COVID-19: how likely is a second wave?

(5 May 2020)  It seems we are beginning a new chapter in this coronavirus pandemic.  As the lockdowns are slowly being relaxed and economies start to reopen, we have to adapt to a new, constrained reality for the foreseeable future.  A vaccine seems very unlikely anytime soon, and many experts think it may be several years away, if it ever comes at all.  A more effective treatment protocol may be a more plausible path back to normal life, but there is little sign of that at this point. 

This means that we may have to live with compulsory social distancing and mask-wearing for some time to come.  While summer weather could bring further reduction in infections and deaths, there is still the threat of a second wave of the virus which could force another lockdown.  Some observers worry that this could happen as soon as full reopening takes place and people begin to mingle in public once again.  Other experts wonder if a second wave could come during the fall when people move indoors with the colder weather. 

From an astrological perspective, a second wave seems likely, at least in the US.  While there are a few ways we could examine this question, let's look at the horoscope of President Trump.  Trump's chart is the symbolic embodiment for the US as a whole so when Trump's chart is well-disposed, the US is more likely to be doing well.  And when Trump's chart is afflicted by malefic planets, the country as a whole is likely to be suffering in some way. 

The outbreak of the coronavirus in the US in March and April coincided with Saturn's transit to Trump's equal 6th house cusp (6 Capricorn).   The 6th house is the house that governs health matters so the Saturn transit was a clear signal of difficulty.  In addition, transiting Pluto (0 Capricorn) was exactly opposite Trump's natal Saturn (0 Cancer), which is the lord of the 6th house (6L).  Like Saturn, Pluto is considered to be a malefic planet, especially when in "hard" aspect (0, 90,180 degrees). 

It is perhaps not surprising that the US has had a very difficult time getting the virus under control since Saturn is stationing at 7 Capricorn next week and thus still very close to Trump's 6th house cusp representing health.  After Saturn turns retrograde on May 11, it will gradually move away from the 6th house cusp thus offering the real possibility that the outbreak will improve over the summer.

However, the potential for a second wave may be seen in the placement of Saturn when it concludes its retrograde cycle in September.  Saturn returns to direct motion on September 29 when it stations at 1 Capricorn.  The problem here is that this will almost exactly oppose his natal Saturn (0 Cancer). 

To be sure, the 6th house cusp will no longer be closely afflicted, so that could reflect a less serious second wave.  But the Saturn-to-Saturn opposition aspect does nonetheless increase the likelihood of more health-related concerns for Trump, and hence for the US as a whole.  Due to Saturn's slow velocity before the station,  its malefic influence may be manifest a few weeks before the exact station on Sep 29 and perhaps as early as August when Mars turns retrograde. 

We can also see that transiting Ketu will be conjunct Trump's Moon at this time and this could reflect disruption (Ketu) involving the people (Moon).  This is another negative factor in the mix that makes a second wave more likely in the early fall. 

I would also note that December and January 2021 may see further health concerns as Saturn will again conjoin the 6th house cusp at 6 Capricorn while Pluto (0 Capricorn) will again exactly oppose natal Saturn (6L).  This dual affliction to health-related chart points could mean that there may even be a third wave of COVID infections in the US.  And yet the presence of Jupiter with Saturn on the 6th house cusp may introduce a different energy into the equation.  It's still not a clearly positive pattern, but perhaps there will be some new sense of hope that the worst may be over.  Let's hope so. 

As this analysis is US-centered, I will try to post something soon on the possible paths forward for other countries, such as India, UK and Germany.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks were mixed last week as the late week Mercury-Uranus conjunction appeared to offer some respite from the ongoing Saturn-Ketu alignment.  Markets have been more bearish to start this week, as Mars entered the sign of Aquarius and aligned with Pluto on Monday and Tuesday.  Asian and European markets have suffered the most from these influences, with US stocks faring comparatively better. 

The rest of the week looks mixed.  The bullish alignment of Mercury with Venus and Neptune seems likely to deliver at least one up day on either Wednesday and Thursday.  Thursday is probably the better of the two days on paper, as the Moon will sit opposite Mercury in the morning during the US trading day.  Friday could be a make-or-break day as April's US jobs report is due. 

Most observers are expecting a huge jump in unemployment but no one really knows how big it will be or how the market will react.  Unfortunately, the planets lack any clear indications on Friday.  Mercury will be past its alignment so that lessens the available bullish energy and offers a slight bearish bias.  But it is far from clear and still could go either way.  Next week's alignment of Mars with Saturn and Ketu looks more obviously bearish, however. 

For more details, check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Saturday afternoon (EST).   I outline the key technical and planetary influences for US and Indian stocks for the short and medium term, as well as currencies, gold and oil.

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