Over the past several weeks I published a few (unrehearsed) audios discussing the exaggerated response to the Coronavirus outbreak. If I didn't know better, I’d have thought this fear-mongering campaign was being led by Alex Jones, Jeff Rense, David Icke and the rest of the so-called "alternative media" con artists and gatekeepers.
The problem is that it's being led primarily by the so-called "mainstream media." Instead of countering the Coronavirus scare as a hoax as their predictable reaction to anything from the "mainstream," the "alternative media" shills have willingly jumped aboard the Coronavirus narrative adding their own mix of fiction in order to sell ads.
With the Coronavirus having been identified as a major global health risk, virtually everyone is responding in near panic mode to warnings from government bodies across the globe. At times I feel like I’m watching a low budget sci-fi. It's quite shocking and sad to witness proof positive that the masses have become so gullible.
Perhaps future the warnings about the Coronavirus outbreak will be warranted. But for now, it's obvious to me that everything has been blown way out of proportion.
Critics might respond that it's better to be safe than sorry. I would counter that argument by reminding readers that sometimes the fear of an event can result in greater damage than the actual event itself. This is the main problem I see with the Coronavirus hysteria. We are now seeing this scenario unfold in global equities markets.
As I first stated nearly four weeks ago, I have not seen any evidence whatsoever indicating a reasonable chance that the Coronavirus (recently designated as COVID-19 by the WHO) will result in a major global outbreak leading to high fatality rates. As of the date of this publication I continue to stand by that view. Let's hope I'm proven correct.
Even though the reality of the Coronavirus outbreak continues to lack sufficient justification for most of the measures taken, the resulting hysteria has already adversely impacted virtually every business in Southeast Asia with plant closings, school closings, lockdowns and a variety of other measures.
Most recently, parts of Europe are now engaging in exaggerated responses to confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections despite only a small number of cases having been confirmed. I say "small number" because when compared to the typical spread of infectious agents causing the seasonal flu, the numbers reported for COVID-19 are not only quite low in Europe, but also in China once adjusted for key variables.
In order to be convinced of this claim you’re going to need to be exposed to the proper perspective. But of course, most people lack proper perspective. As a result, they're often fooled by the media, con artists and other purveyors of disinformation. Even misinformed individuals who have no agendas are can be fooled into believing ridiculous claims simply because they lack proper perspective. This is where critical thinking can provide great assistance.
If you chose to place your faith in anything published by any media outfit you may as well tattoo the word "lemming" on your forehead. At least people will respect you more for knowing what you are.
It's easy for anyone lacking the proper perspective to get things wrong. Without the proper perspective, propaganda ring leaders will have an easy time convincing you of things that aren't at all true. And you won't realize you're being fooled because they'll offer cherry-picked bits and pieces of data in order to convince you that their claims are true. This is the modus operandi of con artists and cult leaders.
Disinformation among the masses has become increasingly common given that many people tend to use the Internet to engage in what they consider “research,” even though their sources are most often inaccurate or at best misleading. While a large amount of the problem is due to search algorithms which promote confirmation bias, the lack of critical thinking skills and the ability exercise logic have also added to the Age of Disinformation. (1)
At the end of the day, most people lack basic critical thinking skills which prevents them from realizing they're being manipulated by search algorithms, as well as sources lacking credibility or possessing obvious agenda and hence bias. Adding to the problem, many of these individuals are convinced they possess excellent critical thinking skills and are able to use logic in order to arrive at conclusions and prove their points. Unfortunately, more often than not such individuals suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect. (2)
Although the Coronavirus originated in China, we cannot forget that the hysteria was started by the US media in conjunction with various global organizations that are controlled by the US establishment, such as the World Health Organization. Thereafter, it wasn't long before every country in the world reacted as if what I would consider a "relatively modest" Coronavirus outbreak was some kind of global emergency threatening to wipe out half of the world population. It kind of sounds like something Alex Jones would promote, doesn’t it?
Now if you don't think the outbreak is "relatively modest," you lack proper perspective with regards to the spread and fatality rates of pathogens. Stay tuned for a bit of detail on this.
As a result of the virus having spread to Italy and Germany, global stock markets have been decimated over the past few days. If one can identify a silver lining here, it's that valuations were way too high to begin with making it quite easy for investors to find a reason to sell stocks. And that’s precisely what’s happened. We even warned about this scenario two weeks ago. (3)
The only problem is that the Coronavirus hysteria isn’t likely to end anytime soon. Alternatively, it could be replaced by some other headline after officials claim the spread has been contained, but could reappear at a later time. Regardless, chances are high that investors will at some point forget about the Coronavirus fears and jump back into stocks once valuations become too attractive to ignore. (4)
As previously mentioned, the Coronavirus hysteria was started by US officials and certain media mobsters. Once the drama was set into motion all other media companies ran with the hype because it represented a great path to generate advertisement dollars. (5)
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other global organizations continue to sound the fear-mongering alarm. In response to widespread fears of a COVID-19 pandemic, numerous multinational corporations and entire cities across the globe have shutdown, threatening to push the already weak global economy into recession.
Now that the US stock market has entered freefall, the White House is backing away from previous claims that the Coronavirus outbreak is as serious as previously reported. After all, with the presidential election just months away a weak economy and declining stock market won't help Trump's chances for reelection, especially given that he’s constantly grading his performance based on the performance of the US economy and stock market.
The White House has already entered damage control mode in attempt to curtail fears of a widespread COVID-19 outbreak in the US, having recently authorized $3 billion to prevent its spread. This action is meant to boost consumer and investor confidence more than anything because the White House knows that the biggest problem faced by COVID-19 isn't the damage it might cause as a result of infections, but the damage due to exaggerated and overblown fears.
There are other segments to the Coronavirus story worth mentioning. The panic response from the Coronavirus fear-mongering campaign has opened the door for an army of fake news charlatans to strike "advertisement gold" by generating millions of views from fake news videos and articles. (6)
Although the Coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China in mid-December 2019, as of February 26, 2020, there have been just over 81,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with just under 2800 deaths, almost all from China.
Perhaps the most stunning thing about the Coronavirus hysteria is that the masses don't seem to understand that the virus does not cause some kind of crazy illness with a 50%+ fatality rate like the Ebola virus. In fact, the Coronavirus causes a common respiratory tract infection similar to other types of respiratory viruses.
In reality, the Coronavirus is not fundamentally different than the Influenza virus. The Influenza virus is the pathogen most commonly associated with the seasonal flu. It too originates from China. Both viruses infect the respiratory system causing a variety of respiratory illnesses.
The main determinant of the severity of the illness caused by most respiratory tract infections (including Coronavirus and Influenza virus) is whether the infected person is considered to be in a high-risk group. Individuals in one or more high risk groups are the most vulnerable to severe infection leading to death.
Vulnerable individuals include children under the age of 5, individuals with certain kinds of respiratory disease such as asthma, people with diabetes, elderly and other immunocompromised individuals.
Medical officials from various organizations such as the WHO have identified the strain of the Coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China (COVID-19) as causing a more serious illness than the typical Coronavirus infection which is usually results in a mild illness. However, they have not presented sufficient data showing the age distribution of all individuals who have been infected, nor have they provided data identifying preexisting medical conditions or disorders present in each infected individual that could contribute to
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