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COVID 19

TAKEAWAY #1


Understand your enemies - virus & ignorance. It’s the only way to brave self-serving government misinformation and to resist herd instinct of everyone else.


Don’t depend on your government. Act on your own, based on UNDERSTANDING the principles laid out here. Spread the word to help others understand and do the same.

You’ll be amazed WHAT folks don’t know, as well as WHO doesn’t know it. Such is the damage of misinformation from leaders. For example, I was floored at how cavalier/ignorant my own sisters were...

And I’m not dissing my sissies (I’d never do that! ) Normalcy bias is a shock that’s hard to overcome. It’s impossible to emerge from the fog if you are not being well informed. The smartest people you know may be paralyzed - until they hear it from you in clear, clean words.

We’ve seen proof of that in the feedback right here in these forums, how some of the sharpest SBIers were moved to action. They had a high level of suspicion, even knew that something big was coming, but that alone is not enough to break normalcy bias.

Inform, teach. Be part of the solution.

So now that I’ve put this weight on you, you may be thinking...

HELP! WHAT DO I DO?

I’ll start with the second takeaway. Even though we’ve covered it, I’d like this piece to stand on its own.

TAKEAWAY #2


“Assume everyone is ill. Assume YOU are, too.”


I’ve been saying that since we started this thread. You’ll do an awful lot right if you remember just that. After all.

If you know just a whit about the common cold or Influenza, you know to keep your distance (to avoid catching AND spreading), for example.

Well, that’s more important now than ever because the extra info here is that this virus is both sneaky-contagious (no need to feel ill to spread ill) AND more likely to kill you! That’s one dangerous mix.

Keep your distance. But make it 10 feet apart instead of 6. That gives you time to put your hand up like a traffic cop and say, “STOP” when a friend approaches you. It also means that you won’t go out at all, except for the necessities (and even then, you’ll know to stock up).

So again, to reinforce...

Don’t wait around to be told what to do. We covered “social distancing” before it was a thing. Now it’s all you hear about - AFTER so many have caught this nasty little surprise due to all the social events, big and small, and including direct personal contact.

Bottom Line: You don’t need to figure out whether your leader is dumb or evil. Or both. Just know that, with rare exception, they’re wasting precious time, enabling the virus to 2X and 2X again, and again, and again, every 3-5 days (depending on local circumstances).


TAKEAWAY #3


The silent power of exponential growth. It creeps until it leaps.


Imagine this...

Let’s say 1000 people are sick.

Leaders: “We’re going to cut interest rates by half a percent.”
Result 4 days later: 2000 people are sick.

Leaders: “OK, well then, we’re cutting rates by 1%, down to ZERO.”
Result 4 days later: 4000 people are sick.

Leaders: “Wow, OK, maybe this is a problem. We’re going to pump up the banking system with hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars, up to $1.5 trillion!”
Result 4 days later: 8000 people are sick.

Leaders: Maybe you didn’t understand that banking stuff. So, are you ready? We’re gonna give $1,000 to you. Yes, each and every adult, so that you can spend it right back to big biz and taxes to us.”
(OK, OK, they didn’t say that last part.)
Result 4 days later: 16000 people are sick.

Summary of 2020 stock market crash..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_stock_market_crash

You think you see where this is going, right? Well, sort of. At the time of this writing (March 18), there are 9,000 confirmed cases in the U.S....

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Go to the exponential growth curve that you see (it is labeled “Total Coronavirus Cases in the United States”). Next...

Track back to March 6 and click on that dot. How many cases...

319. My story doesn’t look so crazy now, does it?

The government repeatedly tried to solve a medical problem with an economic solution. I know you know Einstein’s definition of “insanity,” so I’ll just skip to the bottom line...

INSANE.

The final kicker in all this:

Remember when Trump said there were only 15, headed toward zero? He doesn’t, either, but I promised not to make this political, so let’s just get to the bottom-bottom line...

On January 30, he said...

“We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”

Source (a full list of all the false downplaying statements)...
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/opin ... virus.html

If you are somewhat math-oriented (I am, so you’ll have to bear with me, but it’s worth it - I promise)...

How many times do you multiply 5 by 2 until you reach 9,000? Calculators at the ready, gear-heads, GO...

Almost 11 times (10.8, if you want to split hairs). That’s 11 doublings in how long?

- 2 days in January
- 29 in February
- 18 in March (up to today).

That’s 11 doubles in 49 days, or roughly one double every 4.5 days, which fits into the 3-5 day estimate above. Now here’s the most important part of all this...

While the government is fiddling dollars into a fire, the fire is doubling every 4.5 days. THEY KNEW THIS. It’s impossible not to have known.

Given all the evidence around the world, it didn’t take an epidemiologist to understand. Even a garden-variety ER doctor would have this basic knowledge and they would certainly know it’s an EMERGENCY.

At 5 doubles, it was an emergency. All you had to do was the math. So, what’s the solution?


THE EASY-MAGIC SOLUTION

Just STOP it at 5. It’s so do-able. Heck, take a week or two to twig to it, screw up your courage, and get the right people into place. You’re still only at 3 doubles after 2 weeks. That’s 40 people with CV19.

(China slammed Wuhan and other locales into the right cure @ 400!).

And to heck with the cost...

Throw $1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion!) at those first cases, and it STILL would be money well spent to ERADICATE THE DISEASE. The cost goes way up if you deny and keep denying the inevitable and then pour gas on the fire.

We’ll see how and why catching it early could have been so easy. We’ll see how China could have chopped most of the problem off by starting just 2-3 weeks earlier.

China deserves a partial pass because they have no idea that they were dealing with a totally “novel” virus. Suppressing it, though, including censuring whistle-blowing doctors, was head-scratchingly dumb and evil. After that, though - it was a model of how you can actually quarantine-and-manage (not just quarantine) your way out of trouble.

Other countries suffered a mixed bag. Some chose to swipe right, others left. The US had the benefit of a ton of data and results. They coulda/shoulda fixed it for the bargain basement price of a few million.

At 5. If only what Trump said early was the truth. Because it really coulda/shoulda been.

But wait! We’re not done. In the fine art of the Ginzu Knife salesman...

THERE’S MORE

Hard to believe, but I have a final kicker...

Each person with a confirmed case spins off 50 others with the virus before being diagnosed. Source/explanation (interesting stuff!)...
https://link.medium.com/Zi96DILAV4

So we’re talking 450,000 people.

From 5.

Because the wrong stuff was done. And the right stuff was right there for the using, but ignored.

What a ride. And thanks to our leaders, it’s only just begun. We’re many months from wrestling this to the ground, over a year if the right moves aren’t made FASSSSST!


Would you slap me upside my head if I said “wait there’s more” just one more time?


I thought so. That’s why I’m hiding this part in a SIDEBAR. The other reason is that this area is not my forte, so I’m looking for feedback from someone who is!

The cost of the government’s inappropriate action has other negative consequences, potentially also in the trillions.

Economic solutions for non-economic problems beget greater economic problems and don’t solve the original, non-economic cause. If I gave you Tylenol to reduce your fever but no antibiotic for the pneumonia that is causing the fever, how well do you think you’d do?

The economic expenses happen at two levels... the direct dollars that are borrowed to throw trillions at the non-cause AND the indirect societal cost of letting things get out of hand. The latter are hard to measure - let’s start with interest rates as an example of “indirect”...

i) the Fed fired 1.5%-worth of interest-rate bullets that should have been saved to fight the next recession. Now there is zero room to fight the next recession with that classical go-to move of reducing interest rates. This leaves the nation without one major weapon to fight the next recession.

How do you measure the cost of a recession that might be deeper than it needed be due to the absence of being able to cut interest rates?

Hey! What?....

Do I look like an economist?


But it’s “a lot.” LOL.

Or maybe it’s nothing...

It’s possible that economists may consider the interest rate cuts as a “pre-payment” on getting out of the recession AFTER the disease is cured (the pre-condition for turnaround).

When people are both well and unfearful, the system is locked and loaded with super-low interest rates. Consumers are ready to buy and travel, while companies are ready to borrow to grow again. In short...

The economy is ready to zoom ahead faster than ever. SARS-CoV-2 is like a million pound weight holding back a Ferrari, tires burning rubber and ready to take off. Remove the disease and get out of the way!

If that’s right, there are some tremendous investment opportunities coming your way.

BOTTOM LINE: Let’s just call the cost of lowering interest rates a wash, but worth remembering. And I’d love to hear someone who can think this through more deeply than I am. I do think I have the big picture right, though...

i) CV19 is the main cause of the recession.

ii) The stock market had been overpriced, with lots of stresses in the economy ready to pop at any second. One example is the high levels of debt that companies had built up due to low interest rates....

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/14/inve ... index.html

It was becoming untenable and represented a serious risk to cause or aggravate a down-turn in the economy (with or without CV19). Now, though...

The reduction of interest rates and pumping of tons of money into the system reduces the chances of the scenarios in the above article causing or deepening a recession.

iii) The government super-revved the engine and prices came down to more reasonable levels (they were seriously overpriced before).

iv) Remove the disease = remove fear and caution. Benefit from all that futile stimulus, still waiting to go... BBBBBingo!


Next, after interest rates, we have a direct cost to deal with...

2) The national debt is already at the unfathomable amount of $23.3 trillion. It will grow by roughly $2T (a rough guesstimate on the final cost of the above-mentioned programs to save the economy and stock market, but not fight the disease).

This may be a pre-payment, too, but right now, it’s an expense that’s going to push the deficit up, assuming the program is executed fully.

NOTE: Just as impressive is how Trump has grown the deficit from $20T at the time of his election to $23.3 trillion before any of this came along to change the world...

https://www.worldometers.info/us-debt-clock/

How does one rack up $3.3T of new debt during boom times? In fact, he’s just getting started. His plans are estimated to take the budget to $28.5 trillion by the end of his second term....

https://www.thebalance.com/trump-plans- ... bt-4114401

NOTE: We all know, though, that the REAL numbers end up way worse than projections that are 5 years out. Consider that Trump had promised to ELIMINATE deficit spending...

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-deficit- ... ma-1463802

The reality is that far-into-the-future estimates are “magic-monkey numbers pulled from their, well, you know.” And they never err on the low side. Let’s assume that he is equally as far off during the remaining 5 years, so add $5T to his estimate.

Now we’re at $33.5 trillion.

So where were we? Oh yes, we’re adding $2T to that, for a total of $35.5 TRILLION.

To quote the man...

“It’s going to be ‘HUUUUUUUGE.’”


And yes, it really is going to be much more because we have not yet calculated the cost of the REAL solution to our MEDICAL-driven problems. And the problem is now much bigger and more complex than what China faced.

The REAL solution is draconian, but necessary. The economy takes another hit, but this time it’s to end the horror story. China has already gone through the slowdown of the economy that happens when you shut EVERYTHING down (the right move that will cure the problem - more below).

So how much does that cost a country? Let’s take a peek at China’s experience. The total containment (with sophisticated process) worked, but at a cost, both financial and social...

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/16/econ ... index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/07/worl ... -cost.html

But it gets the job done...

The goal of a total shutdown is to stop the virus from spreading. We’ll cover how that works below. You don’t just close ingress and egress of people. You have to process, sort and treat appropriately. THAT is absent in the U.S.

And THAT’s a shame. You know why by now...

The sooner you shut down and run a process that eliminates the virus, the quicker and better AND cheaper. Otherwise, you have to find and deal with geometrically larger populations of...

1) “Asymptomatic Infections” - have the virus, but no symptoms.

2) “Symptomatic Infections” - treated according to how ill they are.

3) Sick, but from Influenza, a bad cold or bacterial pneumonia.

4) Well - no infection, not ill.

So, the sooner you can sort and treat, the smaller the job, the sooner the area can get out of their homes and back to work and play. Sadly, containment is no longer possible...

The US is in a much worse place than China was when they put their TOTAL SHUTDOWN in place (9000 cases vs 400 in Wuhan). On top of that, Americans are more mobile, etc.

So THIS cleanup is bigger and longer than China’s, at an order of magnitude. It’s hard to say how much it would cost to...

i) shut a country down completely

Note that no dollar-cost was included in the articles above. But let’s say that the U.S. does introduce a total country shut-down as advocated by Bill Ackman, a respected and sharp-thinking investor activist...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.c ... n-now.html

How much would that cost? OK, as a non-famous and rather ignorant amateur economist (as of this moment!), I’ll take a stab at that...

The size of the 2020 US budget is $4.8 trillion, with only $3.8T of revenue, for a deficit of roughly $1T. Now imagine a month of TOTAL SHUTDOWN, paid for by the government.

Let’s ballpark that the government loses approximately $300 billion of income (1/12 of revenues for the year).

It also spends an extra $1.2T to cover all the expenses of a country with no income.

And finally, it spends $500B to fund a massive program that sorts, diagnoses and treats every man, woman and child appropriately.

Add that up = around $2.0 trillion. Yes, I fudged a little to keep the number nice and round, but it seems reasonable given the amount of money it’s willing to throw at the non-problem part of the problem (!) already.

Add that to the $35.5T and we’re at $37.5T total debt.

Still not finished on the costs of the delay of inaction...

1) The stock market: a roller coast that had record down days and has erased more than $10 trillion of wealth. That does not count as a federal expense, but it’s $10T out of investors’ pockets, and that means less spending...

https://markets.businessinsider.com/new ... 1028991585

2) The U.S. is now in a bear market and general consensus is that a recession will be seen to have started in March. How long it lasts depends on how long it takes to actually tackle the problem at a consistent and determined national level.

We’re already way too late, with no concrete national plan on the verge of starting, including total shutdown and other policies (more on this below).

But it’s fair to say that the upcoming cost and pain to everyday people is going to be enormous. We’ve factored this in above, but further delay could push that north.

3) Until then, why would someone who is not buying much now, out of fear and shock, suddenly start spending? No, the core problem of a terrorist virus has to be resolved first.

Until that happens, a deepening recession continues to cost the nation an unimaginable amount of money...

$37.5T and counting.


OK, if you skipped that SIDEBAR, you’re fresh and don’t have a headache. If you read it, I apologize for the bilateral pain in your temples! And either way, we’re at a total deficit of $37.5T by the end of Trump’s second term (did I really just say “second term?”), if he's re-elected.


TAKEAWAY #4


See through the B.S. (It’s everywhere.)


You now know the principles to use with your shiny new BS-o-meter. For example, whatever the government may say or do next, ask...

“What does this have to do with stopping SARS-CoV-2?”

For example, instead of passively swallowing “the news” (see the YouTube link above for a sample of NBC news), you will now hopefully be critical, even posting on Twitter...

What makes this government think that money is going to slow down SARS-Cov-2’s torrid exponential growth and surging mortality rates? SC2 is delighted to see them wasting TIME, because each wasted day means even more unchecked exponential growth, making the solution exponentially more difficult.

Speaking of TIME, let’s move on to the next takeaway...

TAKEAWAY #5


TIME is not linear when it comes to CV19.


Be aware of TIME. It’s CRITICAL to understand how exponential growth works.

In other words, don’t count like this...

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5”

Instead, it’s...

2-4-8-16-32

As time passes the problem gets geometrically bigger. It sneaks up on you. No one sees it until it’s “too late.” Then EVERYONE sees it (and toilet paper sells out).

Trust me, if mad rushes for Purell and Charmin have not occurred where you live, stock up now. On everything.

We also never see that magical “supply chain” that everyone suddenly talks about (always in the context of it breaking down). But a nasty virus is on a collision course for it. It’s not far from exploding onto your scene, wherever that may be.

Another important point about TIME...

Every government has had the benefit of TIME, except China. They were the first. More subject to the Normalcy Bias than any other country-victim, they made mistakes early on. And not all were of the innocent variety.

But they recovered just in time and set a template for others to build upon. They bought us TIME.

Our leaders should have absorbed those REAL-world lessons, in REAL-time. China’s results were REAL proof of what everyone else needs to do.

Recognize what constitutes wasting of TIME. For example, as I type this at 7AM on the 19th (struggling with this through the night), the first notification of the day flashes on my tablet...

China had no new locally transmitted cases yesterday, for the first time since it started.

Italy recorded 475 deaths, its highest number since the crisis began.

Mexico announces first death, but few containment measures.

Think about each of the countries above in terms of TIME and how they use it. This should now be straight forward!

1) China’s containment program is working. NO new cases just a few weeks after an enforced quarantine.

2) Italy, with its highly social culture, started way too late. Strict countemeasures show no sign of improving. See the first power curve (“Total Coronavirus Cases in Italy”) at...

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavir ... try/italy/

Compare to the U.S....

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Yes, same path. The U.S. is still showing a clear power curve (meaning “exponential growth”). The U.S. has done little testing anyway.

Meanwhile, part of the reason that Italy has such a high fatality rate is that they test people with symptoms of a coronavirus infection, while, say, South Korea has been testing basically everyone since the outbreak had become apparent. Consequently, Italy will pick up older, sicker patients (relative to young and well).

This has important implications. For example, if the disease spreads mostly within a younger population, there is less chance of hospitals being overwhelmed. The inverse applies to Italy - spreading among older patients could end in hospitals being overwhelmed.

This is an excellent example not only of the importance of testing, of the information that you can get from it, but also better knowledge of a country’s impact by CV19.

Bottom line: Trying to manage CV19 without much testing is like driving a car without vision. Thankfully, the U.S. is about to roll out mass-testing.

What other quick takes this morning? [the 19th]

Countries are closing their borders like mad. Almost 220,000 people have been confirmed worldwide, with death toll over 8,800. That’s 20,000 and 800 more than the day before.

Those mounting numbers, still growing exponentially in most countries, say it all. The fact that all European nations are doing the same thing is a handicap. There’s strength in numbers and consistent uniformity.

Meanwhile Europe is kicking in a Trillion or so, too. Hey, if it’s good enough for the U.S. to not affect the viral spread, it’s good enough for the EU.

The virus (and the sick) don’t seem to care about free money. So...

Instead of focusing on pushing the stock market back up, instead of trying to fix the economy with free money, attack the actual problem, the virus and its accelerating rate of spread. That can only lead us to one conclusion...

We’re now out of TIME.

Takeaway #6


SHUT EVERYTHING (AND EVERYONE) DOWN AND LEGISLATE A NATIONAL DISTANCING AND SELF-ISOLATION PROGRAM


Sorry for all the YELLING, but this is so obvious...

It’s not only basic economics, it’s basic medicine.

It’s too late to use this and expect to contain CV, but a vigorous and disciplined program can still slow it down, easing the hospital overloads that we are already seeing in some locales.

This program must include fast, free and intelligent testing, rapid sorting out (flu vs a cold vs pneumonia vs CV19). Quarantine the ill, together, not at home (where they’ll infect loved ones). In short, and for the first time, aim a massive, motivated program at the disease itself. And even shorter:

Fix the disease, not the symptoms.

The only way to get on top of this problem, as I talked about when we started this thread, is to institute draconian measures that would normally not be considered in the free world.

Many think that China was only able to do what they did because it's a dictatorial state. That’s true, but only to a certain extent because they also got good buy-in. People were scared and wanted to be safe.

Without buy-in, it’s not enough to TRY to force people to stay at home. Nor can you force people to maintain a safe distance from everyone else. Clear, transparent communications goes a long way to getting that trust.

You need to manage that reduced mobility with a smart, disciplined program, which we’ll see shortly. It’s not necessary to replicate successful programs to a tee, but it is necessary to understand that this is THE most significant threat of the century to the world (OK, the Spanish flu was worse, but it had 2 waves).

If you missed Bill Ackman’s case for shutting it all down, the whole country, watch it now. His passion AND arguments are compelling...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.c ... n-now.html

It gets the big picture right. Certain parts can be improved (e.g., you don’t keep sick people at home with well people. Whatever, it’s critical to just get started...


What Are the Key Elements to Defeat SARS-CoV-2?

The virus’ key to success is fast and sneaky doublings. So leaders must check their egos and focus on finding it, slowing doublings down, and leaving it with no place to go.

They must jump right past denial and partisanship, etc., to act fast to nip exponential growth in the bud. Successful countries do that AND mix in a blend of the following key components in varying parts...


THE BIG SIX

1) fast, cheap or free testing.

I could spend many paragraphs on how and why testing is so important, but this article says it all...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/m ... d-covid-19

They tested every person in a town, learned that asymptomatic carriers are THE big problem. Once they were isolated, they eradicated the disease from town. Period.

To make that work large-scale would require a total shut-down of a region or country. No one in or out while you find all the no-symptom spreaders and isolate them.


2) a solid action-plan for what to do with the ill.

You have someone with a positive test. This part of the program ranges from meticulous contact tracing to gathering them all together where they can’t infect the healthy, and where medical staff don’t have to constantly de-gown and re-gown (all they see is patients with the same disease), AND they develop expertise in assessing, triaging and treatment.


3) clear, transparent, no-BS, yet still reassuring communication.

While reassuring is nice, it can’t sustain when it’s based on falsehoods. Simply knowing that your premier or president really DOES have things under control and that you’ll be hearing the truth is reassuring enough.

Xi did calculable harm by denying CV’s existence, disciplining doctors who went public, etc. Without defending him, it takes time to connect dots and conclude “NEW BUG.”

Once committed, the full program rolled out with mind-boggling success. But if he had skipped the early nonsense, it’s estimated that he could have reduced this coronavirus to “disaster averted.”

Trump did incalculable harm by telling us all that there were only 15 cases, heading to zero, by saying it was like the flu, etc. For a while, it was clear that even Canadian friends of mine had believed his various inaccuracies.

There was no excuse for this, since he had loads of data. Scientists knew where this was heading.

He was also off-topic with bizarre messaging, for example about his genius uncle. He claimed, therefore, that HE, too, had a knack for this, too. Sheesh, that’s hard to listen to when the stakes are low.

Instead of these critical time-losing communiques and instilling false confidence in people (who therefore act far more loosely, becoming early fodder for a virus looking to establish a foothold), deliver frequent, open, evidence-based (i.e., scientific data) messaging about what’s going on and why it’s a danger, even in the earliest of days (when you might look silly if wrong, although you should know enough to know that’s not the case).

A leader who communicates well and honestly leads citizens with reasonable order through tough times. The rest ultimately go from “false calm” to “panicked reality.” What do YOU do?

Ignore and believe the principles outlined here. We were stocked up with months' worth of supplies well before anyone we knew, both in Panama and Anguilla. There’s nothing “smart” about it - we just used the principles here.

The next three must be legislated AND enforced. There is no part-way or some-of here. This Chinese expert made no bones about Italy’s discipline...

https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news ... fa2d5cb5aa
(scroll down to the headline, “Chinese coronavirus experts warn northern Italy's lockdown measures are not enough.”)

He says in no uncertain terms that they were “not strict enough,” adding..


"Here in Milan, the hardest hit area by COVID-19, there isn't a very strict lockdown: public transportation is still working and people are still moving around, you're still having dinners and parties in the hotels and you're not wearing masks. We need every citizen to be involved in the fight of COVID-19 and follow this policy.”



This showcases the importance of no-compromise, putting the blame for ongoing poor performance in the face of “shutdown” into the right perspective. He also advised Italians to stop all “economic activities and cut the mobility of people. Everyone should just stay at home.”

You’re either IN all the way or OUT. There’s no “part pregnant” status here. That’s the takeaway for countries doing battle. The takeaway for you?


Takeaway #7


Beware the media. Trust only those you know well.


There is a lot of solid work being done. Get your news only from the truly credible (this is like super-Medic). And big tech is joining forces to eliminate false info, at a level and cooperation never seen before.

There is also, unfortunately, quite a bit of poor journalism, not to mention biased reporters with an agenda (Democrat or Republican, Chinese vs America, etc., etc.). And many (doomed-to-hell, I hope) remain dedicated to flooding social media with false and potentially harmful information.

So yes, be careful out there. Subject what you read to the model and principles laid out here. In other words, turn your BS
Detector up to Maximum sensitivity.

All right! We’re making good progress.

The next 3 of The Big Six are the all-important must do’s that MUST be enforced by the country - these take commitment, physically enforced if/where needed, but ideally with voluntary “us vs. virus” enthusiasm.


4) aggressive quarantines, both external and internal.

This terminology is generally saved for those who are known to be ill with the disease, or expected to have it if testing is n/a or if a test is equivocal.

You simply can’t have this virus seeding all over the world, or back to your family. The Chinese did quarantine brilliantly, aggregating those who were ill into large areas - stadiums, warehouses, dedicated hospitals, etc. More on that elsewhere.


5) self-isolation

Cut yourself off from the rest of the world. Stock UP and hunker DOWN. It can be voluntary or regulatory.

This is generally used if your status is unknown but worrisome (e.g. arriving from a country with widespread CV19, or close contact with same.


6) social distancing

Stop unnecessary contact with others, including no travel. Hooray for introverts - we can avoid people to our hearts’ content. OK, back in “serious mode”...

This is generally used by well people, ideal for everyone in the country, especially if everyone does it at the same time (i.e., see the video of investor Bill Ackman’s passionate plea, referred to earlier...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.c ... n-now.html )


BOTTOM LINE OF THE LAST 3 of THE BIG SIX...

Starve the virus by depriving it of new hosts.

Let’s repeat that for EXTRA emphasis...

Starve the virus by depriving it of new hosts.


SIMPLE SUMMARY

There’s a new predator on this planet. We’re the prey. It can’t chase us, but we can’t see it. The obvious solution...

Keep yourself, friends & family out of its freaking way.

It’s a daunting task, but it’s do-able. We learn more and more about the virus every day. The entire science community is working together. It will further improve on how we manage.

Naturally, the “BIG STOP” is the next step. Antivirals and vaccines will stop it, but we’re many months/a year+ away. The antiviral medication will cut death rates down, not to mention the morbidity. The vaccine will eradicate it, or at least this version of it (no available hosts to infect).

Whether that’s a forever fix, or done on an annual basis (along with flu shot), remains to be seen. On the flip side, we remain in danger from a possible second mutation wave such as the Spanish Flu (most deaths were on its 2nd wave).

So once again, it’s all about TIME.

Next...


WHO PUTS ALL THIS INTO PLACE?

Government should be DOING the first three and IMPOSING and ENFORCING the latter three with strict commitment. There should be one, optimal program for all countries to put into place.

Instead, we see a hodge-podge of countries with many different programs, enforced to varying degrees. Ditto for the states and cities in the US. The only way to rigorously rid ourselves of this danger is to “franchise” the approach.

Instead, it’s simply taking too many countries too long to GET THERE. Even programs at the national level take too long. Debates and votes in Congress and Senate take a week, at least. I know that is fast (relative to a snail’s pace).

But speed is of the essence. In a week, the extent of the viral spread QUADRUPLES. We’re out of time!

I’ll cover how China rolled with this (Part 2), but suffice it to say (again) that it takes draconian measures (by our free world standards) to do this. As the U.S. starts doubling its way beyond ICU bed and ventilator capacity, however, we’ll see it in more & more spots (e.g., Washington, SF, NY). However...

And again...

All of this MUST NOT be done piecemeal, here and there by local authorities. I cringe when I hear what THE CITY of NYC is planning] or what was just done in THE STATE of Washington. It takes a NATION-wide shutdown and relentless execution of “THE BIG SIX.”

I’ve written this essay over a period of several days. Some has already come to pass. Sadly, I just received today’s edition of “Espresso,” a daily update of top stories. And sadly, it’s a story of every country for itself, outlining that this country is doing this, that one doing that. Elsewhere, I read much the same about what is going on in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the numbers are going up, up, up, many weeks after the time when China quarantined like crazy, shutting down a huge part of China.

This week’s issue of the Economist has the answer on its front page... a CLOSED sign over the planet. It should not mean what is happening region by region, city by city. It MUST mean “Planet Closed”...

THAT would be ideal, but would take impossibly long, given the rising tide of contentious nationalism, a tsunami that would swamp any attempts at a WORLD-level solution. We must accept the “possible-but-still-bloody-difficult”...

Our counterattack against SARS-CoV-2 must be started and run NATIONALLY, and now - without option for states or cities to do their own thing (aside, maybe, from legislating even more stringent “add-ons” or locale-specific supplementation). That policy must exclude access to the countries implementing total shutdown.

Uniform action across an entire NATION has all the advantages of excellent franchised restaurants. Regardless of where people live, they’d get consistent quality with flawless execution of ONE program throughout...

THAT’s what wins!


Risky?

I sure hope that at one point, and soon, the NATIONAL government takes over the reins of variable local practices and institutes a nation-wide one. There simply isn’t time to lose, not anymore. But, you ask...

“Isn’t that a risky move for the government? Hey, it could be really unpopular and backfire.”

Hmmm.. that was spoken like a true politician, today’s version of what passes for politicians. Follow (polls), don’t lead, right? Wrong...

Yup, that just may be risky politically, but it’s rock solid medically. Why do you REALLY think pols took (and are still taking in most cases) so long? Politics, THEIR career, wins out over OUR health.


And sadly, while it’s all something that every country should be doing, it’s already too late, unless rolled out with incredibly disciplined efficiency. If the above NATIONAL SHUTDOWN program were executed nation-wide TOMORROW, it would take a fierce determination and a megantic budget, including strong “us vs the virus” buy-in from the population.

Speaking of the cost, that “megantic budget”...

It blows up, up, UP when everything shuts down (there’s no GDP, basically) because the Federal Government still covers all costs, including the salaries of everyone staying at home.

It’s do-able in the short-term, where the virus is beaten, but it will deliver a major blow over a much longer period to the budget, shooting the deficit way UP, while crushing the economy into a severe recession or (at the other end of the spectrum) a hyperinflation.

The bad news is that this final “expense” would take the calculated value of $37.5T and push that final deficit number to over $40T! The good news is that the money will no longer be wasted on symptoms (stock market and economy). Instead...

Deprive the virus of hosts, and the numbers will drop in the coming months. The shutdown must then be slowly and carefully unfolded, with massive testing to watch for recurrence. Let’s hope that the “wasted money” turns out to be the stimulation needed to jump-start the economy, which will help deal with that stratospheric debt (which is finally looked at with gravity by government).

Next, once SARS-CoV-2 is brought down to near-zero levels (China has had ZERO no new internal cases over the past 2 days, so that’s a realistic goal, yay!), the work is not done.

It’s time NOW to start this generation’s “Project Manhattan,” ideally a world-wide program. Rather than fragmented labs around the globe, “Project V&V” is a joint effort of the best and brightest, with but a single goal...

Deliver the vaccine and antivirals that will bring us the rest of the way home. Meaning...

Eliminate the virus within a year with antivirals (for those who get ill, and there would still be some who do) and vaccines (for those who have yet to get it, this is the final blow against it), as well as to vaccinate against the next outbreak, much like the yearly Influenza shot, assuming it behaves similarly).

THAT is the ultimate global destination. But right NOW, total national shutdown (including sealing all borders) is a program whose time is almost past. No time to lose, we can still beat it back.

There is no other way.

All the best,
Ken

P.S. Part 2 will be up in several hours.

P.P.S. I hope that you now have the tools you need to deal with the news and find the optimal route to safety for you and your loved ones. Know that I used the concepts here to bring Nori to Panama, despite having accumulated a massive inventory of food and supplies in Anguilla months before this. However...

Anguilla is a small island. What happens when the supply chain breaks down? There may not be a boat for months. People do ANYTHING when that happens. There is no strong leadership. The island was only closed AFTER it was clear that tourism was dead, when there was nothing to lose.

There have been no cases, but there have been no test kits. This will prove to be a convenient excuse Having talked to doctors and a pharmacist on the island, there are many people with “colds” and sicker (with a fever). It has been convenient NOT to be able to test.

Now that tourists are gone and not returning, the first case will be announced, then a second. The real issue, though, is that there are likely hundreds of people with the virus, infecting others over the past weeks due to a lack of any REAL information (except for “wash your hands” type of info), no strong policy/program.

I say this only to show how you can use the concepts here to decide your own best route, regardless of what politicians say. They “work” whether you live in the most advanced, large nations of the world or the smallest island.

TAKEAWAY #8


Be hard. Be strong. Be ready to make hard decisions. Do NOT trust communications from government. Re-read this document if need be, if you are meant to feel paranoid. Its principles have already served my family well. May it do the same for yours.



P.P.P.S. As I type this, Panama has just imposed a total shutdown. It’s happening. It will happen wherever you are. Please, if you have any doubts about what’s written here and in Part 2, end them. I know it’s hard...

We cling to Normalcy Bias with intensity. I can write soothing words, and others will, I’m sure. But I have to finish and post this, so all I can say is:

Life is changed, almost surely forever, and in some ways for the good. But it’s the next 6 months to a year that will be most different - we all have to get through it, together. Get prepared if you have not yet done so

To all SBIers - let’s be there for each other. I love you all.

P.P.P.P.S. What would a “Ken post” be without multiple P.S.’s.

In case you are wondering why the title...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballad_of ... an#Meaning

- - - - END OF PART 1 - - - - -

 

 

 

  Let’s Leave the Final Words With Ken.

 

“Life is changed, almost surely forever, and in some ways for the good. But it’s the next six months to a year that will be most different - we all have to get through it, together. Get prepared if you have not yet done so.

To all SBIers - let’s be there for each other.
I love you all.”


Hi to all,

If you don’t know me well, personally, let me preface this by telling you that I don’t worry, nor panic. Actually, I’m somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to matters like “the huge danger of X, Y or Z.” NOT this time.

COVID19 is real. And growing exponentially. You are personally at risk.

So, with that said...

In case you are still believing the “don’t worry” message disseminated by some politicians, please don’t. This is med&math, not opinion.

I don’t want to get into politics, but this is not a “media conspiracy.” Nor is it a matter of opinion. It’s cold, hard “math + med.”

I have just tweeted on COVID19 here...

https://twitter.com/KEvoy/status/1236370572927516673


Please... take it seriously. (You can track from that tweet to some excellent epidemiology that is circulating on Twitter.)

If you do SBI! full-time from home, you are fortunate in that you are already virtual, working from home. If you work in an office, there should be WFH policies in place by now. If not, work with co-workers to talk to your boss.

Regardless of place of work, we don’t live our personal lives virtually. Nor do most of your friends and family. We meet, shake hands, hug, kiss, etc. We sit in close proximity, as do your friends and family when they are with THEIR friends.

So, my advice goes way beyond hand-washing instructions. My best single piece suggestion is the following...

Assume the person next to you might be contagious with COVID19, even if they seem well. Do so even if there has not been a report of COVID where you live - it won’t announce itself when it first reaches your area (“community-acquired” means that the virus has been sneakily spreading in a place for a while, finally causing the first reported/confirmed case).

And it WILL reach you... Regardless of where you live in the world, this will reach you at an exponential rate of spread (see my tweet).

Please prepare, for each of you, for your loved ones, friends, etc. Have at least a month (more if you can) of food, supplies, etc Do this before shelves go bare. When they do, re-stocking may take a lot longer than usual (supply chains really could be disrupted).

Again, this is NOT panic. No one knows how bad this could be. But it won’t be as simple to manage in the free world, as it was in China‘s dictatorial regime. Their draconian policies worked well. The free world can’t do that.

So please - take care. Be ready...

Share this message - copy-and-paste into emails to friends and family. If you are on Twitter, re-tweet. Post it to Facebook, etc.

Bottom line: We all tend to think, when it comes to scares like this, that “they’ll figure it out.” There is still a great disbelief out there due to disinformation from Trump and others. Many believe him unquestioningly.

No politics here - please do NOT believe that.

“They” WILL figure it out - but vaccines and anti-virals won’t be ready to wrestle this down before it goes “total pandemic.” Don’t procrastinate on this.

Get ready and take special care.

All the best,
Ken

P.S. In case you DO tend to panic at messages such as this one, please do NOT. I really do NOT want to do that. Your takeaway here should feel, I hope, simple and realistically reassuring...

You CAN be ready and it won’t cost you a cent. You’ll use all of what you stockpile anyway, right?

Keeping hands clean (vigorously) is great. But go further...

Avoid contact as much as possible, and avoid close proximity to others if/when you have to go out.

FINAL NOTE: I did not intend this to be a comprehensive “what to do” piece. If I have woken you, that’s my goal. The key “what to do” info is here, too. That said...

If you have been following this carefully and if you have something to add that will help fellow SBIers, please do share. Just one thing...

No politics (I mention it only because I was impressed by how many people have the wrong impression of COVID19 due to the disinformation).

But aside from that, please share what you’re doing, and why.



“Life Won’t Be Normal for Months.” Coronavirus and You: Ken’s Advice  

 

This week’s top story is one that could have massive benefits for you, your family, friends and colleagues.

It’s sometimes easy to forget that, before Solo Build It! Ken Evoy had a long and distinguished medical career. If you’re discerning, you’ll see it in the way he produces studies: he takes facts,  analyzes them, makes them understandable for the rest of us, and ensures they're specifically relevant to our needs.

So when Coronavirus hit, Ken did what he does best: he gathered the information -- facts, not conjecture -- from all over the globe, evaluated it, turned it into easily understood information, and
shared it with his SBI! family in the forums.

Not only that, he took the individual concern of SBIers and answered their questions. And then, he shared the information with the wider world on social media.

We are immensely lucky, as a community, to have that level of knowledge, expertise and care in a world that has suddenly become alarming and a situation where it’s hard to know, sometimes, whose information to trust.

If you’ve not seen Ken’s forum thread addressing COVID-19, and answering those anxieties, you have a simple task:
go over to the forums. Read, and take advantage of Ken’s thoughts. 

For those members of your own communities, though -- family, friends, collegues, neighbours -- it’s not that easy. They’re likely not SBIers. They don’t have access to the forums.

For them, there’s Ken’s social threads. Take a look at his latest post on Facebook and his Tweets. But don’t just look. Share them. Be kind to your community, because they are probably hunting for information they can trust.

Luckily for them, you’re SBI´er. Get the word out there.  Site Sell cares for its community. Make sure you use that care to your community's advantage.

And -- stay safe, and well.

 


Happy birthday "PINGO"




The Global Goals




Colourful houses at Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: Shutterstock

Denmark is set to welcome a record number of travellers this year.

Its life philosophy of "hygge," a world-famous foodie scene and a wildly popular Nordic Noir film industry are among attractions luring tourists.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce estimates that at the current rate, hotels in the country will respond to the influx by providing enough beds to accommodate 10 million tourists by 2021, which is almost twice Denmark's population.

Notable recent visitors include the Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who in a New York Times column noted that Denmark is "doing a very good job of hiding" its alleged status as a "socialist hellhole."

Given the buzz around visiting Denmark and with hotel occupancy rates already around 80%, the industry is planning to raise supply considerably to accommodate even more tourists. And as banks and other businesses move into cheaper accommodation, hotels are popping up in prime locations everywhere.

Examples include a five-star waterfront Hilton that is due to replace the local headquarters of the Nordic's biggest bank, Nordea. At the other end of the scale, the budget chain Wakeup is adding hundreds of rooms across the city.

In all, there'll be about 8,000 more rooms over the next four years, raising supply at a rate of around 11% per year (in contrast, a total of 6,500 rooms were added in the previous 17-year period).


The Copenhagen tourism board, Wonderful Copenhagen, is forecasting an annual growth rate in visitors of 3.9%, raising projected hotel stays to around 7.58 million a year by 2021.

The expected increase in demand may fall short of supply. But Lars Ramme Nielsen, head of tourism at the Danish Chamber of Commerce, says giving customers more choice is well worth the risk, given that a standard room in an average hotel today can cost more than €220 per night.

City officials say they want to build on the popularity of restaurants like Noma to lure more foodies and turn Copenhagen into the gastronomical capital of Europe.

Unusually warm weather and hosting of the ice hockey World Cup in May helped push arrivals in the first half of the year to a record.

Bikes

In his column, Krugman spoke glowingly of a bike ride he made from Copenhagen to Helsingor (the Elsinor in Shakespeare's Hamlet). However, a note of caution is warranted.

Danes take bike riding very seriously and the best way to anger a local as a tourist (aside from criticising the socialist welfare model) is to stand in the middle of one of the country's many bike lanes.

With 350km of dedicated paths and lanes, Copenhagen is considered the most bike-friendly city in the world. About a third of its citizens cycle to work on a regular basis, and rent-a-bike businesses have multiplied.

"I don’t think the tourists realise how hardcore cycling in Copenhagen is," said Christian Vas, a 38-year-old Hungarian waiter who drives a typical Christiania cargo bike and who made the city his home four years ago.

Aurimas Mul, a 30-year-old business owner, notes that tourists are easy to spot on their rented bikes, so the trick is "to keep your distance, especially when I ride my racing bike".

2018, Luxembourg Times, All rights reserved.


Cambridge Analytica

Over 2,500 users in Luxembourg could be affected by Facebook scandal

Over 87 million users have been affected worldwide by unauthorised data usage

maximilian richard, barbara tasch

07.04.2018

The scandal is affecing millions of users worldwide (Shutterstock)

The latest Facebook scandal also affects users from Luxembourg.

Up to 2,645 users from the Grand-Duchy could be affected, Benelux Facebook spokeswoman Tineke Meijerman told the Luxembourg Times' sister publication the Luxemburger Wort on Friday.

The unauthorised use of information from millions of Facebook users by the data analysis company Cambridge Analytica has sent the social media giant's value plummeting and forced its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to apologise publicly following worldwide outrage.

Cambridge Analytica gained access to user data through the application "Thisisyourdigitallife", a personality test.

The application also let the company access data from Facebook friends of anyone who downloaded the app, which triggered a snowball effect.

Overall, the company is said to have gained access to the data of 87 million users. In Luxembourg, only one person downloaded the application, Meijerman said.

Facebook wants to inform its users worldwide starting Monday about the possible disclosure of their data to third parties. The information should appear at the top of users' newsfeeds.

All apps that users are connected to on Facebook should also be displayed there in a separate message and it should include an easy way to delete these apps.

 


Oilrig in a Norwegian fjord




News Internet Marketing


NEWS Luxembourg Times

Norway What's ahead for Western Europe's biggest oil nation Bloomberg16.01.2018 Share Tweet Share

After suffering through the worst crisis in a generation, Norway's oil industry is now back on its feet Oil rig in Norway  (AFP) Here are five charts that tell the story of how Norway’s biggest industry tackled the crisis, from the surprising windfalls to the challenges ahead. Most are based on new data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

1. Recovering Investments
Oil companies in Norway are increasing spending for the first time this year since crude prices collapsed in 2014, the directorate predicted in annual forecasts published last week. Optimism has returned with crude prices hitting €57 a barrel at the same time as drastic cost cuts have made projects even more profitable.

2. Costs Slashed
Forced to react as crude prices hit a low of €22 a barrel in January 2016, oil companies not only cut back on activity levels but also implemented sweeping efficiency programs to lower expenses across their operations. Drilling an exploration well offshore Norway cost about 240 million kroner on average in 2017, half the price from 2013 and 2014, according to the NPD. Operating costs have been reduced by 30% in the same period.A Norwegian oil rig in the North Sea  (AFP)

3. Production Revival
Arguably the most surprising result of the oil crisis is a spectacular rise in production. Companies have been able to pump more oil and gas thanks to cheaper and faster drilling, smoother platform operations and simpler and quicker development work. After reducing long-term output forecasts in January 2015 and 2016, the NPD raised expectations for the second year in a row last week. Total production is now seen close to 2004’s record in 2023.4.

Exploration Concerns
But looking ahead, there’s concern. The number of wells drilled offshore Norway was the lowest in almost a decade in 2016 and activity hasn’t picked up since. As discoveries also get smaller, Norway isn’t close to replacing production with new reserves. Explorers must get moving if the country can hope to limit a new drop in output from the middle of the next decade, the NPD’s head Bente Nyland said on Thursday.

5. Big Oil Flees
During the oil slump, BP  and Exxon Mobil gave up on their role as active operators on the Norwegian continental shelf, with Total  all but following suit. After disappointing results in a record exploration campaign in the Barents Sea in 2017, all the majors except for Royal Dutch Shell snubbed a new, Arctic-focused licensing round. That’s created concerns in Norway’s oil industry, as the Barents holds more than half of the country’s undiscovered resources.

Editor's Picks Brexit 15.01.2018 Fund managers seek tax deal to repatriate cash from Luxembourg  



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What Has Been Your Most Effective Monetization Technique, And Why?

Anytime I have been able to create a one-to-one relationship with another brand and push forward with a marketing and monetization plan, that’s been the most lucrative.

Now, this is beyond just being an affiliate. I’ve spent incredible amounts of time creating articles designed to promote great products and services that I’ve enjoyed and want to share with my audience - and those have done OK.

But they pale in comparison to the times I’ve been able to work directly with a brand’s CEO or Marketing Manager and partner with them in the form of sponsored content, webinars, or even brand evangelism.

Those are the kinds of deals that certainly require a history of proven site traffic and social engagement, but once you build up your brand to that level, it’s a lot of fun and very profitable.

That’s why I’m looking forward to using Trafeze to generate more relationships along those lines.


What Has Been Your Least Effective Monetization Technique?

I’ve deliberately experimented with a lot of monetization techniques, particularly passive ones, so there have been quite a few that have resulted in terrible returns.

AdSense has never been fantastic for me, but there have been far worse techniques.

As a category, for me, the least effective monetization techniques have been “Related Content” — widgets that usually appear below existing articles on my site and recommend other (external) stories my readers might be interested in.

It’s a great concept, and I know it works well on larger, mainstream sites like CNN.com, but on my site the recommendations have always been too off-topic. Instead of showing 8 business- and marketing-related articles, the widgets include stories about celebrities, weight-loss, and other uninteresting content.

And so, not surprisingly, my readers don’t click on the articles. One service I tried, Nster, ran for about 3 months and resulted in approximately $0.06 in earnings. Six cents! That’s on a site that gets about 50k readers a month.

The silver lining here was that it underscored for me the importance of matching your monetization techniques with your target audience and content topics. The more inline they are, the more effective they will be.




Monetization Analyzation

There you have it. Over 50 pieces of advice and anecdotes from some of the best and brightest blogging minds on the planet.

First of all, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve just read a master’s course on monetization, and you’re full of ideas and excitement for where your blog or business will be heading.

To help with your takeaways, we wanted to review some of the key points that were mentioned, and do a little analysis on the resulting answers. Ready?


Most Effective Monetization Techniques

Now, as we mentioned earlier, these experts represent a wide array of bloggers and online businesses, all of them with their own goals and models. “Monetization techniques” therefore had different meaning to each.

Here’s how the answers for “Most Effective” played out:

Most of the experts cited Products, Email Marketing or Courses as their most effective technique for monetization.

What’s interesting is that for information-based businesses, it’s easy and natural to combine all three of those, isn’t it?

A course, technically, is a product, and once you’ve developed an email list of interested subscribers, you can market and monetize that course. That’s something that Tor Refsland talked about, specifically.

He said that he pre-launched his course by inviting interested people to subscribe, surveyed them, then built both a free course (as promised) and a more advanced course that was fee-based.

As you read and re-read the techniques outlined above, it’s that kind of synergy that you want to look for. Combine multiple techniques and approaches to create revenue streams that are lucrative and sustainable.


Least Effective Monetization Techniques

As for least effective, well, that wasn’t even close.

Nobody likes banner ads.

I did find the recurring theme of Lack of Focus particularly interesting. It’s something we talk about a lot within the SBI! Action Guide, and I’ve mentioned before as part of the Blogger’s Mindset.

Businesses and bloggers have to be focused. They have to do their homework and make sure that they’re reaching the right niche with the right information or product at the right time. The same is true with your monetization strategy.

I hope that these suggestions from an incredibly diverse and successful group of marketers, business owners and content creators will help you achieve the kind of focus and improved monetization you deserve.

I encourage you to have this entire resource emailed to you for further study.

 






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