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What I Expect To Happen In The Months Ahead

Recently, I was interviewed by a high school student on a variety of health and economic matters.  When asked to name three things not related to food that we can do every day to support optimal health, I replied with the following:

1.  Prioritize getting high quality sleep daily - this one habit alone is arguably the single best way of supporting our physical and mental health.

2.  Take slow, deep breaths in and out periodically throughout the day - this is a simple and powerful way of promoting healthy autonomic nervous system tone and mitigating against the effects of emotional and physical stress.

3.  At least once per day, spend at least 30 seconds hanging from a stable overhead object to counter the effects that prolonged sitting has on shoulder, spinal, and hip function.  For those who cannot hang with their full body weight, there is still significant benefit in hanging and stretching while keeping feet on the ground.

Here's a quick look at a fun exercise that I do at least twice a day, usually to cap off a full body workout:

https://youtu.be/Rr7p-BOyJ9A

For those who have access to monkey bars and would like to see various progressions of hanging and brachiating (swinging), please see:

https://youtu.be/58sUGgyn1hI

Where an overhead bar or rings aren't available, I suggest lying supine (face up) on a comfortable surface with arms straight overhead, and simultaneously stretching arms and legs away from the core for several seconds at a time.  Downward dog as done in almost all yoga routines is another way of creating a long axis stretch through the shoulders and spine.

Moving on to what I expect to happen in the months ahead, here is a summary of points that I touched on:

1.  As COVID-19 numbers continue to plateau and fall and more countries allow for a gradual return to normalcy, even without widespread testing, the world population will slowly move toward developing herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

2.  Even if there is a second wave to this pandemic in the months ahead, countries are more likely to adopt the South Korean approach of utilizing extensive testing and contact tracing rather than repeat a shelter-in-place policy.

3.  We are only beginning to see the economic effects of this pandemic.  More than ever, it is prudent to reduce everyday expenses and prioritize saving funds for lean times.  Small businesses that rely mostly or solely on a flow of people through their doors will need our support more than ever.

4.  In the near term, we will see a substantial drop in prices of basic commodities like soy beans, corn, sugar, and basic raw materials - demand has plummeted for all such commodities just as it has for oil and gas, and recovery will take much longer than a month or two even with a return to business as usual.

5.  Also in the near term, despite the massive printing of USD to support the US economy which would normally lead to weakening of the USD, the USD is likely to rise relative to other major currencies, as most global trade and debt are denominated in USD, and most are scrambling for USD to service their debts.

6.  While the traditional safe haven of gold has held up well relative to global equities, it is not likely to continue to be a safe haven over the coming months as countries seek to raise USD for everyday expenses and debt payments.  In the near term, the safest haven will be USD.

7.  The global system of central banks printing money out of thin air to pay for mountains of debt on every level is broken and unsustainable.  Over the next few years, as people around the world begin to fully understand that this system is meant to protect and enrich the largest corporations at the expense of all others, there will likely be a move toward a new world reserve currency that will be pegged to more than one entity and will be digital, fully transparent, and immune to the agenda of any one government or corporation.

8.  The world is realizing how much waste is involved in the masses commuting to a commercial work place.  Over the long term, expect many more people to work from home, and for there to be a sustained drop in demand for commercial office building space.  With less commuting and the continued development of ride-sharing platforms, expect more families to live with one car.

9.  Over the long term, more people will question the value of university and college as they are currently set up.  Expect more distance learning and less people willing to pay enormous sums for the average 50-100K undergraduate experience.  The reality is that most of what is learned over four years of undergrad can be learned for the price of internet access alone - about $100 per month for unlimited bandwidth in Canada and the US.

That about sums up the main points that we went over.  If you would like me to elaborate on any of these ideas, please feel free to let me know directly by writing to benkim@drbenkim.com.

 
 

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Comments

Thanks so much for your writings, We have read your thoughts on Sauna to cold showers. We live near the Atlantic ocean and frequently swim or wade walk. Is there any health benefit to our health with the sea water that you are aware of? either from the minerals and microbes in the water or the cooler temps?