When Will the Madness End?

I was sitting in the green room in a Manhattan television studio on the day that the storm seemed to hit. It was Thursday, March 12, 2020, and I was waiting anxiously for a TV appearance, hoping that the trains wouldn’t shut down before I could leave the city. The trains never did shut but … Read more When Will the Madness End?

The Cloud over the Future of America’s Downtowns

America’s downtowns were on a roll. Starting to revive in the 1980s and ’90s after years of decline, they had grown to become regional engines again: destinations for entertainment, residential neighborhoods in their own right, and homes to growth in business sectors as industries like technology startups began to cluster there. Some downtowns were downright … Read more The Cloud over the Future of America’s Downtowns

A Middle Course Between COVID-19 Hopes and Fears

Despite what many people hoped, COVID-19 is clearly worse than the seasonal flu. But despite what other people feared, it does not seem to be nearly as lethal as the “Spanish flu” of 1918, which killed about 0.7 percent of the total U.S. population—equivalent to more than 2 million people today. As we move from … Read more A Middle Course Between COVID-19 Hopes and Fears

The Swedes actually did have Covid-19 models

I’m kind of curious as to why Americans have placed such faith in the prophecies offered by epidemiologists given that epidemiology is primarily a retrospective activity and there is no historical data on how virus transmission is affected by a Western-style “porous lockdown”. It is as though people in the 1980s had decided that the … Read more The Swedes actually did have Covid-19 models

Quarantine Fatigue and the Social End to the Coronavirus Pandemic

So what might learning to live with COVID-19 look like? Keeping firmly in mind that all models are imperfect, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) model recently raised its projection of U.S. COVID-19 deaths to 137,000 by the beginning of August. In comparison, the model developed by Youyang Gu and … Read more Quarantine Fatigue and the Social End to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Will This Novel Virus Revive Older Ones?

As I recently wrote here, and spoke about here, bans on elective surgery invoked by governors across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many people to suffer and even possibly face fatal consequences due to delays in necessary medical care. But there are other reasons why the public health emergency has … Read more Will This Novel Virus Revive Older Ones?

Why Did We Treat Coronavirus So Differently Than Other Epidemics?

A three-column article in the local daily recently revealed the alarming news that Arizona State Sen. Lupe Contreras and members of his family had tested positive for the coronavirus. I wish Sen. Contreras and his family well. He seems like a good guy. But in a sane world without the hyperbolic, breathless press treatment of … Read more Why Did We Treat Coronavirus So Differently Than Other Epidemics?

Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic

In my lifetime, there was another deadly flu epidemic in the United States. The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide. Lifespan in the US in those … Read more Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic

Prescient – From 2017: Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?

Long’s case is part of an ominous outbreak that began in China and could, according to experts in Asia and the United States, evolve into a pandemic. H7N9 first spread from birds to humans in 2013. Since then, there have been five waves of the virus. The fifth wave began in October 2016. By September … Read more Prescient – From 2017: Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?