The China Card

Early this week I was at a meeting where the mostly US crowd seemed mostly unaware of the rising number of covid cases in China and Europe. A few knew about BA.2 in the UK. No one who talked to me was watching China (more and more and more). There seemed to be a consensus that — at least in the United States — covid is contained, even effectively over.

This judgment is premature.

Even if US hospitalization rates can be appropriately demand-managed, the flow consequence of a covid surge in China could make 2021’s global supply chain stress seem like Guns N’ Roses opening for the Rolling Stones. Moreover, viral outbreaks in China will come with a mutation potential that shifts the decibel level (threat level) into KISS, Who, and Deep Purple territory.

In April 2021 this blog identified five strategies for effectively engaging and living fully with covid “for another year — probably two…”: 1) vaccinate, 2) test, trace, and contain, 3) support global mitigation, 4) reduce overall circulation, and 5) avoid interior crowds. This song is still worth singing. Covid continues to dance, even if we are ready to call it a night.