3. On the decline of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” (I myself prefer “Cloudy,” among many other S&G songs.)
5. “We find that firms that had more connections on the eve of the 1929 financial market crash have higher 10-year survival rates during the Great Depression. Consistent with a financing channel, we find that the results are particularly strong for small firms, private firms, cash-poor firms, and firms located in counties with high bank suspension rates during the crisis. Moreover, connections to cash-rich firms are stronger predictors of survival, overall and among financially constrained firms.” Link here.
8. Roger Congleton model of the pandemic, the link downloads it rather than opening it up.
9. Maybe shaky as evidence, but this paper argues that thinking about coronavirus makes people more right-wing.
3. “I, basketball hoop” — It took Steph Curry five hours to assemble the hoop he bought (WSJ). By the way, when they reboot the playoffs, can they arbitrarily insert the now healthier, re-formed Warriors and also Zion Williamson? You know it would be good for the ratings. (Putin picked Alekseenko to play in the Candidates tourney, so there is precedent.)
8. Robert Wiblin’s “good news take.” Relatively speaking, that is.
12. Saku is now blogging, on tech and the future of the world (and more).
16. Italy also may be choosing viral status segregation (NYT). And more on “the German exception” (NYT).
7. I could link to Matt Levine every day, but do read this one on liquidity transformation.
8. How is the cloud holding up? A good post.
12. The true story of the toilet paper shortage: it’s not about hoarding, rather a shift of demand away from the commercial sector into the household sector (you are doing more “business” at home these days).
14. Fan, Jamison, and Larry Summers 2016 paper on the economics of a pandemic. I wrote at the end of the blog post: “In other words, in expected value terms an influenza pandemic is a big problem indeed. But since, unlike global warming, it does not fit conveniently into the usual social status battles which define our politics, it receives far less attention.”
5. Why was it so hard to raise the coronavirus alarm? (the yappers are one reason, btw — are you one of them?)
6. Under these calculations, an average coronavirus death in China means 11 years lost, 16 years lost in the United States.
8. Are the new testing kits going to be sent to the American South, which has fewer measured cases? Where should they be sent? A good piece.
10. Overnight, Magnus Carlsen just revolutionized the future organization of chess play. This will become the new normal.
11. Social distancing tips from a hermit. “Keep track of something” is a good one.
3. Anti-price gouging laws mean masks leave America, I wonder if Alex is preparing a whole post on this link?
5. The culture that is Bengali priorities: sweet shops will stay open. And a short history of coronavirus in Japan. And Ezra Klein interviews Evan Osnos on coronavirus and U.S.-China relations.
7. Why there are lags in scaling up California testing. A very good (and depressing) piece.
10. “Our infectiousness model suggests that the total contribution to R0 from pre-symptomatics is 0.9 (0.2 – 1.1), almost enough to sustain an epidemic on its own. For SARS, the corresponding estimate was almost zero (9), immediately telling us that different containment strategies will be needed for COVID-19.” Link here.
15. Our system of scientific funding is broken for rapid science (recommended).
4. The Netherlands And the Swedish approach finally seems to be running up the death rate (of course don’t just judge short-term).
6. U.S. figures out what is it drug supply chain by asking New Zealand (reminds me of the old Communist joke about letting NZ stay capitalist so they know how to price electricity).
9. A new study claims that reinfections are simply cases that did not fully resolve (be very careful with papers of this sort in this genre!).
10. The Kinsa thermometer data (NYT).
5. “Those shown to have developed immunity could be given a “kind of vaccination passport that allows them, for example, to be exempted from curbs on their activities”, Gérard Krause, a leading immunologist co-ordinating the study, told Der Spiegel magazine.” (The Times)
7. This Week in Virology podcast. I have not heard it, but it comes recommended.
9. Audrey Moore RIP, Fairfax County environmentalist, she influenced my life a great deal, both good and bad. Fairfax County now has 427 parks, in part because of her.
11. The gender gap in housing returns. (Do women care more about the non-pecuniary factors?)
2. 250 things an architect should know, recommended, Michael Sorkin RIP.
4. The enforcement culture that is Britain: “”We are getting calls from people who say ‘I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them’.”
10. Christopher Balding’s full take. Chris makes many good points, but two comments. First, on the policy side he is far too quick to dismiss “test and trace,” which seems to be working in South Korea and Singapore. Second, I would like to see more comparative attention to the regions where we know things are going very, very badly.
4. Why did U.S. testing get so held up? (quite good)
15. Rhode Island police go after New Yorkers seeking refuge (Bloomberg).
3. Does a USB drive get heavier as you store more files on it? Supposedly it gets lighter.
4. How big will the trade collapse be? (The Economist)
7. MIE: Dr. Fauci donuts.
8. Michael Greenstone: key economic facts about Covid-19.
10. Musical version of the new Bohemian Rhapsody (recommended).
1. Less Wrong coronavirus database (now upgraded).
3. MIE: In Beijing restaurants “many delivery orders now often include cards listing the names and temperatures of all the staff involved in preparing your food.”
5. Paul Romer’s simulations for tests and targeted isolation. And more from Romer. And a third Paul Romer simulation: even an eighty percent false negative rate helps fight a pandemic. I’ll be writing more on this soon.
9. Someone wise once told me that you get into the most trouble/controversy making statements that (pretty much) everyone agrees with. Here is my Bloomberg column on university endowments, which endorses the policies of virtually all elite universities, and by extension their presidents and boards. Or for that matter virtually all businesses that have had to opt for lay-offs.
11. During the shutdown, the creativity pours forth (Joseph’s Machines).
1. “Variation in skill can explain 44 percent of the variation in diagnostic decisions, and policies that improve skill perform better than uniform decision guidelines.” Not a Covid-19 paper, but relevant of course, link here.
4. My Bloomberg column on how the macroeconomics of Covid-19 do and do not resemble WWII. Oops, correct link here.
5. The idea of “group testing” actually came from economist Robert Dorfman of Harvard (who taught me history of economic thought way back when). And more on pooled tests. And Nebraska is doing pooling.
7. Why scaling up testing is so hard (New Yorker).
9. “Overlooked is the possibility that beauty can influence college admissions.” But not for Chinese it seems.
11. “The Food and Drug Administration will allow doctors across the country to begin using plasma donated by coronavirus survivors to treat patients who are critically ill with the virus, under new emergency protocols approved Tuesday.”
13. James Stock: “The most important conclusion from this exercise is that policy hinges critically on a key unknown
parameter, the fraction of infected who are asymptomatic. Evidence on this parameter is scanty, however
it could readily be estimated by randomized testing.”
14. Two elite factions in tension with each other (nasty stuff, please do not read).
10. From my email: “One major issue for SMBs is that many owners are on the hook *personally* for lines of credit and other business loans and also for business credit cards. For example, my business has a line of credit that I had to personally guarantee and it is with the same major bank that holds my mortgage. Bankruptcy would probably mean I discharge the line of credit AND lose my house at the same time. I suspect other SMB owners are in similar situations.”
12. “Based on the proposed methodological procedure, we estimated that the actual cumulative number of exposed cases in the total population in Lombardy on March 8 was of the order of 15 times the confirmed cumulative number of infected cases. According to this scenario, the DAY-ZERO for the outbreak in Lombardy was the 21st of January 2020. The effective per-day disease transmission rate for the period until March 8 was found to be 0.779 (90% CI: 0.777-0.781), while the “effective” per-day mortality rate was found to be 0.0173 (90% CI: 0.0154-0.0192). Based on these values, the basic reproduction rate R0 was found to be 4.04 (90% CI: 4.03-4.05). Importantly, by reducing the transmission rate by 90% on March 8 to reflect the suspension of almost all activities in Italy, we run the simulator to forecast the fade out of the epidemic. Simulations show that if the measures continue, the complete fade out of the outbreak in Lombardy is expected to occur by the end of May 2020.” Paper here.
13. Why Germany is not doing as well as you think. It is about the exponential function, yet again.
1. “Majority of NYC’s coronavirus cases are men between 18 and 49 years old.” After all, it is their city, isn’t it?
3. “Using death records linked to hospital administrative records, I find that a 10% alleviation of emergency department patient volume significantly lowers the average patient’s chance of mortality.”
6. “When fighting an outbreak such as #COVID19, we must be guided by solidarity, not stigma. The greatest enemy we face is not the virus itself; it’s the stigma that turns us against each other. We must stop stigma & hate!” That is from the head of the WHO, 2/16/2020.
7. Paul Romer and Alan Garber on how to prevent a depression (NYT). And two Paul Romer blog posts on the benefits of better tests.
8. Scott Gottlieb in today’s WSJ, very good piece.