It’s going to be a rough next two months in the U.S. It’s already rough in some parts of the world, and not just China, Italy, and South Korea. Singapore and Taiwan seem to be doing a good job containing the novel coronavirus. The U.S. has shifted from containment to mitigation.
World markets are down about 6% today as I write this. We’re in really uncertain territory predicting what’s going to happen to myriad businesses. Congress is considering recessing for two weeks, members are nervous, they skew much older than the general population.
Many businesses are going to shut down. Retail establishments can’t just work from home. Here in Austin South By Southwest was cancelled already. Eventually I imagine we’ll see closure of movie theaters. Will people go to restaurants?
Already we’re seeing a massive slowdown in travel. It’s scaring travel providers like United to do crazy things. Eventually they’ll need their customers when people travel again but for now United’s customers are the enemy.
How bad could things get for the travel industry? No one is certain, we’re taking stabs in the dark, but one scenario is that worldwide hotels could be down 65% in the second quarter.
— COWEN Research (@CowenResearch) March 9, 2020
As I evaluate my own travel I’m looking to the number of confirmed cases where I’m going, and the risk that it’s an area that could become subject to quarantine. I don’t want to be trapped somewhere, unable to get home to my wife and daughter. Sixteen million people are locked down in Northern Italy.
So when is a quarantine not a quarantine? When people flee to escape it…. https://t.co/vaCkKJyhoi
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) March 8, 2020
It looks like the U.S. has removed restrictions on testing. Tests are about to become more available. And we’re immune to the virus once we recover, that re-infection reports are probably of people who hadn’t actually cleared the virus to begin with. So there’s good news too.