Study: 50% of all small businesses to vanish due to Wuhan lock downs

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The Great Wuhan Depression: According to a new survey, it is predicted that 50% of all small businesses will vanish in the next six months due to losses incurred because of the government-imposed Wuhan flu shut downs.

The study also predicts that another 12% will go bankrupt in the next month. That’s 62% of all small businesses, gone in a flash, leaving their owners and all of their employees jobless. And though it is only implied at the link, the loss of those businesses will ripple outward, causing more businesses to fail. The consequences will be horrifying.

“Before the pandemic, food policy experts say, roughly one out of every eight or nine Americans struggled to stay fed. Now as many as one out of every four are projected to join the ranks of the hungry, said Giridhar Mallya, senior policy officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for public health,” the AP reported Tuesday.

And that’s just in the states. On a global level, the United Nations has predicted that hundreds of thousands of children may die before year’s end specifically because of the economic realities being engendered by the current crisis. “Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year,” a U.N. report published last month reads. “And this alarming figure does not even take into account services disrupted due to the crisis – it only reflects the current relationship between economies and mortality, so is likely an under-estimate of the impact.” [emphasis mine]

As I have written repeatedly, when you find yourself in this kind of crisis, you need to rationally and calmly do a cost-benefit analysis, figuring out the best solution that will do the least harm, to the most people. In this case a likely smart move would have been to look at the early data, now confirmed, that showed the the disease was only a serious threat to the old and sick, and that to the young and healthy the Wuhan flu was no threat at all. A wise plan then would have focused on protecting the elderly and the sick, while letting the rest of the population not at risk live their lives normally, get infected, and develop antibodies to the disease so that the epidemic would peter out quickly — as has been done with every flu-type epidemic for more than a century.

That would have been a rational approach, reasonable and likely very successful. It would not have prevented all deaths from COVID-19, but then no plan could. What it would have done is minimize the damage as much as possible.

Instead, our politicians, in their never-ending partisan battles, depended not on the data but on faulty computer models, which have been routinely found to be inaccurate and unable to predict anything. Those models, vastly wrong, said that millions would get sick and hundreds of thousands would die, and this would all happen in a matter of weeks. The politicians panicked, and destroyed the economy, even as they enforced policies that actually exposed the elderly and the sick directly to the disease, causing many more to die than was necessary.

The consequences of this madness in the coming years will be hard to measure. We can hope that the economy might recover. We can hope that our government will back off and reinstate its respect for the law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and its citizens.

We can hope. I have no idea however if this is a vain hope. I am not optimistic.


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  • Andrew_W

    It’s a mystery why these lock-downs are destroying US businesses en-mass but evidently not on anywhere near the same scale in other countries.

  • Andrew_W

    Just had a look at the differences in strategies being used in various countries to combat the effects of the lock-downs on businesses, and I was wrong, there’s no mystery there at all.

  • David M. Cook

    Democrats did this to us! I repeat, the democrat party did this to us ON PURPOSE! They needed to ruin the economy to hurt Trump‘s re-election bid, and Mission Accomplished! We need to spread this message far & wide: Democrats did this to us!

  • Rose

    Democrats? That’s rich! It is your supposedly Republican president (and how the term RINO was ever twisted so far that it could be applied to those who dare criticize a budget-busting, big-spending populist, I will never know) who praised the lockdowns and all the lives it has saved (and just what has changed in the majority of locked-down states so that if it was the right thing to do then it isn’t the right thing to do now?), who publicly criticized the Swedish model, comparing their current death rate to their locked down neighbors, who is promising a widely-available vaccine long before any researcher expects it to be available (thus encouraging people just hold out in lockdown until it arrives), who was happy to sign a bill paying people more to stay home than to go to work and only complained about the part seeking transparency and accountability in government spending (hello swamp?), and who was more than willing to throw under the bus the first governor seeking to reopen his state, motivated either by the petty desire to settle the score over Kemp’s appointment of Loeffler instead of Collins to fill the vacant Senate seat or (and I don’t know which is worse here) as a signal to other Republican governors to pump the brakes on reopening. Democrats! Sure.

    Oh, I get it, you were making a joke.


  • David M. Cook

    Forget about Trump, all politics are local. My state of Oregon is ”blessed“ with a democrat governor & a super-majority of democrats in both houses. Know what else we have? Vote by mail, public-sector labor unions & lots of illegal farm workers. The DMV makes sure only citizens vote. You decide where the joke(s) are.

  • Phill O

    The joke is in the trifecta

  • Wodun

    Is this prediction to be unquestioned? Which models and predictions are to believed or questioned?

  • wayne

    The upside to Trump?
    He’s not Hillary.
    Everything else is gravy (or mud) depending on ones expectations.

  • Wodun: Skepticism is always called for. The reason I would take this more seriously than other models is that so much real data supports it. This is a model based on facts, not pie-in-the-sky suppositions.

  • Edward

    Wooden and Robert,
    This is not from a model, it is a survey of the predictions of the small businesses themselves. These are the people who make decisions based upon how they see the next few months, and since they are still in business, they probably have been successful with their past predictions — up until the government screwed them over, the past seven weeks.

    The article read more like the 12% that could not last another month were part of the 52%, not in addition to. The article did not say how many businesses were unavailable to take the survey due to having failed during the initial seven weeks of shutdown. From what I have heard on radio, March bankruptcy filings were high.

  • Rick

    Just like when Trump spoke up about HCL, and the Democrat Governors promised to revoke the license of any MD who prescribed it, the economy was doomed as soon as he said that the cure couldn’t be worse than the disease.

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