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Interesting market reaction. Not sure if it is investible (or speculate-able) because this seems to be a fear and emotional reaction and so is unpredictable. However,....

It seems to me that the COVID mutations are trending towards more transmittable and milder symptoms. It is almost as if it is like a value investor, playing the long game and avoiding burning itself out. No point in killing off Homo sapiens and, having no hosts, killing off itself. Of course as it becomes more transmittable and vaccines are less effective, it will still have plenty of hosts in which it can mutate even more--and perhaps become more deadly again.

But, the market reaction was based on fear of more lockdowns and travel restrictions. My "stable" brokerage account has a lot of OKE and it it got punished because less travel of all kinds means less fuel consumption which means sell off oil companies and the easiest way to do that in today's market is to sell energy ETF's and those hold OKE. OKE down even though their business is not related to travel, or directly to crude oil price. SPG was a natural victim as were restaurants, so DW's port suffered--and NY restricted elective medical procedures so down goes Shockwave.

But upon further review, as they say, is the panic justified? What we know is that the omicron has what, 30 mutations. Uhm, o.k. What else?

The South African doctor who first sounded the alarm on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus said that its symptoms are “unusual but mild” in healthy patients — but she’s worried the strain could cause complications in the elderly and unvaccinated.

Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,” Coetzee told The Telegraph.

So the market crashed because this new strain, which is even milder than Delta, maybe could cause "complications" for elderly (what's new) and unvaccinated.

So far, she’s had two dozen patients who tested positive and showed symptoms of the new variant, mostly young men. About half of the patients were unvaccinated, she said. So she is worried about the unvaccinated even though half of (very small sample size) those infected were not vaccinated and they had only mild symptoms. ??? Look, I am pro-vaccine, and vaccine quite probably made my bout with COVID much less unpleasant. But it may be notable that S. Africa has a low vaccination rate (less than 10% I BELIEVE) and yet half of those infected were vaccinated. Too small a sample size, I know.

“It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,” Coetzee told the paper. “So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.”

Not a lot of data here. The symptoms sound like what Dreamer might have after riding his bike too far following three days of binging streaming TV and celebrating with excessive adult beverages.

“What we have to worry about now is that when older, unvaccinated people are infected with the new variant, and if they are not vaccinated, we are going to see many people with a severe [form of the] disease,” she said.

So, what's new? And, even in my backwater, (apologies to the sensitive among us) third-world province, vaccination rates for elderly and other high risk demographics is very high and vaccine is now easily available and free. For this the world is shutting down again?

So, I don't think the spasm will last, but I hesitate to deploy remaining cash in order to capture a 2% rebound. Now, if I had Dreamer's stash of cash I might dabble a bit in malls and resto's the coming week.

KC, who is getting cranky over COVID restrictions and whose cockiness over having survived COVID infection might come back to bite him in the butt. Hubris.
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