The Vancouver Sun has an interesting article on the possible economic effects of an influenza pandemic. It ends with a list of preparedness suggestions for consumers, which are well worth thinking about:
Insurance: Do you have medical insurance? Check the fine print on your life insurance. Does it cover death by pandemic?All this may sound a bit intimidating, but remember...carefully following these steps may enable you to get rich quick!
Income: Be ready to withstand a period of no income at a time when financial markets are depressed.
Debt: Reduce it.
Hide: Be prepared to "hole up."
Risky investments: Get out of commodities and high-tech products if a pandemic is on the way.
Flee to quality: Gold, cash, government bonds and blue-chip stocks with high dividends.
Buy low: Be prepared to take advantage of cheap stocks and other investments as world markets rebound from an 18- to 24-month pandemic period.Something to look forward to, definitely. The Invisible Hand may forbid certain types of precautionary public health measures, and it may reward short-term behavior that's incompatible with long-term viability...but at least it gives you an opportunity to cash in on the disasters it helps to create.