A corona virus that became a global pandemic. The number of cases has surpassed 2MM and over 500 thousand people have died (at time of writing).

Besides a health crisis, COVID-19 also created an economic crisis as countries shut down and placed restrictions on gatherings of people and whether businesses could operate.

Robinhood is linked to recent events like the stock price of Hertz skyrocketing despite going bankrupt or Kodak jumping 1,000% on news of a pivot to drug manufacturing. By displaying stocks other users are buying/have bought (a simple way of consumerizing stock picking), they’ve inadvertently created a ‘momentum algorithm’ that, simply by displaying popularity more people buy and drive the price up.

In the new normal brought on by COVID-19, typical activities that we rely on to recover and recharge are not available anymore due to the economic shutdown. For example, socializing with friends at a restaurant or going to the gym.

A financial instrument that spreads the risk of corporate loans across many investors. The money is loaned to companies that typically can’t raise money otherwise e.g. through a traditional bank loan.

It’s unfortunate American values and belief systems are incompatible with successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We resent or measures that are effective, but inhibit our freedoms or are even mildly inconvenient (social distancing, wearing a mask).

Being on video conference calls repeatedly is exhausting. This phenomena is believed to be caused by the brain working overtime because we can tell the other person is an imperfect projection and reading body language is difficult.

There are more people in the U.S. dying of COVID-19 per day than WWII and the number of total deaths will likely exceed the total U.S. combat deaths from WWII.

A virus that passes from animals to humans. Examples include: SARS, Swine Flu, and COVID-19.

The virus and pandemic of COVID-19 serves as a container for people to project their own fears, beliefs, and ascribed meaning. For example, some take COVID-19 as a sign from Mother Nature that we are overstepping and it is some sort of balancing. These are highly irrational interpretations—viruses are by definition not a living thing—and so it is more of a vehicle for one’s ideology.

Companies on a clear upward trajectory can still fail not from external threats, but from complacency of the people running and operating the company. This happens when they mistakenly believe success is assured, but empirically this is not true (plenty of examples of industry darlings getting big and going under).