AuthorTopic: 🦠 Economic Effect of Coronavirus  (Read 6454 times)

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https://www.statesman.com/news/20200603/austin-protesters-should-get-tested-for-coronavirus-health-officials-say

Austin American-Statesman
Austin protesters should get tested for coronavirus, health officials say


By Ryan Autullo
Posted Jun 3, 2020 at 12:43 PM Updated Jun 3, 2020 at 2:56 PM

Everyone who gathered in downtown Austin to protest police brutality is encouraged to get tested for the coronavirus, the city’s public health authority said Wednesday.

The demonstrations have the potential to intensify the ongoing health crisis, officials warned, because participants are in close proximity with one another and have little space to practice appropriate distancing.

Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden said everyone who participated in the protests should visit the health authority’s website for a self-assessment and also should schedule a test, which is free of charge.

Protesters who are not experiencing symptoms should still get tested, Hayden said, because COVID-19 can spread without the hosts knowing they are infected.

Although there is no official tally of how many people have turned out for the protests, some estimates suggest the number is in the thousands. Many protesters have not worn protective masks even while standing shoulder to shoulder with others.

The crowds have mirrored gatherings in other American cities condemning the killings of black men by white police officers --- most notably the recent death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer who refused to remove his knee from the back of Floyd’s neck as Floyd was struggling for breath.

Crowds in Austin have also referenced the April death of Michael Ramos, a 42-year-old man who was shot by an Austin officer when Ramos tried to flee by vehicle after a second officer fired at him with a bean bag round.

No protesters are known to have contracted the virus during the demonstrations, said interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott. However, on Wednesday the State Preservation Board said a member of the security force temporarily assigned to the Texas Capitol during the demonstrations had tested positive. The officers who were patrolling the Capitol work for the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard.

The city has dedicated testing sites for officers and other first responders. Those who were involved in the demonstrations are encouraged to get tested, Hayden said.

Positive cases in Austin and Travis County have increased slightly since last month when some businesses including bars began reopening. Officials say the uptick was expected. The 88 confirmed new cases on Monday were the highest single-day total since the outbreak reached Austin, health officials said.


One of the unfortunate side effects of living in a city that is full of alternative healers.....and is fairly tolerant toward New Age airy-fairy stuff in general.....is that it attracts people like those in the photo.......weirdos looking for a safe culture to exercise their own closely held beliefs (right or wrong).

We have a fairly big community of anti-vaxxers and people who view the basic practice of western medicine with more suspicion than is necessarily warranted. And since I deal with those people and their internet conspiracy stoked fears on daily basis, I get a little pissed off sometimes at the whole thing.

Of course people who went downtown to protest with no mask on put themselves at risk. For those who wore masks, not so much.

Austin has had just over 3500 cases.....not  the risk of a New York protester...not even close. But the city government here  is out in front, recommending testing...because they tend to be oriented toward being safe rather than sorry. Certainly Austin protesters are no more at risk than those in any other place.
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Offline luciddreams

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One of the unfortunate side effects of living in a city that is full of alternative healers.....and is fairly tolerant toward New Age airy-fairy stuff in general.....is that it attracts people like those in the photo.......weirdos looking for a safe culture to exercise their own closely held beliefs (right or wrong).

We have a fairly big community of anti-vaxxers and people who view the basic practice of western medicine with more suspicion than is necessarily warranted. And since I deal with those people and their internet conspiracy stoked fears on daily basis, I get a little pissed off sometimes at the whole thing.

Of course people who went downtown to protest with no mask on put themselves at risk. For those who wore masks, not so much.

Austin has had just over 3500 cases.....not  the risk of a New York protester...not even close. But the city government here  is out in front, recommending testing...because they tend to be oriented toward being safe rather than sorry. Certainly Austin protesters are no more at risk than those in any other place.

In one of Bret Weinstein's latest podcasts he talks about the possibility that Rona' has some type of photosusceptibility (he used some other scientific word).  That is, the presence or absence of light could turn it off or on.  There are two general types of bats.  If this came from bats, and the right type that roosts in caves during the day, Rona' could have developed to be turned on during the day in close contact.  Humans have the opposite circadian rhythm from bats.  So it could be it's turned on for us during the day. 

His point was about the protests.  He was musing that it's possible that protesting at night out in the open would provide some level of immunity.  He has also said that being outside may provide some measure of protection because Rona' could have possibly developed with bats roosting in caves in close quarters.  It was all just speculation. 

His main point being that we still no next to nothing about Rona'. 

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🦠 US economic crisis 'far from over' despite 2.5 million jobs gained
« Reply #257 on: June 07, 2020, 05:02:23 AM »
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🦠 This week in Trumponomics: Coronavirus backsliding begins
« Reply #258 on: June 20, 2020, 12:52:49 AM »
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/this-week-in-trumponomics-coronavirus-backsliding-begins-194418987.html

This week in Trumponomics: Coronavirus backsliding begins
Rick Newman
Senior Columnist
Yahoo FinanceJune 19, 2020


President Trump insists “we won’t be closing the country again,” no matter how aggressively the coronavirus reasserts itself. But the country might close itself, without him.

Apple said June 19 it’s re-closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina because of rising coronavirus infection levels. Apple is just one retailer among many, and others may not follow suit. But the surprise announcement was enough to flip stocks from positive to negative, for a net loss of about one percentage point on the news.

Markets are jittery about the pace of reopenings, which are underway in most states as governors and mayors try to get back to business. More than 20 states have rising infection levels, according to an NPR tracking map, with the biggest increases in South Carolina, Oregon, Oklahoma, Florida and Arizona. Among those, Arizona has the highest per capita infection rate, with some hospitals in the state worried about running short of beds and equipment.

Officials in New York, Houston and a few other cities have warned of new lockdowns if caseloads mount anew, but most areas seem likely to continue reopening and simply fight ad hoc battles with the virus. The wild card is how consumers will react. Go out and shop, virus be damned? Or head back in and wait it out?

Robust retail sales numbers for May show the penchant to spend is there. But a record one-month increase in sales still left economic activity far below pre-virus levels. Meanwhile, Trump and his allies continue to downplay the severity of the virus, and they now claim an increase in testing is the cause of the increasing caseload. The proof against that is the rising hospitalization rate in most of the places where case counts are going up: People wouldn’t be checking into the hospital if their only symptom was a positive test for the virus.

This week’s Trump-o-meter reads WEAK, the third-lowest rating, because there are some signs of an economic recovery, but other signs of looming trouble.
Source: Yahoo Finance
Source: Yahoo Finance

Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20 will be a microcosm of reopening tension. Oklahoma has low per capita infection rates, but infection rates in Tulsa have been rising to new highs. The director of the city’s health department said recently that such a large gathering is “a huge risk factor, today in Tulsa.” He called on Trump to postpone the rally.

A month from now, the Tulsa rally could have turned out to be a super-spreader event that sent Tulsa infection rates to even higher or levels, bringing condemnation on Trump. Or, there could be no notable increase in cases from the rally, vindicating Trump’s urge to hold it. Trump plans to hold other rallies, in addition to a packed Republican convention in Jacksonville, Fla., in late August. Tulsa will set the stage.

The course of the virus during the next four months, leading to Election Day in November, will most likely be unpredictable and confounding. Oxford Economics sees a two-phase recovery unfolding. We’re in the first phase now, with a strong rebound forming as consumption, business spending and perhaps employment recover from dramatic declines. But the second phase will be more of a slog, as mounting bankruptcies take a devastating toll and many families struggle to get back to where they were before the virus hit.

Trump will find victories to celebrate, as some data suggests the kind of “rocket ship” recovery’s he’s hoping for. But it will be like ongoing reopening of the country: sporadic, incomplete and maddeningly slow, with occasional reversals. Just when you think things are open again, they may not be.

Rick Newman is the author of four books, including “Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success.” Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman. Confidential tip line: rickjnewman@yahoo.com. Encrypted communication available. Click here to get Rick’s stories by email.
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🦠 Quirky Alaska tourist town struggles for survival amid virus
« Reply #259 on: June 23, 2020, 01:46:19 AM »
Talkeetna is a great little town.  I've considered moving there, but no Food Superstores.  :(

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https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/quirky-alaska-tourist-town-struggles-survival-amid-virus-71387760

Quirky Alaska tourist town struggles for survival amid virus
Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Alaska economy, which means some businesses are suffering during the pandemic
By  MARK THIESSEN Associated Press


June 22, 2020, 1:10 PM
5 min read
12 states set daily record for coronavirus cases
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3:43
12 states set daily record for coronavirus casesEleven states are reporting record numbers of new cases, while hospitalizations are up in seventeen states.

TALKEETNA, Alaska -- In one quirky Alaska town, small sightseeing planes sit idle, the grand fireplace is dark at the usually bustling lodge, and the general store is stocked with ice cream for tourists who are nowhere to be seen.

It’s almost “ghost town-esque,” said Fernando Salvador, a hotel manager in Talkeetna, which lies about halfway between Anchorage and Denali National Park.
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By late May, Main Street should be jammed with meandering tourists slurping ice cream cones and stopping at gift shops alongside original cabins built in this community of about 800. But the coronavirus has upended everything.

Communities across Alaska are feeling the financial squeeze, from cruise ship ports where major lines have canceled summer sailings, to Talkeetna, which bills itself as the Gateway to Denali and where the ship passengers arrive on buses for inland excursions. Nearly half of the state's 2.2. million annual visitors usually arrive on those vessels.

Salvador, vice president and general manager of the Alaska Collection by Pursuit, which includes the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, estimates a decline in business of 75%, and staffing will be less than half of last year.

One resident recalls this is what the town looked like before tourism became the driving economic force. “This is a peek back into the ’80s of Talkeetna,” said Serena Berkowitz. “People are going to lose money. It’s going to be a bad, bad summer.”

Along with oil and fishing, tourism is a pillar of Alaska’s economy, accounting for about $2.8 billion in director visitor spending, according to a state-commissioned 2017 report. One of 10 jobs result from the tourism industry, it said.

Many Talkeetna businesses, and employees, make their yearly salary between May and September.

“March and April is our point of lowest cash flow,” said Sassan Mossanen, the founding partner of Denali Brewing Co., which is located off the main highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It also operates a brewpub restaurant on Talkeetna’s Main Street.

By April, most businesses have made it six months with little or negative cash flow. That's when the coronavirus pandemic took hold, this year as events began being canceled.

Denali's climbing season had already been called off, meaning hundreds of climbers who descend on Talkeetna before making their way to base camp didn’t arrive. By May, all of the larger cruise ship companies had postponed or fully canceled their season.

“Roughly about 30 to 40% of our draft business in the summer is gone,” Mossanen said. “On the retail front, that number is probably closer to 40 or 50% .”

The brewery switched gears and made sanitizer to help buffer the downturn, but a handful of people were still laid off.

The businesses that make most of their money over the summer may not be able to build up cash reserves to make it through the winter.

Talkeetna has long been rumored to be the inspiration for the town of Cicely, Alaska, on the 1990s TV show “Northern Exposure.”

“Normally when we are talking about summer business, we have an influx of people,” said Berkowitz, a full-time clerk at Nagley’s General Store, where the resident cat was the town's mayor until dying a few years ago. “It is a situation to where we will see bus after bus after bus, day in and day out.”

In a normal year, Berkowitz bounces between two registers almost nonstop when she's not scooping ice cream and making espressos. “I found myself having gaps where I’m not really doing something or I have to go find something to do, which is weird for this sort of time of year,” she said.

Retailers hope state residents will pick up the slack.

“This is the Alaskan summer for Alaskans to actually see their state,” said Salvador. The lodge began opening on weekends to accommodate in-state travelers. The state also has provided testing options so out-of-state travelers can avoid a 14-day quarantine if the results are negative, and the lodge plans to open daily.

Joe McAneney, the founder of The High Expedition Co., a downtown Talkeetna marijuana store, said out-of-town Alaskans have been visiting and spending money.

He said on Memorial Day, he took in 85% of his highest record sales, and sold as much in apparel as he did in cannabis.

Cruise ship passengers can’t take marijuana products back to hotels or on the ships with them so if they purchase anything in the store, it’s in very small amounts and maybe a T-shirt, McAneney said.

But he's seeing state residents purchasing larger amounts of cannabis. While he may have fewer transactions, people are spending more per transaction.

“It’s Alaskans recreating with Alaskans and they’re very eager to support Alaska small businesses,” he said. “And I know you not only are you seeing it at the cash register, but you’re hearing them talk about it.”

Donna Knight of Wasilla drove with friends to Talkeetna to have lunch at one specific restaurant, but was disappointed to find it was closed. They ate elsewhere and then went shopping.

Her summer plans were to visit Alaska communities, to help out local businesses, but began to have second thoughts after the number of coronavirus cases began to spike. “I’m nervous,” she said.

Alaska was one of the first states to allow businesses to reopen and lifted stay-at-home restrictions in May. Even though cases are trending upward again, the state still has relatively few, with 755 cases involving residents as of Sunday, and 12 deaths.

“The worst thing I think that could happen for tourism for us right now is to have a second wave come through and have to shut down again," Salvador said, “because that would really, really cripple the tourism economy here, not only for this season, but you can also see for seasons, you know, further on."
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https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/505227-texas-bar-owner-bans-masks-organizes-bar-lives-matter-concert-in-protest

Texas bar owner organizes 'Bar Lives Matter' concert in protest of governor's orders
By Zack Budryk - 06/30/20 01:00 PM EDT


A Texas bar owner who is one of several currently suing Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over reimposed restrictions on bars organized a “Bar Lives Matter” concert and protest Sunday.

Tee Allen Parker, owner of The Machine Shed Bar & Grill in Kilgore, about two hours southeast of Dallas, hosted the gathering outside the bar Sunday. A second protest is planned on the steps of the capitol in Austin Tuesday, according to KLTV, a local ABC affiliate.

“You can’t tell me that my tiny little bar is the problem. He’s the problem,” Parker, who is one of multiple Texas bar owners who have banned the wearing of masks in their establishments, said of Abbott in an interview with The Washington Post. “He’s targeting us, and it’s discrimination.”

Jared Woodfill, a Houston attorney representing Parker and 21 other plaintiffs, said Abbott's order illegally bypasses the legislative process and unfairly singles out bars while allowing businesses like barber shops and hair salons to continue operating.

“This one individual is picking and choosing winners and losers,” Woodfill told the Post. “Gov. Abbott has chosen to sentence bar owners to bankruptcy.

“Gov. Abbott continues to act like a king,” he told The Associated Press earlier this week. “Abbott is unilaterally destroying our economy and trampling on our constitutional rights.”

Texas, one of the first states to loosen restrictions, has broken its single-day record for cases several times this month, recording a new one-day high of 6,263 for Saturday. 

    Texas bar owners sue to overturn closures
    Catholic pastor in Indiana faces backlash for calling Black Lives...

Abbott’s order last week required bars to shut down by noon on Friday, while also requiring restaurants to operate at no more than 50 percent capacity.

The governor in an interview over the weekend suggested he regretted allowing bars to resume operations too early.

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting,” he told KVIA in El Paso.
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Offline JRM

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Re: 🦠 Economic Effect of Coronavirus
« Reply #261 on: June 30, 2020, 04:07:28 PM »
Isn't it interesting to see how face masks have become, in many cases at least, party and tribe signaling devices, either in the wearing or the refusal to wear them?  To loudly and proudly proclaim the right not to wear a face mask is now to signal your support of a particular political party, candidate or tribe...? and your opposition to the other tribe, of which we are supposed to believe there are only two?
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline RE

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Re: 🦠 Economic Effect of Coronavirus
« Reply #262 on: June 30, 2020, 04:14:08 PM »
Isn't it interesting to see how face masks have become, in many cases at least, party and tribe signaling devices, either in the wearing or the refusal to wear them?  To loudly and proudly proclaim the right not to wear a face mask is now to signal your support of a particular political party, candidate or tribe...? and your opposition to the other tribe, of which we are supposed to believe there are only two?

Well, you can either wear one or not wear one, there isn't a middle ground there.  It's a binary decision.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🦠 Economic Effect of Coronavirus
« Reply #263 on: June 30, 2020, 05:01:10 PM »
Isn't it interesting to see how face masks have become, in many cases at least, party and tribe signaling devices, either in the wearing or the refusal to wear them?  To loudly and proudly proclaim the right not to wear a face mask is now to signal your support of a particular political party, candidate or tribe...? and your opposition to the other tribe, of which we are supposed to believe there are only two?

Well, you can either wear one or not wear one, there isn't a middle ground there.  It's a binary decision.

RE

It's that simple. Give a shit about possibly infecting others you've never met, or not.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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🦠 As the Fed's Powell sounds alarms, mortgage rates tank below 3%
« Reply #264 on: July 01, 2020, 12:30:30 AM »
Good time to re-finance!   ::)

Notice his mask is not covering his nose!

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/feds-powell-sounds-alarms-mortgage-213000081.html

As the Fed's Powell sounds alarms, mortgage rates tank below 3%


[MoneyWise]
Doug Whiteman
MoneyWiseJune 30, 2020
As the Fed's Powell sounds alarms, mortgage rates tank below 3%
View photos
As the Fed's Powell sounds alarms, mortgage rates tank below 3%

More gloomy talk from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has been greeted by another historic drop in mortgage rates, which have returned to an all-time low under 3% in a daily survey.

In two days of testimony to Congress this week — including an appearance on Tuesday in which he wore a mask and had a pump-bottle of hand sanitizer nearby — the leader of America's central bank said the economy faces an "extraordinarily uncertain" recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Infections have been rising rapidly, and many states have halted their reopening plans.

But while Powell rings his alarm bells, the Fed's policies that have pushed mortgage rates deep into the bargain bin appear to be working some magic on the economy. The housing market is rebounding and could lead the U.S. out of its COVID-19 recession, experts say.
How low have mortgage rates gone?
Red percent sign on the background of houses . The concept of price changes on the real estate market .
View photos
1599686sv / Shutterstock

Mortgage rates dipped on Tuesday to an average 2.94% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and that ties an all-time low reached earlier this month, says Mortgage News Daily.

For rates these days, it's "all about the coronavirus," says Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of MND.

"If it looks like the economy can slowly lurch back to business, rates will feel pressure to move higher," he writes. "If it looks like coronavirus retains the upper hand, rates could continue inching toward more all-time lows."

Today's dirt-cheap mortgage rates have helped light a fire under the housing market. Pending home sales — that is, the number of houses under contract — shot up by a record 44.3% from April to May, following two months of declines related to the pandemic.

"This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings, and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

"This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery," Yun adds.

Fed chief Powell welcomes the signs of recovery, but he says the economy is still fragile.

"We have entered an important new phase and have done so sooner than expected," he told lawmakers in remarks prepared for hearings Monday and Tuesday. "While this bounce back in economic activity is welcome, it also presents new challenges — notably, the need to keep the virus in check."
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Offline RE

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🦠 US finds itself off the list of countries allowed to enter Europe
« Reply #265 on: July 01, 2020, 12:35:46 AM »
I THINK I can still drive SaVANnah across the Al-Can if I feel good enough. ???   :icon_scratch:

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