A balanced approach

No need for all that panic

While the COVID-19 is now spreading all over the world, many countries adapt a balanced approach for the coronavirus. Much as I have been recommending myself.

– The use of masks is regarded as mostly useless except in closed locations with a higher risk of contamination, or when meeting people with probable infections. E.g. using a mask when walking on the street is said to be totally unnecessary… tell that to the Chinese… The Netherlands generally recommends NOT to use masks in most circumstances!
– Mortality rate is now often set at 1 to 2% as many cases are actually not even reported.
– Gatherings of many people are now banned in many European countries and many events are being cancelled.
– France recommends to stop kissing each other when meeting.
– Overall specialists agree the number one precaution is to avoid touching suspicious surfaces and to frequently wash hands.
– In several countries schools are being closed.
– People at risk are the elderly, people with reduced immunity, with underlying health issues.

Also noted: every year in China 300,000 people because of “normal” lung infections. And every year around the world some 250,000 to 500,000 die of the seasonal flu.

In times like this you need some humor

When in quarantine of some kind, here is a good solution to put a smile on your face:

or you can watch the grass grow in your office…

Some good tips on COVID-19 and the overblown use of masks:

“Yes, it is worse than the flu: busting the coronavirus myths. The truth about the protective value of face masks and how easy it is to catch Covid-19.”

Coronavirus: don’t bank on epidemic easing in the summer, scientists say

Seasonal viruses tend to die off as the weather warms, but not enough is known about the new strain to assume it will react in the same way, experts say. SARS was brought under control in 2003 by an ‘extremely intense public health effort’, but it never disappeared, professor of epidemiology says.
Josephine Ma SCMP 29 February 2020

Scientists around the world are still learning about the new coronavirus and how it spreads.
While there have been suggestions that the novel coronavirus outbreak may weaken as the weather gets hotter – as appeared to happen with SARS in 2003 – some scientists say Covid-19, the disease caused by the contagion, could pose a health risk for some time to come.
Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Centre for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the United States, said it was a “prevailing misconception” that SARS disappeared in the summer of 2003.
“I think the word ‘disappear’ is a terrible word for what happened with SARS,” he said. “SARS was controlled by extremely intense public health efforts, heroic and perhaps unprecedented in modern times. It did not disappear at all.”

Impact on the Brussels hotel sector

Hotels in Brussels estimate losses that already mount to 10 million euro according to the Brussels Hotels Association. They said it is only the tip of the iceberg…
Source 29 February 2020 – Belga/Knack

Bert Hofman reports

Just came in the report from Bert Hofman, Director, East Asian Institute, Professor in Practice, Lee Kuan Yew School, National University Singapore and former head of the WB in China.
The report is confidential.

It does mention many of my earlier figures from the National Bureau of Statistics about the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI). Many of his statements already appeared in my earlier posts, such as the impact on different sectors: tourism, box office revenues, transportation, impact on supply chain, restarting the industry, property sales, impact on foreign companies and on SME overall, the surveys by the different chambers of commerce, the impact on the stock markets; and of course the spread of the COVID-19.
Here is the link to his (public) commentary:

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