After China, Italy has been hit the hardest by the coronavirus (COVID 19). As of today, March 10, 2020, there are 9,000 cases with 500 deaths in the beloved nation of culture, food, leather and stunning vistas.
Italy has an older population, which is more susceptible to the deadly effects of the virus. Now the entire country is on lockdown. Iran, other Asian countries, the UK, and the USA have all had cases erupt over the past few weeks.
As the grandson of Italian immigrants and a dual citizen of both Italy and the United States, this news has hit me very hard. I have a trip booked to Italy next month, which I will have to postpone. I have reached out to my family in Italy and so far they are all well. Thank God.
However, as scary as the coronavirus is, it pales in comparison to the number of people who have died from the flu this year. For example, influenza has infected as many as 45 million Americans since October and killed as many as 46,000, according to estimates from the CDC.
So why the hysteria about coronavirus? It’s the fear of the unknown that has many people on the verge of panic. How fast will it spread? Is the fatality rate truly higher than the flu? We do not yet know the answers to all of these questions, but I believe there is a bigger threat that only a few are talking about.
The longterm threat of the Coronavirus is both economic and political.
Over 90% of travel bookings to Italy have been cancelled. 13% of Italy’s net revenue comes from tourism, 9% of that from the United States alone. The Italian economy is likely to falter even more than it already does over the rest of this year, given the long-term effect on their tourism industry. Cruises across the globe are being canceled months in advance; airlines are registering massive cancellations. Not to mention the impact to hotels and restaurants, museums and tours, and small businesses.
Here at home, we’ve already seen a huge impact on our stock market. Even worse, we’ve seen a hit on small businesses such as the conservative coffee company, ThrasherCoffee.com, and the Trump Superstore Store.FlagAndCross.com. Both of these stores have seen an overnight drop of over 50% in sales due to fears of coronavirus. It appears everyone is spending their money on toilet paper and hand soap. Even the sales of Corona beer are down due to it’s name! This is insane!
Could the mainstream media be hyping the virus to cause the stock market to plummet and tee up a Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden presidential victory? I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but it does make me wonder what’s really going on here. Trump’s economy was so strong until this hype over a sickness not even as deadly as the common flu!
My good friend and mentor, Dr. Steven Hotze, has this to say about the coronavirus:
The current coronavirus, COVID 19, pales in significance compared to the annual influenza epidemic. Don’t let the media and the politicians treat you like sheeple and stampede you over a cliff.
Let’s look at the facts and put this current coronavirus strain, COVID 19, in perspective.
According to the CDC, there have only been 164 cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of March 7, 2020, with 11 deaths, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html. Compare that to upwards of 45,000,000 cases of the flu in the U.S. already this year and 46,000 deaths.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that last year in the U.S. alone 35,000,000 people contracted the flu. That is million with an â€œM.â€ That means that one in every 10 Americans had the flu. There were 490,000 hospitalizations and 34,000 people who died of the flu in America during last year’s flu season, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html. That was an annual flu epidemic.
So far in the U.S. this flu season, October 2019 – February 22, 2020, the CDC estimates that there have been upwards of 45,000,000 cases of the flu in the U.S. That’s million with an M. There have been between upwards of 560,000 flu related hospitalizations and upwards of 46,000 flu deaths, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm. This is another annual flu epidemic.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to produce a flu vaccine that is effective, because there are several strains of flu viruses that mutate every year. This is one of the reasons why there is an annual flu epidemic. Vaccines effectively eliminated polio and smallpox, but not the flu.
As of March 6, there have only been 100,000 reported cases worldwide of this new strain coronavirus, COVID 19, with 3600 deaths, and 80,000 of these cases were in China. The first case was reported on December 29, 2019. During the past two months there is estimated to have been only 80,000 coronavirus cases in China. The population of China is 1.5 billion. Only 1 in 20,000 Chinese have contracted the coronavirus, so far. 150 million Chinese would have to contract the coronavirus illness to reach the same proportion of Americans, 10%, who had the flu last season.
In conclusion, I am asking all of you to consider making a purchase at ThrasherCoffee.com and Store.FlagAndCross.com today. These patriotic, conservative businesses will not survive if the left wing media successfully distracts you from living confidently.
I encourage each of you to consider visiting these stores today and support their premium patriotic products.
Once the coronavirus has run its course, what will be left? A decimated economy? Clamor against Trump? A Bernie or Biden presidency? Isn’t this what the Left wants? I recommend that we eat healthy, wash our hands, stay positive, and stay the course without giving into hysteria.
God Bless America and the World.
Brandon Vallorani is a practiced entrepreneur and accomplished CEO, author of The Wolves and the Mandolin (ForbesBooks; 2017), and third generation Italian-American.
Founder of a media conglomerate recognized on the Inc. 5000 for five consecutive years, Brandon sold to a colleague in the business, and has more recently shifted focus to his other entrepreneurial endeavors, including business consulting, fine cigars, and craft coffee.
Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and began his career in the non-profit sector. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Vice President in a few short years, simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College.
He lives in Metro-Atlanta, with his wife with whom he shares seven children, a son-in-law, and three grandchildren. In his free time, Brandon enjoys traveling, his three dogs, and learning Italian.