Coronavirus: The Unmaking of the Global Economy

Here is the accumulated data of all known cases of coronavirus in the United States, courtesy of The COVID Tracking Project. As you can see the situation is getting both worse and better.
 
Worse in that deaths are starting to rise significantly, and that is far worse than it looks. At present about 40% of deaths are in New York state, with nearly all of those in the New York City area – the first American metropolitan region to suffer a full epidemic. Nor is NYC done. Today’s figures indicate the city has at least another week, likely two, before deaths peak. New York’s experience will soon be echoed in other areas with New Orleans, Seattle, Detroit and Chicago looking particularly worrisome. Not linear, logarithmic.
 
Better in that the United States is finally testing about 100,000 people a day. Without decent epidemiological data any public health policy with an eye on containment or mitigation is simply a shot in the dark. Unfortunately, materials, equipment and lab bottlenecks have made testing numbers plateau at this level. Multi-day delays in receiving test results are widespread. Until the United States can increase testing volumes to at least 1,000,000 a day and reduce testing times to a few hours, the only method the country will have for containing the epidemic is complete economic lockdown.

The United States will be the country that has suffered the greatest recorded deaths from coronavirus within two weeks, and the death toll certainly will not peak within a week of that dire landmark. But as difficult and tragic as it is to imagine, coronavirus will burn a much harsher swathe through other countries in the months to come.

Join Peter Zeihan for an exploration of the pandemic to come. He will discuss how and where coronavirus will impact the major countries of the developing world, and how and where it will remake regional and the global economies both this year and far into the future.

Long after the epidemic peaks in the United States and Europe it will rage through the developed world, inflicting far deeper damage to populations and economies. The United States has HVAC systems and indoor plumbing and so has the option of social distancing. Much of the world’s population does not.

And while the American economy is largely sequestered from the rest of humanity, that of the developing world is not. Damage there will reverberate through the global system, region by region, sector by sector, in ways that will break the global Order’s very foundation.

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