CORONA & Society pt. i - UNITED STATES
the corona crisis is plunging the united states of america into a headlong crisis. with an inept political leader, a broken health care system and a vulnerable neoliberalist free market economy, corona has become a reckoning for the world's superpower.
juxtaposing data on corona and the u.s. society, published on 27th mar 2020 with the most current numbers available at the time.
Video footage courtesy of:
At the time of writing, information on the Coronavirus Crisis grows and changes almost by the hour. Therefore, we stamped our films and images with the time of publication. We researched our numbers with due diligence, but given the uncertainty of the topics, contradicting information exists. We chose the sources we thought most authoritative on the given subject. Below are the claims used in our material with source reference provided for each number.
More than half of all U.S. jobs are now at risk
80% of US families will struggle within three months without income
An alarming paper published by Moody's Analytics claimed that 80 million U.S. jobs are now at risk, which is more than half of the available 153 million.
A March 18 survey by ParentsTogether revealed that 80% of U.S. families now worry about having enough money to cover basic housing and food costs within three months. 46% are worried about running out of money within the next two weeks.
The biggest U.S. employers, Walmart and Amazon, only pay sick leave to officially diagnosed or quarantined workers.
Even two paid ‘flu days’ would reduce workplace infections by 40%.
27.5 million U.S. citizens have no health insurance at all.
Walmart and Amazon are the two biggest employers in the United States. At the time of publication, Amazon and Walmart only offer 14 days paid sick leave to workers who have actually been diagnosed with Covid-19 or been quarantined. Amazon is being petitioned even by senators to change their policy. Both only over paid sick leave if workers are officially diagnosed with or quarantined because of Coronavirus.
The American Public Health Association Journal published a research by Kumar et al., 2013, that revealed that as little as two 'flu' days (allowing employees with influenza to stay home) would reduce the spread of influenza virus within the workplace by 39.22%
A United States Census Bureau report from 2018 found out that 8.5 percent, or 27.5 million people in the country did not have any health insurance at all.
Pneumonia hospitalization costs $10,000 or more
For 40% of US households even a 400$ emergency is unaffordable.
A report by Rae et al. from 13th of March 2020 looking into the costs on Coronavirus treatment found that treatment of pneumonia (caused by grave trajectories of the Covid-19 illness) average at $9,673 when no complications arise but can skyrocket to as much as $88,114 when complications arise and respiratory systems become necessary.
An inquest by the Federal Reserve from 2019 found out that 4 in 10 U.S. adults would have difficulty covering an unexpected expense of as little as $400, having to go into credit debt over it.
Trump’s Corona package costs $2 trillion
It gives $500 billion to industry,
$50 billion to airlines and
$1200 one-off payment to workers.
At the time of writing the package has passed the senate but is yet to be voted on by the House of Representatives.
Universal basic income for the U.S. would cost $0.5 trillion / year
It could give $1000 to every adult every month.
Economist Karl Widerquist published an influential paper in 2017 about the net cost of a basic income that would lift every adult in the United States above the poverty line. It totalled out at $539 billion and put the often misleadingly quoted but not meaningful gross cost of $3.145 trillion into perspective. On contacting Mr Widerquist, he explained that these calculations were of course made in 'pre-Corona times'. He explained:
'In a major economic downturn like we're having now, the cost is less important. Essentially free money is available. You spend more; people produce more; so you don't need to tax the money back. Demand creates its own supply. It's an unusual situation. How much UBI costs in money depends on how much of it you tax back, but how much it costs in taxes necessary to "fund" it in a time like this is virtually zero.'
well, we had all our projects cancelled or postponed, got quarantined or lockdowned and wanted to do something productive with our time.
also, we share the intense desire that the world may learn more than just hygiene from this crisis.
we wanted to contribute what little we can so when we eventually leave this behind, we don't go back to the same destructive system of capitalist economies running at breakneck speed, global dependencies and most of us with little to no savings or securities to make it through a few months of standstill.
we are relatively young. with the coming times of climate change and global disruption, this won't be the only breakdown of our lifetimes.
we don't want to sit there, 10 or 20 years down the line, when it all happens again, and wonder: could we have done something to learn from this crisis? to build a better, more secure and stable, social and responsible future?
MINIMUM OPACITY IS a creative information format developed and produced by ANNIKA MÜLLER, ALEXANDER tank and simon reichel.
corona math is A haus acf PRODUCTION
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