Jason Mraz On 'Look For The Good'; Older People Grapple With Technology

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From NPR and WBZ. Im Tanya Moseley. I'm Jeremy Hobson. It's here and now the. Us economy continues to hemorrhage jobs at a staggering pace. The Labor Department said today that the number of people filing new jobless claims hit four point. Four million last week bringing the total over the last five weeks to twenty six million Americans from. Let's bring Allie Val she. Msnbc ANCHOR and economics correspondent Ali when you put the numbers another way that means approximately sixteen percent of the American workforce is now unemployed unheard of level since the Great Depression. Right we've fast. We far surpassed Two thousand nine the recession which was ten percent. These are not official rates. The official unemployment rate for America's four point four percent. But that's because we haven't measured anything past the middle of March when the state home stuff started going to affect when you look at the jobless claims where you get that sixteen percent number If you add up all of this year unemployment claims so far through the middle of April are almost twenty nine million people now just to give you some perspective in nineteen eighty two the entire year. That was a bad year as a recession was thirty point. Four million people filed for unemployment claims. Two thousand nine was the second worst recession. Twenty nine point eight We're GONNA overtake both those numbers within a week. So by the end of April we will have beat everything until the recession. This is it just. There's no historical comparison to this. It's it's it's these numbers are at a scale. We're just not used to seeing when you look at who has lost Jobs Pew study found. Fifty two percent of low income families have someone who've lost job compared with just thirty two percent of higher income families. Why are some workers struggling more? And do you think layoffs will start to happen more equally the longer? This drags on no. Unfortunately the difference between now and the last recession Is that this is is disproportionately hitting people Who Look recessions always hurt people who are the worst off? The lowest wage earners the ones who are not on contracts one who easily be laid off the distinction between now and the last recession is more women because of the types of work that is stopped. More women are being laid off. Obviously the hospitality industry is very hard. Hit and those are people who are in particularly low wages because in many cases they were augmented by By tips but believe it or not. Hospitals are slashed icing staff forty-three thousand health positions Were were slashed in March. That's the worst that we've seen more than thirty years. Lots of other things. Keep in mind the things that aren't happening right. Waste Management Garbage collection warehousing education Scientific Industries a lot of technical things that aren't happening so it's across the board But it is disproportionately affecting low wage. Earners and what kind of strain is This putting on state governments as Senate Majority Leader Mitch. Mcconnell said yesterday that states should consider bankruptcy today. Michigan's Governor Gretchen. Whitmer said that's irresponsible. But at all these unemployment claims has got to be putting a lot of pressure on the states yes and and unlike the federal government which can go into debt and print. Money States can't do that. States can't go into debt. They can issue bonds for but take your projects building a bridge or a dam or something like that but they can't go into date debt nor can city so the only option for states and cities is to cut expenses. Now cutting expenses. Means the things that you get your garbage collection police ambulance at a very time when we don't need that but there's an estimate that states could be five hundred dollars In the hall over the next two years because of the extra costs and the lower revenues. They're getting because people aren't working. Msnbc ANCHOR and economics correspondent Ali. Thanks as always. There's also a battle brewing between several governors who pushed to reopen states and city mayors. Who are adhering to guidelines? That experts say will slow the spread of the corona virus and the state of Tennessee. The governor says the vast majority of businesses will be allowed to reopen on May first and joining us to talk about. This is John. Cooper Mayor Tennessee's capital and biggest city Nashville and Mayor Cooper models from the University of Washington. Say Tennessee should wait until mid or late. May to reopen. Your governor is talking about next week. What are your plans to reopen is? Is that really too soon for Tennessee. Well boy. All models are wrong. But they're quite informative. We in Nashville have data's variable but we've had a lot of good news you know. Yesterday we had only twenty six new cases. Today's a lot more than that. What is the average on a weekly basis? We're all working together. We have to have a restart and restart has to be safe and a not not a restart gets undone by improper implementation in Tennessee. Metro cities are allowed to have a little bit of a different path. But we're all basically on the same schedule. We're hoping to be a few weeks. Away from a phased restart and the early phases. We'll still be pretty tough until a data driven trigger happens into gently moving through the different phases to where we can mostly all get back to work. I want to ask you though about the tough times that you're talking about and the reopening. Are you worried at all about Nashville hospitals bearing the brunt of reopening? I mean people from outside of your your county getting sick and coming to Nashville for care. Well I of course am. It's one of the conditions for being to talk about reopening But right now in Nashville hospitals we only have sixty or seventy cases. Now this is a blessing because a few weeks ago we were talking about opening a fourteen hundred bed emergency center which nobody believes is needed in the current environment. Now if there's a trigger and we relapse then of course. We need to go and do that. But you're in a city here. We don't have that many hospitalizations Completely blast we've only had twenty two deaths in Nashville. That's the tough thing to say. Only but if you look around the country that is only figuring out how to restart and a gentle and safe. Manner is a good timely project. The trick is to get the public to understand. You can't get to the first phase unless you have the metrics that allow you to do that. And the daily reports are report card. All of us you know like other cities You're facing and credible economic pressure as tax revenue drops. You've proposed a property tax hike to make up for that which would be as high as twenty percent. You had previously voted against a property tax increase. How did you decide that that was the right solution? You decide things when you have no choice. We have multi hundred million dollar budget hole in Nashville where based on sales taxes from hospitality to a big degree so the loss is particularly severe and ultimately local governments have to have balanced budgets. You can't borrow money. We're not getting federal help for this. I mean I think. Would you like to have more federal government and they? They've put out federal help but they loved on a shelf. We can't get to under conditions that do not help. Cities repair their budget problem in paying for police and teachers and so a lot of cities are having to go to lay offs. We're GONNA take a path. Here of protecting our employees getting ready for a restart. We hope it sooner rather than later. Now we have a very low property tax here in Nashville also so we can raise our property tax and still be competitive. But we're doing it because there's no choice. We had a lot of financial problems before this and then this is just pushed us over the edge. That's Nashville mayor. John Cooper. Thank you so much for this. Update on it without history. Artists have depicted viruses in creative and sometimes cartoonish ways to make sense of something. We can't see with the naked eye. Npr's Ulaby reports on how we picture disease back. When we first started anthropomorphized. Something invisible people did not even really know what disease was so these the images that made sense little figures of demons that were physically attacking the body. That's Jared Gardner. He's a professor who studies medicine and popular culture. He says the grim reaper and similar images were first used to represent disease as well as pictures of the pain disease caused like little dogs biting your feet for Coutts for example gout cholera yellow fever. The way we picture these diseases changed once. We understood germs but when the so-called Spanish flu hit a nineteen. Eighteen Gardner says people thought it was spread through mosquitoes. And when you look at comics of the period you'll see mosquitoes and xenophobia. You'll often have on Schiavo dressed up in a of toreadors. Kate which is odd given that skiavo had little anything to do with the flu. And it's spread these days. You see corona virus depicted as the bad guy from the horror movie hellraiser whose head is covered with pins. Someone dressed up as him to pretend to be corona virus on a satirical news show in Egypt or not on the hand. Emmett haggem thought among many or as a deceptively cute animated Blah bouncing around on Stephen Colbert Online. Show tuning out the news. You know when you all you want as many people as possible in in. Have all these pieces of garbage? I was surprised how enduring the character was an case. Herwig is a nurse and a scholar of Medical Khartoum's she says during the HIV Democ of the nineteen eighties eight Scott pictured as a monster in the shadows. That's partly because at first we did not know what that virus look like. What's been remarkable about covert nineteen? Is that from the beginning? We had a visual of the pathogen. Which is why we picture it now. The way it really looks as globe with the crown of spikes making acute strikes a balance says in helping communicated message about public safety and to suggest that corona virus might be something will eventually be able to tackle and control Netto ulaby. Npr News this message comes from here and now sponsor indeed when it comes to hiring. You don't have time to waste. You need help getting to your shortlist of qualified candidates fast. That's why you need indeed dot Com post. A job in minutes set up screener questions then zero in on qualified candidates using an intuitive online dashboard. And when you need to hire fast accelerate your results with sponsored jobs new users can try for free at indeed dot com slash here now terms conditions and quality standards apply offer valid through March. Thirty first twenty twenty conservative media outlets including Fox News have come under heavy criticism. Not just for downplaying the threat of the corona virus early on but for playing up the anger at stay at home orders. Here's Fox host Janine Pirro. Speaking last week as protestors rallied in Michigan they WANNA keep us locked in our homes. They WANNA keep us away from churches and synagogues they WANNA make sure we don't go back to work they don't get it. The American spirit is too strong and Americans are not going to take it for more. We're joined by. Npr media correspondent. David Folkenflik. Hi David. Hey Jeremy so we just heard Fox News Janine. Pirro there on the stay. At Home Protests Info wars has gone even further. Here's Owen Schroeder host of the show war room this is the time where we have to reclaim our country. This is you're GONNA to have to make a sacrifice. Okay I mean it for some. It may be nothing for some maybe a sacrifice of just not wearing a mask outside others may have to take an arrest or get a fine but this is the battle. I mean if you don't make a sacrifice you have nothing David. How much has right wing media including info wars given these protests boost you know? These protests are not enormous. It's not like the tea party movement that you saw in two thousand ten which in which know conservative media and Fox significantly played a role as well but I think they are given some legitimacy as an expression of some sort of significant public sentiment that far outstrips what you're seeing in public opinion polls and what you're seeing in fact by the very fact that so much of America shut down. People are voting and protesting in some ways by staying at home some willingly some grudgingly but I think that you're seeing legitimacy given here. I think that you're seeing people being exposed to this as part of legitimate legitimate descent and debate in American society. And I think that if conservative media major outlet standby this you will start to see more of it. Bubble probably as an expression of partisan identity and support for the president from those who hold those police most strongly these outlets including Fox News have also been accused of downplaying the risk of the pandemic especially early on. Here's Jesse waters on Fox News on February episode of Fox and friends. I'm not afraid of the corona virus and no one else should be afraid either my hand. I I have people calling me from in the middle of the country. Their property surrounded by acres. They live in the middle of nowhere. And they're asking me about the corona virus. Are you crazy? What are they scare for? So that was in February. This is rush limbaugh radio just last. Friday people instinctively know now that however bad this is it isn't as bad as they all told us. Not One model has been even close to correct and everything. The medical and health experts have implemented or advised to be implemented have been based on these erroneous models. David your thoughts on this. Because a lot of people have blamed a conservative media for downplaying this to the point where their relatives have gotten sick and even died because they were listening. You see news articles where people have attested and made the contention that in digest as you say. That relatives believed in what Fox had to say are believed in what conservative media figures had to say or some more conservative public officials might say in seemingly dismissing the risk that this pandemic poses and then succumbed to the disease themselves. There's a study out that makes a claim. is not been peer reviewed but it's done by respected scholars. Some of whom are based at the University of Chicago that viewers of Sean Hannity were more likely to be exposed to the disease than viewers of Tucker Carlson who actually took it more seriously and earlier and I think that even if that study may have to be closely scrutinized for how it plays out? It has not yet been fully peer reviewed yet. I think there is notion of fact that people's beliefs are shaped by what they consumed swimming in these waters. If these are the conversations people are having saying well. We have to balance freedom and liberty and Descent is important and we shouldn't just blindly accept what public officials are saying to the point. Where you're dismissing then. What the overwhelming evidence seems to show. Which is that rush. Limbaugh slight that right. The models aren't perfect and have not been accurate or even always in quite the right neighborhood but the overall notion that it's being brought down by people not mingling but people not being in public seems absolutely borne out by everything we've seen and you know part of what the media does. The scrutinize fosters debate. But it also has to present the public with information. It needs to live their lives. David Fox News also doesn't appear to be backing down from embracing hydroxy chloroquine. Even as president trump has been talking about it less. This is Laura Ingraham just last night. Speaking with Jeff Collier a doctor and former Republican governor of Kansas physicians themselves are taking hydroxy chloroquine as a prophylactic against themselves coming down with Paris and perhaps getting seriously ill Dr Collier. They're prescribing it to themselves thirty happening. No it's already happening David. Just a few seconds here but that surprised that they're still doing that. What you're seeing is when a Fox's most outspoken figures responding to the networks own efforts to rein in it stars a little bit to be a little bit more responsible to acknowledge the risks as the public criticism is built up as even top official at Fox. This week tried to take steps to pull people back a bit. You're seeing some of their star saying no. You can't control us. You're going to pull us in. We're going to push back and try to repeat some of the Possibly damaging things we've said in the weeks that procedure this is. Npr media correspondent. David Folkenflik. Well one way to limit time in public is through technology using APPS to buy groceries or get things delivered but that can be a challenge for senior citizens joining us now by skype is Joseph Coughlin. Who's the director of the MIT age lab? Joe Welcome to here now. It's ready to Germany. Thank you well. I should start by saying this is not just a problem. For senior citizens. People of all ages can struggle with this but what are some of the reasons that older adults might not adopt new technologies like using smartphone APPs to order groceries or do banking online well my colleagues at the MIT Of studying the technology older adult interface. Four frankly two decades now and there's a number of reasons and some of them a lot of people may not like The mythology if you will. He's at older adults. Do not like technology. They're not willing to adopt or adapt to it well for some of us. That's true. Generally we find those people. Frankly were not high adopters when they were in their twenties and thirties regardless of what the technology was one of the greatest barriers however is that the technology itself is being designed by the very young for the very young. So what does that mean? How do you design something for the very young? If you think about it. One of the reasons why younger people pick up technology or at least we think they do. Faster is because remember to them. Everything is novel and so therefore it's worth a try they have. Shall we say no mental model away that they've ever done anything differently so they're willing to try with an older adult remember? They've got decades of finding ways of doing things. Frankly it worked out just fine. The Bar is higher in terms of my worth my time my hassle and my money to adopt your new technology will the other thing is that it can be difficult for a younger person to explain to the parent or the grandparent. How to use this new technology can be frustrating for everyone involved. What's a better way for seniors to learn how to use new technology? Actually if you think about it it's the way that even younger people are which is few of us. If you will have an intuitive understanding of technology we learned through Pierce. We look over the shoulder of France. What's that APP? How did you do that? Let me show. Older adults have a far smaller circle of you will. So what are the things we may want to think about his help? Older adults realize or frankly people any age generally speaking. You can't break it. Go ahead experiments. If it doesn't work shut it off and try it again. Secondly there are resources out there. I would direct many people to the AARP website. An organization called oats for older adults. Technology Services is well as frankly Germany. You and I know there's always a twelve year old kid on Youtube. His MOTHER'S BASEMENT. That knows how to write code or whatever it is or than you and I and then probably the other part is. Don't forget about friends and mentors whether they're older or younger. That's probably your biggest trusted source of people that will help you and understand you at the same time now. Part of the reason that some seniors may not want to use. Let's say a grocery delivery APP is that they may think it is risky to put credit card information in there. They don't trust it. What's behind that absolutely? In fact trust is a major issue although it is counterintuitive. Do you know that the younger you are the less trusting you are in other people and institutions as well which is Kinda funny given the fact that younger people are more likely to get a car with a stranger on an APP then older people for older adults that may have that fear and it is justified fraud? Theft is out there what I would suggest as they get one credit card that is dedicated just for that purpose it does not have that big a credit line and the brand of the card is known for being very defensive of your privacy and your protection so we're all learning a lot of new things in this crisis that will probably last for the long term. I for example have learned to make avocado toast. It's not very difficult but it's really delicious Do you think that senior citizens may learn new technologies because they have to right now and that will improve their lives in the long run? Exactly this gets over the Hump if you will of Ed. Do I really need it? It's a hassle. This actually has accelerated technology use and service adoption to the home in ways. We've never thought about before at the age level even entire program dedicated to managing the home as a service. Not just a place so whether it's telehealth food delivery entertainment social connection. This is becoming the new normal whether you're twenty or whether you're a hundred and twenty that is just Coughlin who's director of the MIT. Th Lab thank you so much for joining us and you know any other year tonight's NFL draft would be one of the biggest events on the calendar. Thousands of fans would show up in person to cheer or Boo as their team. Select the nation's top college football players. Of course this is not a normal year. Tonight's draft will be done remotely sort of like a huge zoom meeting with millions of dollars at stake for more. We're joined by Mike Pesca here and now sports analyst. He's also the host of the daily. Podcast the gist on slate dot com and Mike. How is this going to work well? They hope it's going to work. So the original idea for the draft before Corona virus hit was Las Vegas spectacular with the draftees riding in boats on the Bellagio Lake. This having kind of extravagant ridiculous there are going to be hundreds of different videos that have been shipped out by ESPN which will be broadcasting. The draft and people draftees the team executives will be filming themselves. That is what we the viewers will get to say. In TERMS OF TECHNOLOGY THEY'LL BE USING. It's not actually zoom zoom a little insecure or a lot insecure according to some media reports. They use a Microsoft application. Where I swear. Every day they send out three different notifications about just how secure this application is so when you get right down to it. The draft is an exercise in human resources and it seems like a TV extravaganza. But it doesn't have to be so I think the bare bones of telling college players who've I'll be playing for that will go smoothly. What we get to see might be a little glitch. E Yeah imagine though that the TV ratings are going to be huge because there is nothing else right so as a base at the WNBA TV ratings and the WNBA draft was an all but on looked on thing it more than doubled this year because there was some actual sports content. That wasn't a documentary That wasn't you know. Just replaying an old game so ESPN's ratings of course have fallen tremendously to say nothing of the NFL networks. They are salivating to have an actual piece of programming with some drama and uncertainty involved. It might not be a sport but it's close. Yeah you know my husband has ESPN Allen. Still like he's watching it as if some sort of game is just going to appear out of nowhere watching all those documentaries and stuff but you know the bigger question is they're even going to be an NFL season this fall for the players. Do get drafted tonight. Well the NFL thinks there is and the White House wants there to be an anthony. Fauci gave some interviews where he laid out plans where it could happen and the NFL also knows that other leagues have to go first so the MLB sees the truncated NBA season. Maybe they'll sequester or quarantine their players test. Them repeatedly play before empty stadiums. Maybe a third filled stadiums but of course a lot of that is predicated on what all of society wants which is enough and sufficient and accurate enough testing to make sure that their interactions don't lead to the spread of the virus. You know I mean a lot of folks are asking. The question will sports survive in general. I assume it will once we get back to normal. I mean it's just a part of the human condition to want to connect in this way. But what are your thoughts? I mean if you compare the signs of the business professional sports it seems big and the players get big salaries but it pales to other businesses yet. It's so often talked about. I think that we will want and find a way of our sports. Yeah Mike PESCA is here now. Sports analyst he also hosts the daily. Podcast the gist at slate. Dot Com. Thank you so much. You're welcome if you need a break. Maybe something to lift your spirits singer. Songwriter Jason Mraz is back with some new music. Follow the good said look for the good is the just-released reggae flavored title. Track on Marasmus album. Which will be coming out in June and Jason. Mraz is with me now on a very good quality microphone in his home studio in California. Jason Great to have you back. Thanks for having me on your program. It's a pleasure. I know that you as as all of us are joining us from home from your home studio. How'd you been holding up during this pandemic? You know I think during this pandemic we're all asked to master what's in front of us and for me. It's learning how to handle my career which is typically an outward expression out there in the world and I'm also learning how to master patience because that's what's in front of me here at home. Yeah I I love to stay creative. I love to stay active and now that I'm being You know we're all being asked to stay home. I'm learning how to master that patients in you know as well as some household chores and boxes and things that I've put off until quote unquote. Someday I think a month of Sundays has finally arrived right. Wouldn't you say master patients? What does that mean? How does that play out? Oh easily distracted myself with just more business more doing more more music more towards more projects and in this case we're really being asked to consume less and really reserve those resources for the essential workers. Busying myself driving around flying around creating things just taking from the economy. I'd be taking from my community and and I don't WanNa do that. What I have to say people listened to look for the good You can hear the sort of quintessential Jason mraz upbeat outlook. And I have to say one thing that I'm noticing and I'm lucky not to have gotten sick yet from Cova nineteen. I still have a job of income but I've noticed it. I'm having trouble sleeping Pretty regularly because probably the amount of time. I'm focused on the news which can be pretty depressing. But what about you? How are you able to stay positive and upbeat right now? Well I use music as my practice to help me look for the good. Music is an art of language and in that language. I get to choose the kinds of words that I'm bringing into action. You know those will eventually influence or affect my thoughts they'll affect my actions my attitudes and therefore my life experience can hover or dwell on the positive side. So that's where I choose to dwell even if I'm looking at the news and there's totally different frequencies happening on the news. I do my best to then transformed transmute translate even what I'm experiencing in the news into something good or to breathe life into it through music now. This song look for the good is being used as part of a campaign called food for heroes by the mayor's office in New York City. Which of course has been the epicenter at least so far in the US of the covered nineteen crisis. Tell us about that. This project the mayor of New York. His office has the fund the Mayor's Fund to advance New York City and within that find they've started the food for Heroes Fund which is going to provide upwards of tens of thousands. Hopefully thirty thousand fifty thousand hot meals a month to essential healthcare workers in personnel. And they're creating a PSA to basically raise awareness about this fund to bring dollars awareness to the healthcare workers so they can get some hot meals and we've lent our song to this campaign to run in the background just to amplify the message and hopefully raise the raise vibration and awareness around their efforts. It's a beautiful thing. Look for the good is not the only song on here. That has a reggae. Feel to it most all of them do. Let's listen to another one. This is called wise woman killed so much she does. She stays in touch with drew brees. She's out there with the planet but she keeps down by Jason Meraz. You have fully embraced reggae. Because last time we talked we talked about how you had a lot of different genres in your music this time. I think you've gone full on reggae. I have yeah. Thanks for noticing The Reagan era has one. That has always been a great medium to sing about issues. You care about and the reggae backbeat which is generously provided by producer. Michael Goldwasser from easy star all stars. He and I became friends a couple years ago and started writing songs and last year decided to make an album together where I've composed although the lyrics and messages to try to breathe life into an issue that I think are relevant and many that I care about on a day to day basis. Is it your that your home and studio have been modeled off of Bob? Marley's exactly I shouldn't say modelled architecturally but I did tour Bob's home back in two thousand four hundred trip to Kingston when I was there working with sly and Robbie on a project and I at that time was a touring musician living in an apartment in Los Angeles and I knew that between tours. I should be settling down. I should find a home and preferably a home like the home. I just saw at Bob Marley's house which was this beautiful home that allowed. He and his band is family to all live together while they were recording or rehearsing that little studio in the backyard that had enough room to grow gardens and fruit trees etc. So I bought a little house on the fringe of San Diego about five Acre place. That had a fruit trees and a and a little space little garage that could be easily converted into a studio and so that was about fifteen years ago. Never did I imagine fifteen years later I would actually be making my own reggae inspired by that event and my love of reggae since then and are you embraced by the reggae community by the longtime fans of Bob Marley. I hope so you know I I. We went about this project with the utmost respect for the rage this album features a lot of different reggae styles. Vintage reggae rock steady. A little bit of Dancehall a little bit of Scar But mostly classic reggae and some pretty modern reggae and hip hop funky influences as well but we really did our best to tribute genre in hopes of being a bridge for people who may have never listened to reggae before that they can then start looking at the genre and diving in a little bit deeper about where we may have been inspired by our sounds. I WANNA listen to one more song here from the new album. This is called gratitude girls and showed me have a day and not the ones you tear down indicate that is so hard to go on may be like five so let me just finally ask you a question that I sort of can ask anyone right now and I would ordinarily say. When do you think this locked down is going to be over but for you I will say? When do you think you're going to be able to perform another concert again? Wow that is a good question you know we. We were actually planning on launching a tour already selling tickets already. It was a fall tore. I've got team members saying well it's fifty fifty but it's it's really hard to believe that by September fifteen people are going to WanNa live together on a bus and travel from town to town day after day in meet hundreds of people in small spaces. I also think the industry in general has made a huge shift and we've learned how to operate from home so seeing that there's real benefits to the environment there's real benefits to the air quality the water quality etc. So I hope it's actually a slow and thoughtful reintegration so that we can be not only mindful of each other in our health but the continued health and restoration of the planet. Because we've we've clearly known we've been in a climate crisis for decades and this may actually be a a surprising unique and necessary way of starting to address that issue as well so I'm hoping it's a kind and gradual reintegration. Not something where we just all opened the doors and go right back at it and then we caused this problem again. That is grammy winning musician. Jason Mraz WHO's new album? Look for the good is out on June. Nineteenth single is available. Now Jason. Thank you so much for joining us in stay safe. Jeremy Thank you so much you too and for more information on food for Heroes. You can go to here now dot. Org and while many of us are eager to get back to a normal life. Scientists still very much urge us to maintain social distancing to slow the spread of the corona virus researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have been looking at Geo location data on cell phones to track social distancing measures throughout the country and their research shows. It's working joining us. Now is Lauren ansel Myers. She's a professor of biology and Statistics who leads. Ut's cove nineteen. Modeling consortium. Welcome thank you. It's great to be here. Yes so based on the data you've collected. What grade would you give the? Us overall when it comes to social distancing efforts right now I think we would give the US as a whole pretty good grade And we can see that in the shapes of the covert nineteen mortality curves that were projecting so many states across the United States and the United States as a whole it seems as if the the rate at which new US or occurring has declined and those curves are starting to dissipate. And that is because of the effectiveness of social distancing. People are really cutting off contacts with each other. In a way that is stopping the disease from spreading. Can you tell us a little bit more about your research? How cellphone data is being collected in used in this way to to find these findings? Sure so the the model that you're talking about is one in which we're trying to project three weeks into the future. How many people will die from Cova? Nineteen in every state in the country and the US and the way we make. These projections is By using a model of how How deaths will increase as a function of how much people are coming in contact with one another. So how do we figure out how people are coming in contact with one? Another what we can't see that directly but what we can see is the GEO location data from a company called safe graph and they collect Geo Location anonymous you location data. They aggregate it from tens of millions of cell phones from around the country. So it's really rich. Data and it's organization is providing this kind of data to researchers across the country To support better more data driven modeling of cove in Nineteen And what that data tell us is how much time people are spending at home. How often they're going to places like grocery stores and pharmacies and other public spaces where they might come in contact with each other and spread disease. And what we see from the data all across the country is that over the last month. The amount of time people spit spend at home the how often they make trips to these points of interest where they could come in contact with each other Time at home is increasing has increased dramatically and the rate at which people are gathering in. These places is decreased dramatically. And so that is that is direct input into our model and leads us to project the continuing decline in cove. Nineteen deaths For the next few weeks however we can only see what people are doing up till today right and so. We don't know how that behavioral change next week or next month. So that means we can only project about three weeks out What will what will happen with cope in nineteen deaths right? It's amazing what we can learn from our cell phone data and usage. It can be uplifting for some to hear that social distancing is working based on your findings but for others. They might hear this and actually think. Oh okay well. It's it's not as high as it could have been. There's a lot of people who may think. Well I can go back to normal life What do you say to that that the second is unfortunately the wrong way to interpret it? What what the results say is that. It has taken extensive social distancing in order for us to mitigate this terrible threat and our populations and so what this really says yes I mean. It's uplifting in the sense that we can make choices. We can make decisions that not only protect our own health but protect the health of everyone in our communities everyone our country but unfortunately we have to keep making that decision. We have to continue to take precautions. That either prevent contacts between people or really reduce the possibility of transmission. If we do have to come in contact with each other and if we relax that now if we if we go back to life as normal unfortunately this virus will start spreading at the rate that originally started spreading when it first arrived in our cities. You're you're reviewing the state as you mentioned state by state. Can you give us some examples of what you're seeing in terms of when a peak may come are you are are some areas closer than others Well we have an online website that shows the projections of our model. And so you can actually look at your own state and see where you are a lot of the big states that have experienced very substantial numbers of of of deaths in cases already many of them now look like they're they're have either. It's very likely they've passed their peak or will do so within the next two weeks so it's looking it's looking positive you know in many states around the country at this point but like. I said that that could change very easily. If People's behavior change is Lauren ansel Myers she leads the covert nineteen. Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin and we will have a link to her research at here and now dot Org Lauren. Thank you so much. Thank you and in taking a deeper look at Lauren's projections. We zoomed in Texas. Where she lives and the UT model shows that the probability is sixty four percent peak has already passed. The confidence jumps as the days. Go on in two weeks. Time of additional social distancing Texas. The model finds the probability at ninety four percent here now is a production of NPR and W. B. U. R. in association with the BBC World. Service I'm Tanya Moseley. I'm Jeremy Hobson. This is here and now.

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