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Strong Social Distancing Measures In The United States Reduced The COVID-19 Growth Rate | Health Affairs

State and local governments imposed social distancing measures in March and April of 2020 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These included large event bans, school closures, closures of entertainment venues, gyms, bars, and restaurant dining areas, and shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs). We evaluated the impact of these measures on the growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases across US counties between March 1, 2020 and April 27, 2020. An event-study design allowed each policy’s impact on COVID-19 case growth to evolve over time. Adoption of government-imposed social distancing measures reduced the daily growth rate by 5.4 percentage points after 1–5 days, 6.8 after 6–10 days, 8.2 after 11–15 days, and 9.1 after 16–20 days. Holding the amount of voluntary social distancing constant, these results imply 10 times greater spread by April 27 without SIPOs (10 million cases) and more than 35 times greater spread without any of the four measures (35 million). Our paper illustrates the potential danger of exponential spread in the absence of interventions, providing relevant information to strategies for restarting economic activity.

Many Small Firms Expect to Fail If Crisis Lasts 6 Months

A National Bureau of Economic Research survey of small businesses finds that when firms are told to expect a one-month crisis, the expectation of remaining open by the end of the year hovers around 70% across all industries with the exception of Arts and Entertainment, and Personal Services. In those industries, the expectation of remaining open drops to 65% and 57% respectively. When firms are told to expect a six-month crisis, the average expectation of remaining open falls to 38%, and there is significant heterogeneity between sectors. The expected survival probability for firms in Arts and Entertainment drops precipitously to 35% if the crisis lasts 6 months. The expected probability of being open for Personal Services firms fall to 22% if the crisis lasts six months. The restaurant industry seems particularly vulnerable to a long crisis. Restaurateurs believe that they have a 72% chance of survival if the crisis lasts one month, but if the crisis lasts six months, then they expect to survive with only a 15% probability. Likewise, the chance of survival for firms in tourism and lodging drops to 27% by the 6-month mark.

Coronavirus Is High Risk to Aging Florida, Retirement Communities - Bloomberg

The county with the nation’s highest senior-citizen share is Sumter County, Florida, home of the fast-growing retirement community, The Villages. Its 65-and-older percentage was 55.6% from 2014-2018, a period I used in the above chart because single-year data for many smaller counties isn’t reliable, and 57.6% in 2018. That’s an estimated 74,162 people 65-and-older in a county with 277 acute-care hospital beds.

Pence Will Control All Coronavirus Messaging From Health Officials - The New York Times

The White House moved on Thursday to tighten control of coronavirus messaging by government health officials and scientists, directing them to clear all statements and public appearance with the office of Vice President Mike Pence, according to several officials familiar with the new approach.

Bloomberg to Pay Hundreds of People $2,500 a Month to Praise Him on Their Personal Social Media Feeds: Report

ichael Bloomberg's presidential campaign will reportedly pay hundreds of people $2,500 a month to promote the candidate via text message and their personal social media feeds. The billionaire's team is now hiring more than 500 "deputy digital organizers" to work up to 30 hours a week and promote his talking points to online friends and phone contact lists, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a staffer in California and internal documents.

You Think We’re Self-Obsessed Now? The 19th Century Would Like A Word | FiveThirtyEight

After 14 years, Kaplan and his colleagues finally had their “Bibliography of American Autobiographies.” They ended up identifying 6,377 autobiographies published in the U.S. between 1675 and the 1940s, and their data shows the genre’s notable growth. Between 1800 and 1809, Americans published a total of just 27 autobiographies. One century later, during the decade between 1900 and 1909, that number had exploded to 569, easily outpacing population growth.

James Baldwin, debating Buckley

The Mississippi, or the Alabama, sheriff, who really does believe when he's facing a Negro, a boy or a girl, that this woman, this man, this child, must be insane to attack the system to which he owes his entire identity. Of course, for such a person, the proposition of which, which we are trying to discuss here to night, does not exist. […] I am stating very seriously, and this is not an overstatement, that I picked the cotton, and I carried it to market, and I built the railroads, under someone else's whip, for nothing. For nothing.

West Point Prof Pens Blistering Takedown of U.S. Military Academies | The American Conservative

West Point boasted that it received 15,171 applicants for the class of 2016, but only accepted a fraction, suggesting an acceptance rate in the low double-digits, if not single digits, like Yale and Harvard. The reality is, the school was counting student requests for information as “applications.” It turns out that the school only received 2,394 “fully qualified and nominated” applications that year. Of that number, 1,358 were accepted for the class of 2016, resulting in an acceptance rate of 56.7 percent. […]Bakken notes that West Point and the equally lionized Naval Academy in Annapolis were ranked 111 and 112 in average SAT scores among American colleges and universities in a 2014 study. The myth is also punctured by the underperforming prep school and the athletic pipelines that bring otherwise unqualified students into the fold.

In these polarized times, people perceive even fonts to have liberal or conservative leanings. Yes, fonts! - CNN

Serif fonts, or the ones with the little flourishes at the end of letters, are seen as more conservative, while sans serif fonts, the ones without the flourishes are seen as more liberal, according to a study published in the journal Communication Studies last month. For example, study participants saw Times New Roman as more conservative than Gill Sans. Blackletter, which looks like it belongs on a newspaper masthead, was seen as the most conservative font, while Sunrise, a cartoonish-looking script, was seen as the most liberal.

Electronic Health Records Vendor to Pay $155 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations | OPA | Department of Justice

or example, in order to pass certification testing without meeting the certification criteria for standardized drug codes, the company modified its software by “hardcoding” only the drug codes required for testing. In other words, rather than programming the capability to retrieve any drug code from a complete database, ECW simply typed the 16 codes necessary for certification testing directly into its software. ECW’s software also did not accurately record user actions in an audit log and in certain situations did not reliably record diagnostic imaging orders or perform drug interaction checks. In addition, ECW’s software failed to satisfy data portability requirements intended to permit healthcare providers to transfer patient data from ECW’s software to the software of other vendors. As a result of these and other deficiencies in its software, ECW caused the submission of false claims for federal incentive payments based on the use of ECW’s software.

A Battle for the Soul of Marfa – Texas Monthly

He is oblivious in the way of people accustomed to being fussed over. (“I think we’re the largest employers of Marfa High School kids,” Crowley says, noting that the locals he employs are often “surprised to learn there are different types of wine than white and red.” Still, they’re a steady source of labor, as few have the opportunity to leave home. “They aren’t going anywhere.”)

Political Hobbyists Are Ruining Politics - The Atlantic

In the United States, political habits vary significantly by race and education. In a 2018 survey,[…]white people reported spending more time reading, talking, and thinking about politics than black people and Latinos did, but black people and Latinos were twice as likely as white respondents to say that at least some of the time they dedicate to politics is spent volunteering in organizations. Likewise, those who were college-educated reported that they spend more time on politics than other Americans do—but less than 2 percent of that time involves volunteering in political organizations. The rest is spent mostly on news consumption (41 percent of the time), discussion and debate (26 percent), and contemplating politics alone (21 percent). Ten percent of the time is unclassifiable.

Trends in annual ambulatory prescribing of Schedule IV benzodiazepines,... | Download Scientific Diagram

Trends in annual ambulatory prescribing of Schedule IV benzodiazepines, Schedule II opioids, or both, United States. Number of annual visits among each medication group, 1993-2014; all analyses were conducted using survey-design elements for visit or physician weight, clustering, and stratification to yield national inferences.

Health-care costs soar so high, it’s like a tax, economists say - The Washington Post

“We have half as many physicians per head as most European countries, yet they get paid two times as much, on average,” Deaton said in an interview on the sidelines of the AEA conference. “Physicians are a giant rent-seeking conspiracy that’s taking money away from the rest of us, and yet everybody loves physicians. You can’t touch them.”

16-year-old rock climber survives 500-foot fall on Oregon's Mount Hood - ABC News

"My family and my son want to thank everyone who helped rescue him, may the new year shower you with health and happiness. Because of you my son is in good spirits," Singh told ABC News in a statement. "This was to be his 98th summit ... we will be back soon to finish the job. God Bless AMERICA!"

The MBA Myth and the Cult of the CEO | Institutional Investor

We found no statistically significant alphas — despite testing every possible school with a reasonable sample size. MBA programs simply do not produce CEOs who are better at running companies, if performance is measured by stock price return.

Sticking to your narrative: drumming in someone's face as peacemaking

Neither do they detail the fact that Phillips only walked near the writhing mass of sneering young white men as a way to try and calm them.

Crossing the Grand Canyon on Foot | Ultrarunning History

The first known double crossing hike occured in 1891. Dan Hogan (1871-1935) and Henry Ward went down the rough miner’s trail, crossed the river and made their way up Bright Angel Canyon to the North Rim. They then returned by the same route. Cameron charged a toll of one dollar to use the trail, plus fees for drinking water and to use outhouses at Indian Garden. By 1903 traveling down to the river and back in one day either by foot or by horse was possible. By 1905 it was estimated that Cameron was making $7,500 per year in toll fees.

Mad Genius - Reason.com

"It is the initiation or threat of initiation of physical force by the government that is the major cause of violence in America (or any nation)," he wrote in response to the year's political assassinations and race riots. "Treat a man like an animal and he will act like one."

The Real Heroes Are Dead | The New Yorker

Dan Hill says that Susan will understand someday, as he does. “What she doesn’t understand is that she knew him for four or five years. She knew a sixty-two-year-old man with cancer. I knew him as a hundred-and-eighty-pound, six-foot-one piece of human machinery that would not quit, that did not know defeat, that would not back off one inch. In the middle of the greatest battle of Vietnam, he was singing to the troops, saying we’re going to rip them a new asshole, when everyone else was worrying about dying. If he had come out of that building and someone died who he hadn’t tried to save, he would have had to commit suicide. “I’ve tried to tell Susan this, in a way, but she’s not ready yet for the truth. In the next weeks or months, I’ll get her down here, and we’ll take a walk along the ocean, and I’ll explain these things. You see, for Rick Rescorla, this was a natural death. People like Rick, they don’t die old men. They aren’t destined for that and it isn’t right for them to do so. It just isn’t right, by God, for them to become feeble, old, and helpless sons of bitches. There are certain men born in this world, and they’re supposed to die setting an example for the rest of the weak bastards we’re surrounded with.”

The group behind Confederate monuments also built a memorial to the Klan | Facing South

Declarations of white supremacy at UDC events were not an exception but regular occurrences. Monument dedications drew massive white crowds; for example, 15,000 to 20,000 people attended a 1907 dedication in Newton, North Carolina. Dedication pageantry was highly scripted. Banners of red and white, the colors of the Confederacy, and the Confederacy's four flags would festoon the town. An elaborate processional would parade into the square, complete with white children dressed all in white in neat lines following the UDC members and Confederate veterans. Little girls in white dresses and red ribbons lined the streets. Often, 13 young women in white and red, representing the 13 states of the Confederacy, surrounded the monument itself as the dedication speaker addressed the gathering. Monument dedications were milestone events for communities that would be remembered for decades. There would be no better venue to send a racially charged message to the populace. And politicians and business leaders often obliged.

British conductor sacked by US music festival after 'innocent' joke with his African-American friend was labelled racist

“A lot of our allies have become so eager to help the race and fix the scars they almost go too far,” said Mobley. “They think they are at the point where they understand racism more than those who have really encountered it in their lives and they make assumptions on our behalf about how we might feel, as if we don’t understand when something said to us or done to use is racist. “It’s well meaning, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions. “It also demeans and cheapens the very serious work done by civil rights activists and abolitionists to have the difficult nuances of racism and microaggressions taken seriously.”

Kids in high-achieving schools: 2-3x addiction rates?

"We found rates of addiction to drugs or alcohol among 19 to 24 percent of women in the older cohort by the age of 26, and 23 to 40 percent among men. These rates were 3 and 2 times as high respectively, as compared to national norms," Luthar said. "Among the younger cohort by the age of 22 years, rates of addiction were between 11 and 16 percent among women (close to national norms) but 19 to 27 percent among men, or about twice as high as national norms." Luthar said a look into the lives of these adolescents provide some clues to the cause of these high rates of addictions. When the NESSY groups were first assessed, they all attended the best schools in the region -- suburban schools with very high-standardized test scores, rich extra curricular offerings and high proportions of their graduates heading off to very selective universities. In general, kids at such schools experience enormous pressures to achieve, and many come to live by the dual credos of "I can, therefore I must" and "we work hard and we play hard" with the playing involving parties with drugs and alcohol. Also implicated is affluence in the school community. "Not all of these students were from wealthy families but most were; as parents typically had advanced educational degrees and median incomes much higher than national norms," Luthar said. "And without question, most of the parents wanted their kids to head off to the best universities, as did the kids themselves."

Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse: Do smart pills work if you don’t have ADHD?

What if Adderall turns out to be the new coffee—a ubiquitous, mostly harmless little helper that enables us to spend more time poring over spreadsheets and less time daydreaming or lolling about in bed? For those of us whose natural predilections are to spend far too little time poring and far too much daydreaming, they’re a big improvement over self-medication via caffeine or cigarettes. But those without ADHD might well ask themselves: Don’t I work enough already?

America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

majority of the low-wage sector is white, with blacks and Latinos making up the other part, but politicians learned to talk as if the low-wage sector is mostly black because it allowed them to appeal to racial prejudice, which is useful in maintaining support for the structure of the dual economy — and hurting everyone in the low-wage sector.  Temin notes that “the desire to preserve the inferior status of blacks has motivated policies against all members of the low-wage sector.”

Personality differences uncovered between students at different US universities – Research Digest

larger universities tended to have more extraverted students; more urban and diverse universities had more open-minded students;  universities requiring letters of recommendation had more agreeable students; public colleges had less agreeable students than private colleges; and more expensive colleges had higher trait Neuroticism. Differences like these could reflect students with particular personality profiles being drawn to particular institutions; selection could be at play, in the sense of university selectors showing a preference for particular personality types; and also students’ personalities could be shaped by the culture of their university.