Back in January, I wrote a blog post when coronavirus, COVID-19, first appeared on the radar. There were just 600 cases and the Chinese government had already locked down Wuhan and neighboring cities. I was hopeful that with modern medicine and China's quick quarantine that the coronavirus could be contained. While the Chinese appear to have contained their cases, the rest of the world hasn't taken enough aggressive action to stop it in its tracks and now Western Europe is about to pass China in number of active cases! This is a frightening thought as only Italy has gone into lockdown and it did so at over 10k cases. The Europeans aren't taking enough action and this problem is spiraling out of control.
Here are the latest counts from Western Europe from the John Hopkins data:
Western Europe totals 19,253 cases versus 19,313 in China. The Europeans will pass China today or tomorrow. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that 60-70% of the country's population could contract the virus.
It doesn't appear that any of the Europeans are taking the aggressive actions that China, Korea and Japan used to successfully contain the problem such as drive-thru testing and quarantines which left city streets deserted.
Italy has locked the country down but at a level 16x worse than when the Chinese put Wuhan on lockdown. This problem isn't going away and when Europe takes action, it will need to be draconian in terms of keeping people in their homes for at least two weeks. When will they start taking action? The stock market is reacting swiftly and this is unlikely the bottom as the news out of Europe and the US continues to worsen.