Life and Death During the Transition Depression

26 Oct 2020

(Broadstreet Blog) The New York Times published an interesting pair of reports on Tuesday. The first related a recent study in Health Affairs that documents a staggering, and unexpected, decline in hospital admissions since the arrival of COVID in the United States earlier this year. With the important exception of those areas where COVID infections are spiking, hospital beds are sitting empty, as admissions have declined for ailments ranging from asthma to pneumonia to heart attacks. Increased exercise and improvements to air quality—I remember both during my Parisian lockdown earlier this year—may be driving much of the decrease. [...]

We have been down this road before. The argument that economic collapse increases mortality echoes claims made during one of the most important economic events of the past half-century: the transition from centrally planned economies in the ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. [...]

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