The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Economics of a Flu Pandemic: Part II

Republication of this article from 2010

I just finished reading the Nesbitt Burns Investors Guide to Avian Flu. It’s a good report, but the advice to investors is limited (basically, expect a flight to safety such as gold and US treasuries and keep money on the side to buy up distressed properties after the pandemic.) They do a very good job of detailing the history of flu pandemics, the current state of preparedness and the likely consequences. (They’re essentially the same as the ones I discuss in my essay in the FluWiki, but Sherry Cooper and Donald Coxe run through them in much more detail and style.)

The more I look into this the more pathetic it all seems. Our society, as a whole, has no surge protection – no ability to take shocks. We have no excess beds, no excess equipment, no excess ability to produce vaccines or medicines, nothing. Everybody has worshiped at the altar of efficiency for so long that they don’t understand that if you don’t have extra capacity you have no ability to deal with unexpected events. And now some people are suing the Ontario government for their SARS handling, which I fear will perversely make the government less willing to do what needs to be done when a crisis hits.

Public healthcare in a pandemic or epidemic is a triage operation. You isolate people and you shut things down deliberately, and people are going to die because of the decisions you make. If nurses and doctors decide that their own lives are more important than those of the sick, or if ordinary citizens decide to break quarantine or travel restrictions, then there could be complete disaster. The moment of the SARS outbreak that caused me the most fear was when there were reports of people fleeing Beijing. In a real pandemic situation, all that would do is spread the disease further and kill even more people.

In a pandemic, no one should be out and doing things who doesn’t need to be. Take food – it should be delivered to each person’s door and left there, once the delivery person leaves, the occupant comes out to get the food. No interpersonal contact other than that which is unnecessary.

When I was approached to write about the economics of a pandemic, my first thought was: “Find out what happened during the Spanish Flu pandemic.” Apparently, Coxe thought the same thing and his conclusion is that because our society and economy is so much more integrated and so much more connected (for example the flu had to spread by ship back then), and so much more “just in time” that it isn’t really a model you can use. We’ll likely get hit harder, faster, and because many locations have such limited inventories, relying on getting it as they need it, the supply disruptions are likely to be much worse. I can’t find any flaw with his argument.

The lack of urgency on the part of governments is rather distressing:

It is hoped the Canadian studies will begin late next summer. February’s federal budget set aside $34 million for production of trial batches of an H5N1 vaccine. But Canada’s flu vaccine manufacturer, ID Biomedical, still has not been given the go-ahead to do the work.”We’re close to entering into a contract. Hopefully it will be done shortly,” Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said Monday.

The company has said it would take 12 months from contract signing to vaccine delivery, because it must build and license a special high-biosecurity facility within its existing vaccine plant.

Now, I don’t know the details of what is required to set up such facilities, but I’m not getting a huge sense of urgency from the government here. The contract should be signed now and whatever is necessary to build extra facilities should be done, as well as whatever is necessary to get them up and operating faster. I do understand that biosafety is an absolute necessity, but getting these facilities up too late is as good as “never.” Let’s be frank, 34 million is peanuts. How much money did they lose trying to create the gun registry (a database no larger than many commercial databases successfully brought in for much less)?

I would suggest to politicians that if an influenza pandemic does occur, and people decide you didn’t do everything you could have to prepare for it, that, at the very least, you will no longer have a political career. At the worst, well, you won’t be alive to worry about it.

There aren’t enough respirators, there aren’t enough hospital beds, there isn’t enough vaccine production capacity or antiviral production capacity. There is so little being done to deal with those deficiencies that there might as well be nothing being done. Doubling production isn’t what is necessary, production needs to be ramped up by orders of magnitude. If it’s never used, oh well, it’s better than building a bridge to nowhere in Alaska which even Alaskans don’t want.

I don’t know when there will be an influenza pandemic. No one does. It’s an odds game. But right now, the odds aren’t so good. It’s time to spend some money and buy some insurance against the possibility. Put the facility in your riding and tell your constituents how you just got them some jobs.

But do it.

(This is a reprint, at a reader’s request. You can find part one of Economics of a Flu Pandemic here.)

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 15, 2020


How Bad Is Coronavirus Going to Be and What Should We Do?


  1. B Schram

    A major flu outbreak is in a sense inevitable. How does your assessment of a flu outbreak compare to our preparedness for other future disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and maybe we could even lump in oil rig failures. I imagine they are all similar. As long as the focus is profit not human welfare this will be the case. The facilities for making these types of vaccines are not trivial and the bureaucratic hurdles large, not to mention NIMBY, but perhaps the bottom line is that they most likely won’t be profitable unless there actually is an outbreak.

    thanks again for an interesting and insightful analysis.

  2. John

    Difficult in a population where 30% are confused pathological hyper-individualists who don’t want no stinkin’ socialized medicine. And where insurance is seen as a system meant to keep the sheep well shorn rather than a system of collective responsibility that the whole of a group takes for the misfortunes happening to individuals.

  3. Ian Welsh

    Even countries like Canada and Britain have almost no surge capacity.

  4. different clue

    Here’s a funny cartoon about 3 diseases sitting around in a bar.

  5. anon

    Western governments everywhere had time to prepare that East Asian countries did not have. At the very latest, by February, Trump should have started preparing for the worst case scenarios of what happens if/when the virus made its way here. What a difference a month would have made in saving lives and developing enough test kits for every American.

    I went out for a few hours yesterday and it was obvious to me that many Americans still are not taking this virus seriously. No one was wearing masks or gloves. Businesses big and small were still open and none of the workers were wearing masks and gloves even though they were handling money and customers were inches away from their faces. Even casinos are still open for business. There are enough Americans who don’t believe in science and have not taken this virus seriously enough (including our dear leader) that it will get many more people killed unnecessarily. The worst is yet to come.

  6. That’s a loaded cartoon, DC, illuminating. Like an onion.

  7. Ché Pasa

    Thanks for reprinting these essays, Ian. It’s clear that pandemic/epidemic preparedness situation is considerably worse now than it was ten years ago, and that the diminished preparedness is quite deliberate, intentional, and of course lethal for the vulnerable. Had the Obama era attempts to address preparedness remained in force, we wouldn’t actually be that much better off. The ideological point has long been for governments to do as little as possible as late as possible, and to do nothing that doesn’t handsomely profit the “correct” interests — which of course is not the general public.

    This particular Outbreak is hitting the High and Mighty, however, what with wives of prime ministers affected, aides of presidents running around spreading it, and the rich retreating to their second or third homes and bunkers, carrying the virus with them. It’s not just the poors and the olds, in other words. It’s the whole superstructure of rule, the whole idea of how it should be done.

    Bunkering down might slow the spread, but then again, maybe not by much. And then what?

    The first response is to vastly increase authoritarian control. The rules, restrictions, and commands imposed by authorities vary in their effects, but they are all but universal now, affecting everyone one way or another.

    Panic is one typical — and apparently desirable — effect because it keeps people’s minds focused on searching out and buying up toilet paper and other supplies rather than considering how we got to this point and what can be/should be done about it. When police are assigned to the WalMarts and Costcos to “maintain order” the rabble are being conditioned to live in abject fear and to accept whatever arbitrary authority their rulers wish to impose. Useful, no?

    The predictions of one to five million deaths from the virus in the US alone inspires even more fear and submission. Feelings of helplessness among the rabble are always useful to the ruling class, and if the die-off can be confined (pretty much) to the rabble so much the better.

    One thing to keep in mind: this was all gamed out a long time ago. The ruling class may be cruel, inefficient and grossly incompetent but the reactive outlines of what’s going on now have been awaiting implementation for many years.

    Stay safe and well.


    China is poised to become the new leader of the free world. Xi is a stud. If Chinese suspicions are close to accurate, and I’m not saying they are, the biological attack has boomeranged and is having the opposite effect. Instead of weakening China, it’s strengthening China and it may very well collapse America and Europe and Canada too.


    About the November elections, more evidence they will be canceled indefinitely. Georgia and Louisiana are trial ballon states for Trump and both have canceled and postponed the primaries until September if they have primaries at all. Imagine this time next year. Imagine everything to come in the next year. Hell, at this rate all the holidays will be canceled too. No Thanksgiving. No Halloween. No Christmas or Easter. In five to seven years America may be ruled by China at this rate or the world may be no more due to a nuclear conflagration. Anything’s possible at this point except business as usual.

    Fyi, I have no doubt Georgia and Louisiana postponing the primaries is political. No doubt about it. Both states want to prevent blacks and suburbanite soccer moms from giving their blue Trump any more momentum.

  10. GlassHammer

    Efficency for the people – Do “more” with “less” until “less” becomes “nothing at all”

    Efficency for the powerful – Do “less” with “more” until “more” becomes “everthing”

  11. different clue

    The one silver lining in all this has been alluded to up above, that the Upper Middles and the Uppers are spreading the disease around among themselves. Hopefully millions and millions of THEM will die from it.

    It would be a Bonfire of the Classes. Maybe if enough of THEM die, then WE can finally have nice things.

  12. anon

    different clue: That is a silver lining, but the rich almost always win in the end. They will still be the first people to be offered tests and given the best medical care. They have the money and resources to take time off from work and self quarantine in their spacious homes. It’s the average person who will need to worry about not being able to get tested, getting a hospital bed if they are among the unfortunate 20% who will need hospitalization, and taking care of themselves and their families without losing their homes or jobs.

  13. Queue the theme from Twilight Zone but, ahhh … living the life I have lived I have learned that a little paranoia isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you look at all the little tics, the bluster, the refusals to participate, the ahhh … retarding of the response, the clusterfuck at the airports this morning, and I get the distinct impression someone is trying to kill us. That maybe this thing running in the wild isn’t so wild. Certain peoples in certain places. Doesn’t seem to be a problem in Mexico or S American, Africa and most of the Middle East.

    An exercise not in authoritarianism but population control.

    Or, it could be this thirty thousand (30,000) year old virus scientists thawed out of the tundra and brought back to life.

  14. mago

    Yeah ten bears, the thaw releasing frozen pathogens. Spanish flu could do a redux from thawed Alaskan tundra burping up a hitherto preserved corpse. Anything can happen, especially on the internet, eh?

  15. Zachary Smith

    The “Spanish Flu” virus has already been recovered by the US, and presumably every other nation which is interested.

    When the CNC advised people to try to stock up on their prescription medicines, that told me the Powers That Be most likely have a “Lockdown” on their mind. Maybe regional, maybe national, but Mr. Welsh’s idea of delivering groceries to the door may be the only way we’ll get them for a fair while.

    If you have some essential medicines as well as enough money to buy them without resorting to your insurance company, setting aside a 3-month supply is a really good idea. I’d suggest having your doctor send the scripts to another pharmacy besides the one you normally use – simply to prevent confusion.

    My extra supply is inside a quart glass jar with a tight metal Ball lid, and is in the freezer. I’ve learned from bitter experience when a freezer fails plastic lids are worthless. Anything inside the plastic-lidded jars smells like rotted food.

    I’ve noticed that people are getting to be a little smarter on their grocery store “stocking up”. A relative told me she saw a woman with two heaped up shopping carts of Ramen Noodles. That’s DUMB.

  16. Ché Pasa

    What about the money?

    Thankfully, complete madness hasn’t taken over the folks nearby, but people are tense, not knowing what will happen or when. The olds have been stocking up, but I wouldn’t say panic buying, though what they’ll need with so much ramen, bottled water, and holy toilet paper, I’m not sure. The problem is, they don’t have much money. Social Security and SSI only go so far, you know?

    Younger people are taking it a day at a time. And they don’t have much money either — though some are quite creative about how they get it… Anyway, the thing is they can’t just pick up an extra three months of meds to sock away. If they’re on Medicaid or Medicare, nope, nah gonna happen. They’re lucky if they can get three months at one time.

    As for other supplies, again, without excess discretionary cash or credit, it isn’t going to happen.

    Someone suggested paying everyone $1000 right now to tide them through the tough times down the road, and someone else said “Why not $6000?”since things might get a whole lot tougher than anyone currently expects. Given that trillions are already going to prop up Wall St. and trillions more will be handed out in baskets to the various impacted industries (like Trump Hotels and Resorts) why not? That’s what should have been done during the 2008 collapse — direct payments to households to wipe out debt or just to spend. It didn’t matter. Instead many many trillions were handed to the banks and Wall St. to wipe out their debts or to hoard.

    And here we are.

    The smart folks who are finally getting their asses in gear to handle the waves of illness and death on the horizon (now that Tucker Carlson has convinced the president that OMG this is a Real Thing) seem to have a clue about what’s gone wrong and what will go wrong, and they’re now warning about gatherings of 50 or more, isolating all the olds (over 65 — with or without underlying conditions), and floating Sino-Euro style regional lockdowns to control the spread.

    Hospitals are setting up emergency tents in their parking lots, but they also have drive thru testing. They don’t have enough bed space for the anticipated patient load, so they’re considering options: commandeering hotels for example. They don’t have enough equipment and may not have enough personnel, either.

    All this and so much more costs money, and we’ll see, no doubt to the amazement of some, that plenty of money can and will be found to address the problems to come. Only it won’t be found for everyone.

    Just the “deserving.” Triage won’t be pretty.

  17. S Brennan

    Off-Topic; File Under: Folds Like a cheap 1] Suit, 2] Lawn Chair

    Watching Bernie at the debate today…playing judas-goat to another truckload of sheep ready for slaughter really turned my stomach.

    How long will Sanders defenders* pretend that this old goat who leads sheep to slaughter is their trusted shepherd? Fool me once, shame on YOU, fool me twice, shame on ME.

    *the few honest patsies, not the endless stream of DNC shills

  18. Zachary Smith

    Regarding the title of this piece, you can bet your last dollar that when it comes time to hand out money, Big Everything will get it first. And by far the largest share. The stock market is the topic of my link, but also lining up at the trough will be Big Banks, Big Fracking, Big Airlines, and Lord Only Knows what else.

    Government Spends Equivalent of Entire US Student Debt to Rally Stock Market for 15 Minutes

    Regarding a 90 day stockpile of your personal prescription medications, here is a list of the generics offered by Walmart. $10 for a three month supply of Drug X is a far better thing to buy than an extra brick of bottled water – or another package of TP.

    Don’t involve the insurance company – in the event you have some insurance which pays anything. Some bean counter there will probably manage to muck up you regular purchases.

  19. Zachary Smith

    Watching Bernie at the debate today…playing judas-goat to another truckload of sheep ready for slaughter really turned my stomach.

    Off-topic reply.

    I had no idea till now Sanders was such a devious bastard. Running for President, and well on the way to that goal until he somehow arranged to be waylaid and backstabbed by the Clintons, the DNC, the Corporate Media, and a billionaire who spent $500,000,000 to stop him.

    Clearly all the evidence points to Sanders-the-sheepdog.

  20. Ten Bears

    Some people just gotta’ Bernie Bash, Zach, bless their little hearts, they don’t know better. It’s almost as if they were getting paid a penny a post to shit all over the place. Fucking monkeys.

  21. Hugh

    I agree with Zachary Taylor the Fed is and has been throwing trillions at the stock markets. And it is quadrupling down. It’s cut its benchmark rate, that is its overnight rate to banks, to zero to 0.25%. We are talking about free money here. This is pushing on a string on steroids. It is not going to help the economy where you and I live one bit. It is, make no mistake, a bailout of the rich. And it is huge. Student debt is a trillion dollars. On Thursday and Friday of last week, the Fed made nearly $2 trillion available to markets. And that is only part of what they have been doing and propose to do. And guess what. It’snot working. It’s freaking markets out even more. Stock market futures this morning Monday are limit down, that is a thousand points before the open.


    At this point Trump’s actions or lack thereof amount to nothing short of criminal negligence. Trump and his enablers, both officially in his admin and unofficially i.e. media pundits like Limbaugh & Hannity, are murderers. Yes, murderers. They should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If we are truly a just society which, of course, we are not.

    The Dems don’t give a sh*t either nor their cable news propaganda venues such as CNN & MSNBC. No, the Dems and their apparatchiks only know one thing and one way of being, and that’s political. Everything and anything must be political, they know no other way and can behave in no other way. Their criticism of Trump and his official and unofficial admin is feigned & feckless, and then they have the nerve, the temerity, to offer demented senilic Biden as a worthwhile alternative, and they do this, somehow, with a straight face. This pandemic thrives on, nay feasts on, venality and that’s the one thing America still does well, better than anyone, in fact.


    There needs to be a military coup of some sort that removes Trump and his admin from office and suspends Congress. Command & control is the only thing that will save tens of thousands of lives if not hundreds of thousands or millions. All media venues must also be suspended indefinitely and there must only be one venue providing news related to the pandemic. The news as it now exists is purely political and is politically exploiting the pandemic for ratings. Fox & CNN & MSNBC and ABC & NBC & CBS must be indefinitely suspended from any news broadcasts whatsoever as should be PBS and NPR. All cable and radio and print media venues must be suspended and if they don’t oblige, their management and owners must be imprisoned.

  24. Ché Pasa

    Re Meds:

    You can’t just go to Walmart and tell the pharmacist to give you an extra 90 day supply to have on hand because of the Outbreak. Depending on what kind of coverage you have — if any — your doctor (if you can manage to get his/her attention at all… they are somewhat distracted at the moment) won’t necessarily order an extra supply for even thirty days, and you can’t get refills on your own before your current supply is nearly exhausted.

    Ms. Ché for example gets her medications through IHS and Medicare Part D. She takes insulin and a bunch of other things and blessedly has no co-pay. Her provider — an NP — is limited to prescribing 30 day refills (might change, but it hasn’t yet) and she cannot go to a pharmacy get more, even if she paid for it herself, which she can’t do, given the long time price gouging for insulin, let alone her other meds.

    This is the reality that many who depend on medications to survive face whether there’s a virus lockdown or no. Many of those who take insulin, for example, have co-pays they cannot afford in any case, and so have long had to restrict their intake and jeopardize their health. And of course, diabetics are among the most vulnerable to the Outbreak. Convenient, no?

    It’s already becoming clear, depending on how bad the Outbreak gets, that triage is going to mean sacrificing the old, diabetics, immunosuppressed, and so on according to triage flow charts, nothing personal you see, and that’s just the way it will be. Nothing to be done about it, because there simply isn’t enough health care capacity or resource to take care of everybody who gets sick with this thing, and there won’t be enough in time to prevent the worst from happening.


  25. Stirling S Newberry

    Compound Cinematics

    Giddy gaddy galophandourous
    along the Rashomon calculus compound cinematics
    where the parable of the sower
    meets the statistical union akutagawa
    they shake and depart in crashsimialar confusion.
    Unfortunately adjacent to establish diplomatic exchange
    4 the dancing girl of Izu
    and the woman of or in the dunes.

  26. Stirling S Newberry

    Compound Cinematics II

    Introduction to superposition
    leads us astray to be magical real world of quantum,
    against the imaginary world of classical mechanics,
    Waterloo in extensive form,
    the defeat of ultra Neo liberal quisedence fakir.
    Along the steps of the widening past.

  27. S Brennan

    “….well on the way to that goal until he [Bernie Sanders] somehow arranged to be waylaid and backstabbed by the Clintons, the DNC, the Corporate Media”


    Twice he [Bernie Sanders] got “waylaid” in exactly the same place and, both times…so…so…so nice about giving up the gold he had collected from the peasants and offering the highway robber wishes of safe travels while plundering the countryside.


    Above I was called a “fucking monkey” for not toeing the St. Bernie line, I will not reply kind but, will note that people who still believe in “St. Bernie” are being had.

  28. S Brennan

    Here’s a Bernie pic where he’s “yucking it up” with the thief who “waylaid” him…

    C’mon folks…

  29. Willy

    So out of anybody, who would be your preferred candidate, Brennan?

  30. Zachary Smith

    Very likely he/she “loves” a Democrat who cannot possibly be nominated. I smell professional or amateur troll work here.

    ONE MORE TIME with the prescription advances.
    Call your doctor and tell him or her you want an extra supply of prescription medications in case the coronavirus crisis gets really bad. Make reference to the CDC advice. Both the doctor and the pharmacist already know about this, and NOW the doctor knows you are also informed.

    Since most doctors are not jerks, most likely the designated pharmacy place will quickly receive all the new scripts. I’ve been on a bit of a mission to make sure all my elderly relatives know about this, and to this point Every One of them who have asked have gotten both the prescriptions and the requested extra medications.

    In the back of his mind any doctor who would usually automatically say “no” has to be ask what would happen if he said “no”. I’d predict that if Grandpa or old Aunt Jane had been refused the extra meds, then ran out of them and died of a stroke (or whatever), the surviving family would sue the pants off the doctor and his employers. I’d also predict that in 99 and 44/100% of the cases the family would win, and win big.


    Above I was called a “fucking monkey”

    That’s not as bad as being called “dogsh*t.” I’m guessing Tuberculosis is a spousal abuser. How much you want to bet he has a history of spousal abuse?

    Anyway, you’re right about Bernie. You’ve said it all along and Bernie is proving you right once again. He’s not a leader. He’s not fit to hold Fidel’s or Che’s jock, so it’s ironic absurdity for the Dems to conflate him with Fidel and Che and the Cuban Revolution in any way, shape or form.


    So out of anybody, who would be your preferred candidate, Brennan?

    I can’t and won’t speak for Brennan, but how about President Xi for $1,000, Alex. Get used to it because when this is all said and done, China will own America lock, stock and two smoking barrels. President Xi will, unlike Bloomberg, get it done.

  33. Willy

    I’m just trying to find out who the chronic cynics are so I can ignore their comments. Having one here (such as myself) is bad enough.

    But I do at least understand that “perfect is the enemy of the good” as has been noted here recently, and prefer to discuss any potential good over just whining that everything is bad and we’re all fucked. In my world hope is as powerful as fear, and I’d rather hang out with hope, such as it is.


    Florida is going to be decimated by this pandemic when it’s all said and done. It’s incubating there as we speak and soon enough, like Wuhan, old peeps are going to be falling out on the sidewalks and hospitals will not be able to accommodate throngs. Florida does not fear though. They’re holding their primary as though there is no pandemic. Considering voter suppression and the long lines it’s created for the poor & destitute of America in the primaries thus far in various states, Florida is set to spread the pandemic even further and make it that much worse.


    Hope rhymes with dope for a reason. You’re a dope if you believe any of the Three Stooges, Trump Biden Bernie, can deliver the goods. They can’t. America can’t. Just as the novel coronavirus that results in COVID-19 perniciously attacks those who’s immune systems are compromised, so too it attacks political/economic/social systems that are particularly compromised and vulnerable.

    Having stemmed the spread of infections, China is drawing back those who think Western nations are bungling the fight.

  36. anon

    Not sure if this was posted in Links but this is one of the most popular articles on Medium about the coronavirus:

    We’re right on schedule for cases to explode within a week. Not enough has been done to contain the virus and it’s probably out of control at this point. Despite the current shutdowns on bars and restaurants, many Americans still refuse to hunker down.

    We even have MAGA supporters now replacing climate change with coronavirus as another liberal hoax:

    It’ll be interesting or possibly horrifying to see states with a large elderly population deal with the amount of patients they will have at their hospitals. Expect to hear wackier than usual stories come out of Florida in the next several months.

  37. anon

    This happened at Disney World in Florida last night. How many of these people or their elderly family members will end up in intensive care in a week?

  38. anon

    Norway College Urges Students To Return From ‘Poorly Developed’ U.S. Amid Pandemic

  39. StewartM

    S Brennan:

    How long will Sanders defenders* pretend that this old goat who leads sheep to slaughter is their trusted shepherd?

    1) Bernie was simply doing as he had promised in 2016; and as he had promised in 2020. Some people do believe in something called ‘honor’ and will extend it even to the dishonorable. Me, I understand Bernie’s rationale completely.

    2) Based on the bitching of the Obamacrats and Clintonistas, Bernie didn’t deliver enough, even though Clinton went out of her way to crap on the Sanders vote at and after the convention.

    As David Dayden has said, HRC lost in 2016 as she campaigned as “the True, Smart Republican” running against Trump rather than run to pull out the Dem base. She thus depressed Dem turnout, especially by Sanders voters, and lost.

    3) Sanders has a long-term goal of creating a movement to take over the Democratic party. A futile third party attempt, what I recall you and some others favored, would have not advanced that purpose. Hell, Jill Stein wasn’t even on the ballot in all 50 states–what purpose would that gesture have served?

  40. Hairhead

    Meanwhile in the failed communist republican of Canuckistan:

    1) Borders closed. Only Cdn citizen, Permanent Residents, and immediate family members and US citizens allowed in.

    2) Only 4 international airports in Canada now: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal

    3) EI waiting period shortened to one week.

    4) Pharmacists now allowed, on their own judgement, to renew prescriptions without an additional doctor’s note.

    We could be doing a lot better; and we are, compared to our southern neighbour.

  41. Hugh

    Trump has basically said to the states, “You are on your own. Not my fault.” Meanwhile the failure to deliver usable test kits has left pretty much everyone second guessing and in the dark. We just know it’s bad. All this has led to a jumbled and incoherent response.

    And the Fed blew all its ammo today and did nothing but scare markets to death

    Monday’s Close:
    Dow down 2,997.1 points (12.93%). The biggest one day drop in its history.

    Nasdaq down 970.283 points (12.32%)

    S&P down 324.89 points (11.98%)

  42. DMC

    Anyone paying for your own prescriptions, rather than the insurance company, should check out their local Costco pharmacy department. In many states, they’re required to serve even non-members and they only mark up their meds about 15%(like everything else they sell), so they are pretty much guaranteed to be the cheapest in town. With multiple prescriptions, you can save a LOT of money.

  43. Stirling S Newberry

    The real problem is capital over debt – every time the economy looks rosy, people find a way to borrow. When there is a reason to liquidate debt for ownership, then the economy will come back.

  44. krake

    The real problem is capital.

  45. Ché Pasa

    So what will we be looking at after the cull?

    The predictions of what’s to come don’t go much farther than the soon to be near-collapse of the economy and the probable appalling death toll. No idea of what a recovery would or should look like.

    It’s too soon for China to serve as an example, and yet signs are they’re putting the pieces back together after slowing and almost halting the course of the disease. Will they be able to carry on without the markets they’ve depended on for growth and development all these years? Signs are those markets may not come back any time soon.

    Does the US have the institutional resources to sustain a nation-state, let alone empire, after the Outbreak subsides? Look to Rome and what happened after the plagues.

    But still, what should the outcome be once we’re through this paradigm shift?

  46. Hairhead

    The Fed’s interbank rate now 0%. 0%. What that means is FREE MONEY to the banks. As much as they want. Next the banksters and the wealthy will “steal the pennies from a dead man’s eyes.”

    As for the proles — Fuck ’em, let ’em die.

  47. someofparts

    Well, turns out that for now, I can’t stand to spend time at any sites that want to fret over why Bernie is losing. Bernie won. Obama’s minions hacked the vote count. Biden actually still has a perfect record of never winning a primary. Any strategy thinking that doesn’t start at that point needs to reboot.

    They are now falsifying our elections as brazenly as they do overseas. Obama is our Juan Guaido.

    If Biden is the nominee I may even vote for Trump because four years of him is better than eight years of the Biden/Clinton/Obama international crime family.

    For now, it is ominous but pleasant to have the neighborhood so peaceful. There was no noise today from commuter traffic. All the families with children are home, so I see people on their porches and hear children playing in their backyards in the middle of a weekday. My place is so close to the city zoo that in the mornings you can hear them feeding the big cats. If our societal breakdown gets much worse I should probably move farther away from the lions.

  48. S Brennan

    And yet someofparts;

    Bernie stands by and refers to “Biden as his good friend”, would Fidel refer to Batista as his good friend?

    If anything, Bernie is more docile in 2020 than 2016.

    And where is Bernie’s 2nd? Surely a “movement” that can’t stand the loss of one man is not much of a movement?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén