Observations on the Great Hunkering (14)

(Steven Hayward)

I’m almost scared to look at the job loss figures, but here are a few charts that show how the last 60 days dwarf anything in modern history:

There is good reason to think that the real unemployment rate is closer to 20 percent than the stated 14 percent.

Oh goody: Millions of kids are skipping measles vaccinations:

Pediatric vaccination against measles has declined by as much as 60 percent nationally since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The reduced number of vaccine doses ordered and administered under the agency’s pediatric vaccines program could leave young people vulnerable to measles after coronavirus-caused social distancing restrictions are lifted, CDC said in the report.

And in other tradeoff news, yet another estimate that the health consequences of the lockdown may rival or exceed the health consequences of COVID-19:

COVID-19 has directly claimed tens of thousands of U.S. lives, but conditions stemming from the novel coronavirus — rampant unemployment, isolation and an uncertain future — could lead to 75,000 deaths from drug or alcohol abuse and suicide, new research suggests.

“Deaths of despair are tied to multiple factors, like unemployment, fear and dread, and isolation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were already an unprecedented number of deaths of despair. We wanted to estimate how this pandemic would change that number moving forward,” said one of the study’s authors, Benjamin Miller. He’s chief strategy officer for the Well Being Trust in Oakland, Calif.

This tracks with the work of Nobel-laureate Angus Deaton and Anne Case’s work in Deaths of Despair.

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