Mar. 16, 2020

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GEM COMM: In January 2020 a novel coronavirus, was identified as the causative agent of an outbreak of viral pneumonia centered around Wuhan, Hubei, China. That disease is now called COVID-19. The virus has caused a widespread outbreak of disease similar to SARS throughout China and now this Pandemic is widespread.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 10 March 2020, COVID-19 had led to more than 160,000 confirmed infections and approx. 6000 deaths in 156 countries and territories– and the numbers are increasing rapidly. Huge disruptions to personal lives are taking place, including lockdowns (or situations resembling curfews), travel restrictions and schools’ closures. Beyond the immediate tragedies of death and disease, indirect effects through fear are taking hold of an uncountable number of people around the world.

The stock market has drawn several comparisons of COVID-19 to the 2003 SARS outbreak. However, the economic effects of COVID are potentially going to be of first-order importance. And the comparison relevance to H1N1 is higher in its drawn-out pandemic scenario. Infection levels comparable to the H1N1 swine flu, roughly 1 billion. Even worse, COVID-19 comes with “a much higher mortality rate” than H1N1’s sub-0.1% rate.

We did an analysis of various situations.