The point is now untenable. Anyone who is still drawing comparisons between the coronavirus and influenza is simply delusional. Furthermore, the media needs to use the right terminology: if this outbreak isn’t a pandemic, what is?

At time of writing, the coronavirus has spread to at least 48 countries. And if Italy is any guide, once this virus touches down, you can be sure that it will impose an exponential impact. In just a matter of days, Italy went from having zero cases to a staggering 655 cases with 17 deaths. Soon, the case number will breach four digits.

What makes the coronavirus an inevitable and devastating pandemic is its asymptomatic nature. Simply, this means that the coronavirus can transmit between people, even if the infected shows no symptoms. Essentially, the U.S. is sitting on a timebomb that, despite the recent downfall in the markets, is not being fully appreciated.

This is no hyperbole. Consider that Italy is fighting desperately to discover who is “patient zero” – the individual that first introduced the disease to the country. It’s possible that, at this point, we’ll never know. But in the meantime, we should assume the worst.

That’s because assuming the best was absolutely devastating. I applaud the Trump administration from cracking down on travel from China once the outbreak spread. However, government officials needed to stamp this down in a hurry.

Instead, they’ve made it worse by bringing American infected to home soil. Thus again, the pandemic is an inevitability.


With this Pandemic, Hope for the Best but Assume the Worst

Principally, Crush The Street is a finance- and investment-related resource, with a focus on contrarian and alternative opportunities. But at this point, I’m going to break protocol slightly and urge a more existential emphasis: you’ve got to prepare for the worst-case scenario if you haven’t already.

I’m not overly anxious about the coronavirus itself. From available data, it appears that those who take care of themselves have a higher probability of recovery. What I am worried about, though, is the collective response of Americans.

Though not politically correct, you must appreciate the seemingly limitless depths of American stupidity. People kill each other all the time during Black Friday and for what? A few bucks off a TV? It’s absolutely ridiculous. But now imagine the panic when Americans are faced with an existential threat.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m concerned about the health risks associated with the pandemic. But I’m more afraid of my neighbors, who appear rational now but may turn deranged later.