Mar 12, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus upends macro economy

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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More than 400 long-term care facilities report coronavirus cases

The Life Care Center of Kirkland nursing home in Washington, a center of the state's coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

More than 400 long-term care facilities across the United States are now combatting cases of the novel coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control told Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The numbers mark a 172% reported rise in long-term facility cases since March 23, notes NBC News, which first reported the news. Long-term care facilities often host ill and elderly people who are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of COVID-19. A spokesperson for the CDC said the agency is working with state and local health departments to assist facilities with the virus and help those without cases to reduce their risk.

Go deeper: Nursing homes prepare for coronavirus

America's grimmest month

Trump gives his Sunday press briefing in the Rose Garden. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump asked Americans to continue social distancing until April 30, officials warned that tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans could die — and that's the least depressing scenario.

Why it matters: April is going to be very hard. But public health officials are in agreement that hunkering down — in our own homes — and weathering one of the darkest months in American history is the only way to prevent millions of American deaths.

Go deeperArrowMar 30, 2020 - Health

Inside the start of the great virus airlift

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A plane from Shanghai arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York Sunday morning carrying an extraordinary load: 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 1.7 million surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,000 hand sanitizer units, and 36,000 thermometers.

Why it matters: The flight is the start of what might end up being the largest government-led airlift of emergency medical supplies into the United States.

Go deeperArrowMar 29, 2020 - Health