A friend of the family’s parents were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan recently. For those who don’t know the story, it was the largest concentration of coronavirus cases outside of China. His Dad (age 80) was infected with the virus but never developed any major symptoms. In other words, his Dad explained that people can get the virus but have a natural immunity to it. His Mom (age 81) also contracted the virus but unfortunately became gravely ill. He flew to Japan to be with her when she started her treatments. Shortly thereafter, she started to show improvements and we got this email from him today:

Hi all – just in the spirit of answering you all at once on the status on my mom, today was the first day where she has tested completely negative for the Virus. They will do another test tomorrow to make sure, and if this test is negative she will be discharged from the hospital on March 9th. US law requires her to stay in Japan for 5 more days after the discharge date before she can return home. 81 years old, it took her 3 weeks to beat it. For a relatively young person (under 65) with no pre-existing health concerns, the average recovery is apparently 10 days (that’s what they tell me). While I was distressed for the few first days, the stats were always on her side. While we should all remain vigilant, from one whom this virus was personal let me assure and attest to you that this virus far from the killer pandemic apocalypse Defcon 5 biblical-end-times situation the media makes this out to be.

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts, prayers and notes to me. Wash your hands 😊

Besides being incredibly grateful to hear of her improving health, the part of his email that resonated with me was this is not the “end of the world” virus that the media is making it out to be. Keep in mind that the media is designed to scare everyone in order to keep people watching and maintain strong ratings. In other words, we don’t turn on the Weather Channel when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside. We watch it when a blizzard, hurricane or tornado might be on the way. I am certainly not taking this virus lightly and I agree with his comments to “remain vigilant.” I’m simply reminding people that this will pass (like all the other viruses that have come and gone) and the markets will eventually recover. Until then, don’t forget to wash your hands.

I can be reached at: jfahmy@zorcapital.com.