000 in cash in case of emergency. Now depending on your situation (kids, location, etc.) it may be wise to keep up to $5000 or more in cash. When it comes to cash, I would say anything over 5-7k becomes detrimental as you could quickly become a target to other people, and most of us don’t have an extra 5k just waiting around to be stashed away. If you can’t afford the $1000, don’t worry. Just having ANYTHING in cash will be better than nothing. Even if you’ve only got $25 or $50, that will be enough to fill your gas tank to get you to family or friends who can help more. The point is, anything is better than nothing, so don’t get discouraged if you’re limited, instead, take pride in the fact that you’re bothering to prepare at all, because most people aren’t!
G. Now as I mentioned before, we are going to begin to see some supply chain issues. It would be wise to consider those items I listed in the second section that come from China, and focus more heavily on those first. Medicine would be the most important. It’s a terrible feeling needing some Flu-meds and going to the store and finding they are all out. There’s also nothing worse than sick babies and not being able to find things like Children’s Tylenol or Motrin. So buy extra of those things now. Because everyone is going to snatch up the medicine first when news begins to become more widespread. And remember, we are still in the middle of flu-season. So you may not catch COVID-19, but you may still catch the flu, and it’ll be a bummer if all the Tylenol Severe Cold and Flu is gone when you finally drag yourself to the pharmacy.
H. There is a ton more information I could share on preparation for this, but I don’t want to write a book. The wisest, most loving thing you can do for yourself and your family and friends is to open your eyes and ears and stop waiting for the SHTF (Stuff Hit the Fan) moment before deciding to act. Obviously we know that mainstream media such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. are all already late to the party with stuff, and often are able to be controlled by our government if necessary. If the full truth about this virus and its effects was being broadcast through mainstream media right now, the public response could potentially be severe. There would be many scared people panicking, and there could possibly be unrest, or large-scale financial effects as people withdraw money from the banks or slow down on buying things. With all personal political bias aside, the reality is that President Trump is heading into his re-election bid, and his biggest strength is the economy. If something were to disrupt that, he could potentially loose footing in the election. It makes logical sense that his administration would be downplaying the severity of this issue in order to not scare the American people into hurting the economy. I believe that is why we just saw the World Health Organization announce it will no longer use the word Pandemic, why the Center for Disease Control decided not to count the repatriated Americans who caught COVID-19 internationally as part of the overall American confirmed cases count (this drops the total from 53 down to 14), and why the Feds have been pumping massive amounts of cash into the stock market (https://www.axios.com/federal-reserve-temprorary-liquidity-89c59d7e-7c47-4663-ae55-33b5b55b39f3.html
I. In the end, don’t’ believe everything you hear. Your best bet is to research this stuff on your own and try to become as informed as possible, then make your decisions from there. If any of you have any questions at all, just let me know and I’d be happy to answer them! Be ready and stay safe – hopefully this all amounts to nothing and you can all make fun of me the next time you see me. I really do hope that’s the case!
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