Health

Face Panties

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I bought some washable masks for everyday outings. My neighbor took one look at them in the laundry and instantly labeled them...

Some years ago I was enjoying another visit to Japan when I noticed ordinary people wearing face masks. It wasn’t everyone. And it wasn’t all the time. But it was common enough that no one seemed to notice or care.  read more »

Subjects:

Combined Statistical Areas: Ready for the Dispersion Demand

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The years to come seem likely to see America’s historic population dispersion continue or accelerate, as pandemic and lockdown worries have severely reduced the attractiveness of dense urban cores (especially in the highest density areas, such as New York City). As a result, the sparsely populated outer areas of combined statistical areas (CSAs), the largest category of local labor market defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), could be the destination of many former urban core households.  read more »

Perspective: U. S. COVID-19 Deaths and Urban Population Density

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There is wide consensus that the COVID-19 virus spreads person-to-person, especially in confined spaces that are insufficiently ventilated. It is exacerbated by prolonged proximity, which John Brooks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s chief medical officer indicates is 15 minutes or more of unprotected contact with someone less than 6 feet away.  read more »

How the Virus Is Pushing America Toward a Better Future

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Pessimism is the mood of the day, with 80 percent of Americans saying the country is generally out of control. Even before civil unrest and pestilence, most Americans believed our country was in decline, Pew reported, with a shrinking middle class, increased indebtedness and growing polarization.  read more »

The Urban Project: Urbanization, Urbanisms, and the Virus – A Historical Take

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Observing and writing 20-some years before the oil embargo (1974) and 30 years before the stern Brundtland report (1987), Jane Jacobs (1961) resolved that density comes in “good” and “bad” varieties.  read more »

CARES Funding and Transit

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The Coronavirus public health emergency is an existentialist crisis for many sectors of the U.S. economy and government services. The transit industry is one of the most impacted of all.

Transit began losing relevance decades prior to this event. Transit ridership and transportation market share have decreased even as operating costs and taxpayer subsidies increased. Expenditures for major capital projects have reached a billion dollars per mile and more while essential services for transportation-disadvantaged residents have withered away.  read more »

Economy Loses Jobs Equal to Metro New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and DFW

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Map of counties in the United States that have imposed stay-at-home orders

The economic distress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies to limit its spread have been substantial. The most intense effects have been inflicted on the estimated 26 million workers who have lost their jobs, either temporarily or permanently. Many businesses may not be able to recover, while others may never be restored to their previous employment, as customer revenues take years to recover.  read more »

How Coronavirus Pandemic is Bringing a Return to Feudalism

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many things, but also accelerated America’s descent into a new form of feudalism. The preexisting conditions of extreme economic concentration, inequality and reduced social mobility already were painfully evident before, but the pandemic has made them considerably worse.  read more »

The Virus's Uneven Path

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In this miserable COVID-19 spring, it’s tempting for remote workers to vent our frustrations with being hemmed in, forced to stare at screens while unable to do much else other than walk around the block or go to Costco. Yet the pain felt by the teleworking middle class is dwarfed by that of working-class Americans.  read more »

Apps For Minimizing Exposure Densities

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As much of the world begins reopening from lockdown, it will be important for all of us to observe the extraordinary cautions to prevent exposure to the COVID-19 virus, both for ourselves and the people around us. There are already tracking applications that will help identify the source of infections, which is important for both reducing future exposures and the critical research to inform the most effective responses in future pandemics. But more important will be efforts to avoid infection in the first place.  read more »