• “I have never been to a seminar, where the discussion goes
    so deep around common industry challenges”
    Sten Estrup, Executive Vice President Christian Hansen, 2016

  • “An enormous learning experience”
    Gerald Wilfingseder, General Manager Gold Coin Group, 2016

  • “Excellent content, facilitation and format – outstanding”
    Tim Hart, CEO Ridley Corporation, 2016

  • “Tremendous opportunity to share experiences and perspectives”
    Simon Cheng, Managing Director BRF, 2016

  • “Thank you for the seminar, so much learning”
    Akiko Seyoum, CEO Orchid Business Group, 2016

  • “Much beyond my expectations – I will surely return”
    Gustavo Grobocopatel, Chairman Los Grobo, 2013

  • “Rich, useful, time extremely well invested”
    Stefano Vlahovic, CEO Produkti Pitania, 2011

  • “This is for people who want to get things done.”
    Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco, 2009

  • “I have not been to an event yet where we got into the real issues so deep so fast.”
    Lennart Holm, CEO Perstorp, 2007

  • “There has not been one case that did not inspire me.”
    Wout Dekker, CEO Nutreco 2007

  • “Excellent. We should have had such a seminar much earlier”
    Hugh Grant, CEO Monsanto 2005

  • “It has been an inspiration, very well done, an audience of 50 likeminded peers that really ask relevant questions and it has helped me accelerate my thinking”
    Christoffer Lorenzen, EVP Chr. Hansen, 2017

  • “I did numerous studies, maybe hundreds of Harvard cases but this was one of the best I’ve ever read”
    Markus Länzlinger, CEO Migrolino, 2017

  • “Really enjoyed the seminar, very good cases, very good interactions, very practical, very lively and high-speed”
    Jeroen Wakkermann, CFO Nutreco, 2017

Corona Analysis

Investigating the Undetected Early European Covid-19 Outbreak between December 2019 and February 2020 and the Failures of Public Policy to Manage the Epidemic

Main Messages

  1. The European and Chinese epidemic branches diverged already in late November 2019. As a result, 80% of the European outbreak occurred independently of and parallel to the Chinese outbreak in Wuhan, meaning that Europe would have experienced most of the same epidemic, even if Wuhan had not happened; for America the number is 70%
  2. Genetic mutation history proves without ambiguity that the virus was in Europe already in December 2019; and even earlier according to Swiss, French and Italian medical doctors
  3. Excess mortality data points towards Tyrol and Bavaria being the first large epicenters in December and January
  4. It appears that it was four super-spreading events, the Four Hills Ski Jumping Tournament in Austria, two professional textile trade fairs in German Munich in late January, and the Fashion Week in New York City in early February, which consecutively triggered the massive European and American outbreak of covid-19
  5. The early outbreak was hidden by an exceptionally mild influenza season in Europe and was therefore initially not detected
  6. When public authorities noticed the epidemic by end-February, they were unprepared and in absence of better knowledge, followed a Chinese template of public policy response
  7. Those public policies of shut-downs and contact-bans, however, proved to be non-effective; voluntary social distancing responses and a natural tendency of the virus to fade away, were responsible for most of the outcome by April 2020. The public policy that would have been effective, which is ubiquitous testing and tracing, was not deployed in Europe nor the Americas.
  8. The virus remains in circulation and the epidemic will therefore return in the same stealthy way by December 2020 as it did in 2019
  9. Gaining a better understanding of the transmission dynamics and history is critically important to be able to manage the on-going economic, social, cultural and political effects of the epidemic. This must also be considered by business leaders
  10. Business leaders need to shape their strategies with a view towards the strong likelihood of a second or third wave of outbreaks occurring, especially considering that the public sector may be even less capable of effective responses in 2021.

This investigation draws on interdisciplinary evidence from genetic mutation history, excess mortality data and epidemiology, and uses social science analysis tools such as natural experiments and threshold dynamics for the analysis.

03 June 2020

By Prof Dr Peer Ederer            

Global Food and Agribusiness Network