Why Covid-19 Demands Our Full Attention

There’s a reason we’ve re-directed so much of our attention towards reporting on and trying to understand the novel coronavirus (covid-19) that originated in Wuhan, China in December.

The heart of our approach is to be “systems thinkers.”

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else”

~ Leonardo Davinci

We don’t see the economy as a closed ecosystem to be analyzed and understood all on its own. It’s connected to energy flows, especially oil. So we investigate those, too, with an eye towards working out how fossil fuels’ eventual dwindling will impact an economic system that is utterly dependent on perpetual growth.

Without a healthy planet, without intact and functioning ecological systems, nothing matters in either the economy or the energy markets. Both impact the ecological world And vice versa. So we analyze and report on the environment, too.

Which is why we’re confident in claiming that humanity is now facing its greatest threat. Our current path of depleting our essential resources at an accelerating rate in the pursuit of “more growth” is both unsustainable and self-destructive.

So here we are, with a global economy that’s very cost-efficient but not resilient. It’s wonderful that Walmart has worked out how to order a new tube of toothpaste from China the second one is pulled off a shelf in Topeka, KS. But that means there is no deep storage to draw upon in times of disruption to the status quo. No warehouses stocked with 12 months of future goods. Just a brilliantly-complicated supply chain thousands of miles long that has to work perfectly for things to keep running.

As an example that drives home this point: we learned during the 2011 earthquake in Japan that there was just one single factory making a necessary polymer gel for the odd-shaped lithium batteries used in smartphones and iPods. There was no backup factory.

We watched closely during that enormous crisis (which also spawned the Fukushima nuclear disaster) as electronics companies scrambled to triage their remaining supplies and attempt to find new sources. It was very touch and go. Vast portions of the battery-fueled electronic industry came within a whisker of simply shutting down production – all for want of an esoteric polymer gel.

Yes, the most cost-effective way to make that gel was to house it all in a single plant. But it made no sense from a redundancy and resilience standpoint.

And did ‘we’ learn from that experience? Nope.

Supply Chain Armageddon

The global economy is more interdependent than ever. Its supply chains are built on a huge network of dependencies with many ‘single points of failure’ strung along its many branches.

Can anybody predict what will happen next? No.

But we’re already seeing early failures as Chinese plants, factories and ports sit idle from the country’s massive quarantine efforts:

China set to lose out on production of 1M vehicles as coronavirus closes car plants

China exports about $70 billion worth of car parts and accessories globally, with roughly 20 percent going to the U.S.

Feb. 5, 2020, 4:32 PM EST

By Paul A. Eisenstein

China could suffer the loss of a million vehicles worth of production as factories in its crucial automotive industry remain shuttered until at least next week — and likely longer in Wuhan, the “motor city” at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

With more than 24,000 people infected, the impact of the highly contagious disease is also beginning to be felt by automakers in other parts of the world. Hyundai is suspending production in its South Korean plants because of a shortage of Chinese-made parts, and even European car manufacturers could be hit: Volkswagen and BMW could see a dip of 5 percent in their earnings for the first half of 2020, according to research firm Bernstein.

(Source – NBC)

We’re predicting that these auto shutdowns are just beginning. All it takes is a single component to be unavailable and the entire line has to be shut down.

Is China the sole source for many critical components in the auto industry? Absolutely.

Here’s an inside view:

On Monday, Steve Banker and I had the opportunity to speak with Razat Gaurav, CEO of Llamasoft. Razat had some interesting takes on the outbreak, especially as it relates to the automotive and pharmaceutical supply chains. On average it takes 30,000 parts to make a finished automobile.

Due to the virus, production facilities have already indicated that they will have lower than normal parts volumes. This has left companies scrambling to make contingency plans. During my conversation with Razat, he mentioned that inventories for most of these automotive parts are managed on a lean just-in-time basis.

This means that, on average, companies have anywhere between two and twelve weeks of buffer inventory on-hand for automotive parts. As production volumes are decreasing, this has the potential to cause quite the global shortage of parts. The buffer inventory will only last so long, and once the pre-holiday supply runs dry, the industry is going to be in serious trouble. According to Gaurav: “Most OEMs single source components for new vehicles and China is a large supplier of those.”

(Source – Logistics Viewpoints)

“Single sourcing” is exactly what it implies. There’s a single factory somewhere churning out a single component that is absolutely vital to make a motorized vehicle. If that factory goes away for any length of time, a new source has to be identified or – worse, from a time and cost standpoint – built from scratch.

But this vulnerability to China-dependent supply chains is by no means unique to the auto industry:

Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States’ growing reliance on China's pharmaceutical products. The topic reminded me of a spirited discussion described in Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

In the discussion, Gary Cohn, then chief economic advisor to President Trump, argued against a trade war with China by invoking a Department of Commerce study that found that 97 percent of all antibiotics in the United States came from China.

(Source – CFR)

That’s as close to a ‘sole source’ as you can get.

And to put the cherry on top: guess the name of the region in China responsible for producing all if these antibiotics? Yep, Hubei province. With Wuhan its most important production hub.

Can we find another source for our generic drugs and antibiotics? India, possibly. But here again we run into the same global interdependency issue:

Another industry that is feeling the impact of the coronavirus is the pharmaceutical industry. The average buffer inventory for the pharmaceutical industry is between three and six months. However, this does not tell the full story. Gaurav mentioned that China is responsible for producing 40 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the pharmaceutical world.

Additionally, China supplies 80 percent of key starting materials (KSM’s), which are the chemicals in APIs, to India. Put together, this represents 70 percent of all APIs across the world.

(Source – Logistics Viewpoints)

India’s production is directly tied to uninterrupted supply from China:

Indian generic drugmakers may face supply shortages from China if coronavirus drags on

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Shortages and potential price increases of generic drugs from India loom if the coronavirus outbreak disrupts suppliers of pharmaceutical ingredients in China past April, according to industry experts.

An important supplier of generic drugs to the world, Indian companies procure almost 70% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for their medicines from China.

India’s generic drugmakers say they currently have enough API supplies from China to cover their operations for up to about three months.

“We are comfortably placed with eight to 10 weeks of key inventory in place,” said Debabrata Chakravorty, head of global sourcing and supply chain for Lupin Ltd, adding that the company does have some local suppliers for ingredients.

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd said it has sufficient inventory of API and raw materials for the short term and has not seen any major disruption in supplies at the moment.

The Indian drugmaker, however, said supply has been impacted for a few API products and the company is closely monitoring the situation. It did not identify the products.

India supplies nearly a third of medicines sold in the United States, the world’s largest and most lucrative healthcare market.


Is this a huge concern? Of course it is.

If you’re dependent in any way on prescription drugs, it would be entirely rational to chase down whether those come from China or India and, if they are, begin talks with your doctor about alternatives or what to do if supplies get pinched.

A Fast-Moving Situation

Look, we entirely get why the authorities and media are downplaying the covid-19 pandemic. We really do. They feel the need to manage the crisis, which means managing the public narrative.

But c’mon. Does it make any sense for Apple’s stock price to be up while its main Foxconn manufacturing facility is all but completely shuttered?

Fewer iPhones and Airpods being made should equate with lower future earnings and thus a lower stock price. But no, AAPL is up handily over the past month:

And this is even crazier. Does it make ANY sense for Boeing’s stock to be up $12 over the past month? As it reported its first year (2019) of NEGATIVE orders and a completely order-free January (2020)? No, of course not.

But those are the sorts of ‘signals’ that the officials believe have to be sent in order to keep the masses from catching on that something really concerning is happening.

Unfortunately, such signals work on the masses. Higher stock prices send a powerful comforting message that “all is well”.

But prudent critical thinkers, which defines those in the Peak Prosperity tribe, can readily see through the ruse and get busy preparing themselves for what’s coming.

It's Time For Action

The situation with covid-19 is fluid, and fast-moving. Staying on top of the breaking developments and making sense of them for you is our primary job.

But information without informed action is useless.

After all, knowing something concerning but then doing nothing about it is merely cause for anxiety if not alarm.

The only ways to remain calm and protect your loved ones from the threat of this pandemic are rooted in taking smart action.

Yes, we can all hope this blows over. We sincerely wish the macro-planners all the best in shaping the narrative and keeping the macro economy somehow functioning and glued together.

But we’re going to prepare as best we can, here at our micro level because that’s our duty to ourselves, to our families, and to our communities.

Creating A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus

This is a huge moment in history. The first global pandemic at a time when the world economy is sole-sourced and completely interdependent.

Nobody can predict what will happen next. Autos, drugs…who knows what the next industry to stumble will be?

Given the ridiculously high rate of infectivity of covid-19 there’s really no chance of stopping its spread. The rate is now just a equation of time, luck, and official actions to aggressively isolate and quarantine infected individuals and communities.

Our position affords us many experienced contacts with experts throughout the world, and those we know with deep medical training are preparing the most aggressively right now. This outbreak has their full attention; and that informs us that it should have ours, too.

Which is why our advice is to get busy preparing yourself now.

Last week we issued the guide How We’re Personally Preparing For The Coronavirus to our premium subscribers. It’s a great resource providing specific recommendations for prevention and treatment.

Today, we’re releasing an expanded companion guide A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus, again for our premium members.

Particularly useful for those who have recently found their way to PeakProsperity.com, it offers both a valuable framework to use in preparing for any disaster (including pandemics) and then details out specific action steps to take today across all aspects of your life (i.e., not just health & hygiene) against a coronavirus outbreak in your local area.

Click here to read this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/why-covid-19-demands-our-full-attention/

If it gets bad ->

It is not only the previous drugs (that you took to help cure you when you were infected the first time) that kill you when or if you are reinfected, its the weakened heart from the first infection. A symptom of this virus is a beating heart rate at a very rapid pace for many days. This damages the heart. This is why a US doctor working with a coronavirus patient, administered medication to help the heart (slow it down) though it in theory this prolonged the recovery period. Better to be sick longer than get well quicker and destroy your heart in the process. This second infection, if common, means a much higher fatality rate.

You Can Catch The Coronavirus More Than Once, And The 2nd Time May Be Deadlier

I agree with Chris. This will be a financial disaster.
Start stocking up…

Is there any more evidence that Asians might have a higher mortality rate than other groups? I don’t want anyone to get sick but if the Ace2 receptor theory turns out to be correct it might help to mitigate the severity of the pandemic in America.
I also wonder about the pipes spreading the virus in an apartment. If there is a common entrance and staircases and elevators isn’t it much more likely that the spread was from direct contact?

Whew, that was intense and disconcerting information! 8,000+ viewers live. Some difficulties in getting the trolls under control by the moderator (Adam?) but got better over time. One especially troubling comment: “I wore a mask to my doctor’s office visit and they asked me to remove it because it was scaring the other patients.” WTH! :-/

Chris (or anyone who may be familiar with the subject),
Scientists have given COVID-19 the official (technical) name, SARS-Corona Virus-2. SARS-Corona Virus-1 was the agent responsible for “SARS” of 2002/3 fame. Does the name “SARS-Corona Virus-2” imply that COVID-19 shares a genetic lineage with SARS?
If so, what might that tell us about COVID-19, and what else might we infer from its scientific nomenclature?
Besides, of course, that developing a safe and effective vaccine to SARS-Corona virus-2 might be as tricky as making one against SARS-Corona virus-1; that is, impossible - at least in time to fix this problem.
Thanks, Doc

A common and, I presume, cheap anti-hypertensive medication in widespread use.
Would it help patients with cardiac complications of COVID-19?
Time for a study?

As per the article it appears this person travelled to the interior of BC so a potential spread risk outside of the Vancouver/lower mainland region

I think that it might be prudent to stock up on as much of one’s necessary meds as possible. I was able to obtain an additional 3 months of a med that I must take simply by not running it through insurance and paying cash instead, not that it was high-priced at all. As Chris mentioned, so many pharmaceuticals are produced in China, that even if they are still produced elsewhere, there are liable to be shortages. Time re be proactive in this regard.

Hope you are diligent with hand-washing and avoiding public places Jan.
Keep us posted and stay well!

Looks like plant based diet it’s a solution to contain the covid 2019 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5857604/?fbclid=IwAR2XRtqcXxFT2TDAq-UbAk8R68O-uoGbvxiww2GoxJKe7XW8uBcVFBVdB9s

One of the things that amaze me about people is the inability to weigh individual risk if it gets bad. This coronavirus is a classic example.
I’ve personally had two bosses, both under 60, die of heart disease with little warning. Neither were very much overweight, nor were visibly unhealthy. I also know many young folk with autoimmune diseases, slipped disks, , pre-diabetic, and/or are overweight. And then there is driving and lack of daily exercise. It goes on and on, massive known, serious risks, that most of us engage in daily without a thought.
Yet strangely these massive risks to life (and quality of life) attract little concern. I’ll never understand this.
OTOH, consider this virus. What are the odds of it killing any person under 65 who eats lots of organic veggies/meat with no processed food, has a waist/height ratio <0.45, and lifts daily? Basically, none. Far, far less than 0.1%. There is even an easy to make verify such a negligible risk: If one hasn’t been sick in years. If so, have little fear of the coronavirus (or any other) until it’s killing over 20% of our extremely unhealthy nation.
Summary: People would be far more effective in virus risk management by working hard to stay solidly healthy, rather than working very hard to avoid sickness, which is like living behind the Maginot Line . And there are simple metrics to target in order to test one’s preparedness: weight/height ratio <0.45. A health/lifestyle that never gets the regular flu, year after year. Be able to bench/squat/deadlift body weight 10 reps.
I would put the odds <0.1% of anyone, any age, who can meet the above metrics from perishing from any virus until over 1/4 of the US population has already died from it. But sadly, preparing by just living healthy will never be as sexy as a fleeing a pandemic. Risk management and the human brain are rarely on speaking terms.

I am doing my due diligence and using all this great info to try to stay healthy and prepared for any eventuality! My poor hands are so dried out from all the washing and hand sanitizer use. And to think rough hands from gardening has not even started yet!! [Note to self, supply of good hand cream needed to get through this… :wink: ]

but its seems too late… I dont have the right masks - now its airborne. cant get masks from uline unless previous buyer before jan 1. does anyone know one? also, bought sanitizing uv light from amazon a week or so ago… seems most are unavailable now… or with future arrival date… - i think the window is closing… or almost closed… its happening.

a financial disaster, which could be a good thing. when the fraud of the fiat money system is exposed then maybe we will return to hard money

If 97% of the USA’s antibiotics come from Hubei province and are affected by poor quality control issues, then current death rates in the US reflect that already. Maybe fewer people would get sick and die if they went off antibiotics?

Sorry for redundancy, I am simply cutting and pasting previous posts from other threads here to help answer folks questions so Chris and Adam do not need to do so

The Asian male ACE2 expression has been disproven. ACE II is not ACE2

The stickler in me keeps wanting to correct these incorrect comments that appear here. Let’s get our facts straight. Read post #59 in this thread https://peakprosperity.com/coronavirus-what-we-can-say-publicly-what-we-cant/ for a deeper explanation.

In fact, a just published (not peer reviewed paper) of many more lung tissue samples from Asians and Caucausians saw no difference in ACE2 expression between the two groups. They did however see that smokers had higher expression.

Thank you David (post #63) for posting the link to this paper https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202002.0051/v1

Published by Guoshuai Cai, Professor Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

These methodologies and conclusions seem legitimate. This is the kind of replication studies that are needed to reinforce or disprove the observation seen in one tissue sample from a single Asian male. This larger study disproves that theory. This is how science is supposed to work. come up with a hypothesis, test it, report observations, keep repeating in larger samples and see if you get the same/different result, as in keep testing your hypothesis. I would say this is a very opposite result from the paper that only looked at 8 samples, one being asian male. So that is a failed hypothesis.

ACE II stands for ACE Insertion/Insertion…it is a very common mutation in the ACE gene….it has absolutely nothing to do with ACE2. ACE and ACE2 are two different genes entirely.

ACE Angiotensin-converting enzyme is on chromosome 17

ACE2 Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 in on the X chromosome (so potentially women who have two X chromosomes may have more expression of ACE2 than men, who have only one X chromosome).

SARS severity in Asians does not appear to be related to genetic variants of ACE2.


ACE2 gene polymorphisms do not affect outcome of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

We therefore conclude that although ACE2 serves functionally as the receptor for entry of the SARS coronavirus into human host cells, the evidence provided by this study does not support an association between its common genetic variants and SARS susceptibility or outcome. Despite its X-chromosome location, poor outcomes in male SARS patients do not appear to be related to genetic variants of ACE2.

ARBs and ACE inhibitors won’t help

There seems to be alot of confusion/confounding here of ACE and ACE2. It is easy to confuse for sure, science does a crappy job naming things (they all sound so alike but they are different!) which creates these misunderstandings. Maybe this can help.

ACE is a gene called Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme. This gene encodes an enzyme involved in catalyzing the conversion of angiotensin I into a physiologically active peptide angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a potent vasopressor and aldosterone-stimulating peptide that controls blood pressure and fluid-electrolyte balance. This enzyme plays a key role in the renin-angiotensin system. Many studies have associated the presence or absence of a 287 bp Alu repeat element in this gene with the levels of circulating enzyme or cardiovascular pathophysiologies. This mutation is commonly referred to as the ACE insertion/deletion or, more simply ACE I/D. The relative frequency of this mutation in various ethnic populations worldwide has been of interest to scientists (As are the population frequencies of many other mutations in hundreds of genes) as they have bearing on diseases, medications, etc. ACE is NOT related to 2019 novel CoV or SARS at all.

ACE inhibitors produce vasodilation by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II. (Which is NOT ACE2) This molecule is a potent vasoconstrictor formed by the proteolytic action of renin (released by the kidneys) acting on circulating angiotensinogen to form angiotensin I.

ACE inhibitors end with -pril: benazepril (Lotensin, Lotensin Hct); captopril (Capoten); enalapril (Vasotec); fosinopril (Monopril); lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril). These medications have nothing to do with Coronaviruses.

Much has been made about the non-peer reviewed study that ACE2 is the putative (considered to be based on available evidence)receptor for the spike protein of novel CoV (and likely this seems true) but even more has been said here by commenters that Asian males are more susceptible because they hav higher expression of ACE2 in lung cells.


I want to say that study was done on EIGHT samples from a tissue bank of lung tissue from healthy donors. ONE of those samples came from a Asian male and in this tissue sample ACE2 expression was found to be much higher than in other samples, and ACE2 was also being expressed in more cell types. The authors SPECULATE that this observation may underlie the virulence for novel CoV in Asians.

First: this sample size is ridiculously small, it is NOT established fact. It is a very interesting observation that needs to be replicated by another research group in a much larger cohort. I am not a statistician, but there are guidelines for sample size needed in order to obtain results that can be statistically significant. That sample size of EIGHT was insufficiently powered. You can read more here: https://www.statisticsdonewrong.com/power.html

So, if someone looked at tissue samples from 1000 people, 250 each: Africans, Caucasians, Asians and Latinos of roughly half male/female you might get a better idea of the actual ACE2 expression pattern as it varies by ethnicity. BTW: I am not a statistician, so 1000 might not be sufficiently powered (or may be overpowered) …but you get the idea.

Also, when you read the comments associated with this study, several people (way smarter than me, who work in this area of science) point out some problems with the methodologies used in the research. I cannot comment on this, as I am not a subject matter expert in this area, but I am very clear this happens alot…..it is only people who work in these highly specialized niche areas of research who can understand these subtleties.

But what about ACE2? https://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=ACE2&keywords=ACE2

First, it is not ACE, it is also not angiotensin II.

ACE2 (Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme 2) is a gene that encodes an enzyme which converts angiotensin I to angiotensin 1-9, a peptide of unknown function, and angiotensin II to angiotensin 1-7, a vasodilator (PubMed:10969042, PubMed:10924499, PubMed:11815627). Also able to hydrolyze apelin-13 and dynorphin-13 with high efficiency (PubMed:11815627). By cleavage of angiotensin II, may be an important regulator of heart function (PubMed:10969042, PubMed:10924499). By cleavage of angiotensin II, may also have a protective role in acute lung injury (By similarity). Plays an important role in amino acid transport by acting as binding partner of amino acid transporter SL6A19 in intestine, regulating trafficking, expression on the cell surface, and its catalytic activity (PubMed:18424768, PubMed:19185582). ACE2_HUMAN,Q9BYF1

ACE2 also acts as a receptor for SARS coronavirus/SARS-CoV. ACE2_HUMAN,Q9BYF1

What apparently makes novel CoV so serious for some is this surface expression of ACE2 protein on lung alveolar epithelial cells. ACE2 is poorly expressed in the upper respiratory tract: nose, sinus tissue, throat, but gets expressed in the lung. Hence, many people develop a fever and shortness of breathe, pneumonia and never really get a “cold” prior: sneezing, sore throat.

In short high/upregulated ACE is bad: think high blood pressure. Hence ACE inhibitors to block it.

ACE2 is good. An upregulated ACE2 (not angiotensin II) is actually regarded beneficial in cardiovascular and kidney disease. Perhaps having alot of ACE2 expressed in lung tissue ends up being bad for CoV infection though…and the result of that infection is the down regulation/inhibition of ACE2’s positive effects.

Stephen Buhner mentions in his book, page 55: “SARS viruses attach to ACE-2 on the surface of lung, lymph, and spleen epithelial cells. (Licorice, Chinese skullcap, luteolin, horse chestnut, Polygonum spp., Rheum officinale, and plants high in pro- cyanidins and lectins such as elder and cinnamon block attachment to varying degrees.)”. Unfortunately the research supporting this statement tends to be highly technical in-vitro experiments with purified constituents, not real life/in vivo clinical trials involving 2019 novel coronavirus. But hey, it is something to look at seriously. Herbs are powerful used correctly.

And what about using ARBs? These drugs end in -sartan. Azilsartan (Edarbi); candesartan (Atacand), valsartan (Diovan); losartan (Cozaar); olmesartan (Benicar).

ARB stands for AT1R blockers and they represent a major class of antihypertensive medications.

Angiotensin-II (not ACE2) activates two major types of receptors, angiotensin II type one (AT1R) and type two (AT2R) receptors. While AT1R is widely expressed and mediates most inflammatory Ang-II effects (bad), AT2R, is less expressed and has opposite effects, promoting vasodilation and anti-inflammatory effects [1] . Physiologically, AT2R actions are usually masked by the more abundant AT1R. It has been suggested that ARBs can mediate their action through increasing angiotensin II (Ang II) availability to bind to the beneficial angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R), thus leading to unopposed AT2R stimulation.

So long story short, ARBs do not block the gene or the enzyme ACE2. They block the receptor for Angiotensin 2 (AT1R: which is produced by ACE, not ACE2).

I know, it is crazy to sort out. But trust me, ACE inhibitors and ARBs have nothing to do with fighting coronavirus infection. What is needed are antiviral meds or herbs that work on multiple levels:

  1. Block the receptor on ACE2 so the spike protein of novel CoA cannot attach
  2. Stop the endocytosis of the virus into the cell
  3. Stop/slow viral replication with in the cell.
  4. Activation of host defense systems
  5. Many other strategies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25108320
Claire, yes, I am a doctor, a naturopathic physician, 8 years of postgraduate schooling and 5 years as a research scientist.

Yesterday I bought a box of 12, Vietnamese-made respirators in a lighting shop of all places.
“What prompted you to stock these?”, I asked.
“Oh, we were having quite a lot of customers inquire about them during the bushfires and all that smoke, so we thought we might as well make them available.” Some of their customers would be tradesmen working outside on bad air days.

There is one thing I am certain. This is game changer, never will our world be the same. I am not certain of what changes there will be, But remember HIV and how that changed how we do things in the medical setting and other settings. Remember the world trade centers and how they changed how we travel… Well, this will certainly change the way we do things in the future and it will change things now. For sure this is a game changer.