May 24, 2006 at 9:42 AM #6633
What would happen to housing and the economy in the following situations:
Bird flu is particularly virulent and has a mortality rate of 30%.
Bird flu has a mortality rate of 10%.
Bird flu causes a big initial scare but turns out to be less severe than predicted.May 24, 2006 at 9:51 AM #25851
From Stanford.edu: “The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe” the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster.”
What happened to the world economy then and what would happen today?
Although I have not done research to substantiate this, I remember reading that the Bubonic Plague resulted in short term financial problems but had a positive effect on the survivors. The Plague created a shortage of workers, so wages went up. The wealth was also spread between fewer people.May 24, 2006 at 11:33 AM #25866BugsParticipant
They’re talking about this subject over in Hawaii right now. Their economy is so dependent on tourism that a flu epidemic that cuts into travel and vacation would be catastrophic for them.May 24, 2006 at 12:40 PM #25869
If the bird flue was particulary virulent, everything could just grind to a halt. People would quit going to work so nothing would get done. The markets would tank unless trading was halted.
A significant mortality rate would reduce population, reducing demand. Housing values would sink even if they weren’t currently overpriced.May 24, 2006 at 2:23 PM #25872powaysellerParticipant
A catastrophe like bird flu would cause economic havoc. By the way, I heard on the radio a month ago that Health & Human Services recommended we keep 3 weeks food on hand, in case of a quarantine. I took this advice. And the mortality rate is not dependent on your health – this bird flu can kill people who are so healthy that they don’t even get a common cold. If I understood it correctly, the healthy are even more prone, because their immune systems are so strong.
But I suspect any economic damage would be temporary?May 24, 2006 at 2:31 PM #25873
How long is temporary? There are many small businesses that could not afford a month with no sales. If people quit going to work, employers might get away with stopping wages but they will still have to pay other overhead.
Three weeks may not be long enough. Flu season lasts for months. What if everything shuts down for six months?May 25, 2006 at 1:23 AM #25893NotARocketScientistParticipant
I agree, Powayseller.
In fact, from my point of view, 60 days worth of food, water, toiletries and medicine for the family is not unreasonable — and well less then a third of what I spend on property insurance in a year.
Furthermore, since I’m turning stock on all these items (except the water) they’re really not costing me anything at all except a little storage space in the garage.
We live in earthquake country anyway, so we’re used to keeping food, water, first aid kits and the like in the trunks of our cars and in the hall closet — right? — Right? — RIGHT???
How many Katrina victims last summer would have benefited from a bit more planning?
I’m not paranoid, but if I can cover my family and the elderly couple who live next door for less than one half of one percent of my net income, I’m a fool if I don’t.May 25, 2006 at 10:28 AM #25909
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