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How concerned should we really be about the COVID-19 coronavirus, and can astrology tell us what this really means or how bad it will get? The answer to those questions are a bit complicated, but I’m going to do my best to break them down.

HOW DANGEROUS IS THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS, ANYWAY?

In order to answer that properly, we need to look at two numbers: the mortality rate and the r0 (R-zero) number.

The mortality rate of any given outbreak of disease is pretty simple to understand. It’s the percentage of people who get that disease who actually die from it. Worldwide, a typical flu season has a mortality rate of between 0.1-0.5%, unless it’s a particularly bad strain going around that year. Nonetheless, I should note that this year was a pretty good one in terms of the flu, yet it still killed at least 16,000 Americans.

The most recently reported mortality rate for COVID-19, on the other hand, is 3.4%. Keep in mind though that that number could be a little high, due to it having taken a long time to recognize that there was an outbreak happening.

This doesn’t sound good, but compare the mortality rate of COVID-19 to other major pandemics, real or potential. SARS had a mortality rate of 11%. Hantavirus has a mortality rate of about 21%. Ebola can have a mortality rate of up to 90%. So certainly COVID-19 isn’t great news, but there are far worse things out there. What’s more: if recent reports hold up that you can have this virus (and even spread it) without having any symptoms? That might sound scary, but it’s actually very good news as far as the overall mortality rate.

As with most viral infections, small children, the elderly, and those with immune system issues are most at risk (although COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be all that fatal for children, which is interesting).

The second factor we have to consider is the Basic Reproduction Number, or “r0 number.” A typical r0 value for the annual strain of influenza is around 1.3. This means that an average of 1.3 people get the virus from every 10 people who already have the infection. SARS has an r0 value of about 3. Hantavirus has an r0 of between 5 and 8 (depending on the circumstances). Ebola has an r 0 value of 2.5.

We’re still collecting data on the matter, but it appears that the r0 value of COVID-19 is about 2.2 to 2.4.

So basically, unless you fall into one of the usual risk groups (small children, the elderly, people with immune system problems)? The same hand washing and infection control procedures we should all be practising all the time anyway will probably keep you safe.

IS THERE ANY OBVIOUS ASTROLOGICAL INDICATION THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A HUGE PLAGUE?

None at all. I’ve taken an extensive look at this matter elsewhere, and there is no statistically significant correlation between the COVID-19 outbreak and any of history’s greatest illnesses. Not Saturn-Pluto aspects, not Neptune in Pisces or (anywhere else), and not Uranus in Taurus (or anywhere else).

OKAY, SO IF THAT’S THE CASE, ASTROLOGY DUDE, WHY ARE WORLD MARKETS GOING NUTS OVER COVID-19?

Now for that, I do have an astrological answer. Unfortunately I’ve hit my word count for the day and you’ll just have to wait until next time for that.

BUT I NEED TO KNOW —