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The news interviews and analysis for the day ahead national international and local news tomorrow on morning edition it's here now remember when president trump said we cannot let the cura be worse than the problem itself meaning cove in nineteen and he said he envisioned church pews filled by what would be the end of this week Wednesday the CDC is saying everyone should stay home and wear masks for the foreseeable future and the Surgeon General Assembly this Holy Week for many could also be the saddest week in many Americans lives one reason for the change in policy could be that researchers from MIT found that during the nineteen eighteen flu the city is that shut down the most some other economies combat the strongest dilemma use a senior correspondent for vox is taking a closer look at the research I. Dylan hi robin and we should say these MIT researchers Sergio qureia Stephen lock and a meal Werner used data from a two thousand paper in the journal of American medical association Gemma that crunched some stats from nineteen eighteen of what different cities did so what were some of the things they did the varying degrees of isolation a lot of the the measures are quite similar to stuff that you hear about now during corona virus things like school closures bands on big public gatherings mandatory isolation and quarantine for people who have been diagnosed with corona virus it's a lot of social distancing procedures before the term social distancing became a thing is fascinating to read in your article that people were quarantined in their homes with an official placard declaring their location to be under quarantine and the cities that did the most in other words did not just one or two of these things but the most of them neither did them for health policies but as you write these health policies in fact became economic policies have so right so the first the jam a paper by doctors and public health researchers found a strong association between these policies and lower mortality but what these economists have done is hair that date on what cities did with data we have now about what happened to the economies in these cities over time so what happened to jobs at this point the mostly had a manufacturing economies of the particularly looking at jobs in factories and manufacturing output in manufacturing plants are the share of the population that has jobs and they found that just as areas with these policies have better health outcomes they also have better economic outcomes at least some of this seems to be because it really hurts our economy to have a large pandemic crushing through your city well especially if people die because as you write these health policies of quarantining and social distancing save lives the cities that have fewer deaths how to help your work force on the other side so fewer deaths equals a better economy exactly and conversely cities they got hit harder and one of the things they find this papers that those words disproportionately cities on the east coast that in nineteen eighteen to nineteen nineteen the pandemic sort of went east to west and so cities like San Francisco and Seattle have more time to get quarantine policies in place in cities like Boston or New York City were harder hit but once they were harder hit saw nearly a twenty percent drop in manufacturing output months after the pandemic it passed right and as you say the cities that were watching this happen had a better chance to put more isolation in place to try to stave off what they were seeing happen in other cities you point out there are some flaws with this for instance we don't know maybe the city's it'd better had other things that were better too including you know hospital infrastructures but it really does seem on the face of it that you know the way to have a better economy after pandemic is to have more pain during the pandemic and shut things down quicker and Dave off the effects of the pandemic that's right and one reaction some people have to secure can't be worse than the disease rhetoric is to say we don't exist for the economy the economy exists for us but I almost feel like you don't have to embrace that trade off and one thing this research shows us is that the economy is also made up of people and when people are healthier the economy is healthier yeah again this hasn't been peer reviewed this seem pretty eyebrow raising and it feels as if we don't know what it feels as if it's having an impact on policies as a maid now houses you know going through economic circles for sure I think one thing that's been remarkable to me is he in the unity of economics as a profession right now in this crisis there's just an enormous amount of consensus that we need to do is is keep people socially distant contain the pandemic save lives and worry about getting the economy back to where it was before after the pandemic of past well that also means is you right that we don't have to ask that terrible question what's the value of human life you had Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick saying grandparents would happily diet for the future economy of their grand children I'm paraphrasing but his point was we don't have to shut everything down to protect our senior citizens they don't want us to shut down the economy raising the question of what's the value of a grandparent's life you say this research seems to indicate we don't have to ask those terrible questions we know that shutting down the economy is better for those grandchildren after the pandemic is over absolutely one thing this paper suggests is that we might not have a hard trade offs here this might be a win win sterling Matthews senior correspondent for vox Dylan thank you so much thanks for having me right here now is a production of NPR interview our disassociation with the BBC world.