“We Flattened the Curve” and other Delusions

James West

Flatten the Curve has become the new mantra of the political and corporate class, and is the phenomenon upon which the rationale to open segments of the economy is based.

The only problem is, no “flattening of the curve” has occurred.

At least, not in countries where the mainstream media is permitted to report on some semblance of the facts.

In China, the secretive and despotic government who routinely murders, incarcerates and otherwise “disappears” its critics, the near-disappearance of Coronavirus infections is remarkable not for its own sake, but for the terrifying snuffing out of life that must have occurred to achieve those optics.

Do you believe that China has actually brought the disease under control in just 5 months, whereas no other nation has been able to accomplish that. More likely, the Chinese data is falsified by government, and those who actually have coronavirus are being forcibly removed from the general population.

The American approach is different.

The government prefers the tried and true propaganda tactic of simply ignoring the truth in favour of a preferred version of reality that doesn’t exist.

And so here we are. Opening the economy under the illusion that we have “flattened the curve”.

shows the rate of infection increase over time worldwide

Look at this chart of the total new cases since January. Do you see any curve being flattened?

No? Me either.

The chart after that shows the rate of new cases with the line representing the 3 day moving average.

One could argue that the plateau represented in the horizontal mean average since the peak in infection rate around March 31 is essentially a flattening of the curve. But therein lies the problem.

A flattening of the curve implies a uniform rate of daily infection has been reached. What it really indicates, however, is that the number of tests per million of population have reached a flattened curve.

In either case, the rate of daily infection is constant. Meaning that while the curve has in that sense been flattened,  the pandemic is very much actively spreading and continuously sickening ever-wider swathes of the US population.

In other words, “flattening of the curve”, despite its pleasant sound bite tone, is a useless ambition.

Its like studying knitting while in the midst of a missile attack. Not relevant. Not meaningful. And ultimately, reckless and irresponsible, as projected by government.

The great thing about this bait and switch perception management exercise is that the reality of its ill-considered execution will become apparent within a few weeks. As the social distancing is abandoned with each newly re-opened business, and people start to travel throughout their communities again to support the newly opened businesses, the rate of infection can be expected to spike hard – even with the current limited rate of testing at its consistent daily level.

What’s more concerning is that we are finding that, in selected samples by universities, the rate of infection is up to 55 times higher than the reported rate, due to the lack of symptoms the majority of infected people seem to show.

The more logical conclusion is that the virus is not very dangerous to the majority of people who are exposed to it. But for susceptible individuals with pre-existing conditions, it is downright deadly.

The bottom line is that we, as human beings, can only take so much voluntary isolation before our innately social essence drives us into the public realm. It might turn out to be the fatal flaw in the human mental physiology that sinks us as the dominant species on earth.

James West

James West

Editor and Publisher

James West founded Midas Letter in 2008 and has since been covering the best of Canadian and US small cap companies. He covers global economics, monetary policy, geopolitical evolution, political corruption, commodities, cannabis and cryptocurrencies. As an active market participant, James is not a journalist and is invariably discussing markets...
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