Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Three major long-term trends have just been thrown violently into reverse: The rise of cities, the rise of global just-in-time supply chains and the rise of the sharing economy. Conditions in all three cases are almost certainly going to get significantly worse before they get better.

The big picture: Cities are victims of the virus, but they're also a key vector for its spread. By their nature, they involve hundreds of thousands of humans living and working in close proximity to one another and relying on myriad shared services. Without cities the coronavirus would find it much harder to spread.

  • The sharing economy is built on a simple and powerful premise: that items from scooters to cars to homes can be put to most effective use if they're shared among multiple individuals. But sharing, now, is exactly what the world is trying to minimize.
  • Global supply chains are similarly being hurt by the virus. They're often based on the hyper-efficient movement of parts and components among dozens of different countries, in a complex dance in which a single missing piece can mean no end product at all.

The bottom line: All three trends maximize the efficiency of an economic system. The downside of that is becoming clear: Fragility and efficiency are two sides of the same coin. The more efficient a system is, the more easily it can break.

Go deeper: Brace for coronavirus supply shocks

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The amorality of finance is at the core of America's biggest issues

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Economics is rarely aligned with morality. That's one lesson from the looting example I wrote about last week: Looting is harmful to society, and is criminalized for good reason, even though it can have positive economic consequences.

Why it matters: The disconnect between economic and moral imperatives lies at the heart of the biggest issues facing America today, from the rising appeal of socialism to the question of how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Jun 19, 2020 - Health

The murky rules around coronavirus testing insurance coverage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Some insurers' limits on coverage for coronavirus testing may push the bounds of federal law.

Why it matters: Testing people who aren't displaying symptoms is an essential part of the public health response to the coronavirus, but some insurers appear to be unwilling to pay the full cost of those tests.

Jun 19, 2020 - Sports

NFL's top doctor: There won't be "football as usual" in 2020

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, told Axios that he's "very optimistic" about the league's season moving forward this fall — but cautioned that it won't be "football as usual."

Why it matters: "There are going to be a lot of changes in the way that we do things, from how we practice, to how we lay out our facilities, to how we travel, to how we organize sidelines and the on-field experience," he said.