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COVID-19 Update: Avoiding The Worst Case Scenario

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COVID-19 Update: Avoiding The Worst Case Scenario

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2 months ago

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

What I see happening right now. So right now as I look at the data on Corona virus. It's unclear to me what is happening. What I see happening is an increasing geometric curve. But it doesn't seem to be as severe as was previously expected and so that's good news. I'm hopeful I have a few points of good news and so I'm more optimistic than I was recently and so I think that's hopefully you are as well that although that you see a profusion of cases although things are very difficult in many places in the world some cities in the United States. It doesn't seem to be as severe as previously feared which is great news. Now what's currently unclear to me is why it doesn't seem to be as severe as previously feared and. I want to emphasize that it's not that things are not severe. There are very heart wrenching. Things from all over the world and I expect more of those those things in the days to come. If you feel like out of the woods I would caution you. I don't I don't sense that at all but it's not as bad as previously thought now again what's unclear to me is why. I don't think the data is particularly compelling at the moment as far as for sure why. So here's what I see on the viral front going forward and then we'll talk about the economic front. I'm more optimistic this week. Based upon what I see and as I see it the worst case scenario was to have this massive global pandemic that was on track to kill tens of millions or hundreds of millions of people. Now the only absolutely guaranteed solution to that kind of spread is to just simply stay home and go nowhere. A virus is something that you can understand how it works even if it's the most severe it's transmitted through. Aerosol etc at very contagious simply. Stay home and if you're not infected and you don't go anywhere then you don't have to be infected and so that's why the ultimate the only truly guaranteed effective public policy. Solution is to lock everything down and you see that happening all throughout the world now. The lockdown of course has devastating economic consequences as we are all experiencing today but The lockdown is the only thing that's guaranteed to work and that's why governments pursue it. But if you think about kind of what's been the bad scenario we've assumed that the worst case scenario looking back has been a massive very contagious very deadly disease that spreads throughout the world. And the answer to that is locked down until or unless some kind of vaccine is developed. The timeline for that is twelve to eighteen months. Now as we've talked about the jumping off points as I see there are three jumping off points to that worst case scenario and these three are all looking better. The first jumping off point is the development of some kind of effective therapy. Some some cure. Some Miracle Cure the news of her last week. Because especially been hot and heavy around the hydroxy chloro-quinine and zoo Zee PAC too. I'm not a biology guy. I see increasing anecdotal evidence that that is possibly effective and there's doctors all over the world are trying that and I haven't seen disproven as a therapy so perhaps there's a really good solution there and that would be awesome because those drugs are inexpensive. They're widely available. They're kind of old if they were effective against. That would be great and then I'm sure there are other doctors around the world. Who are working on other therapies. That's been kind of one of the first things to improve things. The one of the first areas that we could look at to improve things the second area to look at to improve things would be the development of widespread testing if society can develop and implement widespread testing. Then the society can just simply corentin those who are sick and that would be really great now. The United States is far behind on. This was such a huge population. It's hard to see that happening quickly. But all around the world testing is ramping up there. Kind of improving things getting things faster and faster and faster used to be. It was going to be dazed to get a result for test now. There are tests that are increasingly widely available. And we're up to a day so that's good once we can get down to a few hours and and and cheap and distributed all around the world then that means that societies can do widespread testing. And you can just quarantine the sick in those that have had contact with the sick and you see that happening very effectively in some countries in Asia that it seemed to have have managed the the outbreak more effectively. So we're making progress on that front. That could be good. The most important progress in my opinion is the recent development of antibody test and if this antibody test proves to be effective and if it can be spread and used widely across the population that I think has the potential of short shortening this whole event. Shortening this whole affair which would be awesome. Because of the antibody the antibody tests could prove is who has had the disease and who has not. That can be helpful for a few reasons. One obvious reason is if those who've had the disease actually find themselves to be immune to the disease that you can go back to work with without much fear. They can be useful in many situations without the worry of getting infected and possibly even spreading the infection but more importantly as I see at the antibody test could tell us the actual prevalence of the disease in a population so that we could better understand the people who have severe symptoms. The guests and the debate about this particular strain of disease has been. How long has it been here now? The the time line that most of US understand is that had developed in Wuhan it was started in China started to be spread from their Wuhan. Got Really serious in December and then it got bad in January and then it started spread throughout the world and then it spread throughout the world. We've got some some cases but along the way there've been a lot of anecdotal reports people saying well I had something I had. I thought it was just a severe flu but I had something like that. Back in December or something like that back in January and so one of the suspicions that disease actually much more widespread than previously thought. And that. It's just simply less catastrophic with its medical impact than previously thought. But the only way to know that for certain is to develop and implement a widespread antibody testing and so that's the development that I'm excited about and looking to see what happens over the next week or two because if it did prove if we could prove that there were actually a lot of people tested then A lot of people with the disease and just a smaller number than previously feared are actually sick all the time. That would be fantastic because then that would allow society to open up a little bit. There's the optimistic case. At least that I'm hoping for at the moment it's unclear to me. Personally what's actually happening? I'm confused by the reports I read. I'm confused by the data that I see and I'm just simply not competent to to assess it and so I'm waiting and watching and letting the the epidemiologists do their thing. No of of important news is that some of the most dire predictions have been rolled back significantly in the last week. And so that's great news. Now let's let's flip this now and talk about the economic impact because what? I've thought a lot about obviously were or hurting Massively I've spoken to so many listeners in clients who who were just going through catastrophic change The unemployment claims huge all around the world businesses. Just kind of waiting to see. We're all waiting to see. So we're all desperate for a better understanding of of what the actual data is telling us on the worst case scenario. We've got catastrophe right. Total catas- We know that but on the best case scenario I've thought does this all. Just go back to normal. Obviously that's what we would hope for and the interesting thing about something like a Flu. Pandemic is it. Maybe maybe the whole thing is exposed. A few weeks from now is just a total overreaction. It was a giant scare but We got it wrong and so can everything. Just go back to normal. That's one of the interesting things about a flu pandemic because if you had a job and there was a functioning business a couple of weeks ago. Let's say that a few weeks from now we find out that we we. We are our worst founded. Our worst fears were unfounded. And we can all go back to work well. All the infrastructure still exists. Everything's still exists. So maybe we should just go ahead and get back to work. I think it's possible that could happen to some degree and that would help to avoid some of the the worst case scenarios fifty percent unemployment kind of thing fifty percent drop in GDP which which is It's hard to even say those