The Coronavirus Report July 31 – An Economic Death Spiral

Travel and tourism are just one of the many segments of the economy that are collapsing as a result of COVID-19. Consumers are afraid to travel, to go out to eat, and to spend money.

Thanks to COVID-19, entire segments of the economy are shutting down.  Millions of jobs are disappearing.  Soon, evictions and foreclosures will start.  Lines at food pantries will lengthen.  Space at homeless shelters will fill up.  More kids will move back in with their aging parents.  Personal and corporate bankruptcies will explode.   

Eventually the government money being used to help people survive and prop up the stock market and many companies will run out.

That’s when it’s going to get really ugly.

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Coronavirus Report July 30: World Tops 17 Million Cases

There are more than 17 million cases of confirmed Coronavirus cases globally, 17.061 million to be exact.  This has resulted in 667,808 deaths.

In the U.S., the newest milestone is that we have passed 150,000 deaths, thanks to an increase of 1,420 since yesterday.  Both Florida and Texas reported a record number of deaths.  There were 68,460 new cases of COVID-19 in reported yesterday in the U.S., which now has a total of 4,435,300 cases.

But it’s the economy that took a hit in the second quarter, as GDP was down by almost a third, 32.9%, the biggest hit ever.  That means a third of the country’s production or output (work, if you will) did not occur over the April through June period because of COVID-19. 

Will this number recover?  Some, yes, but it may be months or at least several quarters before the U.S. can dig itself out of this hole.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Precious Metals for Preppers

We answer the questions: Do gold and silver have a role in your preparedness planning? If so, what types should you buy and when?

A friend called me and asked if I know anything about putting gold in their IRA.  This led to a discussion about precious metals, why he wanted them, and how to best acquire them.  I’m going to our discussion below as a Q&A.

First, a note: When I refer to precious metals or PMs, I mean Gold and Silver.  If I mean one or the other, I will specify gold or silver.  For many people, precious metals includes platinum, palladium and rhodium, but that is true for investing, not prepping.

Why?  Because I find it unlikely that someone will recognize a one ounce bar of rhodium after the SHTF (sh*t hits the fan) and you want to trade it for a horse or a cow.  I don’t think these other metals play a big role in prepping and survival, so this article is going to ignore them.  I’m not saying don’t invest in them, I’m simply saying don’t do so thinking that they will help you prep.

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Coronavirus Report July 29: COVID-19 Doesn’t Scare us Anymore

Even as deaths climb, COVID-19 doesn’t frighten us as much as it once did, but the economic repercussions could be devastating.

There were 63,100 new cases of Coronavirus reported in the U.S. in the past 24 hours, an increase of 1.5 percent. This brings the total number of cases to 4,366,900.  There were 1,324 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the same period, bringing the total to 149,774.  COVID-19 death rates are climbing in 24 states, according to The New York Times.

The number of deaths continues a slow march upwards and it looks like we’ll be facing more than 1,000 per day for the immediate future.  Even with this increase, the death rate is expected to remain well below the April highs as doctors better understand how to treat the coronavirus and have access to more therapeutics.

Globally, the case count climbed by 288,000 as India surged past 1.5 million.  The total worldwide case count is now 16.783 million.  Deaths due to COVID-19 around the world increased by 6,386 to 661,203.

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Coronavirus Report July 28: A Million New Cases Every Four Days

While the world added a million new cases of COVID-19 in only four days, cases in the U.S. appear to be reaching a plateau. Will this turn into a peak or just a pause is yet to be determined.

The world is currently adding a million cases of COVID-19 every four days, and the U.S. is contributing about one quarter of that growth.  A new 231,000 cases overnight pushed the global coronavirus count up to 16.495 million.  5,851 new deaths reported, bringing the global death toll to 654,817.

COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to plateau, with 59,200 cases reported in the past 24 hours.  The 1.4 percent increase gives us a total of 4,303,800 cases.  The New York Times reported a jump of 1,696 deaths, but the data reflects an anomaly and is not part of a trend.  It did bring the total U.S. deaths to 148,450.

The New York Times moved four states from their “increasing” list to the list of states where the case count is staying mostly the same.  It could be argued that the increased emphasis on social distancing and face masks is successfully slowing the spread. 

Dr. Deborah Birx, head of the COVID-19 task force,  has said the virus may be heading north after tearing up the Sun Belt.  If so, we are very early in the spread as states like Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana are not yet seeing the spike that emerged in places like Texas and Florida.

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Coronavirus Report July 27: Cases Slow in Some States

Some of the Sun Belt states that had seen the biggest jump in coronavirus cases see number decline.

It was a busy weekend on the COVID-19 news front.  For example:

  • Florida joined California in passing New York for the most COVID-19 cases reported.  New York, once the epicenter of U.S. cases, reported only 536 cases yesterday, but continues to lead the nation with a total of more than 25,000 deaths.
  • Texas had its lowest number of new cases since July 13.  Of course, the hurricane that hit Southern Texas may have interfered with people getting tested or data being reported.
  • 14 players and coaches on the Miami Marlins baseball team have tested positive after a three-game series in Philadelphia and their home opener has been canceled.
  • President Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien tested positive for COVID-19.  His symptoms are said to be mild.
  • Spain is reporting more than 900 cases per day, leading to other European countries to restrict travel to and from parts of Spain. 
  • India reported 49,931 new cases overnight – its biggest increase yet.
  • Cases continue to grow in Germany, Australia and Hong Kong as a second wave of the coronavirus may well be rising overseas.
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Prepper Diary July 26: We Close on our Prepper Property

After two years of searching, we finally spend our first night in our new property. There’s work to be done, like eradicating the mice that call it home.

On Thursday, we loaded the back of my pickup with enough supplies to allow us to camp out in our new home, which we have dubbed our Perfect Prepper Property.  On Friday morning, we set off early so that we could get to the lawyer’s office on time for the closing.  Thankfully, we left half an hour of “extra” time in our driving schedule.  Turned out that we needed it and got there three minutes after 2 p.m., which was the official start time.

After sitting around a large conference room table in face masks while people compulsively rubbed their hands with sanitizer, we all signed a few documents, the notary did her thing, we took possession of the keys, and the house was ours.  It was a quick, painless ending to a search that took more than two years and included us visiting Montana, Idaho, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, in pretty much that order.  We also looked online at Pennsylvania, Vermont and Maine, but never visited property in those states.

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Coronavirus Report July 23: Covid-19 Deaths Rise as More Closures Creep Closer

Americans are pulling back, becoming less mobile, as the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 increase.

COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 1,000 again yesterday, for the second time in a row.  One more time and we’ll call it a trend.  1,136 people died due to COVID-19, bringing the total death count to 143,167.  Around the world, there wee 6,917 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 624,213.

The U.S. also reported 69,800 new cases, just under the 70,000 threshold it hit a couple times last week.  Now at 3,980,100, the country will surpass 4 million reported cases today.

This has also been a record 24-hour period for the world, which blew through the 15 million mark to reach 15.258 million cases.  That is an whopping increase of 282,000 cases.

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Prepper Diary July 22: We Break Quarantine, Again

After avoiding the city for almost a month and going on self-imposed quarantine for more than a week, I venture out and find others are playing it safe, too.

I ventured out into town today.  My first trip out of the house in more than week and my first visit to our  nearest city in about four weeks.   I had a doctor’s appointment, but I took advantage of being out and all masked up to go to Sam’s Club and then pick up some takeout for dinner.  Here are my observations:

People are Staying Home

Traffic was light.  Maybe it is the heat, but it seemed like more people are staying home.  Our state has gone through the reopening and seen an uptick in cases, so I can’t help but think that people have just decided to play it safe.  Also, to be fair, it was 1:30 p.m., the middle of the work day.  Maybe a lot of people were stuck “working from home.” 

There was far better adherence to the “wear a mask” rule than I had observed before.  A couple people had their nose sticking out, but I didn’t see anyone who was unmasked.

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Coronavirus Report July 22

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 65,500 over the past 24 hours, to 3,910,300 people.  This is a jump of 1.7 percent.  Deaths increased by 1,127, which is the first jump of more than 1,000 since May.  However, considering that only 504 were reported yesterday, this may just reflect the standard weekend reporting lag and is nothing to be too concerned about.  I’ll be convinced it is a trend only if we see three days this week over 1,000 (which is certainly possible).

Meanwhile global cases continued to grow with 240,000 overnight, a 1.6 percent rate of growth.  The total number of cases, currently at 14.976 million, will surpass the 15 million threshold later today.  Deaths climbed to 617,297.

We are closing on our new prepper property later this week, so things are busy and we may skip some posts.  Have a good weekend, everyone.  Stay safe and stay cool.