Pandemic blog 19: a socially distanced mathematician reads the newspaper

Just putting in links to some articles that are open in my browser, and that represent what’s going on these days.

The CDC put together a best-practices guide for businesses, organizations, and religious groups planning to reopen during the pandemic, but the Trump administration kiboshed its release.

A mall in Janeville struggles to stay alive. The stores can’t or won’t pay rent. Why is the landlord (a private equity company) demanding it? Surely they’d rather have a tenant three months from now then get one month of rent and then have no tenant because they bankrupted the tenant they had. Leila Schneps tells me that, in France, landlords who forgo the next three months’ rent get a property tax break that compensates them for the loss.

For $89, Frontier will leave the middle seat next to you empty. Presumably this offer only applies while Frontier can’t fill the planes anyway. So what happens if people don’t pay; they pack all the passengers into ten full rows and then don’t let anyone move to an empty row unless they cough up $89?

The Arizona Health Department tells ASU to stop modeling COVID. “We realize that you have been, and continue to be working very hard on this effort, so we wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you won’t expend further time and effort needlessly.” ASU says nope, we’re still doing it.

Oh yeah, and when I wasn’t reading the newspaper I was writing something in the newspaper! A piece for the New York Times about pooled testing, an old idea that’s come back to relevance as we try to figure out how to test huge numbers of Americans faster than we can produce test kits.

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2 thoughts on “Pandemic blog 19: a socially distanced mathematician reads the newspaper

  1. Noam D. Elkies says:

    covid-19 blog 19

  2. Mark Meckes says:

    I’ve often thought that a break on property taxes for landlords who forgo rent would be one of the best ways to mitigate the financial effects of this crisis. But property taxes in the US are collected locally, and local governments mostly can’t afford to forgo that revenue. So this would require federal funding, and lots of federal/local coordination and cooperation. So I’m not holding my breath, is what I’m saying.

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