Protecting Yourself and Financial Position from Coronavirus

A five day trend for worldwide stock market plunges in reaction to the threat of the Coronavirus caused a fall of 1,000 points on the New York Stock Exchange’s on the news of new cases of the virus being located in Iran and Italy. At present, the virus has been reported in China, Japan, Italy, Iran, the U.S., Canada, Australia, Egypt, and some of the states in the Persian Gulf. Severe quarantine measures in China reportedly led to the reopening of some factories in China, but widespread closings of schools, factories, sporting, and political events in China are still common.

Factors reported from reliable sources from the CDC in the United States have identified some of the significant characteristics of the virus.

A. It is of the coronavirus family similar to the devastating flu epidemic of 1918.
B. It is spread by respiratory droplets carried in the air.
C. Non-symptomatic people can spread the disease.
D. The incubation period of the virus can be on the order of 7-14 days from exposure to presentation of symptoms.
E. The death rate from the virus is on the order of 2 Percent in countries having advanced health-care technologies.
F. Those who are particularly prone to die from the disease are those who are aged, very young, or already have respiratory problems.
G. Multiple exposures appear to increase the severity of the attack and possibility of death.
H. There is no effective vaccine at the moment, although one may be available in about a year. Then, the problem becomes one of world-wide and universal vaccination which may take three years.

Expected Expansion of the Disease

Like the 1918 flu epidemic, the virus which is already been identified in Iran can be expected to spread into Iraq and from there into Syria, Turkey, the Middle East and Into Europe. Particularly susceptible will be the large refuge populations who are already living in desperate, crowded conditions in refugee camps or are homeless in Syria, Turkey, and Jordan. Once the virus enters this population which is mobile, motivated, and has a deep suspicion of authority, it will be extremely difficult to stop the spread of the disease throughout Europe, Africa, and the remainder of the world. This would be true even in peacetime, and the situation is aggravated by on-going conflicts. If there was ever a need for instant and regional peace preventing the spread of this virus is it. Ultimately it will reach even the most remote villages of the Australian bush, Arctic, and Tropical villages of the world – just as did the flu epidemic of 1918 which caused deaths even in far-off Alaska.

Economic Impact

Modern just-in-time deliveries have been incorporated into product planning to the extent that if a factory fails to produce, or cannot ship, products from say, China, another factory in the U.S. cannot produce the products that it makes. Although diversification of supply chains has always been recognized as a desirable attribute for any business’ success, the added costs of sustaining multiple supply chains have frequently caused them never to be developed, or dropped as a cost-savings measure in a competitive business climate. Not only does this apply to hard goods, it also applies to labor where parts may cross international borders several times before the completed item arrives on the showroom floor or in the supermarket. A single supplier’s closure can multiply into multiple businesses in the U.S. shutting down because a failure to supply a single vital component. These shutdowns can cascade as workers are laid off and retail trade and leisure activities starts to suffer not only from loss of customers, but also from lack of products on the shelves. This was once thought of as being a problem restricted to planned economies, but may now become true in capitalistic societies as well.

Personal Health

As significant as economics may be, one’s personal health is more important. The best, easiest, least expensive, and universally available preventative measure that can be taken is to increase one’s cardiovascular and brain health with regular exercise. If you have an exercise machine gathering dust in your house somewhere it is time to get it out and use it. It is also prudent to avoid polluted air and occupations that expose your lungs to particulate materials. Also to be avoided are crowds, such as might assemble at sports events, conventions, political rallies, and entertainment venues.

Stock Market Projections

As the world starts to experience the cascading supply chain disruptions that were mentioned above, the stock market can be anticipated to continue a progressive decline until some positive news is received of the presence of an effective vaccine after which it will rebound, only to continue its downward trend until solid gains are reported from factory sales and consumer confidence. The next year will likely be one of general loss, with minor upticks, with the entire cycle to full recovery taking from two to four years to complete. While true that, “there is nothing in human experience that cannot be turned into profit by an inventive mind,” some stocks will rise in spite of the general decline including some in the hospital and health-care industries, those holding gold and silver, and largely automated industries with secured supply chains that make utility products with high consumer demand.

How to Protect Yourself

For those who are willing, removing yourself from an urban environment into a rural one and operating one’s own business from your home can be a practical solution to sustaining yourself in a generally down economy regardless of how long it takes. You will need a method of generating sufficient income to support your family and the way this is commonly done is to start your own home-based business. One advantage of today’s interconnected world is that you can sell products worldwide from your kitchen. These products might be hard goods that you fabricate or have made for you, or knowledge, or services or some combination of the three. Your task is to select something that is uniquely yours, sell it, and make money at it. You might become a writer, as I am. You could become a personal-life consultant provided that you have developed sufficient credits to make that a reasonable proposition through your own personal experiences, or study. In previous posts, I have developed this concept that is also written about in my business books such as, Create Your Own Life Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife, which explains, step-by-step, how to select, launch, run, and profit from your new business.

Author's Bio: 

Wm. Hovey Smith is an author who wrote four of the first books ever published on AIDS as well as 16 other books, hosted podcast radio shows, produced more than 750 YouTube videos, and spoken at international business conferences in China and Europe He will shortly publish the first draft of a novel that was originally titled, Father of the Grooms, but is now retitled, Murder, Marriage, and Mafia: An American Family Meets Their Sicilian Cousins. His books are available on Amazon and other on-line book outlets.