The Bull Case is that we will quickly find a vaccine to this virus. It will help to prevent the spread, and also cure most existing patients. The curve will not be flattened - it will be smashed entirely. While we wait for the cure to be distributed, a global response to the test, track, quarantine strategy will be enough to contain the virus and get businesses back after a hiatus. The “right” businesses will go out of businesses (e.g. the large leveraged hedge funds). Government bailouts and relief packages will be enough to manage the disruption in our daily lives. The economy will return back to a new normal - a better normal - one in which we will see new opportunities and working paradigms that increase our global economic output. As Ben Hunt puts it, this will be our finest hour. Coming together as a global community on this will have second order effects for other similar problems, like the climate crisis.
The Bear Case is that the virus will kill millions globally, as medical infrastructures crumble under pressure. The fear of another virus will be treated like the new fear of a nuclear fallout. It will justify governments to fund the new biological surveillance state - tracking people’s heartbeats, temperatures and movement through a host of consumer wearable products - all under the premise of containing the next outbreak. The economic fallout will be swift and last long. Life as we know it no long exists. Industries like tourism will collapse, as will automotives and airlines. Many startups spending recklessly and chasing future possibilities of revenue will go out of business. Unfortunately governments will do what governments always do - save the big companies and hope there will be trickle down effects to the general population. This won’t happen, and there will be massive unemployment, followed by pockets of civil unrest (as history has shown). And this doesn’t account for the re-emergence of this or another virus.
This post has been a thought exercise.
I’m optimistic that we will find our way close to the bull case, but am prepared for the bear case.