retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus, one MNB reader wrote:

The real question...what is going to happen next Flu season? No one is advocating death, however the death rate from just the Flu is significantly more. These are facts, not like the guessing going on now with Covid-19... The hypocrisy of “enhanced cleaning” is telling since these methods should have always been in place and permanent at best! Fear mongering, government restrictions, curfews, bias press, all make for a movie we have already seen!

The Koreans have the model for fighting this virus and they didn’t have to lock anything down. Why is that?

I'm neither a doctor nor a statistician, but my understanding is that while the flu each year kills more people, this new coronavirus seems to have a higher mortality rate … and we're just at the beginning.

If you think this is about fear mongering and a biased press, I don't have an answer for you.

From MNB reader Olivier Kielwasser:

Coronavirus reports suggest younger people are less prone to developing symptoms, while older folks are more at risk risk if infected.  With this in mind, could the response be…. If you are of a certain age, practice social distancing, and if needed work from home, or find a work-from-home job.

If you are below that age, and if you so choose, it’s ok to go to work anywhere, serve food in restaurants (to people of the same younger age) and take part in all activities as prior to this crisis hitting us.  Older people would be confined home respecting social distancing practices, but younger people could continue to work outside and make a living.  The economy would continue to move forward and create wealth.  Younger people would become more infected with no/less symptoms…. and would become immune.  After a while they could start interacting with older people, without risk of infection.  This would save the country hundreds of billions of dollars, that today scared politicians are promising everyone left and right with no real plan to address the situation.   

I think your solution assumes a lot.  It only works until younger people start dropping.  It only works if you're willing to gamble that this won't happen.

Again, I am neither a scientist nor a statistician, but there a story from NBC News:

"Top U.S. health officials are 'looking very closely' at reports that a much higher percentage of younger Americans than expected need hospitalization as a result of contracting the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday.

Fauci was responding to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which, after studying more than 4,000 cases in the U.S., showed that about 40 percent of those who were hospitalized for the virus as of March 16 were ages 20 to 54. Among the most critical cases, 12 percent of intensive care admissions were among those ages 20 to 44, while 36 percent were for those 45 to 64.

"About 80 percent of people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19 were 65 and over, with the highest percentage among those over 85."

My kids are 33, 30 and 25 … which means they are less at risk than I am, but I'm still pretty pleased that they're not out doing business as usual.