Recently a study conducted to determine the best method of testing masks sent the press into a tizzy as they focused in on the “110% calculated transmission rate” resulting from neck gaiters, those cool tubular masks that make you look like you’re raiding Bin Laden’s compound as opposed to the pastel blue face masks that make you look like a pedicurist. The study seemed to show that the fine fabric mesh in neck gaiters actually made respiratory droplets smaller and therefore potentially more effective in transmitting the coronavirus. In comparison, N95 masks had a transmission rate of 0.1%. But, not so fast say some experts. This was a preliminary study over a small sample, nor was it expanded past talking, to test coughing or sneezing. Little Lives PPE, founded as a response to the need for PPE for children, have released some key facts to educate the public on what PPE can do for them. According to Little Lives, face shields and goggles reduce the odds of coronavirus by 78%, while medical grade surgical masks and 12-16 layer thick cotton masks reduce the odds of Covid by 85%.
Turns out people are shockingly bad at weighing Covid-19 risks.
The investment analysts at the Franklin Templeton fund paid the Gallup pollsters to determine attitudes and risk assessment six months into the pandemic, and the results were startling. For example, on average Americans believe that people 55 and older account for just over half of total Covid-19 deaths; the actual figure is 92%. Americans overestimate the risk of death from Covid-19 for people aged 24 and younger by a factor of 50. For people aged 18–24, the share of those worried about serious health consequences is 400 times higher than their share of total Covid-19 deaths. Not surprisingly, people who get their information predominantly from social media have the most erroneous and distorted perception of risk.
Covid-19 is making people filthy rich.
Well, a few. The pandemic has been a huge blow to much of the US economy, but it has also been a boom for certain industries. Online retailers have fared well, especially Amazon, whose stock price has nearly doubled since the pandemic began. Digital communications and entertainment platforms have also experienced massive growth. Videoconferencing service Zoom is hosting 300 million meeting participants a day according to its CEO, and its stock price is up 120% for the year. App-based food delivery service DoorDash is now valued at $16 billion, and Netflix added 10 million new subscribers during the second quarter of 2020. Lysol sales have grown more than 70% as a greater emphasis on hygiene has surged in recent months, and home improvement titans Lowe’s and Home Depot are posting historic sales numbers as Americans stuck at home undertake more improvement projects than ever before. Among the unanswered questions, though, are how deep this reshaping of the economy will be and whether or not explosive growth in certain sectors will offset plunging fortunes in others. Weekly unemployment filings were back above the million mark this past week, but the number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has continued to decrease. No matter where we end up when the worst of Covid-19 subsides, a consistent trend until then will continue to be one of turbulence, uncertainty and widely varying economic outcomes by market sector.
The Southern Group client, EY, showcased theirbreadth of experience and expertise for local government representatives across the state this morning as part of a special webinar covering federal CARES funding and best practices for implementation of those dollars. Thank you to the team at EY for helping Florida’s city and county administrators navigate the CARES process. Job well done!