Coronavirus crisis starting to hurt, may last longer

Coronavirus crisis starting to hurt, may last longer, by Robert Gottliebsen.

The medical researchers say that they will not have a vaccine for four to six months, which would be catastrophic for both China and Australia.

Unlike the Australian dollar, our share market is being priced on the basis that the quarantine measures will cause the virus to recede quickly. One of the markets will be wrong.

My Chinese friends tell me that the fury among the Chinese population is white hot because most have relatives or friends among the 40 to 60 million people isolated in the Wuhan region. Food supplies may become an issue if the quarantine is maintained, partly because millions of chicken and pigs face death by starvation because insufficient feed can be brought into the Wuhan region. …

The coronavirus travel and other restrictions represent the first time that extensive suffering has been imposed on the Chinese population and no one is sure just how big the backlash will become.

In Australia we are being bombarded with tragic stories from the multitude of small operations that have been hit by the sudden fall in Chinese tourists. Soon, universities will be crying out for help.

But the enormity of what is taking place really came home to me at the weekend when I was yarning with a couple who have moved into a renovated house. They are sleeping on mattresses because the bed they ordered in what seemed “plenty of time” is caught in the China quarantine. They have paid a deposit but fear the supplier of the bed may be sent to the wall by the inability to complete large numbers of orders. (The couple are considering switching to a group making beds in Australia.).