On today’s show we’re taking a fresh look at the impact of the pandemic on business activity. Conditions on the ground are evolving rapidly and it’s been some time since we’ve looked at the implications.
We have major parts of Europe back in a full lockdown situation. I have two cousins in Milan who both contracted the disease in the past 10 days. One is doing well, the other one is struggling.
Since the start of November, Covid-19 cases in the US have increase by more than 25%. We have hit record rates of infection in the US even though we’re not yet into the cooler weather across much of the country. The largest outbreaks are in Texas, California and Florida all of them southern states.
According to the data reported by John Hopkins, new daily records were hit in Maine, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Tennessee.
Through the month of September and much of October we saw infection rates increasing dramatically. But there wasn’t a corresponding increase in the number of people in hospital or in Covid related deaths.
That gave rise to a sense of complacency. We’ve been hearing that Covid has been not that big a deal. Well now we have a record number of people in hospital in the US as a result of Covid-19.
The headlines have been promoting the promising results from the latest vaccine trials. But as you know, vaccines only work for a single strain of a disease.
Denmark is home to 5.8M people and 17M mink. It turns out that the Corona Virus has made the leap from humans to mink. Now in order to make the jump from humans to mink, the virus needs to mutate. The Danish government has confirmed that the new mutation of the disease has made the jump from mink to people and there are 12 confirmed cases.
The Danish government has imposed strict lockdowns on those people, including contact tracing. The impact of a new large scale outbreak of this mutation has not received wide news coverage. The potential for this mutation to render a vaccine useless cannot be overstated.
The Danish government are taking steps to cull all of the mink on 207 farms out of 1,000 farms where the disease has been detected. We are talking about killing millions of animals. There has been debate on whether to cull all 17M mink on all of the farms in Denmark. In this day and age, I have no idea why there is a need for mink to be raised in such large quantities on farms. The fact that they’re considering this step tells me that the Danish government recognize the seriousness of the situation.
All I can tell you is that this is a rapidly evolving situation. I know that I’m continuing to take regular doses of vitamin D, and continue to take precautions to limit social contact. The research shows statistically much better outcomes for those with high levels of Vitamin D. Hopefully that’s enough to protect my family. But we also need to be concerned with the global picture from a virus that knows no borders.
So what does this mean for you as a real estate investor, or a business owner? It means that the uncertainty we’ve experienced in 2020 is likely to continue for a while longer. You might have been planning for a period of increasing economic recovery starting now. I’m here to tell you that may not happen.
It’s entirely possible we will see more severe lockdowns and outbreaks of the disease in the coming weeks and months. We have already established that Covid-19 was not just a blizzard that would melt away in a matter of days. It has already proven to be an entire winter. You should be preparing your business for the possibility of a long economic winter.