COVID-19 Demographic Forecasts

LAST UPDATED: March 24th, 2020

I typically only blog here if something is super compelling or, like cleaning my studio I just have to do it.

With the current outbreak of Covid-19 and a global mandate to shelter-in-place, your emotions and brain can go to some far-out places.  As a marketing guy, trends and statistics effect marketing budgets and approach – so, globally what can be studied in these unique circumstances?

Why are the Russians Not Reporting Symptoms

from russia with love posterI scoff at conspiracist theorists – But, as the global communities reports Covid-19 outbreaks in just about ever corner of the globe, why is Russia not reporting the same? As of January 2020, Russia excluding Crimea is reporting a population of over 145 million people.  How can they not be experiencing an epidemic?

Under current term limits, the Russian president would have been obliged to leave office in 2024, at the end of two consecutive terms. In January, he proposed changing the constitution that would limit the presidency to two terms overall. On face value, that created additional barriers to Mr Putin staying on — the solution favoured by most of Russia’s ruling class.

The New York Times said: “No other major power employs murder as systematically and ruthlessly as Russia does against those seen as betraying its interests abroad. Killings outside Russia were even given legal sanction by the nation’s Parliament in 2006.”

Is this life imitating a classic James Bond movie?


Russian authorities acknowledged Tuesday that a low number of coronavirus cases in the country could be a result of insufficient screening and warned that the nation must brace for the worst.

Where do Terrorists like Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda Go?

empty streetsDespite a $TrillionUS+ spent fighting the never-ending war on terrorism, by countries mandating small groups of ten during this Covid-19 pandemic, does this take away the strategy of terror groups that gloat in large numbers of deaths after an attack?

Every life is important, but, does this change the profile for terrorists as they have no platform to kill more than 10 people at a time?

And, if cities like New York and San Francisco remain ghost towns, then, from a security standpoint it will be much harder to physically implement nefarious behavior with the contrast of zero visible population.

Understandably, terrorism groups (including religions that exhibit terrorist ideologies) will ramp up their message via the internet but, I would speculate it is much more difficult to recruit if you have nothing to show for your efforts?


Islamic State (ISIS) has adopted a safety-first approach to the coronavirus pandemic and advised its members not to travel to Europe, Homeland Security Today reported.

Hollywood Finally Conceding to the Writing on the Wall or Screen!

hollywood poster graphicThe traditional Hollywood movie studios that have always assumed their bully status on the playground was impervious to the likes of Netflix and Amazon – With movie theaters now closed or closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, streaming new releases is no longer an option.

I have gone to movie theaters mostly solo for that past 30 years expecting the comfortable solace of big screen visual entertainment in the human assimilation of hundreds.  I have no interest speaking with any of these people but there is a certain comfort in the fellowship by head count with people you assume have some sort of similar interest.

For years, if I had a budget for movie entertainment the commitment to see movies on their opening night brought the expectation of added value.  Maybe my years of diminished expectations as the result of few “knock-your-socks-off” premiers have left me to rarely going to the theater.  Some of that is due to the bitter-taste of paying for a small popcorn (who would dare pay for a SODA and POPCORN) at an astronomical price and then forcing me to watch 30 minutes of previews?  I am not all that smart but eventually I conceded to soley watching movies from the comfort of my home.  Sure, many movies are not even eventually streamable, but, who loses?  Not really me.  The Studios do.

It was been announced that at least Universal Studios will start deploying new movie releases next week or sooner but, they want to charge upwards of $20 per household for a 48 hour “license”.  Once again, the glass ceilings have gotten blurred vision cashing the $billions of dollars over the years.  If a family is facing an unknown income stream due to losing their jobs, $20 is not acceptable.

Wake up Hollywood and call it humanitarian – $10 per household for a week.  Guess what?  Look to Adobe and their fairly inexpensive monthly software subscription model and see that they are experiencing the greatest profits ever!


With the spreading coronavirus pandemic forcing movie theaters to close, NBCUniversal is breaking with tradition and making a number of new movies available to watch at home. Check your fav portals like Redbox, Google Play and Amazon. BUT, you might wait a few months to offset the exorbitant $19.99 fee (which, the studios whine that in essence they are now losing individual tickets sales versus a singular home download.

I could go on and on but as a person who prefers to consume lemonaid versus “lemons”, this global pandemic might FORCE politicians, earnings-driven corporations, and even religions to get off their high horses and do what Rodney King asked the public during the 1991 LA riots:

Call we all just get along?

Postscript – Here are some images taken around Las Vegas during the mandatory shelter-in policy.  The Las Vegas Strip has NEVER seen such ghostery.

Robert Baker Headshot