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Tag Archives: Pandemic

How Taiwan Beat COVID-19 – New Study Reveals Clues to its Success

By Patricia Fitzpatrick, Full Professor of Epidemiology & Biomedical Statistics, University College Dublin, Originally published at The Conversation. Taiwan has been widely applauded for its management of the pandemic, with one of the lowest per capita COVID-19 rates in the world and life on the island largely returning to normal. Just 11 people have died from COVID-19 in Taiwan since the pandemic began, an impressive feat for a country that never went into lockdown. At the start of the...

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Applications for New Businesses Have a Double-WTF Moment

Yves here. In addition to Wolf’s caveats about the possible less than upstanding reasons for a spike in the number of new businesses, keep in mind that 90% of new businesses fail in the first three years. So while this is good news about the potential for recovery, don’t underestimate the amount of attrition. Although I did not follow new business formation in the old normal, my recollection is one of the reasons for the high propensity to failure was that a lot of the new businesses were...

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Prolonged Brain Dysfunction in COVID-19 Survivors: A Pandemic in its Own Right?

Yves here. We are running this post because Covid brain impairment is an important topic in its own right, and also to counter the dangerous patter we keep encountering in comments about how Covid is overblown because not all that many people die of it. This is “Oh, it’s no worse than the seasonal flu” 2.0, when no seasonal flu has reduced life expectancy or pushed hospitals across the US to their breaking point. But the issue that this article highlights is that the danger of Covid goes far...

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Inflation in the Aftermath of Wars and Pandemics

Yves here. This article provides an interesting counterargument to the widespread belief that Covid-related stimulus will generate inflation. Aside from the fact that the economy was below capacity before the Covid crisis (supported by the high level of involuntary part-time employment) and therefore its ability to support more demand is likely high than deficit hawks would have you believe, the lack of labor bargaining power will seriously dampen any one-shot spending from producing...

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Pricey Learning Pods Are Now Helping Vulnerable Students. Will the Trend Survive the Pandemic?

Yves here. I wish someone could provide a range of guesstimates as to what various interventions in schools would cost to improve ventilation, as opposed to learning pods at $13,000 a semester. The problem, as anyone who has spent much time in NYC or other East Coast cities knows, most schools are old, and some are even antiques. But older schools would have windows that were originally designed to open, and one would assume could be or in most cases were fitted with screens. In any event,...

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14/4/21: The share of those in unemployment > 27 weeks is rising

One way to look at the state of the real (as opposed to financialized and corporate-value focused) economy is to look at unemployment. And one of the strongest indicators of longer term changes in the structure of the real economy is the fate of the longer term unemployed. Here is an interesting snapshot of data: the percentage of those unemployed for 27 week or longer in the total pool of the unemployed. The higher the number, the more structural is the unemployment problem. If the above is...

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Why Work at Home Is Not Likely to Thrive After the Covid Era

Many white collar workers seem to be enthusiastic about the work from home trend, now freed of time-eating commutes, office politics, and hovering bosses. It’s hardly a secret that Covid-induced fear of commuter trains, busses and elevators has led CEOs to revamp operations and allow employees who can to work remotely. It has already radically reshaped the residential real estate market, with professionals who have extra cash hoovering up houses in exurbs or other states with lower costs of...

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FTC, Where Art Thou?: Appliance Manufacturers Routinely Invalidate Warranties if Customers Use Third-Party Repair Services

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Appliance repair is on my mind at the moment. Why? The dishwasher at our winter rental beach hideaway, where my husband and I have sequestered ourselves to avoid the pandemic, died last Friday. Leaving us to do the dishes. I know, I know, a first world problem. And a task I’ve done before, and no doubt will do many times again. We didn’t have a...

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Why Does the United States Ignore the Possibility of Using Sniffer Dogs to Detect Covid in Mass Settings?

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. I don’t know. By Hanlon’s Razor, because we’re dumb. So that’s it, that’s the post. Anyhow, I stan for sniffer dogs to detect Covid (Links May 5, 2020 and August 5, 2020, those being the examples Google allows me to find). And I keep seeing stories about them. So this will be a very simple post. First, I’m going to list all the real-world examples of sniffer dogs detecting Covid that I can find; some are pilots, some are fully implemented. Next, I’ll present...

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8/4/21: No Inflation Cometh?

Having written about strengthening signals of rising inflation globally and in the U.S. in particular before, here is today's note from Markit on the matter: https://ihsmarkit.com/research-analysis/global-price-gauge-hits-new-high-as-input-cost-inflation-accelerates-sharply-Apr21.html To quote: global inputs inflation pressures are at their highest since 2008:By sector:Factory gate prices are scaling up:Manufacturing supply shortages at nearly historical highs:Prices of all, but financial...

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