Update in these uncertain times…

Well hello again budding and professional traders alike! What a time this is for us eh, and indeed for just about everyone else worldwide. As some of you know I have been meaning to make a post for a while with a discount code for all of you who are probably stuck at home and perhaps looking for something to do. A few people have nudged me over the past weeks about this and I have finally found time to sit down and do it. I have had a lot of family stuff to take care of mainly due to Covid19, teaching them some good practices for sterilisation of packages received and generally just preparing them for what I suspect may be a much longer period of isolation than they first imagined. Anyway, I said last time I ran a promotion that I won’t offer such a big discount again, but my crystal ball didn’t see this coming and with so many people suffering financially and pleading for a decent discount, I decided to make it a good one.

COVID is the code you need, and that will provide for a 40% discount off any of my ebooks on the site, enter it in the coupon code box in the checkout. I hope that was worth the wait for those of you who I know have been waiting patiently. Thank you for doing so. The coupon will expire at midnight on the 15th April so everyone should get a chance to read this well before then and make use of it if they have been holding out for this discount.

So with that business taken care of…

I have read a lot about this Covid thing, not a lot from the BBC and other mainstream outlets as they repeat and spin just about everything from what I have seen (their statements do not tally with the data, over and over again). How many times I have heard friends recount (direct from Sky/ITV/BBC etc) phrases like “another person has died after testing positive for Coronavirus.” followed by their panic at such comments. It bugs me every time, because that is NOT the same as saying “another person has died from Coronavirus”. And i think this point is going to become more and more relevant over coming weeks.

Also, i know at least 5 people who have had what they are sure was this virus, one of them is still in bed today and recovering after yesterday having a very high temp plus significant breathing difficulties (not the type to go to hospital). He is not tested of course, and perhaps 90% of people who have had it have not been tested and may never be. We can’t know the numbers, but we can know that many more people have had it than have been confirmed to have it, so the “death rates” can only be considered to be too high. The only question is how much too high? The only people being tested are those going to see medical professionals. So that immediately means that the death rates we are seeing can only be the rates of death in those with symptoms serious enough to go to the doctor/hospital. It does not include the many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, who have had it and recovered on their own, or didn’t even display symptoms at all.

I do however worry that bringing the global economy to a halt, and perhaps meltdown/collapse, may well see 100 times more deaths than the virus will or could ever cause. The virus could be worse than being reported, but at this point the data strongly suggests it is far less deadly than the media are suggesting. And I prefer data to gut feeling or hysteria. Perhaps trading helped me cement that approach to just about everything in life, not just the markets!

That doesn’t mean I think we shouldnt be concerned, far from it. I have elderly relatives who I am helping every day and making sure they stay well away from this. But if they are saved from the virus (somehow, and I can’t imagine anyone will be able to avoid it forever) I do fear for how they will fare in a world which has fallen apart economically. Medicines, state benefits, fuel, food… those things can kill too, when you can’t get them. I just hope they manage to walk a sensible line between financial meltdown, and being too complacent about the virus. They are leaning heavily towards being more concerned by the virus than by the economic ramifications of western economics falling to pieces. I hope that isn’t a short-sighted mistake, and I suspect it may be. But with the media pressure on leaders to “do more” bla bla, and being solely focussed on the virus (and perhaps re-election chances) I doubt any politician would dare risk relaxing on the virus to mitigate the perhaps more dangerous risk of long term economic depression which will kill untold numbers in slower and less obvious ways, albeit not recorded as “Covid deaths” of course.

I heard a quote from someone (not sure who), which went:

“The 2009 Swine Flu infected 1.4 Billion people around the world and killed 575,000. There was no media panic and societies did not shut down. Covid19 has infected less than 468,000 people and killed 22,000 people going into April. Just a little perspective.”

Of course that doesn’t mean this won’t grow to be much bigger than Swine Flu. But considering where we are, I do wonder if there is a slight over-reaction here without any regard for the long term impact of these decisions.

To summarise, I am pretty well stuck between two distant poles of thought. I have a few friends with very different views on all of this. And maybe the best way to conclude this post will be to post two links/videos. One is from one friend who thinks this is all a hysterical over-reaction to a relatively harmless virus, the other thinks this virus is a bioweapon and could kill millions. I am not convinced by either view, and shamelessly admit to having no firm view of my own (I don’t know enough to be sure of one yet, I am a trader ‘sitting on his hands’!). But the links definitely give two interesting sides to the story, and if nothing else they exercise some mental muscle and pass some time!

That’s all for now! Take care everyone, and remember to wash your hands (and maybe your ears occasionally too!)

Tim


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