There are now a quarter-million confirmed coronavirus cases, over 10,000 fatalities, and the economy is on track (in our opinion) for the worst recession since 1937. Other than that, things are pretty quiet.
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Gun sales in the US are surging this week as fears of civil unrest led to panic buying. This includes many first time, presumably untrained, buyers.
According to one shop owner, “Even the non-firearms people are wanting firearms. We’ve got a lot of new people who have never had guns before coming in.”
If you thought the lines at the grocery store are long... good morning from Los Angeles pic.twitter.com/NudGqwW4I2— CJ Johnson (@cjjohnsonjr) March 14, 2020
In a related story, supermarkets have asked for police protection, fearing lethal food riots.
China, which is taking full advantage of global coronavirus chaos, threatened to use EMP weapons against American warships Tuesday.
“Chinese military experts,” said that “the Chinese military has the option of using new approaches, including the deployment of electromagnetic weapons,” in order to “counter US’ repeated trespasses into Chinese territorial waters.”
This is obviously unhelpful.
Confirmed Cases - 254,697
Deaths - 10,447
Forty million California residents were ordered to shelter in place yesterday as COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus claimed its ten-thousandth victim.
Meanwhile, Italy overtook China as the country with the most fatalities despite reporting 40,000 fewer cases.
A Chinese Red Cross official criticized what he described as lax restrictions yesterday: "Here in Milan, there isn't a very strict lockdown: public transportation is still working and people are still moving around, you're still having dinners and parties in the hotels and you're not wearing masks … I don’t know what everyone is thinking.”
The American State Department has restricted all foreign travel, a mandate previously only enacted during wartime.
It's not all bad news...in fact, we dedicated half of yesterday's COVID-19 update to the good news. Check it out for a pick me up.
Brazil has faced a series of extreme weather events since the calendar flipped to 2020, with different states inundated with floods, torrential downpours, and mudslides that have killed 150 people in just a few months.
Global markets continued their freefall this week, with the American S&P500 wiping out all its gains since President Trump took office in January 2017.
Some pundits are forecasting a global recession combining the worst of both 2008's financial collapse and 9/11's worldwide upheaval.
Intelligent Prepper Comment: While it's easiest--and frequently incorrect--to compare a current situation with something familiar, it does make a certain sense.
Because we were deep into a bull market when coronavirus struck, there's a long way to fall (see 2008). Combine that with the horrible uncertainty and fear (9/11) around a pandemic, and we have the worst of both.
Further, consumer debt is at an all-time high while wealth distribution as it a historic low. This catastrophe will hit the most vulnerable hardest in terms of both public health and finances. The rich will get richer in both relative and absolute terms.
Finally, unemployment is set to skyrocket from 3% to as much as 20% overnight. Goldman Sachs, an American bank, forecasts jobless claims will rise from around 230k per week (February) to 2.25m this coming week. The largest increase on record.
And this time, there's not much the Federal Reserve can do to help. Because the Trump administration pushed for low-interest rates through a deep bull market, there are no levers to pull. The parachute was deployed early, and now it's gone.
Finally, both the US and the UK are wasting precious time dithering about rescue packages. The American Senate is finally back from holiday with a seed of a package in hand, but it's far too little and much too late.
This is bad now. It's going to get far worse.