Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Bruce Arthur warns against letting up in our effort to fight COVID-19 just when a substantial victory is in sight. And Stephen Reicher, Susan Michie and Christina Pagel offer their take on the needed response to the emergence of more dangerous COVID variants - including a couple of recommendations which tragically will almost certainly be ignored in Saskatchewan:

Fourth, given the growing evidence regarding aerosol transmission and hence the critical role of ventilation as a means of mitigation, adequate ventilation should be a criterion for commercial reopening, along with an enhanced inspection regime and grants available for improving ventilation, both in businesses and in the home.

Fifth, we need clear and consistent public messaging to communicate the changing risks from covid-19 along with clear guidance on how people can identify and reduce those risks in their own lives. There is a particular need to avoid the mistakes of summer 2020 when people were urged to return to offices (even when they were able and willing to work from home) and go to pubs as their “patriotic duty.” This creates a sense of “it’s all over” and encourages people to lower their guard.

- Meanwhile, Caitlin Owens examines the social predictors of vaccination rates (and their consequences for the U.S.' hopes of controlling COVID-19). 

- Emma Knight highlights Canada's mediocre results in providing for maternal health. And Chantal Braganza rightly argues that it's time to fix a crisis of care work - and to do so without expecting mothers to bear the additional burden.

- Amanda Peacher points out how public housing should be seen as desirable rather than a poorly-funded option of last resort (with Vienna as a prime example). But Luke Ottenhof reports that Doug Ford is focused instead on ensuring that tenants are unable to organize or to document his system of rubber-stamped evictions to provide even more leverage to landlords.

- Alan Rappeport reports on lobbying by U.S. banks to prevent the repayment of loans on behalf of black farmers who have faced historical discrimination. And Anand Giridharadas talks to Mariana Mazzucato about our ridiculous fetishization of businessmen at the expense of the public good - including through the needless promotion of philanthrocapitalism.

- Finally, Thomas Piketty writes that it's both possible and desirable to work toward a basic income, job guarantee and universal capital inheritance to ensure both a reasonable standard of living and genuine opportunities for all. 

[Edit: fixed typo.]

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