Commentary: Paul Ebeling on Wall Street, World Vs Coronavirus

Commentary: Paul Ebeling on Wall Street, World Vs Coronavirus

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Just in: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) says the stock market rout has probably past its worst now.

Again, there is something really different about the COVIS-19 coronavirus and the world’s reaction to it, the reaction is unprecedented, and scary.

The past 4 wks have seen huge responses not only from central banks but governments tasked with protecting their citizens as if in a war. Since then we have seen huge changes in attitude from world wide political leaders who had seen the coronavirus as just a Chinese problem.

Now declared as a pandemic, COVID-19 continues to take its toll on people’s health, and thousands have already fallen victim to this mysterious illness.

But, as the virus spreads quickly, so does the misinformation surrounding it.

In these trying times, you must learn to separate fact from fiction so you can take the right measures to safeguard your health.

The coronavirus outbreak may last for a year or more, but some elements of pre-pandemic life will be clawed back this killer.

The new coronavirus has brought American life to a near standstill, closing businesses, canceling large gatherings, and keeping people at home. Everyone is wondering, how long will this sequester last.

The Big Q: When will things return to ‘normal’?

The Big A: Simple, if not satisfying. When enough of the population possibly 60 – 80% of the people are resistant to COVID-19 to halt the spread of the disease from person to person. That is the goal, no one knows how long it will take to get there.

There are 2 ways to do it: 1 is the development of a vaccine, and 2 is for the disease to work its way through the population, killing many, but leaving most others immune, meaning they cannot get infected again and they will not pass on the disease. Once enough people reach that point normalcy will be restored.

Both of those paths could be long, but degrees of normalcy will be clawed back in that frame.

Come this Summer, Americans may get restaurants, but no music festivals, offices, but no crowded beaches, bars with spaced-out seating. And new behavioral rules, no hand shaking or kissing ever again.

Projecting when each facet of daily life will be restored becomes easier when public-health officials learn who is infected, who has recovered and become immune, and who is yet susceptible, this is the information emerges from widespread testing, and data gathering which the United States is doing at lightning speed now.

Epidemiologists stress that they have no idea when life will be unfrozen, but they have possible timelines on which Americans might be able to safely start leaving the house to make money or do fun things again.

Below are those timelines, including some turning points to look out for in the coming weeks, months, and years, as follows:

No matter what, staying safe means staying home for a while. Moving back toward normalcy at this early stage could be disastrous, as prematurely ending severe social distancing would be a mistake that would have major human consequences. And no 1 knows what prematurely means, it could be 8 – 12 weeks.

  1. If Americans are still cooped up at home in late Spring, public-health experts will have learned more about the virus by then. Perhaps most important, they should know how much strain this 1st Wave of infections will have put on America’s hospitals, and how effective containment efforts have been. This information is not available now. In 1 month or 2, public-health officials and researchers will have a better sense of whether those who recover from an infection are immune to future infections, and if so, for how long. That information will come in handy for containment efforts.
  2. There are lots of things that will be learned from months of testing both people who have symptoms and people who do not. The types of tests matter here are the 1 that detects the presence of the virus itself, and 2, that which detects the antibodies that people develop when they are immune to it. There are 3 variables dictate the spread of a disease: how many people the average person encounters in a day when transmission could take place whether through face-to-face interaction or from touching the same surface, the chance that the virus will be transmitted in each of those interactions and the proportion of people that 1 encounters who are infected. With that data some of the extreme things we are doing now, may be dropped sooner rather than later. And in 3-4 months, researchers might have identified a treatment for COVID-19 something that will quickly and reliably ease symptoms and prevent deaths. This would not eliminate the continued need for social distancing, since large-scale outbreaks would still be possible, but it could reduce the risk of overburdening the country’s hospitals if another outbreak happened.
  3. Experts, think they will find out if COVID-19 is seasonal sometime in the next 2-3 months, and here is where this frame splits: In 1 scenario the virus fades in the Summer. In the other, it does not. In both, at least some of the social distancing measures now in place continue into 2-H of this year. If the number of cases has not stopped and is not falling significantly by mid-June the officials will likely know the virus is not seasonal. And Americans could be stuck where they are now. But if there’s good enough data indicating that hospitals should not be overwhelmed, behavioral restrictions could be scaled back. However in all likelihood, people who can work remotely or order food via delivery would still do so instead of leaving home.
  4. The Spring of Y 2021 is about the earliest the experts expects a vaccine to be available. Anything faster would be world-record, more lightning speed. If scientific researchers and Big Pharma make something to be pumped into the arms of hundreds of millions, probably billions, of people, they want to make sure it is right. And if it is right, normal life will resume, but not immediately, as the logistics of vaccinating 350-M Americans will be a major and difficult undertaking that begs the Q: Who gets it 1st?

Reaching population-level immunity means that future outbreaks of COVID-19 coronavirus should be far less damaging than the 1 the US and the world is at war with now. This virus could remain threatening and continue to circulate, infecting people like the common cold or flu does. Not an ideal outcome, but by then, life would be back to ‘normal’ though I suspect. completely changed.

If you want to know the no noise news on this health emergency you can get it here, just click here for our market and health archive.

Note: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) says the stock market rout has probably past its worst now.

Have a healthy week, stay home!

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge Including Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he it the author of "The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a highly regarded, weekly financial market commentary. He is a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to over a million cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognize Ebeling as an expert.