Insulin or Food?

In March, Bolei, 63, who lives in San Rafael, California, was laid off from his job as a maintenance supervisor at a startup that manages real estate properties. After falling behind on rent, he fears he’ll get evicted as rent moratoriums expire.

For the past three months, he’s missed his nearly $3,000 monthly rent payment due to growing medical costs for his partner. She has lupus, an autoimmune disease, and faces $30,000 in medication costs this year to treat a brain injury following a car accident.

‘Insulin or groceries’: How reduced unemployment affects struggling Americans from California to Mississippi
Jessica Menton
USA TODAY

If Covid Never Happened What Would the Past Four Months Have Been Like For You? – AskReddit

If Covid never happened, what all would’ve you done in on past 4 months? from r/AskReddit

AssDimple
Honestly, Id probably just find something else to complain about.

adnanoid
I would have gotten my tooth surgery done and over with

AMatofFact
I would have taken a kick ass trip to Japan which would have been way outside of my budget!

TillyGalore
I would have got married today

toohighforthis_
Would have kept my job, gotten a raise, a sizeable bonus, moved out of my parents house, and ultimately taken my plunge into independence.

Dont_make_this_hard
I would be working a part time job in a failing weed shop which probably would have been shut down by now.

Instead, I’m now the manager, have fixed nearly 100 issues I inherited from the previous manager, store sales have improved greatly, and I suddenly have a career.

All thanks to the global pandemic. Yay?

mht03110
I moved to New York City in February, a few weeks before the lockdowns started. I had a whole binder of things I wanted to see and do and a job I was excited about. But I got laid off as soon as things got started and everything I wanted to do became impossible, and some of it is probably never coming back.

I would have been taking the train to every station, catching impromptu shows, hunting down the best open mics, trying to pin down the best pizza and burger, putting together a d&d group, and traveling to other parts of the north eastern us that I’ve always wanted to see. I had big plans for this year, and I’m so heartbroken that all I’ve experienced is an endless chorus of sirens.

‘I Can’t Keep Doing This:’ Small-Business Owners Are Giving Up – The New York Times

More owners are permanently shutting their doors after new lockdown orders, realizing that there may be no end in sight to the crisis.

That day, June 26, Mr. Larkin and his partner dumped what they had just bought into the trash and decided to close their club, Krank It Karaoke, for good.

“We did everything we were supposed to do,” Mr. Larkin said. “When he shut us down again, and after I put out all that money to meet their rules, I just said, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/13/business/small-businesses-coronavirus.html

When Essential Workers Earn Less Than The Jobless – NPR

When the government shut down the U.S. economy in a bid to tame the spread of the coronavirus, Congress scrambled to help tens of millions of people who lost jobs. The government rushed one-time relief checks to all families that qualified and tacked an extra $600 onto weekly unemployment benefits, which are usually less than regular pay and vary by state.

But so far, lawmakers have not passed any measure to increase pay for workers who were asked to keep going to work during a highly contagious health crisis. Some companies did create hazard, or “hero,” pay — typically around $2 extra an hour or a one-time bonus. Most have since ended it.

ALINA SELYUKH
NPR

Telehealth – Freakonomics

Thanks to the pandemic, the telehealth revolution we’ve been promised for decades has finally arrived. Will it stick? Will it cut costs — and improve outcomes? We ring up two doctors and, of course, an economist to find out.

ELLIMOOTTIL: Up until March 2020, less than 1 percent of Medicare patients have ever used a telehealth service.

ELLIMOOTTIL: We’re seeing patients from all over the state who sometimes travel four hours just to have a 15-minute consultation about their kidney stone. And to be honest, I probably knew the answer about how I was going to manage that patient when I looked at their C.T. scan.

CUTLER: It is amazing. We went from essentially no visits for medical care being telehealth to now between 10 and 15 percent of visits for medical care are telehealth. And we did it virtually overnight.

The Doctor Will Zoom You Now (Ep. 423)

Online Learning – Letters to Editor of NY Times

Veronique highlights some of the benefits that remote learning can bring. But she neglects the reality that it advantages some students over others and exacerbates existing societal inequities.

The students who get the most out of remote learning tend to be self-directed and/or able to get guidance and support from parents or other family members. Special education students and English-language learners who need more intensive one-on-one supports often struggle with online learning, as do students who live in crowded quarters where constant distractions are present. And of course there are many students who lack access to computers or the internet, making online learning an impossibility.

Lessons for the Future From Online Learning
Should schools incorporate more virtual learning when they reopen? Students and educators respond to one student’s enthusiasm for it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/opinion/letters/coronavirus-online-education.html

2 Covid Tests, Same Place, Same Result – One cost X, One Cost Y

The two got drive-through tests at Austin Emergency Center in Austin. …

The emergency room charged Mr. Harvey $199 in cash. Ms. LeBlanc, who paid with insurance, was charged $6,408.

“I assumed, like an idiot, it would be cheaper to use my insurance than pay cash right there,” Ms. LeBlanc said. “This is 32 times the cost of what my friend paid for the exact same thing.”

Ms. LeBlanc’s health insurer negotiated the total bill down to $1,128. The plan said she was responsible for $928 of that.

Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408.
It’s an example of the unpredictable way health prices can vary for patients who receive identical care.
Sarah Kliff
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/upshot/coronavirus-tests-unpredictable-prices.html

Opinion | Tyson Foods Worker Urges Company To Slow Down So They Can Social Distance – The New York Times

Meat plant workers rarely speak out for fear of reprisal. But in the video above, Jerald and Lakesha Bailey, a former worker at a Tyson plant, urge the company to slow down the processing lines. Chicken carcasses zoom along the lines at breakneck speeds, and workers are often packed shoulder to shoulder to keep up — making it impossible to social distance.

Tyson Foods claims one of its core values is “Workplace Safety,” yet 570 workers tested positive for the coronavirus in a single poultry plant in Wilkes, N.C. And at Tyson plants around the country, over 7,000 employees have tested positive for the virus. Workers continue to die from Covid-19. Despite this, the company recently reverted to its pre-coronavirus absentee policy; workers who fear getting infected will now be penalized for staying home.

NYTIMES

Psychological Advantages of Wearing Masks

Pelkot
It can be so nice to go run errands and not have to make expressions or react to anything, it’s very weirdly freeing.

IKnowUThinkSo
I’ve worked retail my whole life and now almost all of my mannerisms are useless because they’re hidden behind a mask. I don’t have to fake smile, I don’t have to not make the Charlie Brown face when they something dumb.

It’s quite liberating in that way. I just wish I didn’t feel like I was drowning.

mourning_star85
I have resting bitch face, and work retail. I constantly have to remind myself to smile, I love wearing a mask I can relax

reddit

Snippets of life living alone during Coronavirus – NY TIMES

Claire Manship belted songs out the window. Ketaki Chowkhani began barking at a stray puppy. Blake Mitchell performed in drag.

As millions of people grapple with isolation in a pandemic, those who live alone face a particular kind of solitude.

More people live alone now than at any other time in history, a seismic shift from even a half-century ago, and one fueled largely by women’s economic rise.

Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, of course, and many people who live by themselves spend little time alone.

Until, perhaps, a pandemic hits.

Weeks or months into the stay-at-home orders worldwide, we wanted to know how solo dwellers were faring. What were they doing to keep themselves occupied? What did they most long for? What did they feel liberated to live without?

More than 2,000 readers shared their stories and their photos. Here are some of them.

Jessica Bennett, Daniel Jones and Anya Strzemien
Alone.

It’s a relief or a nightmare, irritating and liberating, and already, for many, interminable. This is living alone in a pandemic.

How to Handle Coronavirus Isolation and Anxiety – WebMD

Take a break from news.
The 24-hour news cycle can make anxiety spike. Give yourself a limit. Stick with what you need to know and what’s happening in your community.

Change your mindset.
Avoid thinking too much about the future or worst-case scenarios. Forecasting can trigger anxiety. Instead of saying, “I’ll never recover,” tell yourself, “I’ll make it through this.”

https://www.webmd.com/lung/handle-isolation-and-anxiety#1

Los Angeles County Unemployment, Coronavirus effect on

Because of the colossal impact that the coronavirus outbreak has had on the U.S. economy, less than half of Los Angeles County residents — 45% compared with 61% in mid-March — still hold a job, a decline of 16 percentage points, or an estimated 1.3 million jobs, according to findings from a national survey released Friday.

Jaclyn Cosgrove
Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2020
Less than half of L.A. County residents still have jobs amid coronavirus crisis

Keeping Your Mental Health Up in Hard Times

“One of the keys to becoming more resilient is to practice compassion both toward ourselves as well as toward others,” Ms. Marston said. “One of the keys to doing so is to interrupt recurring cycles of negative inner dialogue.”

When we find ourselves cycling through negative thoughts that don’t go anywhere, it’s important to take a step back to disrupt the cycle of anxiety, Ms. Marston said. “This can include stopping and focusing on our breath rather than on our thoughts, changing our physical environment to help create distance from our initial mental space, or having a conversation with someone we trust to get a fresh perspective.

Dr. Sarah Kate McGowan, an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested coming up with coping statements to help you get through dark moments. This might be something like, “I can take this one day at a time” or “This is frightening, and I can handle it.” You can even write these statements on index cards to refer to when you find yourself back in the negativity loop, she said.”

Kristin Wong, NY TIMES
How to Stay Optimistic When Everything Seems Wrong

Coronavirus Pandemic and Unemployment – Theatrical Workers

Brown is a 33-year film veteran. He has seen many ups and downs in the industry, from the Writers Guild strike in 2007 to 2008 to the global financial crisis to natural disasters. This one is different. “Our income currently is zero dollars with no end in sight. It’s frightening,” he told CNN Business, “I am going to deplete all my savings.”

Brown is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents roughly 145,000 entertainment workers working behind the scenes. In March, IATSE announced that more than 90% of its members are out of a job due to the pandemic — that’s roughly 120,000 craftspeople, technicians, and artisans.

Anna-Maja Rappard, CNN Business.
Hollywood Has Gone Dark, And It’s Crushing Thousands