But first, the virus:

From the New York Times: can you boost your immune system?

Here’s a real-time world map of Covid-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries.  Vast numbers of cases have surely never been reported, so the number of recoveries must also be much higher; but this is the data currently available.

And here’s something a friend told me: viruses hate sunlight and heat.  So if you live in a warm climate, avoid confined air-conditioned places — grab a table outside. And get your exercise out in the sun, not on the condo treadmill.

One of you sent me this, which I have not independently verified, but which I’m happy to pass on until we get more definitive information:

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold
2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees Celsius. It hates the Sun.
4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can.
6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
10. Can’t emphasize enough – drink plenty of water!

1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days
2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

And now:

Stocks can seem cheap when they’ve dropped precipitously.  I doubt we’ve seen the bottom, but I’ve been wrong so many times before (as Isaac Hayes sings in the classic 19-minute By The Time I get To Phoenix, though he was singing about the power of love, not the Dow).

Here are a few of “our” stocks and why I haven’t sold a single share, even though they could drop further:

BOREF.  Chances are, people will one day be flying again.  Airlines may go bankrupt in the meantime, but that just means the current bondholders will become the new owners — the planes won’t disappear.  So if and when WheelTug gets the FAA approval it’s been working toward, BOREF should do well.   Don’t worry about their revenues taking a hit in a recession.  They have no revenues.

CNF.  This is the Chinese company that’s been growing at 20% a year making short-term home mortgages at no more than 50% loan-to-value, selling at 3X earnings.  Suggested by the same savvy investor who suggested FANH at $5 before it peaked at $36 a few years later.  Who knows whether China has really gotten the virus under control, or how far Chinese home values might fall in bad economic times — or any other risks one can imagine, which is why we only buy stocks with money we can truly afford to lose.  But if this one falls further, I may even buy more.  (Whence the rueful Wall Street expression, “catch a falling knife.”)

PRKR.  The outcome of its patent infringement lawsuits against Qualcomm is uncorrelated to the stock market or the pandemic.  If PRKR wins, the stock should go way up.  If they don’t, former FBI Director Louis Freeh and some other high-powered attorneys who are arguing on PRKR’s behalf will be almost as disappointed as you and I.

BKUTK.  As oft-explained, it sells at a discount of more than 20% to the voting shares of the bank (BKUT), yet otherwise provides exactly the same share of ownership and exactly the same $15 dividend — which at yesterday’s price was 3.6%.  The world’s sleepiest stock, and — like the others on the list — thinly traded.  It offers zero chance of a speculative home run and there are likely better bargains out there with money you can truly afford to lose — and those bargains may get better still.  But I hope to keep collecting my dividend and, one day, perhaps, seeing the stock change hands 50% higher than it is here..

CTHR.  Will fewer people marry in a recession?  Maybe.  But might the recession end?  And might those who do marry be more open to buying a diamond-like ring at a fraction of the cost?  I bought more at 77 cents yesterday.



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