Covid-19 is just something that hits old people. . . the young are essentially immune, right?
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has hit our older population. People over 65 account for about 80% of Covid-related deaths in the U.S.
Yet, young Americans are dying at a historic rate. That is according to research published Dec. 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study found that among adults ages 25 to 44 – from March through July – there were almost 12,000 more deaths than were expected based on historical norms.
In fact, July appears to have been the deadliest month among this age group in recent history. Over the past two decades, an average of 11,000 young American adults died each July. This year that number jumped to over 16,000.
The trend continued into the autumn.
About 154,000 in this age group had been projected to die in 2020, based on historical patterns. That total was surpassed in mid-November.
Covid-19 was the driving force behind these excess deaths, according to data gathered so far.
The Big News
How Covid Vaccines Were Made So Quickly
Before COVID-19, the mumps vaccine in the 1960s was the fastest any vaccine had been developed. It took four years. The Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine became the first fully tested immunization to be approved for emergency use against the coronavirus within a year. The world was able to develop Covid vaccines so quickly because of 20+ years of previous research on related viruses. That foundation accelerated development of the new Covid vaccines.
Covid and Strokes
Coronavirus increases the risk of a stroke, even in people with no known risk factors. Now scientists know why. Researchers used a silicone model to mimic a condition in which arteries become clogged with a sticky substance called plaque. This limits blood flow to the brain, raising stroke risk. The higher pressure of the blood flow increases the production of a molecule called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2. This is what the coronavirus uses to enter cells on the surface of blood vessels.
Americans Still Ignoring Virus
U.S. airports are teeming with holiday travelers. They seem oblivious to the worst period of the pandemic. On each of the last three days, more than a million travelers passed through airport security checkpoints in the United States. Expect a post-holiday surge of hospitalizations.
PPE Shortages in the U.S.
The shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment) for healthcare workers is still serious. Many of the shortages are the result of skyrocketing global demand. But another reason is the Trump administration’s hands-off approach to production and distribution of protective gear. That left states and hospitals to compete for limited supplies. Price gouging has become the norm. And scores of healthcare institutions have been duped into buying counterfeit products.
South Africa’s Mutant Covid Virus
The new, extra-contagious form of the SARSCoV2 spreading in the UK is grabbing the headlines. But the mutant South Africa strain is even more worrying. It also is more transmissible, and South African health authorities say it is much more virulent in young adults.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 77,471,325 Infected Worldwide
- 1,705,008 Deaths
- 18,043,397 Infected in the U.S.
- 319,466 Deaths in the U.S.
+$307 million. That’s how much Wall Street plans to invest in this new EV battery stock. Hedge funds. Pension funds. Silicon Valley billionaires. Even trillion-dollar sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East. Go here for urgent details.
Markets seem to have stabilized after yesterday’s scare over the new virus variant in the U.K.
Here’s something to keep in mind as we move into 2021 . . .
Purchases of call options – a bullish bet – have surged since the breakthroughs of Covid vaccines.
The daily trading volumes of call contracts have far outpaced bearish bets – put options.
The put/call ratio fell to its lowest level since 2012 this month at 0.46. That compares with an average of 0.87 over the past decade.
It is just the latest indication of enthusiasm for stocks.
The uptick in call buying has been helped by their heavy use among a new generation of retail traders. Many of these traders believe stocks can “only go up.”
However, meager yields on Treasury bonds — thank you Federal Reserve — are leaving investors with few other alternatives.
Meanwhile, a top Tesla engineer just QUIT . . . and is now creating a brand new EV battery. Go here to grab Pre-IPO shares of this new EV stock.
Yours in Health & Wealth,