SD Midweek: As Latin America gets its first case and a US soldier tests positive in South Korea, the news has gone from bad to worse to downright overwhelming…
Editor’s Note: Have you changed your behavior in any way? What have you been looking at, what are you acting on, and what is concerning you?
We will not have a Silver Doctors Live today, but instead, we will have a special live-stream tomorrow, Thursday, February 27th, beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST, on our YouTube Channel.
Mike and Paul will kick-off the discussion at 10:30 a.m., and then around 11:00 a.m., Paul will run the show solo with the phone-line open so we can take phone calls from the public.
This way people can express their concerns and ask their questions – with the primary focus being on Covid-19 in relation to the markets, Main Street, the economy, prepping and more.
We’ll also look at questions and comments in the chat.
Because if one thing seems clear, it’s that people want and need good information, and people want and need a place where they can share the information they have.
If the phone-lines turn into a marathon session, then a marathon session it will be.
Here’s a little bit about me, which hopefully demonstrates that I do have some credibility in what I bring to the table.
- I have several college degrees and professional certifications.
- I’ve been a Sergeant in the United States Army.
- I’ve lived and went to school in Mexico for a couple of years.
- I lived on the border in El Paso, Texas for nine or so years.
- I ran a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen and food pantry.
- I’ve worked myriad jobs over the years.
Here’s where the extra bit of relevancy really kicks in: I was a Health Communication Specialist II (basically a call center “manager”), under contract for both the CDC (diseases) and the National Institutes of Health (vaccines), which means I worked in a national call center where the public called in because they had public health concerns and questions about diseases such as HIV, or they concerns about vaccines.
Why does my time answering phones for The National HIV & STD Hotline and The National Immunization Hotline matter?
Because I had to explains things in plain English to any caller of any age and any ability, and answer questions from the public, who was in desperate need of information.
Why would a call-in and chat-focused show during a live-stream with me be valuable?
Because I’m currently not constrained or restrained by what I can and can’t say, so to say, which means I can be critical of the CDC, the government and more.
In other words, I’m not just spewing the official narrative.
We hope you join us for this special live-stream, and we really hope you participate to help us sort it all out!
It’s almost becoming too hard to keep up with everything.
There’s simply not enough time in the day to keep up with all of the latest coronavirus news, and that’s just one thing that’s going on in the world.
Now, don’t get me wrong – if the risk of a pandemic is real, then this is indeed the main thing one needs to focus on, because considering what we know about Covid-19 so far, you really don’t wanna catch this bugger!
And to make matters worse, now everybody’s got something to say about it, whether they’re an expert or an idiot.
Listening to experts is relative, since everybody’s situation is different.
And listening to idiots can either give you dumb luck or get you killed.
So the question is, how do we navigate our way around a world that’s quickly becoming FUBAR?
I’d like to share a few things that I’m doing differently, and I’d also like to share what I’m looking at, and why.
TUNING OUT THE NOISE
We only have so much time in the day to learn and accomplish things. Right now is not the time to be watching movies, much less going to them, watching sports, with exceptions such as watching a family member compete in school or something, or doing all of those things that are held as most important in our sick and twisted society which values pop culture above all else. Why tune out all of the noise? Because right now, in my opinion, there are two things we should be doing in our spare time, and that is learning and keeping up with information that is important to each of us, individually, and the second thing we should be doing is preparing and acting on what we’ve learned. The problem is that that people still have to work and live their lives, and depending how much a person has to work, for example, a person who spends 14 hours a day outside of the house juggling three jobs is going to have much less time to learn and prepare for what’s coming.
Is it really that serious?
Well, if the threat of a global pandemic is real, then yes.
ACT ON WHAT YOU LEARN, BUT ONLY ACT ON WHAT YOU’RE AN EXPERT AT
Did you just find out that you need a box of N95 masks?
Well head to the back of the line fella because there’s 7 billion people in front of you who just found out the same, and there are hardly any masks to go around!
Unless, of course, you’re willing to fork over the big bucks for them:
If half of America doesn’t have 500 bucks to its name, or whatever the statistic is, then how in the heck is half of America going to shell out $139 for ten masks?
This is why I say you have to divide your time between two things, learning and acting on what you’ve learned.
And that’s while there’s still time, because right now America has been blessed in that we have stores generally filled to the brim with inventory, for now, and most states in America supposedly do not have a case of coronavirus infection, for now, so other than a heightened awareness and smart people seeing the writing on the wall, panic buying done by the American public in general has not yet begun.
Is it too late to buy N95 masks?
Locally, most likely it is.
In my area, I’ve not seen them in Walmart or Costco or Target or Walgreen’s or anywhere one would assume they would be in stock.
It is not to late to buy N95 masks on line, if one is willing to pay the price, but this just goes to show that being unprepared comes at a significant cost.
PRICE INFLATION AND BUYING AHEAD OF IT
I have been stocking up on extra stuff here and there.
As I’ve been out and about, I’ve bought an extra case of toilet paper, some batteries, some extra rice, and things like that. The point is that this coronavirus, whether it turns into a full-blown pandemic or not, has already wreaked havoc on global supply chains, global manufacturing and global logistics. Governments and central banks will throw money at this problem, but throwing money at the problem will only make the problem worse because not as many goods are being produced right now, and the ones that are getting produced are having trouble making it to their final destinations. That said, in my opinion, if a person is willing and able, then converting those strong dollars into real things is very important right now, especially since the masses are still unconvinced or simply unaware that anything’s wrong with the global economy.
When the masses become aware and start buying, you don’t want to be anywhere near a store!
Those are just some random thoughts for now as far as what I’m doing.
Now I’d now like to share a couple things that I’m looking at.
I’m pretty sure it’s statistically impossible to have zero cases anywhere in Latin America. There is something seriously wrong and it should be raising alarm bells. Today, however, we do now finally have a case that has popped-up in Brasil.
From Reuters three hours ago:
BRASILIA (Reuters) – A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, a source said on Wednesday, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Italy.
Why am I watching Latin America?
First and foremost, I’m watching Latin America in general, and Mexico specifically.
I lived in El Paso, Texas for nine or so years, and I’ve crossed over into Juarez at least a hundred times, so believe me when I say the border and border crossing is vital to the economy. It’s not just them dang illegals flooding the gates as those who’ve never even seen what goes on at the border would lead you to believe, but rather, it’s workers moving back and forth, daily, literally, and trucks, there are lots and lots of trucks moving goods back and forth.
And that was my experience with only one single border crossing point of entry (because we’re creatures of habit, and that particular crossing was the most practical for me and my family).
Why is the border an issue?
The border is an issue because if the land border(s) closes, or if there are significant delays because of increased public health measures, we’re pretty much screwed. You see, America is heavily dependent on Imports, and not just from China but also the critical, vital trade that flows to and from Mexico via the Southern land border.
You’ll have to excuse my ignorance on our Northern Border, but I cannot speak to it because I’m no expert there.
The next question becomes, why does Mexico matter?
Mexico matters because of the difference in culture.
In America, it is common to go to the grocery store for groceries once a week, and it’s also not uncommon for people to go to the grocery store once every two weeks or even once per month.
In Mexico, however, what is common is totally different.
It is common to go to the vegetable stand in the morning for vegetables, and then to the meat man for a piece of meat. In the afternoon for the main meal, going to the tortilleria for fresh tortillas is how they roll. In the early evening, it is common to go to the bakery for some totally awesome Mexican sweet bread, or to go to the local street corner for some totally awesome street tacos. All of these things are generally done by walking, and this can be done by one single person, or spread out, such as, “Juanito, ve por tortillas”. There is also much more public transportation in Mexico via buses and taxis than there is in the United States.
In other words, there is a crap ton of “close contact” in Mexico, much more so than in the United States.
Which is why I’ve got a really bad feeling about just how bad it’s going to get there.
Not to mention Mexico and much of Latin America are places where men and women greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.
Like it or not, the United States and Mexico are joined at the hip.
I’m watching South Korea, and the news just went from bad to worse.
On Monday’s Silver Doctors Live, I said Korea will be a case study about whether or not the US can keep an infection from “coming in the gates” so to say.
Well, so far, the prognosis is not good as one American soldier in South Korea has now tested positive for Covid-19.
A USFK soldier stationed at Camp Carroll tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time a U.S. service member has tested positive for the virus.
The patient, a 23-year old male, is currently in self quarantine at his off-base residence. He visited Camp Walker on 24 Feb. and Camp Carroll 21-25 Feb. KCDC and USFK health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether any others may have been exposed.
Camp Walker, recall, has 9,000 soldiers and family members there.
Governments around the world are still planning as if nothing in the world has changed, putting close contact and worldwide travel to boost the economy over a public health emergency that will likely change the course of humanity forever, if not for many decades to come.
From Fox News:
A spokesman for the Japanese government on Wednesday said the International Olympic Committee and local organizers are going ahead as planned with the Tokyo Olympics despite the threat of the spreading coronavirus.
The Olympics are scheduled for the end of July, and by golly, organizers are going ahead as planned!
And here’s the latest snapshot of the Johns Hopkins Tracker, with emphasis on Japan:
Japan is an emerging Covid-19 hotspot.
Though the show (and games) will go on!
Well now, if it was only starting to look good on Monday, it must really be looking good to him now!
It seems as if something’s got the markets spooked:
Wait a second – didn’t all of the “experts”, “analysts”, and “traders” say the Fed’s got the market’s back?
Yield on the 10-Year Note has hit a new all-time record low, as expected:
The question is, how low will it go before the bond market blows?
Holders of dollars can still take advantage of the US dollar’s strength:
Look for money “velocity” to become a thing again.
America’s crude oil industry is about to be devastated:
They’ve been “making it up on volume” for the better part of six years.
Copper, on the other hand, has yet to hit 52-week lows:
Copper, unlike oil, can be stockpiled much easier, and while everybody is so sure the bottom’s going to fall out of the red metal, I’m just not so sure, in part because I think we could be seeing the inflationary effects of all the money printing around the world being more of an influence on price than aggregate demand.
Platinum’s basically having a 10% off sale from peak to today’s trough:
Since platinum will be sought after as a safe haven this go around, in my opinion, I don’t think price stays down for long.
Palladium continues to do its own thing:
Right now, that thing happens to be consolidation around $2600.
They’re still trying to make silver look like an industrial metal:
I’m looking for a hard break to the upside, however.
In the meantime, deep-pocketed stackers and other smart investors know what to do:
How sweet it is to score free gold at the end of the cycle!
Of course, silver could also go to parity with gold, and I think it will eventually go to at least parity, so there may not even be the need to convert the silver back into gold, but rather, to convert the silver into other things at that point.
Here’s the thing: Silver is money, and as such, there is always the need to earn, save, and spend in silver, and with the gold-to-silver ratio where it is now, people really are presented with the opportunity to get a lot of silver for one single ounce of gold!
Over 90 ounces of silver to be exact!
Gold is holding up between $1600 and $1650:
I would expect anything under $1600 to be aggressively bought as Covid-19 reality kicks in.
The bottom line as we find ourselves here this beautiful Wednesday in late February?
Get ready for information overload because it’s going to get much worse now.
This means use your time wisely, and use it learning and taking action.
In America, there’s still some time left to prepare as best we can.
But this isn’t a game of football, and they’re ain’t no clock.
Time to prepare can quickly turn into something else.
It can turn into something else with zero warning.
Where one purposely avoids public places.
Or areas get totally put on lock-down
The masses will be mad, panicking.
They thought it was no big deal!
It was just the seasonal flu!
Well, they thought wrong.
The virus is spreading.
They were lied to.
And now stuck.
– Half Dollar
About the Author
U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, an active amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.