All Non-Essential Services Are Shut

On Friday night, the Irish government announced further measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. This basically includes shutting down all non-essential services, and the limitation of travel aside from the bare necessities, such as grocery shopping. The effect of this ruling is immediately felt this morning, while I was out to doing so - the Gardai has already been patrolling at 8am, interrogating people on the streets to where they are going.

The Numbers Don’t Look Good

Despite what some news articles posted that the contagion has/will be contained, the actual numbers by countries are still progressing at a slightly increasing rate. And numbers don’t lie.

On the economic front, it’s looking pretty grim too. The number of unemployment in the US exceeded 3m this month. Within the Bay Area, people being let go has doubled as well, with layoffs from startups like Bird, to giants like VMWare.

Singapore, a country that I grew up to know as a penny pincher, actually tapped into its past reserves to try to bolster the economy. That’s not something I ever recalled in my living memory, thus I reckon the situation is far worse thani anything we’ve encountered before.

Prematurely Jumpstarting The Economy

The Donald wants to America to reopen business by Easter, while China has resumed operations of various industries and its transport links. I think these moves will have a high chance of negating the existing containment efforts that is still in progress.

Without a vaccine/cure, I’m willing to bet that a re-infection scenario will happen, leading to even more misery than necessary. This isn’t pessimism talking: if you are to understand how the virus behaves, you’ll know that:

  1. a fair proportion of the people that are infected and infectious are asymptomatic;
  2. the Coronavirus is Novel to the human immune system, and unlike a flu, we aren’t accustomed to this new-type virus;
  3. the research and development for a new-type vaccine that targets RNA at time of writing, is still a shot in the dark;
  4. there are early indications that some in China are getting re-infected;
  5. it seems to suggest that recovery from a prior infection does not necessarily translate to immunity.

Unless we are able to eradicate it like we had for diseases like measles and polio, it is highly likely that the contagion will return, unless containment is strict and absolute. But we are never, ever going to achieve 100% compliance to protocol, thus it’s not unreasonable to assume that it will still be some way before we get to declare it a win.

Here’s my 1$ for the wager. I’ll check back again in June to claim it.