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23 March 2020


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Sad if you are among the four, but you would play those odds in a casino and come away loaded with cash.

Pleased to see someone with spine. What shares should i buy now that the price is down? Anything available for 4$ that soon will be back up to 100%?


Larry as you point out almost none of the world’s population have caught it yet, which is the problem. Yes some ICU's are maxed out in a few places but the danger comes when this is common over large areas, or HCWs do not have adequate PPE. Epidemiology says it will die out once 70% of the world’s population have been infected or this figure has been reached through vaccination. The problem is how to get to that point without crashing the healthcare system or shutting down contacts to a point that severely damages the economy. China did the shutdown and is now opening things back up again and their cases are rising once more. It remains to be seen if they can use the accelerator and breaks to keep these new cases low enough for the hospitals to still give adequate care. The Imperial collage data (very highly respected modelling team) expects in the UK 8 patients needing each ICU per bed with the current shutdown measures, without it is 30 per bed. We will know in about a month how much strain is being put on the system and in a further month how effective the measures have been in slowing growth. This pandemic has barely started yet and if we fail to eradicate it may just become another endemic human disease, or worse still, infect an animal (probably bats) causing new emergences of related Corona virus strains in the future.




This is the anybody but Trump virus. I fully expect Corona Light come October. In the mean time the economic restructuring of the "Green New Deal" is in full force. Did you notice the Democratic governors are going all in on economy destroying closures?


Two issues continue to be misrepresented which systematicly allow "corona" to take on the spectre of the Zombie Apocalypse:

1. Social distancing keeps people out of the sneeze-cough zone for droplet contamination by air. Yet social shunning of those who continue to cough and sneeze in public in fact is what needs to be made the primary line of defense. Not the crowds of people stocking up on toilet paper but virtuously standing 6 feet apart, clueless about their own role fostering the Zombie Apocalypse imagery.

2. Self-inoculation is the second source of infection, and way under-emphasizied while again disguised by virtuous but meaningless ritual behavior.

All the talk is about hand washing, surface decontamination and hand sanitizers which ultimately are a fools errand since this additional new, and critical ritual behavior often fails to emphasize the absolutely important disease connection that comes from sticking your very own (presumed) dirty fingers into one's own nose, mouth and/or eyes.

Few are 100% observant about how many surfaces they actually touch before the stick their "washed or sanitized hands" back into their own mouth, nose or eyes.

Washing your hands remains #1 in importance, but so does WATCHING your hands.

"Don't touch your face" misses the point too - another message fail - one must vividly make the connection between their own fingers and their own body orifices leading to the upper respiratory tract. And continue to be aware of this connection 24/7 - no exceptions.

Organic homemake hand sanitizers are as good as the last thing you touched or the next person who cough next to your clorox-wiped surfaces.

The media goes out of its way to instill the Zombie Apocalypse vision of this "flu" - it is everywhere, you must fear everything and nothing can protect you. If you touch it, you will die. If it is in the air, you will die. You never know who has it. You are a victim. And it is someone else's fault.

So one can pretend to do useless and ritual activities but ignore one's own role and one's own personal responsibility for its contact and spread.

1. Socially shun anyone who fails to protect their coughs or sneezes, until they learn new habits - how does staying 6 feet away from everyone teach the offenders new habits?

2. Wash your hands and watch what you touch. 100% of the time.

TSA is now with us 100% of the time after 911- regardless of the numerical threat. Proper self-hygiene needs to be with us 100% of the time too - and never should have left us.

Bring back white gloves. Now we know why.


Here in the UK either our management are incompetent of they know something we don't is my take.

Apart from summary figures broken down by Health district for 'got it' or 'dead from it' there is nothing. Testing apart from in hospitals is unknown unless you are famous so no-one has any idea what the viruses progress is in the community. What is happening at individual hospitals is probably a state secret now.

Even though, between themselves, they knew it was coming at the latest in mid January, they did nothing. No extra orders for masks, ventilators etc.

Yet they are allowing fear and panic to rip through the community and huge economic damage.

I haven't yet properly worked out cui bono but I have my suspicions. But they are passing some draconian laws.

Eric Newhill

Thank you, Larry.

It should be noted that 4% who die are from a skewed sample. The main skews being 1) They reported to a hospital because they were very sick 2) They tend to be the elderly with serious underlying health conditions (the mean age of the dead in Italy is 79) 3) If they die and they tested positive for covid-19, they are counted as killed by that virus. They may have been killed by some other virus.

In S. Korea, where testing is more ubiquitous, the mortality rate has dropped parallel to the volume of testing. Meaning that most people who have contracted the virus aren't symptomatic or are barely symptomatic.

More perspective - literally thousands of people around the world die every day due to Hep B and C. Literally thousands die every day due to TB. AIDS kills thousands a day. These are all contagious diseases that fester in the third world. Yet those almost incredible death rates don't even register in the US and up to a couple of weeks ago, the Democrats were calling for open borders; which would have allowed those contagious diseases into the country unmonitored. Why no hysteria over any of those (all of which have been increasing prevalence in the US in recent years)?

One week ago, Tom Hanks told his Instagram followers: "Hey folks. Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs," Hanks revealed. "Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch." - so we're destroying the entire economy because people fear feeling "blah" and because elderly that were going die anyhow, died. It's the equivalent of a bad flu and it's not doing anything a bad flu does every year it appears.

How many businesses and lives will be ruined? IMO, there's even a risk of massive civil disorder if the hysteria keeps up. madness. Pure madness.


e actual mortality rate may be closer to 1% or less with most of it concentrated in the over 70s. The reasonable thing to do would have been to protect seniors while letting everyone else go about their business. Nuking the economy with lockdowns is the politicians’ way of competing with each other to show they’re “doing something.” It’s craven behavior not leadership.

A number of notable virologists have advocated for a more level-headed approach, among them Dr. David Katz. See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html.

This daily updated page https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/ has compiled a lengthy list of doctors and virologists who are critical of the panic mongering.

Laura Wilson

If the government was doing its job, we would know those metrics. You are so right about needing to know the numbers nationally---I think it is the government's job to do that and the media's job to report the numbers. Lacking the first, the second is going to be much harder to put together---I'm sure they are trying!



"If the government was doing its job, we would know those metrics. "
Where are the masks and ventilators that Obama built? He certainly ran government better, didn't he?

Terence Gore

Open the golf courses!!!

Have everyone walk to keep social distance (1 person per cart at double the price.)

Violation of this rule 2 stroke penalty

Use glove hand to remove flag or with new rules just leave it in.

Duffers of the world must unite to overthrow this tyranny

Nornert M Salamon

Thank you Larry for the sobering analysis of Corvid-19.

I only disagree with your emphasis that the social distancing is the main cause of economic collapse.

Methinks that the everything bubble in coordination of unrepayable debt fiasco has arrived, and the ELITES/media are distracting from refinancing the Wall Street gamblers, Share-buyback artists, Private equity leveraged asset strippers and the offshore artist looser.

We are replaying the 2008 modus operandi get the elites saved financially and let the poor people try to survive on their own as they assume all the obligation of the
elite rescue


God apparently forbid anyone to question the panic orthodoxy. Thank you Larry Johnson for daring to write what us heretics have been thinking.

We are not being confronted by the Black Death, after all.

The grandstanding pols are beyond tiresome now. I'd hate to have to get in between a governor and a TV camera these days -- talk about life-threatening circumstances!


Many curses still open Terence! Golfweek magazine says:
Leave the flagstick in.
Don’t pick up playing partners’ clubs.
Pass on the friendly post-round handshake (of course!).
Many courses have taken the rakes away.
Some courses have set limits on one person per cart or they’ve eliminated carts altogether.
Many courses have shut down their food and beverage options.
Some have turned cups upside down within the hole.

Although I'm completely flummoxed on the whys and wherefores of the upside-down-cup.

English Outsider

Larry Johnson - I'm afraid I'm rather more of JJ Jackson's view as to the potential seriousness of this disease.

But the economic effects are already pretty devastating. 10% of world trade is tourism and related. Entertainment is a big industry. Both hard hit and other sectors too. Pensioners spend a fair bit and many are no longer doing so.

So whether we panic or not that's the reality. A reality superimposed on a weak and vulnerable economy. Also on a financial system already on life support.

That's more the case in my country than yours, by quite a long chalk. Even so, though I believe the US is in a better position to recover, the hit's coming our way wherever we live. You can't take that amount of economic activity out and expect there to be only a few bumps in the road.

Theoretically the best approach is yours. Business as usual, tuck the vulnerable away, take such casualties as come along among the less vulnerable. Could even be an opportunity for economic regeneration along Trump 2016 lines.

This hasn't happened and I doubt it would have even had the strategy been agreed on and adopted early on. And there's too much disconnect between the rulers and ruled for anything constructive much to happen now, certainly in UK politics though it would be presumptuous in me to venture an opinion here about yours. This is already a big deal and should be treated as such.


I've been following your analyses on Russiagate and they're on the money every time. I hope the pandemic isn't used as an opportunity to bury that disgraceful affair. But there'll be plenty hoping it's just that.


"courses" NOT "curses"! Although I've been known to curse a bit in the tee box and on the green

j. casey

Mr. Newhill is right about TB, which kills approximately 1.6 million per year. I guess it all depends on who is doing the dying, when it comes to cranking up the media shrill-factor to 11, even if that precipitates another Depression.


You raise a valid question Larry. Why should we care? After all, we must die sometime, four percent is not a big number is it?

But wait, the alleged CFR for the 1918 Flu was two point five percent. So that shouldn’t have beena big deal either. .....except we know that it was a big deal, why?. The problem as JJackson eloquently puts it is how do we get to the end state of mass immunity without collapsing the healthcare system, to which I would add; - and not collapsing civilisation as well.

People are not always rational. The media plays on fear. Despite “only four percent” People can easily imagine that they or their loved ones will be the victims. They will take action, drastic action, based on that erroneous belief. As Col. Lang observed: hysteria will kill more than the virus. That is why we must pay attention to mitigating this risk.

I am in pleasant daily communication with my son, a serving Police Officer, and we discuss the foibles of human behaviour as observed by both of us during the day. There is already a gradually increasing petty lawlessness as people convince themselves that because this is an emergency, laws don’t apply any more. This is manifesting as abuse of retail supermarket workers as well as healthcare staff. Drink driving is probably increasing since Police are too busy with other stuff to do random testing. Domestic violence among cooped up families is expected to increase. If we are not careful this will escalate into theft and assault, or worse.

So that is the short answer in my opinion. In the West, these days we rely on intricate supply chains that require high levels of trust, communication and coordination. In 1918 our society was far more rural and resilient than it is today. I am optimistic that America will once again demonstrate that “can do attitude” and fix those supply issues as they occur. The industry response to a lack of ventilators is an encouraging example.


TB deaths at 1.6 million? This is true but it is also a figure you could name your own price for if you could make it come true for COVID. The WHO would not be overdrive for that. They are looking at a 1% case fatality rate equating to 100 million deaths plus, that is what is keeping them up at night. As Walrus points out H1N1(1918) at 2% killed 50 to 100 million but the population has quadrupled since them. Some of the commenters in these threads seem to think what is happening now is the pandemic, this is just the open scene of long play. These are the first months and I am not expecting things to be this quiet again for 2 or 3 more. Perhaps I will be wildly out, I very much hope so, but I have been studying epidemics for a decade and nothing this virus has done is in anyway unusual as it is following a well predicted path.


For years I have sought to persuade Americans of the advantages of government command over crucial industrial activities---all in vain because I was roundly denounced for spreading socialist ideas. But one overhyped virus panic was enough to reactivate America's Defense Production Act, which gives the government command power over critical industrial capacities. Oddly, very few people are praising this as a victory for socialism. Interestingly, it seems that POTUS wanted to give free money to the poor (to Jumpstart the economy) and all the Democrats except Yang blocked it.
In other words, it seems that the Republicans have the virtues touted by socialists, while claiming to abhor socialism, but the Democrats have no loyalty to socialism, even though they praise it.
Some people are speculating that the world 's governments lied about the virus solely to increase their powers.

j. casey

Good article in Off-Guardian taking the same tack as Mr. Larry: "Do the alt-media types backing these extreme quarantine and self-isolation notions think the anti-assembly laws, mandatory vaccines and other special powers will all just vanish once this crisis has subsided (because all pandemics eventually do go away)? [We] all basically signed off on closing down what remains of our economy."


So, who benefits from medical martial law, anti-assembly laws, forced vaccination and other "special powers"? Oh, and who benefits from a properly timed global financial meltdown that can be blamed on a virus rather than on those who benefit from the meltdown?



"radually increasing petty lawlessness...." In California that began by changing the dollar value of theft before it triggered an arrest - that was done by legislative action. In multiple other states it was done by an elimination of cash bail. NYC crime rates were skyrocketing as a result even before this. That is how one 'creates' the level of disruption so one can declare 'crisis' and enact radical change, such as is detailed in the "Green New Deal" or other such Alinskyesque named legislation. Just look at the latest efforts by Nancy and the Squad.

"In the West, these days we rely on intricate supply chains..."
What we are seeing is the failure of the strategy of Low Cost Country Sourcing and Just in Time Inventory to work for critical items. I too am encouraged by the industry response to ventilators, hand sanitizers, and such, but I'm disgusted with the criminal incompetence of the career professionals who inhabit the bureaucracy of the federal government. Where are all the masks and ventilators that should have been restocked by the Obama administration? They had years. They gave us gender neutral bathrooms, drag queen story hour and a buch of other rot.


If I were Xi Jinping, I'd be looking at Hong Kong and Taiwan and thinking, "Let's take them after breakfast tomorrow. The Americans won't do s%#t." Part of a gut feeling I have that the Chi-Comms will try something truly aggressive at some point shortly before our election. We've given them the green light by our national over-reaction and psychological meltdown in response to the flu. They have to believe there's no way we have the political will to prosecute a major war with them, and they can be almost certain that our own media will gladly provide them a propaganda advantage.



It must have escaped your attention but Hong Kong was transfered by to China in 1997. Xi has already arrested the leaders of the protests under the cover of this virus which they have helped spread across the planet.


Always good to hear alternative perspectives. I look forward to Larry's updated commentaries on this subject 2, 4 and 8 weeks from now. I cannot imagine why the CCP would shutdown 15-20% of their economy simply based on fear.

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