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The mask fiasco


Jane, Dara, and Matt on the evidence for mask wearing, and a totally non-coronavirus white paper.


"Why America ran out of protective masks — and what can be done about it" by German Lopez, Vox

"Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired" by Zeynep Tufekci, NYTimes

"It's Time to Face Facts, America: Masks Work" by Ferris Jabr, Wired

"Masks for Coronavirus Will Not Last Long in the West" by Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review

"FACE MASKS: MUCH MORE THAN YOU WANTED TO KNOW" by Scott Alexander, Slate Star Codex

"the global coronavirus epidemic: commentary on east asia’s response" by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas, Contexts

White paper


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior Correspondent, Vox

Jane Coaston (@cjane87), Senior politics correspondent, Vox

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration reporter, ProPublica

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Support for this episode comes from click up. We lose an average of three hours every day, switching between all our work apps, but you can get them back with click up a flexible platform that brings you're essential tools in one place. We can prioritize tasks, collaborated, docks check with your team and track goals, so companies like Goober and web flow use click up as their mission Control Centre, replacing every other after we're using before cook up even Aren t used to help you save one day week and get more done. It's completely customizable. It's free forever! So try click up today at click up dot com, slash the weeds support for this. At this hour, comes from INDIGO Ag. Indigo brings. Together leading companies committed to activating the full potential of agriculture to address the climate crisis in partnership with innovative businesses, farmer, scientific partners and informed advocates. We can re. Imagine agriculture for the benefit of people and the planet. Farmer, Casey, Bryant Bamberger says our industry hives biggest platform to how
change our environment and working towards a better future, learn more it INDIGO Ag Com, Recode, I'm going to count one two, three one, two three hello, welcome to another episode of the weeds on the box media podcast network, I'm Matthew with Glacius here remotely distantly with Jane Costin and propose because there are lined up really happy to announce that the weeds has a really new logo out today. You will see it in all your favorite podcast vendor everywhere that logos appear it's really nice design team worked really hard on it. It's it's cool, it's great and it's part of a a larger logos project that that is how What am I going to do with my like three
old logo weeds, tee shirts? Why some day, there's going to be more t shirts This is actually how the economy is going to recover right. Let's talk about textile production for a little, so we've got a good white paper non corona virus coming for you at the end of the show, but we wanted to talk about masks. We ve all learned a lot about of nineteen over the past couple weeks, but this is it Where you know early on, I'm a sheep, and I read calls on the articles all said. While the experts say you shouldn't wear masks. I was where the asian people for years, ever since Sars you'd like see traveller from asian airports in their like wear masks all the time that the spin the case forever. But now I think
There is increasing pile up of evidence that the public health officials were miss, stating the situation here for various reasons Herman Lopez has a big explain her out for vocs, which has not yet published as at the time, I'm speaking, but probably by the time this episode is done, will be out in the website that goes over this, but yeah it seems like masks, are good and that if there was not a shortage of asks, you would be a no brainer to say that everyone should be wearing them right, I mean it seems to me that a lot of the conversation around masks it, I'm not gonna, say that it's a definitional problem, but there definitely it's important to keep in mind that there are two different kinds of masks that we're talking about. There are these. And ninety five masks, which is a term that you know you like. I probably did not know unless Europe, public health, professional or lake you living caliphs, yeah, where an eighty five masks have been a you know, key stock,
I'll item because of wildfires or something like that- those are beam- that are officially in a validated by? U S, regulators to trap? Ninety five percent of asserting particulate matter? They create an actual seal around the nose and mouth So you know those are the ones that are rated for the use of public health professionals and then there are surgical masks or any other kind of like you have covering your face, which also get lumped in the mass category, and are you know recommended for like hospital use in the context of a highly contagious airborne disease like covered nineteen, this is kind of, where a lot of questions come in as too, if you are not using the ideal mask, is it better to be wearing that mass or not, but what happened in the initial phases of the growth of corona is awareness in the United States? Was that medical
experts came out and assuming that there was going to be a limited number of n ninety five rated masks, which was an accurate assumption, came out and said: save those for the public health professionals they're tricky to wear correctly. There is evidence suggesting that you don't wear. Correctly. You know it's not going to help or its even going to hurt if you're, sick or, if you are, are working a a hospital, fine go ahead and do do it, but like going, Buying a bunch of masks isn't going to be what protect you from the virus, which is a fair if over simplified way to put it by. Does it turns out both overstate the state of these Science on mask effectiveness and confuse the question of should, people be wearing masks with the question of. If there is a limit supply of masks to whom should those masks gap which it turns out or two totally different things? So I think there are two separate issues with
ask usage than New York, had a really interesting rundown yesterday, talking about what the research showed on mass usage during the Sars outbreak of two thousand three which is that wearing a mask, was sixty eight percent more effective than washing your hands more than ten times a day and in addition, in view of the most effective thing to do would be to wear, gloves a mask and account, but then restart edging in to what will people actually do and what is these psychological impact of mass King and how do we think about that? We live in a society even when we're all by ourselves, and so much of the fight against krona virus has been epidemiologist saying this is what we should do, and then public health officials saying ok- and this is what we can get people to do- wired had a piece
We'll drop in show notes saying that if we had an infinite supply of mask, everyone should wear them. We don't have an infinite supply of masks. Mask usage is, as Dara mentioned, sometimes particularly challenging, depending on the type of mask, but also the were of masks for a lot of people. Symbolizes like oh you're, already sick, and it's interesting how we think about that as a visual. How we think about masking theirs, trusting peace. National veto on this very issue of like yes, masks, have been widely used. Long time in other countries, but any add states wearing a mask has a certain implication and its end You think about that in terms of how people would actually use them, whether they would what that would mean and that divide between how public health officials are thinking about this issue and how epidemiologists are thinking about this issue and at how politicians who are trying to get people actually do Things are thinking about this issue. I can't believe insane, but I I I feel like this is actually lesson
few of change. Social norms, and it is a political economy, because I think we ve seen over the last few weeks that between Americans kind of routine historical trust in public health officials. In times of public health crisis and certain leaders, in times of emergency more generally and the efforts all elites whether their medical experts are elected officials who are going to say if we take maximal efforts now or, if we do what I am suggesting now this won't last forever. I think that those have combined to create like a state of affairs, can mindset in which people are willing to do things temporarily, that they might not be willing to do permanently. I'm not like totally dismissing the risk that mass wearing presence in a kind of social context. I was talking to allow we'll police officer yesterday? Who was saying that they can't? You know they can't wear masks out on patrol, because they'll do house calls and
personal answer, Bador and say you're not wearing a mask and the officer will say if I were wearing a mask, would you let me in, of course they wouldn't, and I think that this does have a different valence when we're hopping about Asia. Since an agency in America, because, despite the kind of Sars fleck dared pollution in some major cities in China. Inflected reader Thus, in some asian countries to wear masks, that's kind of become entangled in the U S with the inflation of corona virus with chinese people both of those being in airports. But there are considerations here, but fundamentally even in asian countries, where they historical memory of Sars, really is very live and therefore there wasn't that kind of behavioral hurdle to get over mask shortages have been an issue and people are standing in law. Governments have had to intervene obeyed so, but I want to
get a little more clarity and specificity on those sort of journey public health officials took us do here, because I think it was a pretty serious. I dont say malfeasance because it was well intended, but it was a big mistake and I'm gonna propose it call the and ninety five respirators respirators, and we use the word masks to refer to cloth, face coverings, recommend that you can help authentic they make at home, right and or you can buy. Sir are so public health officials message on the n. Ninety five respirators was correct. These are extremely valuable to medical personnel because they can actually filter virus particles out of the air highly effectively. Some of you are all day every day in rooms, seeing patients who you know our SEC. It's really important to have one of these things. They are also quite hard
use effectively Scott Alexander Breads sliced our kodaks? He is a great sort of rundown unmask science he's a psychiatry. Strides he he is an empty. He has gone through this training, but this is not the work that he does so he talks about like when he was getting trained on the masks, you know he was being formally trained in medical school and he said he was really really hard to complete. The assignment that, if you a random person without training, try to slap this thing on your face- it's not like
then you'll like injure yourself with it, but like you, will not actually derive the benefits. Where's drained medical personnel is extremely valuable, so I think that message it like don't buy these masks, dont use them, save them for the professionals like two thumbs up, but on Unmask son, surgical, masks that have elastic bands. They also said- and, like you know, I am sorry to say, like we have a lot of articles on vocs from this era telling people dont get these asks. They don't block the take a viral particles which I think is true more or less, and they could only be helpful if you yourself are sick because they will stop you from like spewing out stuff when you Sneezer cough, but really, if you're sick, you ought to staying at home. So there's no good mask use case scenario: if you're sick stay at home, if you healthy, the masks, don't worry
what we now know about grown a virus is that of large amount of spread is happening by people who are asymptomatic. So it's true that if you know that you are sick, you should be home in an isolation, and it's also true that, if you are totally healthy, the mask is probably not that helpful in stopping you from getting it. But you don't know ride like I went to the grocery store last week, and I was a mask. I felt fine. As far as I know, I will not infected with corona virus, but I couldn't get tested right, we're not doing tests of healthy. People were not doing case tracing, so I have no idea if the guy who delivered a pizza three days prior to that you know, has subsequently tested positive select. I had my mask on which I think is responsible and if everybody was doing that, that would be helpful, but it's the opposite of
the message that we were getting and adds Zena to Feki had a good, a good piece in the times. Were you know she saying look public health officials were true, to manage a shortage, because there is such a shortage of respirators lots of people. Medical professionals need to get their hands on mass produced, surgical masks, which themselves had fallen into short supply, so public health officials seem to have decided to tell a kind of white lie that these things aren't helpful in order to avert
shortage- and you know her take- which I think is correct- is that, rather than viewing the populace as like a menace, that has to be managed with misinformation, they should have told the truth, which is like. We are asking you to reserve these mass produce basques for the people who need them most and here are instructions because it turns out
it like improvised masks, right a bandanna, something made out of a pillow k, submit a t shirt. They are not as good as the surgical masks you make in factories, but there okay and I dont know how to set up, but my stepmother. She apparently used to sell a lot hasn't for awhile, but she found a sewing machine. You know in her attic and like she made a mask for my dad who's. The designated grocery shopper. She's gonna make a child size, surgical mask for my kid and, like that's great and like you could leverage the american people as a real We saw that books brothers announced today that they're gonna start producing masks and their factories he had. This is because we are kind of like corporate social responsibility. A bunch of clothing lines are doing at one of the suppliers for major League baseball is doing at many of these folks are saying we are going to donate these masks to medical providers and other emergency responders, which is to say we ve entered this,
zero world, where the masks that everyone can agree on S. Ideal are the ones that No are now being produced on mass and sent to the people on the front lines, because in a way which is all downstream from the shortage of respirators issue away, but it me it's why the initial messaging against the surgical mass grew so crazy because you don't, I guess public health people know what about public health and they don't know as much about industrial processes but like the United States manufacturing sector, even in its shrunken state, is very capable of producing large quantities of textile products that fit arbitrary design criteria, and so the shortage of respirators was a.
Thorny logistical question to get around, but the authorities of surgical masks. It turns it was a really easy problem to solve and if they had articulated like their actual concern, which is not that these things are useless, but that are actually very useful and they didn't want people to hoard them. Like if they had spent it saying that in late January, when the original you dont need aware mask content was coming out like we could have tons of surgical masks by now, the respirator problem seems harder to solve, and you know that psych, the president should have done more Bob Bob Bob, but like the actual public health communicators like created this problem, like once, businesses became aware that these words-
useful to the general population there like here we can make masks, but I think one of the challenges here is one of the critical elements of public health is dealing with the public, and I wish that there remain that's really. The big challenge here I've is listening is that they from epidemiologists who sang like well hypothetically. If we could get everyone to freeze what they're doing and not move. We can deal with grown virus like awake. They would be great, but you have to deal with the interactions of human beings when the in general, with treating out, don't get masks. You don't need them. I read that in some ways, as being don't do what you're doing with toilet paper right now I'll. Do what you're doing with paper towels right now, don't do what you're doing with hand. Sanitized are right now, in my view. Yes, it was a white lie, but it is also a contextual, live. There was happening at a time where, if there had been away to message like hey by the way manufacturers, but could you
start producing lots of masks right now? I think that would have been great, but that's not what happened, because I think that there is a and understanding that, in the context, Telling people are actually you shouldn't be wearing masks people. What here, as I should be wearing a mask all the time I should buy. Thirty thousand MA and overwhelm a market that was created. Fifteen minutes earlier, but I just don't. I don't think that's true, like I don't know like I have heard like most people have heard that, like the risk of dying of covered, nineteen for younger people who don't have underlying immune or lung capacity issues is low, but that we have a worse its ability to like broader society to flatter
curve and Bob, I think, that's what we re doing. It's like, as you say, Jane, is like there's this no way to cope with an epidemic without mobilizing the active cooperation of the population, so lying or fear being a little bit about it strikes me as very, but the issue I've seen even with that that guidance that younger people are not as much at risk of dying of this. So many people took that as oh ok, cool
nothing about my life needs to change. I went running yesterday and I was running near them all. The national mall and the degree to which I was like you all should not be here like in groups of more than the groups in which people were in answer. I was trying to be socially distance by running six feet around them, but the degree to which we are hearing more stories about people in their teens there. Twenty is their thirties, who are in fact getting very sick and dying from colonel virus. Obviously that not the rule here, but I do think that the guidance of essentially you are doing this for other people. I wonder if, in some respects, that is over us
in making the american public to some extent, and so I'm just keep thinking about that in terms of your. How we're trying to get the public to do things flattening. The curve is extraordinarily important to do, but I think that there are a lot of people who see flattening the curve is a job for someone else to do, because this is not much of a risk to them. Personally, I mean I think that the two of you have successfully articulated be competing incentives that public health officials are under right like on the one hand, this is a very easily spread epidemic: disease of frankly unknown virulence in any particular person, and so you know it taking pro active maximum list measures to flattened the curve to enow prevent case scenarios? You know the better to over act than under react mindset is like epidemiologically sound and, on the other hand, most public health officials in that are actually in it
decision making power or that have that great a platform are, to a certain extent accountable to elected, officials or some broader political constituency, so the idea that it is generally not ideal to make ever one more miserable than necessary to disrupt daily life more than necessary. The idea in particular among like certain of additives and elements of the business community, that if you prevent people from going out too much you're going to like chair the wheels off economy and its never going to be able to recover like daddy's definitely means that any given public health officials going to try to balance those two equities, and this is where I differ a little bit for me- because I think the noble life thesis is plausible. But it's not proven, and I do think that if you look at the sky and iron mask usage. It's not as clear cut as ever, one should definitely always wear a mask. There is more ambivalent information on an absurd
style non surgical masks, there are a couple. Studies showing that lake, presumably because of moisture attention, people were cotton masts, were more likely to get sick than people with no masts. It's an to say that the scientists ambivalent enough that we shouldn't take the consensus view from studies, especially studies, looking at like just doing physical experiments with like filters and p traditions. That wearing a mask is better than not it's that there was just a. Enough noise in that data. If you were looking for Thee more congenial way to balance these two equities. It was easy to see your way to actually it turns out, you don't need to choose between public health and broader economic activity. Right, you don't need to free the public out too much. You can tell them that they need to be response. In X, Y and Z, ways, but don't need to encourage them to wear
visible symbol that things are not okay and to have to put that on every time they leave the house outlet. Let's take a break, and I want to talk about some of the the cut a wider context for this it feels like you, don't enough hours in the day to get everything done. It might be because you're missing out on three of them. Where does where's girl. They probably fell into a deep dark. A bits opens up when we switch between work camps at those three hours to all the productive time. We miss out, thanks to add home distractions, disorganization fatigue. It's no wonder the days feel too short. Work should work and with click up it does cook up is a flexible productivity platform. That brings all your work into one place. That's all you chats, apps docks and tasks. One central S Place Mission control companies like Google, and Google use click up to make their days more productive, managed projects, people and calls for effectively teams of all sizes and industries, hookups pleasingly
asked features of one thousand plus integrations became, must have for anyone wanting to track manage to tackle their work in one place and two hours back with click up trade for free today, click up that palm slash the weeds. If the last year taught us anything, it's that we don't know what will happen next, but there's one thing: I'll be sure of the only future is one we can all share and leading the charge in building that future mercy corps with over forty years of humanitarian work under its belt building together, is a mercy course. Dna and as the climate crisis increases their partnering with those on the front lines, making resources more accessible to farmers across the globe string. In community is against escalating natural disasters and ensuring people have the tools they need to thrive mercy course doing the work of matters, but they can't do it alone. That's where you and I come in
together, we all have the power to reshape the world when it seems like every day brings a new crisis. When every news alert makes you want to throw your phone across the room, we may start to feel a little powerless but mercy Is here to remind us, we don't need to Turkey merely based action, we can make change. We are nothing if not in this together. What's next is up to all of us learn how you can be a part of what possible at mercy core dot, Org, that's our see, why C, o r p s dot, Org. One thing that striking to me about the the mask situation and that I've gun fired up about it is that you know when we look at asian countries where mask wearing sort of normalized pre Koran a virus, but why
Everybody sort of went quickly to the masks as an instinct Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, I don't want to see that that wearing mass is single handedly responsible for by all those countries are doing better than every single western country is doing, but I feel, like its Ellis broadly evidence. That its playing a role and one things it's interesting about. The western response to this is that there is so little in the early phases. There were so little thought that, like me, a democratic Asia might know something about infectious disease control based on their prior expire. This is with us and now that's like what everybody is doing, running around we're talking about the tests that they have in South Korea
or whatever else, and we see that not just health, wise but economically. All of this sort of democratic asian countries are in much better shape than any of the western country. Is because they have. I mean a because fewer people are in fact in the first place, but also because they have we if people going about their lives while minimizing the risk of infection, rather than moving everything straight to lock down, and I think that that's sort of not just about masks but like a larger thing about the political culture in the United States, which is this just very No curiosity about, like Taiwan, in Korea and Japan and Hong Kong and Singapore people like sort of aware that those countries exist and that they, like maybe make videos aims or something, but like this in housing and mass transit there's like so many areas where those countries are the
leaders and their so little discussion of that, while, like everybody, has like a million hot takes events, we will, I think, part of that mean one. I would say: people should not have hot takes about Sweden and here's. It's not a hot countries come on. It's it's just a colleague how you can't have a hot taken, a non hot country, but one of the challenges here is that Taiwan and South Korea and the poor, especially and even Pacific RIM, countries like New Zealand, which is handling this in a very stringent way. They all have something that we do not have, which is a system of kind of a more direct federal, even not even federal, like Gillette direct state involvement, so, for example, in several injuries, we discussed there, sir veiling individuals at a level that in Non pandemics times, I would find
displeasing and even during a pandemic I find concerning, but also the Americas pandemic. Response is largely directed on a state by state basis, for example, DC received art a shelter in place order yesterday, which doesn't change too much but doesn't force. If you had a party for some reason, you can get fined five thousand dollars which sounds Bat Maryland and Virginia, have also issued their own shelter and place orders restricting movement by those movements and those orders do not apply to say Montana, which has its own crop? Yo outcropping of cases did not apply to Georgia, which has a epidemiological hot spot, all the caused by young people who attended a specific funeral. We are attempting to work on a state by state basis, so
comparison to the external activities of Taiwan or Singapore in Singapore all are very strict about many things like spitting or possession of marijuana, and so I think that that comparison is difficult to make, especially when our political system, our constitutional system, is just far too different to make it an apples to any fruit comparison. No, I think that that's correct, but I don't think that's with what Matt saying right, like I think when you look at there's, been a lot of noise made among proponents of universal health care, for, for example, that, like Taiwan, has been able to manage healthcare capacity and deal with
the corona virus relatively well, and you know that that is to not small extent, grounded in the fact that everyone has healthcare, that everyone can proactively go see the doctor when there in a when there are sectors, this kind of understanding that public health there's a collaborative undertaking which is fair and definitely not something that you would expect. You know it's, those are the larger structural things that you have to have in place before an epidemic cats. If you're going to successfully whether the epidemic, but it's also true that end masks in particular, I think, are actually decent use case here. It's true that you don't have to have the exact same relationship of state to market that the where does to be broadly in the category of a market economy, and we see in some of these east asian countries, that, like the state market relationship, is such that there is a
no more flexibility in saying hey, there is a particular supply and demand problem here. What role should the state I'd and helping solve it so like in Singapore. There is a price control law that requires companies to justify when there in prices, and so that has gotten used to increase. Me on people who might be inner, whereas in the? U S, there was this kind of ad hoc. After the fact message from the Department of Justice that any private individual who was like hoarding medical supplies was going to end up getting prosecuted. It's not that, like the. U S has decided that hoarding things and selling them for profit is good. It's that the? U S has decided it is bad, but has decided that the way to deal with that is post facto through the criminal just the system, rather than by you, know, trying in the room
than by having an active monitoring role in the market, and so I think it's worth thinking both about the particular institutions, whether its mass surveillance or universal health care, or anything like that. That you know would need to be already in place, but it's also worth thinking about as much as you know there headlines when there is a big bust in you know, there's like a big hand. Sanitize revised, which is you know that you are already beginning to see these cases if someone come out and say the government should be making sure that retailers aren't jacking up the price on has advertiser. There would be a huge medical debating it would you'd need to spend a lot of capital political capital to get that past. Even in the current environment. And so it's worth thinking about not just you know what are Americans willing to give to give up but like what are the means by which we have decided that the problems that we, that out the south
government american government agree. Our problems should be solved with envy Irony, though, is that you know is a dream was saying I think, in the early phases of this, I think it's late January early February, as people watched China, I sort of lockdown all of heavy province and then a group Jerry. I think a lot of Americans. We, action was weak. We can never do that here. Right did this. Is America that China, and as we saw you know taiwanese people and korean people and hunger is sort of go to their masks and start cancelling church services and- and things like that, you think well, like you know, ok well. Well, that's Asia Right where there's a sort of like vague crude sort of wrong stereotype of like authoritarian, you know, mentality there We true reality that even the democratic asian countries
a more much more culturally conservative political and social systems that than the United States, does, but now we're in a situation where we can our houses, unless we have a certain set list of sea the activity is that we are engaging in and because they don't want people playing basketball games against each other. There's like tape around the basketball court near my house, so like I can't go out there alone in the end, you know, Try to kill some time by shooting hoops in South Korea there so playing pro sport by moving more aggressively and decisively asian countries have actually protected a much higher degree of free there. We have maintained the United States, and even now, we're sitting around would like waiting for the virus, decorum quote, get under control. But there's no plan in place to create a surveillance are tracking system
because that runs against America's civil authoritarian streak. But if the alternative to comprehensive surveillance is like, you literally can't leave your house it's hard for me to see that as a huge civil libertarian win. I do think, though, that it's fascinating to see how this pandemic meshes onto existing political fault lines, the same people who were very mad about section, seven, no to a fire and warrant less wiretapping are also very upset about the concept of the type of mass surveillance that matters discussing one of the biggest challenge. I'm thinking about this? If Ireland epidemiologists, I would almost be look. Let's just pause politics: politics doesn't matter, we can get back to politics in May we can figure out where we're all going to stand on this issue, but for right now, just listen to us, which is not going to happen and that's not how we work
pause politics and listen to the experts is itself a policy to address itself a political decision, and so I do think it's interesting to video if it is. But mean being your house and being surveillance, a challenging issue. The other thing I want to talk about in the context of the D kind of east asian examples is that like masks are, moreover- and you know, Prayers are more widely available there, but they are rationed meaner. There are still case they please waiting in line four masks into Taiwan, which, like my first reaction to that, is like waiting in law Cecil seems like not proper social distancing and my second action too. That is, if you're getting an end anything Respirator at the end of a lake cost benefit analysis. Or even in South Korea. Your given two to three masts a week. It's like last name registration. You could imagine political outcry. The kind of lake wise
the government's power to decide who gets necessary materials. But the fact of the matter is that if we, in a situation where, in our even frontline medical professionals, aren't getting proper respirators lake discussion just seems to come from it. The assumption that America, that lake varies in american way to fix this problem when such as not appearing and No, I'm not I'm a little bit surprised that we haven't gotten into the issue of cane. Eighty five masts can maybe five masks and lake regulation, yet because it strikes me that like if there is a really capital american. You know like good red blooded, whereas alright nation, we have a centre at solution. It would probably come from the fact that There are masks available made by many of the same, mostly chinese companies that make the ESA ninety five respirators that are influence short supply in the US, but that are certified by Chinese, EU leaders rather than american ones, and therefore, like aren't raided for use here bet
that is a you know that seems lake. Such a kind of nicety that may not matter as much. No one is arguing they can. Ninety five masts are dangerous for Americans too, where they're gonna like explode for your nose and kill you, so it does that there is a kind of potential avenue for increasing more the broader supply of like decent, space filters? Well, there was a small regulatory change that the Trump Administration undertook already, which I think is correct. Is that what we now know as like the ninety five medical respirators actually originated as a technology for construction workers and industrial uses uniform for the dust that caused by and then the medical ones were sort of developed. As an adaptation of that, I mean it's funny, because the phrase for the other kind of masks and surgical masks, which is obviously a matter.
Setting. But we now think in a medical setting. You shouldn't use those because they have wholesome aside, but there was a separate FDA process first certifying your masks as I medical and ninety five respirators as opposed to construction. Industrial wines and they ve wave that rule there is apparently not of real difference between them. Just the medical ones were more expensive because the cost structure in that, I'll get industry. It is so easy to pass on a higher costs to the ultimate customer that there hence to be like middle men are not that attentive to what they are paying for things where's it most industries like it but costume, go up. You have a big problem so that good right. I mean, I think we can. I think there will be a lot said in the long run as to why you know
in January, we were not like ramping up on the respirators and pulling these regulatory lovers and in general having that kind of like three hundred sixty degree, sexual awareness, but as a public health communications issue. In his immediate issue, the respirator thing seems much less grave to me because, like the basic storyline around that that everybody was given whose like totally correct and an holds up well of, whereas I feel bad because like- and there has been a lot of criticism of the media and it's sort of dealings- colonel virus- and I feel like is overwhelmingly unfair but me sadly leg worse, possible. Media outlets were correct. Please convey what public health officials were saying and ought, which is the like the right thing to do like this. No, this
better? You can do when something totally new and weird and science pops up then like call up the experts and listen to what they're saying, but if it turns out that, like they are using the media as part of a strategy to like manipulate public behaviour with bike selectively withholding accurate information. Like that's really, that's really Shitty. I don't feel good about having retweeted articles that, like caution, you that these mass aren't gonna be helpful when like if we could have had better discussions more during discussions, there would say like look. We don't know much about asymptomatic transmission, it's possible that the masks are really helpful, like it's like our job, to tell people the truth, and it's really hard to do that. When the experts who we rely on to no more than we do like a blessing to us
yeah. I do wonder to what extent this is also that lake, even before this epidemic, trust in experts headaches political violence Juno, without like saying that the media is broadly liberal or anything like that. I do think that a tendency at most. Media professionals. Share with most self identified. Progressives is They are more likely to lake defer to experts on the subjects of their expertise. And not going to promote the scepticism of experts for its own sake, and so I do suspect that, to a certain extent the that lake there wasn't a big, proactive mobilization from their Trump administration, jeering courage, people too I mean for one thing, the you know. Have to be a media, led effort to think educate people about a public health emergency, but also the
fines of people who were who had a reason to be sceptical of the trumpet ministrations like under reaction, were then going to overly defer to people saying I can tell you why this is a serious threat and those people were also the one saying you know: don't we about masks, and so that's kind of like it's a nice. It's a nicely counter intuitive. I can show you that I've trusted the that I've listened to experts, because this thing, you might think, is common sense: Actually you know if you learn something you'll find out, it's not accurate, but it does turn out. The case that there's not not an easy for. For generally, you should trust experts, but also experts have there an internal considerations which may not be totally accurately. They don't have perfect information either. In this case, public health experts appear to have underestimated the extent to which you know that
like the asthma thing to a sentiment of transmission step. They appear to have underestimated the extent to which don't wear masks would do no wood encourage people to continue going about daily life, etc, etc and so figuring out, where the limits of expertise are and when someone is bumping up against the limits of their own expertise is something that lake as journalists. I don't think we do. I think you know related phenomenon here is like I have no idea, but I would bet that it's a fairly high percentage of public health experts who were interviewed for these kind of articles did not prior to a week or two before that. Like they were not necessarily super well read in the literature of what kinds of face coverings our best to prevent the transmission of what kind of particulate matter they were listening to each other, and so it's very easy for lake. The assessment of the literature by a few people who are trust in the field to be
call assessment of the field- and that's also something that you know we is media professionals should be better at something out as like. When is this person speaking from something that they themselves? No, and when are they speaking as representative of their community by you know by trusting people who they listen to? Who think like that? I think also it's interesting how the media has played its own role here, because you're starting to see this yo at first. There was a lot of concern for media outlets, beginning like even from vocs saying like this is not going to become a pandemic that travel and from China is a bad idea. This is not something I need to be that sir, and about what we need to be concerned about air like these other things here and then there is this like. Oh actually, we need to be super concerned about and the people who are wont to signal that they
Listen to us, and I am putting that it is as abrupt terms as possible. The people wanted to signal they listen to a started talking about flattening the curve, and then the people wanted to signal that day. The media there lay a stream media. There are the people who are like silly I'm going to have a corona virus party in my New York apartment. Actually, I'm going to intentionally go to read Robin and Berger, because I'm an american and then it's it's really irritating and especially because I said earlier jokingly, but not really. Joking like we do live in a society in which are understandings of events are you're connected. So I am certain that the public health officials that we are speaking too have had their own conversations about how best to talk to media outlets. Any
that you are looking to reach out to some one. There is a specific person that the university wants you to talk to. You should not talk to that guy. You should talk to this person, and so even thinking about that, you think about how much public health officials are trying to come up with messaging that they think will be one. Basically accurate but to effective and getting individuals and groups, more importantly, to change their behaviour on mass? And so I think that yoke oh, they were definitely not having the conversations about face last couple of weeks ago, but they didn't know the guy. They heard at this conference who seemed like you knew what he was talking about. Who had talked about and now they're going to talk about that more widely, but it again one of the challenges of a pandemic- that a pandemic does not operate in a vacuum, a pandemic
rates in a world in which a large swathes of the country thinks that this is a attempt to take down trump, and so after to try and limit public gatherings are immoral and evil, and there Eddie Ban here, there's an arrest of a pastor in Florida for purposely violating the group gathering rules, you have another throughout the country who wants to say like we are smart, we believe in science we participate participate in the march for sites and so we are going to listen to Doktor Anthony found she and if he says this will just go with it, not necessarily because of like a deep, intrinsic understanding, a public health, but because that just seems like the thing that they should be doing and in all of this is all attempting to respond to a pandemic. That does not really play politics, because that's not what virus do answer.
It's a fascinating challenge to have all of this meshed into a political culture where you have the compete, the norms of a distrust of academics and thinkers and and distrust of the administration, which means that you have half the country who any time the Trump administration does anything there like. We should do the exact opposite of whatever their saying, and then you have. The people were like, oh this, intellectual said I should do this, I'm not gonna, listen to them. All of this is making me feel like. The real question is: how is it that hand what that lake vigour? is handwashing has it appears to have escaped this poem politicization like there aren't people signalling that they only wash their hands for five seconds. That kind of thing So maybe that's a model of that everyone should have been vigorously washing their hands the whole time right. I mean it, but I do think that is I mean I think bit
CS. I never. I had no idea I've learned so much about handwashing, as was rightly the twenty second thing. I used to think that the water temperature was important, the you you need really hot water, apparently, is not true, the particular motions that you need to undergo to make sure that your hands are washed properly like. I don't think that it's and of individual error. To say that proper hand washing, unlike initial caps, was not something that a lot of Americans were doing, and yet it has not become so. Thing that is being actively rejected by anyone, and so is lungs. We're looking for good models of public health communication. It might not be the worst thing to start there, but that but settlers a break and musk, let's get our white paper. Let's get out of virus land if you're a gig worker or self employed, theirs Good news about PPP loans, you might want to consider millions of self employed workers, may qualify for up to fifty thousand dollars in one hundred percent forgivable alone.
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Have today the gender gap in housing returns by Paul Goldsmith, pink them and Kelly Shoe, and it says that there is a gender gap in housing returns that men make more money in the real estate market than women. So now, I'm in what's, but what's wrong with you? Ladies you don't that's! That's the real. The real learning point here is that it's our fault, but I do think it's interesting how This is reflective and so many other facets of life. One of the points of order. Where is that women by the same property for about two percent more and sell for two per cent less- and I was thinking about this myth dimension. Difference is an initial list, pricing and negotiations. But our thinking about this, I wonder if you would see the same data and other sales and efforts to by that require that kind of negotiating. This has been discussed at
The empire women are not primed to negotiate traditionally yeah this this is one of those economics papers that annoys me. About economics papers, because it's you know that if you, if they're trying answer the question: how much of the wealth gender gap can be explained by housing wealth that question they answer pretty straightforwardly it's about thirty percent. They're trying to answer the sub question of how much of the gender gap in housing returns can be? splain by just where, When single men versus single women choose to buy homes that they answer pretty straightforwardly, it's about five percent and then the rest of the question is: where is other fifty five percent coming from. How is it the case that you can explain and you know a little over half of a fairly significant gap with factors that you know
What a crew, when a single man in a single woman by in the same neighborhood, the same value of property right leg appropriated? That's a dino, valued roughly the same. At the same time, and that's where the observational data that they have can't really help them all that much like they acknowledged, for example, that it's really that you can't el. Whether women taking a weaker stances in negotiation is because themselves are doing that or whether, because their being given bad advice, because the fact of real estate transaction is, is that view few people are engaging in them. Solely with their own instinct about what good housing prices are pretty much. Everyone whose engaging in such a transaction has a realist agent or in some kind of equivalent, who is giving them advice about where to price their home when there, when they put it on the market. What to settle for its and so given that
the underlying question of a lot of gender gap research. Is ass to be to what extent are he's the results of individual choices in decisions, no matter how conditioned those may be by the machine of cultural production and to what extent is it that there are external practitioners that are preventing men and women from achieving equal outcomes like the role of this is a fairly important question there and they can't answer it based on the information that they have in this paper. So go sheet in question is an interesting one, but its work, that you know if you read this paper less than here, really. You might assume okay, so this is just because women are willing to settle or women. You know like women are choosing other thing: when when they decide where to live, rather than looking for the best deal, and that's not essentially the case, but we don't know whether or not as the case, because the data doesn't give us visibility there. I thought, though, that
The sort of broad stylized facts here are our interest rate, and so in particular, forty five percent of the gap and returns is not about these prices is about its about market. They call it market timing, but dead, like manner more likely to by low and sell high and women the opposite single man versus single women, because then they show that couples time the market even worse than single women do but then couples do better on that. The negotiating saw it that the buying selling sighed out whatever that is so you know, there's like a number of different sorts of dynamics and play there you can see why couples might be worse at market timing. Then either single men or single women, because when you buy a house as a couple at you face Intra house
hard bargaining dynamics rate. That, I think, is that without Atlanta House, as a couple is driven much more by non economic factors than it is like how The housing market look right now gap in general people, thinking I am, we are ready to a house not the market is ready for us to purchase a home right, although it kind of wonder of the same is true for single women like Idlest, I think fit they're. Not buying verses. Renting is like a reasonable thing to do. Does spend a whole lot on where you think you are in your life, and it might be the case that the think be factors. Led a single woman to decide. I am going to buy a house despite not having a partner, might be same kind of non economic factors where that might be a different calculus,
whoa. Something I have heard from realtor is who I know is they say that the overwhelming preponderance of single clients that they have are women that it is not uncommon for a single woman in hurdle twenty or her thirty years to decide she wants to buy a house as active maturity. Grown up ness and that there are many fewer male buyers and then, when they are intensity, older people, United Marriages, are splitting up or or something like that. Rather, that nets are young, so it's possible that home buying is less normalized for single men, so the ones who are doing it or like real estate. Sharks who are like like really because the interesting thing about real estate right is, like normal people, don't try to time the stock market.
And you are strongly advised not to do that, and I will also advice you not to do that. Like put money in your retirement account put in a broad index, blah blah blah blah works with real real estate, there's no equivalent that right, like most Americans at some point, their lives on a home and you have no alternative, but to like pick a particular huh Why did I not just you? It's not just in investment peace. It's also like You have to be making a decision, not only how much will this be worth when I decide to sell it, but what will my living experience be between now and that point right exactly so for most people, homeownership is a housing arrangement, not an investment decision. Obviously you will get better investment returns, the more you look at it as an investment decisions, and so, if their different preferences around housing arrangement, you were gonna get a larger pool of the buyers who actually are just trying to make investments casino, definitely like
I I did buy a house- is a single man and it was like I had bread sheets alike, let us have I was like this is gonna, be great and, like I made it, I made a killing on that place. Then later, as like a married person with a kid, it's a lot alike. Hemming in hiding and like is this space suitable, the family, and what do we think about the school and yet yeah and you like you, try to get a fair price. You know it's like you do what you can, but Europe operating under so many constraints. It's like You never gonna be like as an awesome investor as you are when you have no judgments. What I really want to see now is this is: is this kind of political base that we have in this paper, matched with Serbia Unlike do you feel that your house is somewhere you're going to want to stay for the rest of your life. Do you enjoy being where you are you you know? Do you spend a lot of time in your neighborhood that kind of
I do wonder to what extent this is a question of. Is it correct that single men who by houses, are seeing them as investment decisions, and I think that that's fear the easily answerable and might help us get some way toward figuring out. Is it just that women worse at this or men and women playing different games. I agree you could probably put out a mask, walk around town and proper it's him- get real estate buys under current conditions. I'm not really. My building tried to have an open house. Last weekend was now ideal. It was not ideal, but you know we can have a whole separate episode on the role of Condo Association. Ends and other intermediate institute and in trying to change individual behaviour in this, but so Guess, open houses are probably probably now Adeline, ok, that's so that will let everyone gets back to add two isolating yourselves.
Add socially there. If you are craving human conduct, we have human contact. We have that the weeds Facebook Group, therefore you to today I say how you gettin by your real estate, marketing tips. Everything else thanks. If your way you take subscribed did John Gulfs Cooper, virility fitted Listen you just abandon all family and personal connections and you can make a rational decision thanks as always to our producer, Jeffrey GEL, been working with us to many arduous recording circumstances, and the week will be back on Friday. Okay,.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-19.