America’s reopening will depend on trust

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one bit:

The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic brought serious economic damage for thinly capitalized face-to-face retailers, such as small family-owned restaurants. But many of those same institutions will lead the recovery — that is, if they have built up trust among their patrons. If they ask me to sit outside to eat my meal, I will trust that their kitchen procedures are “clean enough,” because I believe that the boss is watching [there I am referring to two of my favorite local places].

It is also worth asking whom I do not trust. When it comes to providing a fully clean and safe store, I do not trust most of the big-box retailers. I trust them just fine in ordinary times, but no single manager can oversee the entire cleaning and disinfectant operation. And can they monitor Covid-19 in the air? If they tell me that “all possible precautions have been taken,” I might believe their words, but I won’t believe that is enough.

And:

The NBA is wondering if it can resurrect its playoffs at a dedicated location with television coverage but no audience in the stands. So far the teams are hesitant, in part because they are afraid of public resentment if the league’s millionaire players have access to Covid-19 tests while the general public does not.

The reality is that if the NBA announced it was buying up a lot of tests, it would boost the supply of tests. That could provide testing with valuable positive publicity, with the NBA serving as a role model for what other businesses might do. Yet the NBA does not yet trust its fans to see things in such a positive light, and so reopening is delayed. There might be some danger to playoffs games without fans, but surely less than in, say, collegiate or professional football, where injuries and concussions are built into the very nature of the competition.

Which are the businesses that you really trust in matters pandemic?

Comments

First!!!

I’ve always wanted to do that. I’ll leave now.

Particularly considering that the U.S. is still in middle of the pandemic's first wave. One way to tell that the first wave is receding is when the daily death toll goes to the low 3 digits, instead of low 4 digits.

No, it will be based on courage, people overcoming the steady diet of fear and gloom that is being pumped out by the left.

Thing is you have excellent alternatives to big box stores so your propensity to use them is fairly low. You might be more committed to supporting your local restaurant besides having a higher degree of trust in their management.

The damage was also felt by thinly capitalized major corporations in travel, banking, and etc who siphoned all their cash off on stock buybacks and misc parasitic wall street and consulting fee scams.

So the sports millionaires are in a quandary. Ok, whatever.

Tyler, I very much appreciate your blog and the information provided. I was wondering if you could help explain why the Hong Kong Flu Pandemic in 1968-69 which killed over one million worldwide and 100,000 American (about 160,000 based on current population) is 1) apparently largely forgotten or unknown; and 2) why this pandemic has created such a different response. Woodstock was held during a pandemic! I have my own thoughts, but I only have a Ph.D. in economics from a public university. Thanks!

Because we are smarter now
Than
We were then.
And also
Remember:
Vaccines were never on the horizon.
So, you couldn't avoid the
Grim Reaper.

We're dumber now, media and internet hyping and spreading fear, and orange man bad.

Be calm, take a breath, relax.

Information is more available and accessible
Than in the past, which, if you are rational, check sources, search for data And listen to scientists,
You can be calm
No matter how much
The Orange Man scares you.

Two contradictory talking points are emerging on the right. One is that this virus is no big deal. The other is that it is a big deal and it therefore illustrates the perfidiousness of China and the incompetence of the WHO, CDC, and FDA. Lately, the "orange man" himself has leaned toward the second talking point.

Pick one.

Yep, +7 i.p.

No, that’s stupid. Trump doesn’t have talking points, he has word vomit, id, and projection of insecurities.

Your outgroup isn’t a person, this is out-group homogeneity fallacy to the extreme. People say things. Attribute the things said by people to the people that say them.

I’m so done with this partisan bullshit. 99% of the mental energy in the US is focused on relative status and denigrating the near out-group. The remainder is focused on Animal Crossing. A rounding error is an actual discussion with a cost/benefit framework.

Make Scott Alexander King of America and let’s be done with this

"I’m so done with this partisan bullshit. ... Trump doesn’t have talking points, he has word vomit, id, and projection of insecurities."

Cool story, bro.

Actually, these are not mutually exclusive stances. A virus that kills the old but let’s the young and young middle aged almost free to work without consequences are entirely compatible and non contradictory, depending upon ones age.

And contrary to the Trump haters above, our President is correct both times.

I am not smarter than I was in 1968; neither are most people. Intelligence is mostly innate.

We are more technologically advanced than we were in 1968. We have better medicines, better communications, better lots of things. Please don't confuse them with innate ability, wisdom, or good judgment.

If you believe in IQ (full discIosure: I don't) IQ scores vary over the course of a lifetime.

@Tim - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_disease_case_fatality_rates

Sort by CFR. Hong Kong Flu had CFR = 0.1%, while Covid-19 has a CFR = 7.03%.

What good is a CFR number when IFR is all that really matters??

This. People shouldn’t even quote CFR right now. It’s completely misleading.

There is a proper use for CFR. It tells you how manageable the disease is. Among the people who pounded on their doctor's door, how many died?

I notice that Tonsillitis didn't even make it to the list at Ray's link. Why we don't worry about it.

He's why people don't like trust fund babies.

ERs were not overrun in the HK flu as they were with COVID-19.

I've read a few things that suggest hospitals were packed, such as this account (https://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Travel-Agent-Issues/California-travel-advisor-recalls-1968-Hong-Kong-flu).

Hospitals and ERs are so not overun in the US that we are seeing layoffs and schedules being cut. There is significant excess capacity in the US.

You might want to look at the history of quarantines to get your answer.

When people know the source, and can prevent transmission, they impose or accept a cost to be free of disease:

"The practice of quarantine, as we know it, began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This practice, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which mean 40 days." From the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/historyquarantine.html

The new word is "quatorzaine" because the "normal" isolation period for SARS-CoV-2 is 14 days.

Glad you didn't try to make an English word out of quattordici. It would not come out well. But quarantine comes from the Italian, not the French.

The media didn't have a 24/7 death counter for the Hong Kong flu. That has to be a big part of it.

Let anxious Boomers drop out, stay at home, and tune in to Netflix documentaries on Woodstock while the rest of us get on with our lives. We promise not to turn their lawns into mud pits like they did at Woodstock.

I'm not sure they should trust you. Today, it's all "let me go to a restaurant, I promise I'll wear a mask and social distance." Tomorrow it will be "If you are afraid of the virus don't go out. I'm not wearing no stinking mask."

The lack of social cohesion in a place like the U.S. is one of the many reasons we can't have nice things.

Boomers have trust issues. Back in the days of Woodstock they didn't trust anyone over 30 and now they don't trust anyone under 60.

For one thing, the numbers concerning the 1968 flu are all rough estimates, which tells us there wasn't a system in place to clearly attribute each death to a particular virus. The CDC uses the phase "excess deaths" when describing its estimates, which shows it is doing an ex post statistical exercise and is not necessarily relying on causes of death that were reported at the time.

For another, 1968 and 1969 were two of the most turbulent years in post-WWII history and there were many other things going on to occupy people's attention.

The political class has felt very frustrated over the last two decades that they have not been able to transform society to combat climate change (formerly Global Warming). They have been especially frustrated that simply citing "The Science" or "experts" has not been sufficient to suppress all opposition. So, when the coronavirus broke, they were determined to quickly pounce on the issue by imposing lockdowns before opposition could mount. That's why we hear the exact same rhetoric around deferring to "experts" and why there has been concerted effort to silence anyone without the right letters after their name.

That's also why, as Robin Hanson pointed out, the elites have not coalesced around any coherent lockdown policies. Elites don't care what the public does as long as it's mandatory. (Ex: forbid masks, require masks, whichever as long as it's compulsory.) Just as the US and Soviets used to fight proxy battles in Asia and Latin America, elites view Covid-19 as a proxy for climate change.

Are you talking about the American political class? The "political class" in the U.S. did largely nothing until facts on the ground forced their hand. An exception was California, in which the Bay Area was subject to a shelter-in-place order on March 17. This was around the same time that most of the world did the same so California still cannot be described as ahead of the curve. However, most states took similar action one week or more later, giving the virus plenty of opportunity to infect a critical mass of people.

Spain, for instance, issued a lockdown order on March 15 that goes much further than any issued in the U.S. The American political class doesn't spring into action -- it gets dragged there.

Robin Hanson's view (or at least your description of it) is also odd. Again, American leaders waited 1-2 weeks after large parts of the world implemented their own quarantine and social distancing guidelines and what they came up with was much looser than what is in place elsewhere. To the extent that American policies lack "coherence," it is a result of political constraints and bureaucratic incompetence. South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand nailed this thing and it seems that experts did, in fact, play a role in their success.

As a friendly reminder, Japan has also had great success despite no consensus on which actions to take until just three weeks ago when coronavirus had been spreading inside Japan for two months. Total deaths as those are now increasing at 1% a day: 575.

Japan is an interesting success story but it seems they banned large gatherings and closed down schools before the end of February. The NBA in the U.S. continued playing for almost two weeks after these already drastic measures were taken by Japan.

Japan's measures that you listed were by no means drastic and essentially what Sweden did with the major exception that Japan's government didn't ask people to stay in until April 16.

Related, Mark Cuban's post on funding a secret shopping project on Dallas' re-opening. https://blogmaverick.com/2020/05/07/i-hired-a-team-of-secret-shoppers-to-find-out-how-businesses-were-opening-in-dallas-its-not-good/

Good link, and good work by Mark Cuban, and it does relate directly to Tyler's topic.

Combining Tyler's post and Cuban's post, maybe the trust level should be low. And do the operators Tyler's local places have the knowledge and expertise to run a Covid-free place? Cuban focused on the largest retail businesses; it might be interesting if he did a sample of smaller ones to see how well they're performing.

And the low rate of re-opening illustrates what too many of the critics of the lockdown are missing: a worldwide recession was inevitable. Even if not a single country did a single lockdown. Consumers don't want to shop, workers don't want to go to work-- or are too sick to, and businesses as large as the NBA shut down voluntarily because what's the point of showcasing basketball games where the players are infecting each other?

The government-imposed lockdowns may have put a further damper on economic activity, but even that is still unknown. If the lockdowns reduced the morbidity rate by enough (also still unknown) they may've helped the economy in the long run.

You can get a measure of how much just the thought of getting sick from face to face interaction is by looking at the sales activities of those "essential businesses" that were allowed to stay open.

For example, airlines have been essential businesses, and have been allowed to stay open.

The NBA and the other sports leagues are just now getting around to refunding money for cancelled games. Not high trust businesses.

"The reality is that if the NBA announced it was buying up a lot of tests, it would boost the supply of tests."

No, wrong.

Paying workers to build factories producing all the materials and equipment needed to pay many more workers to do testing and act on the results, ie contact tracing is what produces more testing.

This is a concept Keynes understood and laid out in an era when "cost cutting" was the opposite of creating more better paying jobs to increase GDP.

Cost cutting never means cutting profits, but always means killing jobs and pay and output to increase profits from scarcity.

If cost cutting is the best way to increase output and profits, then fossil fuel industry profits need twice the production and half the price for energy to make Peabody coal and Saudi Aramco soar in market cap.

There's a naturalistic fallacy going on here. Cleaning and disinfecting is not that important. It's performative virtue. You can simply not touch things and clean what you want to touch yourself. Building size and area and aisle width is what is important. So big boxes would get my business. Sorry, mom and pop: you're toast.

Big boxes have as customers dumb people (read: C19 infected people). Learn to cook for yourself and avoid the crowds.

Bonus trivia: we all know that African trypanosomiasis, untreated HIV, and rabies have close to 100% fatality rates, but who would have guessed visceral leishmaniasis (sandfly bite) is also 100% fatal, and which of you readers doesn't know Covid-19 has a CFR of 7%? Probably a lot of you. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_disease_case_fatality_rates

I'm surprised at you Ray. I assumed you'd eschew home cooking since people didn't invite those recipes themselves. Ctl-f patent = 0 results. Think of how many more innovative foods would exist if only 3 started chief's were given their rightful 'lifetime of the inventor + 100 years" monopoly on all recipes. C'mon apply a little consistency for goodness sake!

If big box just means Costco, maybe. As a tip, the Business Centers have 1/2 to 1/3 to crowd. A different product mix, but a useful one.

Other than that I agree with Ray. Cook. And don't be afraid to nuke a frozen burrito or tamale more often than you might otherwise do.

In my jurisdiction the 2 meter distancing is encouraged by allowing stores to let in only so many people, determined by sq ft. And they have markings on the floor to help keep distancing. I was in a lineup at Walmart for a few minutes and was let in as people left.

Small establishments do the same thing. The staff are to be protected with plexiglas barriers.

None of this is new. There was no lockdown in the province. Only guidelines on how to do things. There is a 50 person limit on gatherings as well.

Things are opening up here as the numbers stabilize, and businesses are figuring out ways to keep their clients safe.

I'm working with an orthodontist who is to open at the end of the month. They want their air treated, and they have a list of things to do to protect their clients. They deal with infection control all the time and with some additional changes like routing of people and not having a waiting room will be able to operate safely.

Dentists scare me the most of all. They've always been a big source of hepatitis. I would always follow their hands, and it would be clear that they are much more concerned about protecting themselves over you. A lot of their equipment did not even have sterilization in the design spec, and is virtually impossible to sterilize, especially between patients. Take a close look at most dental lamps, for instance. In a doctor's office anything like that would come with a purpose-built autoclave and be swapped out between patients.

Add to that the fact that dentists aren't that smart (if they were they'd be doctors), and their assistants are downright dumb.

So it's the case that sports "fans" can't simply enjoy watching two teams of exceptional athletes engage in a contest. It's not enough fun to see these guys complete, there has to be a narrative, a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, for some as champions for others as bums. This in spite of the fact that in any given regular season game either team, particularly the home team, however, has a decent chance of winning. The sport's "season", a creation of marketers, creates a problem that it's meant to solve, that of a highest possible number in attendance for every game. That's why so many teams are eligible for the real season, the playoffs, the last chapter to the narrative. Hyperfans are dopes. Forget the forever asterisked champions of this winter and move on.

_____________________________________________

The logical next phase of the Covid-19 experience will have to be more community awareness. Neighborhoods should and some will set up perimeters that non-residents cannot enter, just as medieval cities had guards at the gates to determine if one who wished to enter had a legitimate reason to visit. Thus another level of municipality will easily come into existence, since many neighborhoods are effectively isolated now. Law enforcement will oppose this for a moment but quickly adapt to a situation that works in their favor. The most effectively run closed neighborhoods will be led by natural local leaders who have the respect of those around them. Ideally this development will be an instance of tribal development. Those that go along with the program will become members, those that do not, and fail to accept the order, won't.

What is below the line rings plausible. I would add that there will be more assassinations of gifted local leaders and other troublemakers! :-)

The idea of a neighborhood is obsolete, especially in denser cities. Most people couldn’t name more than a handful of folks living in their proximity. People congregate according to work, school district, and you tube channel. People have friends and associates in a wide range of geographic regions and will travel using cheap gas to associate.

Chik-fil-A has got my trust. I see their managers hands on at the restaurants and all their workers wearing masks. So that is pretty much the only fast food I will use for drive thru.

'two of my favorite local places' . And they are? Thank you!

The same thing could be said about George Mason University. How much faith do Tyler and Alex put in students (and there are a lot of them), cleaning staff, cafeteria workers, etc. to do the right thing. Are the two of you planning on going back to live teaching should the administration say you need to report for duty? Let's get down to some real world cases and not what might happen in the neighborhood bistro.

Also what kind of faith would you put in visiting an ethnic restaurant you never went to before? Whose judgement would you follow? Tough questions!!

"Which are the businesses that you really trust in matters pandemic?"

Let's just say that the one that runs a training facility in the middle of a Chinese slave camp is not at the top of my list.

....trust your human biological immune system -- it kept all of us here alive throughout our entire lives.

we can NOT escape microbes and viruses -- we dwell in an ocean of such threats constantly,

Masks in general society are superstition -- like a garlic necklace to fend off vampires and evil spirits.

the entire NBA is just as superfluous as Nieman-Marcus chain.

Trust is necessary for a market. The key role of the government is to establish that trust so a market can exist. It seems to me that the main focus of the current US administration is to erode trust so that crony capitalism can flourish. The risk, of course, is that your overshoot, and erode trust enough to damage the market enough that crony capitalism itself is not successful. The virus has suddenly tipped the current administration past the overshoot point.

All virus in the air? Going from reasonable to hypochondriac rather quickly.

Trust, sure, but there will be outbreaks and there has to be a certain resilience within people not to overreact, as well. Maybe that comes from broader trust, but the problem is that our leaders have been ratcheting up the fear to try to get people to comply. They've both oversold the dangers and their ability to control the virus.

Trust?
I have no trust whatsoever in my fellow Americans... I've seen for too may years how they behave. I'm going to do what I need to do to stay safe.

>>Which are the businesses that you really trust in matters pandemic?

Chick-fil-a, probably

You missed out the obvious.
Why would anyone go out and buy if they think it is likely they will get the virus.
In your country it would be whom do I trust Faucci or Trump or the governor.

I believe it was Saint Reagan who said: "trust, but verify".
We have no way to verify.
At ages 71/62, we am hunkered down.
Groceries delivered.
Go to the wine store before they open and get VIP treatment.
Curbside pickup for many items.

Buy that wine 5-6 cases at a time....to reduce your exposure.

Success of opening will depend on masks, a substitute for trust, which we can't buy, on account the government suspended the market some time ago.

Bars. I was in Montana on May 4th when businesses reopened. My husband and I went to pick up some takeout at a restaurant/bar/casino. The restaurant hadn't re-opened yet, that was to happen the next day. The bar was packed, elbow to elbow, there was a line of people waiting to play the slots. There were a group of people standing near a wall away from the bar smoking. All of this surprised me. I asked one of the people if they were allowed to smoke inside. She told me she was 20 feet from the bar, so as far as she cared they were fine.
All of this warmed me. It was people acting as if they had just won a major victory, and it was time to celebrate. There was no posturing, or signaling or scowling. It was just people. I think I trust bars.

American's reopening will depend on who wins the Presidency in November. If Biden, we will never hear about virus again. If Trump, then we double down on distancing and lockdowns.

This isn't clever or anything.

Create a crisis. Play it up until you can vote or mail in your ballot and then ALL CLEAR. I hate the stupid Democrats.

Is that better?

Good god stop being such a muppet

"Never let a crisis go to waste". If Biden wins we will continue to hear about the virus-- as a reason various Democratic wish list items need to be passed into law.

At your age not trusting stores is probably prudent. Perhaps that just means reopening isn't for you (yet). Let the kids cut their teeth on the second wave, don't go out there too soon and wind up on a ventilator please!

OK, Tyler, what are those two local restaurants you want to trust very much?

The most interesting statistic that can result from an honest study:
Odds of getting virus after using NYC public transportation / visiting NYC medical facility or care facility
vs
odds of getting virus anywhere else in the country if you do not engage in group activity.

Cannot tell if parody or serious. Either way, lack of nuance is lack of nuance.

Cmon man, I’m speaking from the heart. I had the people at Twitter.com publish that today or yesterday if you have any doubts. It’s my campaign’s official Coronavirus plan.

he must have taken out a bridging loan then?

‘if it saves only one life'.

Life has no price, as Cuomo would say.

The dumb leading the blind.

Would you go to a restaurant
That denounced government health regulations,
Whose owners
Believed covid is a hoax
Listen to Hannity
Denounce Fauci
And
Post a Liberate Us From The Lockdown
Sign in the front window.

Good thing a fake hate crime went viral at a time we need social cohesion.

Asking genuinely, seemed pretty real.

Narrative: guy goes for a jog and is hunted down based on his race

Reality: guy flees scene of robbery in a neighborhood he doesn't live in wearing cargo shorts and boots, attacks people trying to apprehend him, gets shot

Plenty of time for all of the information to come out at trial. An obvious question that should be asked is that if you are driving a truck and the person you are pursuing is on foot, why try to apprehend him? If you are worried enough about being attacked to grab a gun before starting the pursuit, why the hell would you start a confrontation or get out of your vehicle? Follow at a safe distance and call 911.

I think some people who care about the idea of owning a gun for self-defense are getting tired of these yokels and wannabe cops. If someone commits a burglary or theft right in front of you and you have martial arts training or a significant size advantage, by all means apprehend the person. Other than that, don't be stupid and just call the cops.

The one time you ventured into a store, seriously? No wonder you favor lock downs, you're so afraid.

I go to stores every day hoping people will sneeze and cough on me, and I never wear a mask unless the store requires for entry. How else to build my immune system? I called a repairman to my house last weekend. First thing I did was extend my hand for a handshake. Surprisingly, he shook my hand after an initial pause.

What is wrong with you people?

...it might be you that has something wrong with them.

...how PC of you.

We're doing the grammar nazi thing I guess. Quaint.

I lined up at 2 stores today. The second because I got tired of waiting at the first. People are getting annoyed. One guy behind me complained the guy in front of me was smoking so apparently 2X social distance is not enough. This was a legitimate complaint but I'm not sure it would happen in a pre-covid queue. One woman behind me chided a woman in front of me for not stepping ahead as soon as possible.

We need to make it a national goal to have bimonthly testing available for everyone. Even if it’s not mandatory, businesses could require a negative test result card for employees and patrons. Until this happens (or a vaccine) the diminished trust will continue to hamper our economy.

We've heard of the Manhattan Project and the moonshot. What other insights do you have?

I trust big box stores. Home depot, Ace Hardware, Fred, meyer. I do not expect to go into any buildings anytime soon, its curbside delivery all the way down for me. The Boxes have websites that work, as had been mentioned in MR have disincentives to price gouging , and have a lot of different stuff in a context where one stop shopping matters a lot.

Which are the businesses that you really trust in matters pandemic?

Objectively the ones with the best HVAC and/or anything outdoors is going to be the safest. So yeah, big box stores are probably pretty safe.
Restaurants with outdoor seating are probably safe.

However, the pandemic has reduced my trust in online retailers, and by extension in some of the big box chains. Not for personal safety but for product quality. I've experienced a repeated pattern of researching online purchases only to find that several retailers are actually selling the same cheaply made products under different brand names. You can find exactly the same item on Wayfair, Amazon, Overstock, and Home Depot. Read the reviews and the reviews will mention exactly the same problems, almost like someone is switching brand names to avoid obtaining a bad reputation. Probably using fake reviews to pump sales and then dumping the brand and selling the same item under a new name once the bad reviews pile up. Almost like Amazon/Wayfair/Overstock/Home Depot are just fronts for the same conglomerate that owns a bunch of factories in China. It oddly limits selection as well - like there's really only one version of a product, with minor cosmetic variations. i.e. All solid color sheets appear to come in the same six colors everywhere. It appears as if many brands are just "generic" brands invented by the retailers. i.e. Hampton Bay - basically the Home Depot generic brand. But they're actually buying the same items as Lowe's from the same Chinese factory - they just get a different "generic" brand label at Lowe's.

So I'd have to say the sad thing is that while it might be physically safer to shop at Lowe's, the only way you're going to get a quality product might be to go to a local specialty store, and pay a lot more. Or maybe go to Etsy or something (if that hasn't been corrupted) so as to avoid the ubiquitous junk that's all over Amazon and other major online retailers.

I prefer space, quiet, fresh air, good air circulation, spectacular range of products including the latest from the factory or the greatest from the artisan; and my choice of seating, so I'm sticking with eBay.

I bought socks from eBay that arrived last night. They were about five sizes too small. There is no substitute for in-person contact for some things.

Boy, it's a good thing that our overseers have spent the past 75 years making sure that America maintains a high-trust society!

Trust to do what? The point of regulation and self regulation is not to protect ME. The statistical me is going to be infected sooner or later one way or the other. It's to keep the transmission rate below the capacity of the health care system to produce life-saving treatments.

meanwhile
-Attorney General Barr helps restore trust in the justice dept
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/attorney-general-william-barr-says-michael-flynn-crime/
-Rasmussen poll confirms liberals much more likely to snitch
than conservatives

Honestly, we pretty much need to do a re-do on the entire Civil Service. Mass layoffs and start over. How else do we cut the rot?

Trust starts when those with power over others stop their condescending attitude - and remain open to allowing people to have autonomy and choice - while letting them know what may happen with different choices. I have seen far more incidents of dismissing the concerns of the many because of preconceived ideas - and most of this is indeed coming from today's "left" - who seem to almost always lecture to others while doing whatever the hell they want. reason magazine is perhaps the ONLY place where the discussions and debate have been reasonable - and rational.

Google and others could implement a separate star-rating system to allow customers to rate businesses for adherence to mask usage and social distancing recommendations.

Failing that, consumers can use the existing star-rating system. Many businesses sink or swim based on their online reviews.

>So far the teams are hesitant, in part because they are afraid of public resentment if the league’s millionaire players have access to Covid-19 tests while the general public does not.

"In part" is the key word. The bigger issue is that such a system also requires the players be completely isolated (i.e., to prevent player-to-player transmission) for months (the playoffs plus some form of training camp). Their top players won't accept that degree of sacrifice.

Nobody has ever even considered that question. China and other places have already shown that supply constraints are not relevant, except in a few industries that place workers at risk (slaughterhouses). The trick is to get customers to conquer their fears and show up.

Tyler avers “It is also worth asking whom I do not trust. When it comes to providing a fully clean and safe store, I do not trust most of the big-box retailers.”

To go by the reopening experience of level 3 here in New Zealand, you are wrong. Contactless takeaways are now common place here, and the major fast food chain drive through scare constantly busy and bigger than pre-Covid19. This includes small NZ burger chains. But not local eateries who are getting nibbling return of business.

It seems Tyler’s trust is too cosmopolitan, and the power of big brands is still overwhelming.

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