It is very sure that there will be new lock-downs in the future. They will also be lifted again, followed by new lock-downs.
But for how long will that happen? For months, yes, but for several years?
And why is this question relevant?
I will show you why this question is relevant. You will be surprised.
My guess is that we will have this coming and going of lock-downs for the next ten (10) years.
How To Become Mad under Lock-Down
Melbourne is again under a lock-down today, and a few days back, a friend of mine from Melbourne wrote that to me:
A few months back we had a discussion with our guys and I told them that the only sensible way to ease out of restrictions would be zero new infections for at least two weeks. To me this was a no-brainer. Yet, our state government started to ease restrictions while we still had community-based infections. I could not believe it. Now we have an accelerating infection rate of 200 per day. Hello second wave! And I am mad as hell.
What struck were these words: “And I am mad as hell.”
I have heard the word “mad” in the context of being locked down before. That rang a bell in me.
A WWII Story About Lock-Downs
My old great-uncle (born in 1913) became a Russian prisoner of war in the year of 1945. He told me many war stories when I was a boy. After being caught by the Red Army, being the highest officer in his batch, he tried to prepare his people for 10 years in captivity. There were those who gave in, at least formally. They formed a large POW construction company, with specialized platoons for bricklaying, tiling, carpentry, sheet metal forming, painting, transport, logistics, etc. etc. You won`t do that if you plan to get released after one year in captivity. And those who cooperated had a relatively good life. They built houses, factory buildings, and swimming pools, and the Russians thought highly of their German POWs and they treated them relatively well. Some had local girlfriends. This is probably why a few German POWs even stayed in Russia after they were released.
But my great-uncle also told me that there were those men in his batch who were not prepared for 10 years in captivity. They refused to accept their fate. The consequence was that they became mad after 2-3 years. They lost their hope and went stir-crazy. Some committed suicide. The only effective therapy against that heavy sort of cabin fever was to make them ride the ox carts that were used for transport purposes. Ox carts are powerful but very slow. Riding an ox cart gives the rider a feeling of comfort and achievement, and an ox cart rider also develops a 2-way relationship with his animals that has a somewhat healing effect.
To cut the long story short, my great-uncle was released in the year of 1955, he was a Russian POW for almost exactly 10 years after having gone into captivity. He was right to prepare for 10 years there.
My Plan is to Prepare You For 10 Years of Intermittent Covid-19 Lock-Down
This Covid-19 nonsense will not be over after the year of 2020 is over, different from SARS, Bird Flu, Swine-Flu, MERS, etc. etc. And it will not be over after the year of 2021 is over.
Melbourne was only the beginning and other countries or cities will follow. Germany is preparing a whole series of potential lock-down measures on a regional level. Africa is still an unchartered territory when it comes to Covid-19.
I give you an example of a regional travel restriction. One of the technicians in our Singapore office comes from Mindanao, a remote province of the Philippines. In order to travel home, she would have a stop-over in Manila that comes with a two-weeks long quarantine before she can continue her journey to her hometown Davao. Arriving there, she would get another two-weeks long quarantine before she can see her family. And it is not at all sure whether she would be able to return to Singapore this year.
The same can happen to you when you travel from Singapore to Germany with a stop-over in Dubai, which is quite common. You will be tested on Covid-19 upon arrival in Dubai. And maybe also upon arrival in Germany. That journey can take you one whole month, door to door.
Such measures can be implemented on short notice, within hours. And this can happen just because one single bureaucrat suddenly gets cold feet, for whatever reason. And maybe even without any reason.
There Is No Logic and There Will Not Be Any Logic In Covid-19 Decisions
No, you cannot expect politicians, bureaucrats and voters to make informed and logical decisions when it comes to Covid-19.
Covid-19 is not a medical problem in the first place. It is a political problem.
It all started with shocking pictures from Wuhan and Northern Italy in February 2020. Then there were the first “Covid-19 deaths” (whatever that is) in Italy, in March 2020. This was when the politicians started to fear that they get blamed by their voters for not sufficiently controlling the bureaucrats such that they do enough against Covid-19.
And that fell on fertile soil because the bureaucrats have this constant fear that they are made liable. That is the main motive for bureaucrats to make decisions or not. Read chapter II of Ludwig von Mises famous book “Bureaucracy” if you want to know more about bureaucratic management, you can download it for free (click here).
The second motive that drives all bureaucrats is to obtain at least the same budget next year, or – even better – a larger budget than this year.
Now imagine what that means, a bureaucrat being asked to stop his Covid-19 measures. First, he will have to make a decision, and a wrong decision can end his career. And worst, if the new decision implies that his earlier decision was wrong, will that make him liable for the result of the wrong decision? Second, he will have a smaller budget because there will be less to do when stopping his Covid-19 measures. I cannot see that this idea of stopping Covid-19 measures will be flying, at all.
The same applies to a politician. Ongoing polls in Germany and the recent election results in Singapore confirm that there is a majority of voters that support lock-downs and other measures such as compulsory mask wearing. Why would a politician not support the ongoing measures if the voters support them? Not supporting the ongoing measures is equivalent to a political suicide.
The costs for these Covid-19 measures are high but the world`s central banks support these measures by creating large amounts of electronic money, thereby stretching the monetary base. And the parliaments created laws that at least temporarily removed punishment for not declaring bankruptcy in time. And they removed the consequences of declaring bankruptcy, and it was made legal to not pay your invoices in time.
We have here a perfect win-win-win-win-win system for everybody, maybe except for creditors and owners of real estate.
And everybody will refuse to change this system, unless the pains that come with these measures become unbearable.
Here Is The Data Backup For The Covid-19 Measures
Don`t you think that bureaucrats, politicians, and voters read and understand complex immunological scenarios. They look at two figures: the number of new infections and whether this week there are more new infections or less new infections as compared with last week. And they look at the worldwide total number of people who died from Covid-19. That`s it.
We engineers all know that the above approach of bureaucrats, politicians, and voters is nonsense but this is how it is.
The following chart is taken from https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths
The above chart shows the accumulated Covid-19 deaths on a worldwide basis.
I believe that it is accurate. Some countries over-report and some countries under-report. This balances it out.
You can also see something else from this chart that makes it appear as accurate. It shows the impact of the world-wide lock-downs. Look at this:
The slope of the curve for the accumulated Covid-19 deaths has a sudden change around 25 April 2020. I put a green circle around that point. That happened because of the world-wide lock-downs that started at the beginning of April 2020. That means that it takes about 3 – 4 weeks from getting infected until death, which conforms with what we read about Covid-19.
In other words, the accumulated number of Covid-19 deaths is since May 2020 linearly (and not exponentially) increasing with a rate of about 140,000 deaths per month.
Please note that this curve will never come back to zero because it is the accumulated number of Covid-19 deaths. It will forever grow, just as the number of heart attack deaths. However, there will be another change of the slope of this curve, as soon as all potential Covid-19 victims have died. The curve will then flatten out.
Not everybody will die from Covid-19. 0.64% is the ratio that most experts agree upon. Not 2% and not 0.1%. About 0.64% of all those people that get infected von Covid-19 will die. Even the leftist New York Times agrees on that figure (click here).
Worst Case Scenario: 100% of the Earth`s Population Become Infected With Covid-19
That means that about 7,000,000,000 individuals are infected. That translates to about 42mio Covid-19 deaths in total.
Provided that the bureaucrats with their Covid-19 measures keep the current slope of the above curve, of about 140,000 deaths per month, that would take 300 months, or 25 years.
That is probably unrealistic, but we are talking about a worst-case scenario.
A Much Discounted Scenario: Only 20% of the Earth`s Population Become Infected With Covid-19
That means that about 1,400,000,000 individuals are infected. That translates to about 9mio Covid-19 deaths in total.
Again provided that the current slope of the above curve is kept, about 140,000 deaths per month, that would take 60 months, or 5 years.
That sounds more realistic to me. But only 20% infections is far below the infection rate of common flu infections. We speak about infection rates of 60% for a common flu infection in Germany.
Be it as it is, the bureaucrats will only stop their measures when the Covid-19 death curve becomes horizontal. And that will not be before all potential Covid-19 victims have died.
Anybody who now says “but there will be vaccines” is unrealistic. There may be vaccines, right. But they may not be very long-lasting. I was told that having had Covid-19 does not give you protection against the same virus, at least not for a long time. And you are likely to become mad if you discover 3 years into the currently ongoing crisis with coming and going lock-downs that there is still no vaccine that works. Think about my great-uncle, the POW in Siberia.
Is it now easier for you to believe that we may have this Covid-19 nonsense for ten (10) years?
Don`t Think About The Consequences
No, I do not wish to think about the long-term consequences of the Covid-19 measures. One thing is sure: there will still be human life on our planet in 10 years from now, although the balance will be shifted as compared with today. The Pareto principle will then still govern our societies: 20% of the population will have command over 80% of the resources. And water will still flow downhill, just to name another natural law in this context. Natural laws cannot be changed by humans.
This is where I am coming from.
During the period of end of January until End of May 2020 I have practically read everything about Covid-19 that I could get my hands on. I have read about 400 articles about Covid-19 and spent many hours on Youtube, watching expert videos about Covid-19. I have early written an article about Covid-19 myself (click here) and it is still valid today.
I believe that I had Covid-19 myself in February during my stay in our Munich office. There were no easy Covid-19 tests available at that time, but I had a flu with all the Covid-19 symptoms, and I was down for 2 days. Nose washes (click here), Panadol, and a lot of hot lemon water made it easier for me to ride out that flu.
As soon as there are easy Covid-19 antibody tests available, I will take one. But I am wondering whether this is good for anything because I was told that my immunity against Covid-19 will not last for a very long time. That makes me also wonder whether there will be any lasting Covid-19 vaccine.
Just as my friend from Melbourne wrote to me:
Everybody is hoping for a vaccine but they will be disappointed. Even if they manage to fast forward development then the immunity period will be very short, worse than flu vaccines because the virus mutates fast. Just a couple of months maybe.
Travel Does Not Make Sense Any More
So we can move freely, but we must be prepared to be locked down any time, without a warning. For up to several months. And all that several times per year. That can delay international journeys such that it does not make sense to travel internationally again.
But also national journeys do not make sense any more. Take a trip from Munich to Hamburg, which is about one (1) hour flight time. In January 2020, you have left your house 2 hours before departure, and you would be at the doorstep of your destination one (1) hour after landing. The total travel time was about four (4) hours. In times of Covid-19, add four (4) hours for the Covid-19 test before departure. That makes eight (8) hours door-to-door, the same travel time as with a train. Plus you may miss your flight because of a false-positive Covid-19 test result. Or you end up in quarantine because of two positive Covid-19 test results.
Having a Large Office Does Not Make Sense Any More
Our Singapore office is abandoned since April 2020. The bureaucrats tell us to work from home if we can do so. Which is what we do.
We will very likely not be going back to normal operations very soon. Not before the end of the year 2020. And after that, we may anytime again be forced to go back to the current state where everybody works from home.
So why do we still have office premises at all?
This does not make sense.
Call To Action
Step into my great uncle`s boots for a while and ask yourself what you can do in order to prepare for a 10-years-long lock-down.
Then write up what you plan to do.
Follow my blog, I will give you more input on that.
Martin “Resilience” Schweiger