Those of you who have read the “About the Author” section of this Website (you have, haven’t you?) know that I was born in 1942, just a few months after World War Two began. I don’t remember much about the war years, but I grew to adulthood during the period history records as the Cold War. It was an interesting time. We knew that any day the Russian missiles might come over the North Pole and wipe out many of our cities, but we didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.
We spent even less time worrying about it. For most of us, the attitude was, “If it happens, it happens. We can’t stop it by worrying about it.”
But there were a few people who woke up every morning thinking, “This is the day the missiles will come. I’ll be dead by the time the sun goes down.” I knew several of them. They came from all walks of life—students, workers, blue collar, white collar, young, old.
As I grew older (and hopefully a little wiser) I realized that we all try to do what makes us happy—and some people aren’t happy unless they have something to worry about. If they’re not worried about Russian missiles, they’re worried about losing their job. Or the water heater dying. Or the polar ice caps melting and flooding all our coastal cities.
Something else I learned about the worriers is that they feel compelled to share their fears with everyone else. I suppose they feel an obligation to warn the rest of us of the impending doom. Don’t buy that condo in Galveston. When the polar ice caps melt, Galveston will be under fifty feet of water.
Most of us have seen some version of the cartoon that shows a wild-eyed, long-haired man wearing a robe and clog sandals, carrying a sign proclaiming REPENT! THE END OF THE WORLD IS AT HAND! Those cartoons are a humorous poke at the worriers who feel they need to share their worries with the rest of us.
One of the good news-bad news things we live with here in the early years of the Twenty-first Century is that it’s easy to find a forum if you want to say something. You can send out a group email, you can set up a Website like this one, or you can find someone who agrees with you and ask them to publish your opinion piece.
In the past week I’ve read two of those opinion pieces, written by those professional worriers, predicting that this Wuhan virus is going to bring about the end of civilization as we’ve known it.
According to both of those articles: by the end of the year, the world’s population will have fallen from somewhat more than seven billion people to fewer than fifty million. Our industrial/technological society will have reverted to an agrarian society, in which it takes seventy percent of the land, worked by seventy percent of the population, to feed themselves and the other thirty percent.
One of the pieces was particularly graphic. It actually gave a timeline for the collapse of our civilization. By June of this year, the world’s healthcare systems would be overwhelmed, but it wouldn’t matter because most of the healthcare workers would be dead or dying anyway.
By July, half of the world’s population would be infected and ten percent would be dead.
By August the entire world would be infected and three to five percent of the world’s population would be dying every month.
By the end of the year, civilization as we’ve known it would have ceased to exist.
REPENT! THE END OF THE WORLD IS AT HAND!
Now that I’ve destroyed our world, wrecked our economy, and killed off ninety-eight percent of you, I’d like to offer those of you who are left a slightly different perspective.
IN MY OPINION (standard disclaimer). . .that’s not the scenario we need to anticipate and prepare for. The one I think is far more likely is that the virus will gradually dissipate as warmer weather comes, as pneumonia, flu, the common cold, and most other respiratory illnesses do. It will start to reappear toward the end of the year, as cold weather returns to the planet. By that time I believe we will have a much different situation.
To begin with, the medical research will continue unabated during the five- or six-month respite. By the end of the year we will almost certainly have a vaccine.
The White House Task Force has announced that they’ve found an existing medication—something called chloroquine—that seems to cure the virus in as little as six days. The President has promised the FDA will test (and hopefully approve) chloroquine as quickly as possible.
French researchers claim they have a peer-reviewed medication that cures 100% of Wuhan virus cases.
Instead of the death rate being in excess of two percent, as it is now, by the end of the year it will be less than one-half of one percent, as it is for the so-called “Asian” flu (the common flu).
The other factor is that people will have more time to prepare for isolation or quarantine. The one this spring kind of snuck up on us.
As people on the Gulf coast do when hurricane season approaches, people all over the country will lay in supplies—disinfectants, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, food, and medications. Oh, there will still be runs on the stores, like there are when there’s a hurricane in the Gulf. There will always be people who wait until the last minute, then panic.
But for the most part, we will be ready. I and my family will be. You and your family will be. The next-door neighbor might not be, but we’ll try to warn him.
What of the economy? Ah, that’s a more difficult call to make. The stock market is down more than thirty percent, solidly in “bear market” territory. And yet—the economy is as strong today as it was before all this started. Unemployment is down, wages are up, jobs are coming back to the U.S. by the millions.
Even people who perhaps missed some work during a lockout will soon be back at their jobs—and possibly working overtime, to make up for lost production.
My guess—and it’s strictly a guess, or maybe gut instinct—is that as the virus starts to tamp down, the economy will start to recover. As one curve slopes down, the other will slope up.
Will it ever regain the fire we saw in the last half of 2019, with weeks when the Dow hit a new record high every day? My instinct says probably not. We were riding the crest of the wave back then, thinking that nothing could stop us. This virus has taught us that even a good economy is a fragile thing that can be brought low by any number of things.
But if President Trump is re-elected in November—and I believe he will be—I believe the economy and the stock market will return to where it was in January of 2020—then continue up from there.
If we elect a Democrat in November, I think the economy will continue to decline, as the new President opens the borders, raises taxes, and allows millions of jobs to go overseas again.
There’s one other thing I think we should talk about. I don’t want to talk about it, because I’m afraid it represents the beginning of the end for the political system that, over the past 245 years, has made us the greatest, freest, most prosperous nation the world has ever seen. The only possible way to keep that from happening is to talk about it.
I’ve made the statement frequently, in this forum and others, that if President Trump found a cure for cancer, the Democrats would find some way to criticize him for it. They would probably try to find a way to impeach him for it.
Instead of “. . .the loyal opposition,” which they once were, the Democrat Party sees themselves as the enemy of a Constitutionally-elected President and government. They make every effort, legal or not, ethical or not, to destroy this President and his entire Administration.
The Wuhan virus is completely non-partisan. It attacks Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites, Asians and Latinos, liberals and conservatives, males and females. It attacks from a unified front. To defeat it, we need to present an equally unified front.
So far, that hasn’t happened. Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and many of the more radical leftist Democrats in the Congress (and a few Republicans—yes, Mitt Romney, I’m talking about you) have been non-stop in their criticism of President Trump. He hasn’t done enough. He’s done too much. His actions prove he’s a racist. . .and a xenophobe. . .and an Islamophobe. . .and an isolationist.
The mainstream media, the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party, has gleefully called the Wuhan virus “Trump’s Katrina” and “Trump’s Chernobyl.” The New York Times ran a headline that screamed, ARE YOU SICK? FEEL BAD? BLAME TRUMP! The very clear implication was that the virus, the damage to the world’s economy, and even the deaths, are all Trump’s fault.
Just tonight we were watching our local news on the ABC affiliate channel. They were reporting on the fact that many local restaurants and bars had closed their dining rooms, and were offering only take-out meals. As part of the report, they offered the estimate that nationwide, the closure of food-service facilities was going to eliminate six or seven million jobs.
Now think about that, folks. In the three-plus years of Prez Trump’s Administration, he’s added about seven million jobs to the U.S. economy—mainly by bringing those jobs back from places like Mexico, Canada, and China, where the last eight Presidents had allowed them to go. This report on ABC implied—didn’t actually say, mind you, but implied—that those seven million jobs were going to be lost just in the food-service industry. When you add in the millions of jobs that will be lost in other industries, the nation and the world is going to be much worse off for having elected Trump as the U.S. President.
Actually, none of that is true. Those jobs weren’t “lost.” As the virus dies down, those people will be back at work, as will the millions in other industries. Many of them will be working overtime, making up for lost production. Business owners and managers will be hanging out those banners that we saw for much of 2019—the ones that proclaimed, HELP WANTED and WE’RE HIRING!
Wait, it gets worse. Some mainstream media pundits are complaining that the government’s mitigation policies were unnecessarily harsh. There was no need to avoid crowds. . .close schools. . .cancel basketball games and rock concerts. . .quarantine people. Just be careful not to sneeze or cough on people. If you have a fever or feel bad, stay home for a day or two. That’s all you need to do.
If we had listened to those people, the world would have seen a recession that would have made the Great Depression of the Nineteen Thirties look like a picnic in the park. It might, in fact, have meant the end of civilization as we’ve known it. It would have taken years to recover from, if we recovered at all.
That’s why I fear our political system is breaking down. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Democrats and Republicans put aside their ideological differences and worked together to save us from a common enemy.
When the nation and the world hovered on the brink of a worldwide recession in 1977, the two political parties worked together to save the nation and the world.
When Islamic terrorists brought down the World Trade Center buildings in 2001 the government worked together to protect our national security interests.
But today we have a Democrat Party so consumed with hatred for a Republican President that they’re willing to wreck our national economy and let thousands of American citizens die, just to get Donald Trump out of the White House.
As my WW2 hero, Gen. George Patton, was known to say. . .God help us.