Scary Charts 08.08.20 – Surge In Number of Americans Moving In With Older Family Members

Screenshot_2020-08-08 Surge In Number of Americans Moving In With Older Family Members Amid Pandemic Fed Study

“The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the living arrangements of millions of Americans,” said Daniel Garcia and Andrew Paciorek, authors of the Aug. 7 study, which looks at the impact of the pandemic on living arrangements and household formation in the United States.

  Surge In Number of Americans Moving In With Older Family Members Amid Pandemic: Fed Study

 

What Seniors Can Expect as Their New Normal in a Post-Vaccine World

“Before COVID-19, baby boomers” — those born after 1945 but before 1965 — “felt reassured that with all the benefits of modern medicine, they could live for years and years,” said Dr. Mehrdad Ayati, who teaches geriatric medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and advises the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. “What we never calculated was that a pandemic could totally change the dialogue.”

What Seniors Can Expect as Their New Normal in a Post-Vaccine World

The skeptic in me was in complete denial until I got halfway through the list of predictions.

Hell, I’m already doing most of the things on this list now.

Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020 – NBER

The collapse of economic activity in 2020 from COVID-19 has been immense. An important question is how much of that resulted from government restrictions on activity versus people voluntarily choosing to stay home to avoid infection. This paper examines the drivers of the collapse using cellular phone records data on customer visits to more than 2.25 million individual businesses across 110 different industries. Comparing consumer behavior within the same commuting zones but across boundaries with different policy regimes suggests that legal shutdown orders account for only a modest share of the decline of economic activity (and that having county-level policy data is significantly more accurate than state-level data). While overall consumer traffic fell by 60 percentage points, legal restrictions explain only 7 of that. Individual choices were far more important and seem tied to fears of infection. Traffic started dropping before the legal orders were in place; was highly tied to the number of COVID deaths in the county; and showed a clear shift by consumers away from larger/busier stores toward smaller/less busy ones in the same industry. States repealing their shutdown orders saw identically modest recoveries–symmetric going down and coming back. The shutdown orders did, however, have significantly reallocate consumer activity away from “nonessential” to “essential” businesses and from restaurants and bars toward groceries and other food sellers.

Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020

I admit to having a short attention span.  My mind tends to wander a bit, sometimes a lot.  The reason for my cognitive wandering is usually a question which sends me down yet another path of discovery.  So here’s another post in my intermittent series on Post Pandemic Changes in Consumer Behavior

My July 4th weekend will be a quiet weekend.  I’ve downloaded the pdf of this working paper to read.  I’m hoping for some insights that I might have missed.

Nearly 26,000 Meat Packers Have COVID-19

As of June 25, there have been at least 25,700 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 243 plants in 33 states, and at least 95 reported worker deaths at 39 plants in 24 states.

MidWest Center for Investigative Reporting

Meanwhile in Oklahoma a few weeks ago…

116 COVID-19 infections found in pork processing plant in Guymon

and in Houston…

Screenshot_2020-06-27 2019 Novel Coronavirus

On June 26th, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo raised the Current Level of Risk for Harris County from Level 2 to Level 1.

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.

Regardless of current level indicated, all residents should continue the use of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and the use of face coverings until there is a vaccine or a treatment for the virus. Additionally, residents exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days regardless of level indicated.

My vegetarian cookbook collection is growing.  Grocery trips will include more shelf stable items so that I’ll be able to fix more meat-free meals in the near future.

The acquisition of more cookbooks is a rational strategy.  I’ll need more sources besides the same recipe that shows up multiple times on multiple websites as the best (fill in the blank) for inspiration in the kitchen when the POTUS issues an Executive Order rationing animal proteins.

Reevaluating Retirement Plans due to Covid-19

COVID-19 Has Many Americans Reevaluating Retirement Plans

Roughly two in five Americans (38%) say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their retirement plans by having to retire later than planned, now not being able to retire at all or being forced into retirement. Plus, 41% are currently reevaluating their retirement plans to assess the financial impact of COVID-19. These are among the findings revealed by a new COVID-19 Tax Survey conducted online in May 2020 by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Nationwide Retirement Institute® among U.S. adults 18+.  Heightened uncertainty and complexity are driving a need for greater financial protection. Roughly half of Americans agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has made them recognize the need for annuities to protect their investments against market risk (47%) and to protect their retirement income (48%). More than half of all U.S. adults (57%) and investors (60%) also say the pandemic has made them recognize the need for life insurance.

More survey results can be found in the full article at the link above.

The heightened uncertainty and complexity have definitely affected my own retirement plans.

The massive number of people out of work have definitely affected my own thoughts and feelings about work.

Retirement = work.

As long as my health holds up and as long as there’s someone out there willing to pay me to do what I do I plan on working.

Worried About Houston

Texas is heading down a dangerous path, local leaders warn as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, predicted over the weekend that Houston is on the brink of a disaster, based on the latest trends in increasing numbers.  “My observations if this trajectory persists: 1) Houston would become the worst affected city in the US, maybe rival what we’re seeing now in Brazil 2) The masks = good 1st step but simply won’t be enough 3) We would need to proceed to red alert,” Hotez tweeted.

Houston Yikes 062320

Do not wait for a politician to tell you to:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Avoid crowds (especially younger non-mask wearing crowds where infections are spiking upwards).
  • Pay attention to your local Covid-19 statistics and act accordingly.  Limit your excursions to trips for essentials or shelter in place.
  • Practice physical (social) distancing.
  • Stock your pantry.

 

NEJM Journal Watch – 06.05.20

Prevalence of asymptomatic disease: An estimated 40–45% of people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 do not have symptoms at the time of testing, according to a narrative review of 16 cohorts in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In four cohorts with longitudinal data, few of the asymptomatic patients (0–10%) went on to develop symptoms. But in one skilled nursing facility, 89% of initially asymptomatic patients became sick. The researchers say, “It is imperative that testing programs include those without symptoms.” They add, “The early data that we have assembled on the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection suggest that this is a significant factor in the rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

COVID-19: Asymptomatic Disease Prevalence / N95 Mask Reuse / Oxygen Management Strategies / Anti-Racism Demonstrations / Studies Retracted

Smoking cigarettes — even one or less per day — is associated with increased mortality risk, a JAMA Network Open study shows.  Researchers combined data from several federal smoking surveys performed between 1992 and 2011. In those surveys, some 500,000 adults reported their smoking histories. National mortality data showed that, compared with never-smokers, daily smokers (averaging 600 cigarettes per month) bore a 2.3-fold higher all-cause mortality risk, with non-daily smokers (averaging 40 per month) sustaining a 1.8-fold higher risk.  Heightened mortality risks became apparent even at levels of 6 to 10 cigarettes per month.  The researchers conclude: “Thus, all smokers should quit, regardless of how infrequently they smoke.”

Infrequent Smoking Carries Heightened Mortality Risk

How the USAF Limited Covid-19 Transmission

USAF Covid

Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPI) introduced among 10,579 basic trainees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland limited COVID-19 incidence to five cases (47 per 100,000 persons), three of which were in persons who were contacts of the first patient.

Citation for this article: Marcus JE, Frankel DN, Pawlak MT, et al. COVID-19 Monitoring and Response Among U.S. Air Force Basic Military Trainees — Texas, March–April 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 2 June 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6922e2external icon.

An Interview With Erin Bromage

For every extra body you take out of a room, you are lowering the risk that somebody infected is in there to start off with. Then assuming that someone in that environment is infected, there is a gradient of respiratory droplets from that person that radiates out. So, certainly, having people spread out more in enclosed environments is an important way to reduce infection, but it’s not the solution to controlling all infections. Having a restaurant at half capacity that is still enclosed and has no or very little air exchange is going to be just as risky, but to fewer people.

Memo to Self:

Add the concept of dose-time to your Covid-19 risk reduction strategy.

Add a link to the Medscape interview with Erin Bromage.

An Interview With Erin Bromage