Health

Coronavirus and the Cities

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As you can imagine, we are now ensconced in our homes in New York City. We are fine, even though the numbers surrounding us are alarming. The street bare empty and quiet. The food stores are full. We go out every day for a walk, sometimes to the Hudson, sometimes to the East River, with masks and gloves, keeping safe distance from the occasional other. Whole Foods now opens for a special hour from 7:00am to 8:00 for seniors and once a week we go there at 7:00am. We do a lot of cooking, sometimes elevating dinners to gourmet level. We Zoom a lot with friends and family and colleagues.  read more »

Early Observations on the Pandemic and Population Density

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It is still too early to draw precise conclusions on the extent to which the spread of the COVID-19 is related to urban population density. But there are important recurring themes. The following observations are made with the caveats that we are largely dealing with data inconsistent across geographies in terms of reporting and testing and preliminary. Rigorous research will have to await final data, which could be months in the future.

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After Coronavirus We Need to Rethink Densely Populated Cities

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For the better part of this millennium, the nation’s urban planning punditry has predicted that the future lay with its densest, largest, and most cosmopolitan cities. Yet even before the onslaught of COVID-19, demographic and economic forces were pointing in the exact opposite direction, as our biggest cities—New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago—all lost population in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.   read more »

Coronavirus, Labor, and an Aging World

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In the last few months, we have gradually realized the dire nature of this global pandemic, and our response has been? Nothing short of the creation of a new world: hopefully not on the ruins of the last. The novel coronavirus is showing us the downside of accelerated mobility, excessive attention to short-term gains, and structural inequities in the micro and macro geographies of our planetary existence.  read more »

A Few Certainties About Covid-19

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There is plenty that we do not know about the coronavirus. But let us take stock of the things that we do know for sure, and of some other things that we will soon know.

Real-world Exponentiality

By now, a child understands exponential growth. If you start with one apple on March 1st and double every three days, you will have a thousand apples on March 31st and a million on April 30th.  read more »

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Home Sweet Home

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The recent challenges from the coronavirus force us to shelter at home and think of our home in whole new ways. Traditionally, when a buyer looks for a house to purchase, they are usually thinking about practical and financial criteria, like the square footage cost of the investment, how much house can they afford, are there large enough rooms for grand entertaining, and does the home have the latest and most stylish counter tops and appliances. The style of the house and whether the right public school is nearby is usually a major priority.  read more »

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The Coming Age of Dispersion

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As of this writing, the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain. But one possible consequence is an acceleration of the end of the megacity era. In its place, we may now be witnessing the outlines of a new, and necessary, dispersion of population, not only in the wide open spaces of North America and Australia, but even in the megacities of the developing world.  read more »

We Were Warned Not to Bunch Up

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We were warned. After September 11, 2001, historian Stephen Ambrose told us what to do.  read more »

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Class and the Challenge of COVID-19

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COVID-19, the coronavirus that is spreading across the world, is wreaking havoc on working people and their families.  Weeks after it burst onto the world scene, the end of this deadly threat is still not in sight.  Although it is clear that its death toll will not begin to approximate that of the lethal 1918-19 worldwide Spanish Influenza epidemic, early indications are that COVID-19 could end up inflicting even more economic and political damage than that earlier pandemic.  Its  read more »

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Can COVID-19 Help Us Overcome Our Polarization?

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Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting our family and social lives, our markets, our health care systems, and the very way societies function. Regrettably, the death toll will climb and the costs of the economic fallout of this coronavirus will be severe and truly life-changing for almost everyone around the globe.  read more »

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