760 million people on lockdown

One-tenth of the human race is under some form of quarantine… but “it’s just the flu, bro”…

From the NY Times:

To stop the spread of the coronavirus much of China has effectively shut down. What’s not been fully appreciated is how extensive the closures are. By our calculations 760 million are living under some kind of residential lockdown.

A friend of mine in a large city not in Hubei province wrote (Feb 7):

A lot of companies are going to shut down soon. No business is allowed to open. Shopping malls are closed. There is nobody in the street. It’s like a zombie movie.

This person, who runs a small business, a few days later told me his office lease was about to expire and he had fired all his staff.

I cannot even go to my office. The government is asking all companies to apply for a certificate to open a business. Before you get the certificate you cannot go back to the office. But you are still paying for the rent and your staff. Amazing. In order to get the certificate, you need enough supplies: masks, sanitizer… make sure it’s enough for all your staff to use for at least a month. Nobody is going to want to do business after this. I cannot even get enough supplies for myself, now I have to provide for my staff.

Today I received the following messages:

Supermarkets and pharmacies are open. All restaurants are shut down. Malls are open but nobody goes shopping. They only go to the supermarkets in the mall. Cinemas are closed. Some companies are back to business. Most are still not open. Employees work at home. There were some incidents where employees got diagnosed with the virus after back to office. Then the whole company/floor has to lock down. All people have to be isolated.

A Reddit user comments:

It might not fit the true definition of a a quarantine, but the restrictions are still locking everything down. You can’t enter certain cities, currently, schools are going all online or cancelling altogether, 95% of all businesses are closed or operating on a skeleton crew with limited hours, and restaurants are banned from dine-in in most cities. Couple that with being required to wear a mask outdoors and constant temperature checks, plus most housing districts not allowing visitors inside, it’s as close as you can get without locking the front doors.

John Robb, a former advisor the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff who is not given to hysteria, comments thusly:

Top tier US Government national security insiders all saying the same thing:

China’s extreme mismanagement of the virus (Chernobyl-like reflexive information control, refusing intl aid, etc.) makes it very likely it will become a pandemic. US needs to prepare.

Simple way to think about this:

Very easy to get sick with this virus (possibly very high % of people getting sick).

80% get a little sick (as little as a slight fever).
20% get very sick.
2-3% die (mostly elderly + smokers) vs. 0.1% w/flu.

And this is hardly reassuring:

As the number of coronavirus cases jumps dramatically in China, a top infectious-disease scientist warns that things could get far worse: Two-thirds of the world’s population could catch it.

So says Ira Longini, an adviser to the World Health Organization who tracked studies of the virus’s transmissibility in China. His estimate implies that there could eventually be billions more infections than the current official tally of about 60,000.

2 thoughts on “760 million people on lockdown

  1. The number of people in China under lockdown is insane, double the population of the US. Economist predict that the lock down will cause a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline. A senior official of Chinese government, speaking in Europe claimed that China would completely recover and was on pace to hit its growth targets. The one thing he was right about was that consumer demand will most likely recover because there is pent up demand, people sitting on money now, unable to spend it, but other sectors will probably not recover from two bad quarters, if it comes to that. And most rating agencies are predicting a sharp decline in China’s GDP growth outlook for 2020. Of course, Beijing is the one who does the numbers, so I am sure they will hit their targets, every year, they hit the exact number predicted. They should play the lottery. They’d win every time.

  2. Sorry if this is a duplicate comment, the internet is wonky in Mongolia today. The guy who runs it is out sick…some kind of flu.

    The number of people in China under lockdown is insane, double the population of the US. Economist predict that the lock down will cause a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline. A senior official of Chinese government, speaking in Europe claimed that China would completely recover and was on pace to hit its growth targets. The one thing he was right about was that consumer demand will most likely recover because there is pent up demand, people sitting on money now, unable to spend it, but other sectors will probably not recover from two bad quarters, if it comes to that. And most rating agencies are predicting a sharp decline in China’s GDP growth outlook for 2020. Of course, Beijing is the one who does the numbers, so I am sure they will hit their targets, every year, they hit the exact number predicted. They should play the lottery. They’d win every time.

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