COVID-19 in Boston

Johnnyrocket891

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I played golf with a guy heavily involved in the commercial real estate insurance business today and he thinks commercial real estate is toast. He's not even sure he's even going to go back into an office ever again himself. Every company is suddenly realizing they don't need a massive centralized physical presence.

Places like Boston and NYC could be in for a radical change in the next five to ten years.
The real estate groups that are over-leveraged definitely. The new construction buildings might not be able to service there loans. The suburban office parks are finished. (Thats like working from home anyway)
The core of NYC and Boston will always be desirable in my opinion for the right price and if you don't bring people together you do-not innovate. Expect a massive consolidation and price deflation in rents but I think the city will survive in the future and possibly flourish under new valuations.
The bailouts to the bankers will be looking for hardcore assets to buy up. That money creation will steal the rest of the equity or capital from existing owners/investors in those asset buildings in the city thanks to the generous money printing schemes by the FED.

Corporations that believe working from home and zooming their employees don't understand the MIT/Biotech model explosion in Kendall square. The only reason biotech/robotic sector has exploded is because of innovative minds at MIT.
If you start to think you can run your business alone without other peoples ideas and thoughts you will soon find yourself outdated.

The manufacturing base will be coming back home also from a communist regime--- I actually think the economy will take a hit for a year or two pretty bad---but America will become self-sufficient in manufacturing which will create a demand in industrial buildings and manufacturing jobs.

That was not a rant it was a fact---that our elected and past leaders chose to allow corporations to outsource manufacturing to a communist regime which has allowed the current situation of the Covid-19 to sacrifice over 100,000 American lives and shutdown the country. This is the Covid-19 thread right? I really don't believe my post was out of line compared to the opinion of Meddlepal "I played golf with a guy heavily involved in the commercial real estate insurance business today and he thinks commercial real estate is toast " My post was opinion based just like his.

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HenryAlan

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NYC has a much more logical system of blocks and parallel streets that allow some streets to be closed off while still maintaining a decent circulation system. It's tougher in Boston and surrounding cities with their haphazard and discontinuous street patterns.
It's really tough in Boston where quite often an arterial isn't just the widest, most direct route, but the only route. You simply can't close Mass Ave. to cars without thoroughly disrupting circulation throughout much of the rest of the city. And that's not the only example of this phenomenon.
 

jklo

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He said “under-30”, not “over-60.”
20-30 is the demo that's most afraid of getting The Rona and dying from it. Yes, even more than 60+. If they have (or think they have) options, they will be avoiding any crowded space in general and not just the MBTA.
 

lexicon506

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It's really tough in Boston where quite often an arterial isn't just the widest, most direct route, but the only route. You simply can't close Mass Ave. to cars without thoroughly disrupting circulation throughout much of the rest of the city. And that's not the only example of this phenomenon.
I actually think Boston has an advantage in that many of its key commercial corridors aren't key arterials. Obviously you can't close Mass Ave, but Newbury, Hanover, Salem, Charles, Beach, Lansdowne, Canal, Centre, and Northern, for example, could all be closed with tolerable traffic impacts. You could even make a case for parts of Harrison and Tremont in the South End, Broadway in South Boston, Boylston in Fenway, and Congress in the Seaport.

You have to get a little more creative in Allston/Brighton and Dorchester where commercial corridors and key arterials more often overlap, but overall Boston has it easier than say, DC, where it's almost impossible to separate the two.
 

George_Apley

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From here.

20-30 is the demo that's most afraid of getting The Rona and dying from it. Yes, even more than 60+. If they have (or think they have) options, they will be avoiding any crowded space in general and not just the MBTA.
Do you have data on this? If so, please share. I haven't seen any polling on how different demos fear covid.
 

meddlepal

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20-30 is the demo that's most afraid of getting The Rona and dying from it. Yes, even more than 60+. If they have (or think they have) options, they will be avoiding any crowded space in general and not just the MBTA.
Afraid of dying from Corona in the 20-30 age bracket? No... not at all. There's been like a handful of deaths. If there's any fear it's being massively amplified by something like Twitter. As someone in that bracket I'm more annoyed by this temporary hiccup than afraid of it.

What I am afraid of is my parents and elder family being killed by it.
 

Vagabond

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An excerpt from an MGH doctor's blog- food for thought:

"Study of interest this week: MGH did a very cool combined nose-swab “PCR” study (which shows if you HAVE it) and an antibody study (which shows whether you HAD it) in Bostonians who had no symptoms and no previous tests.

They did testing in areas with both high and low levels of Covid. They found:
a) 1 in 38 people (2.6%) were PCR positive (ie had Covid right that minute even though they had no symptoms)
b) 1 in 10 people (10%) were antibody positive (had already had it but didn’t know).

They also found that people were more likely to have unknowingly already had Covid (eg have a positive antibody test) if in the last month they:
a) thought they had had it (I call this the “‘I told you so’ syndrome”)
b) had had a fever at some point
c) had lost their sense of smell or taste

So this says two things to me. 

One, 90% of us in Boston haven’t been exposed to the virus yet (don’t have antibodies).

Two, the 1 in 38 number of people who turned out to be actively infected with no symptoms — this is a very interesting number. These are the people who are a real risk to you and me — they are almost definitely contagious.

Some people hear that number of probably contagious people —1 in 38 — and it feels super scary. But other people feel reassured. It’s all about perception of risk.

My cancer patients have taught me a lot about perception of risk.

Sometimes I tell Patient A in the morning that she has a one in eight chance of having her cancer come back and she says, “OMG, that’s so high, I’m doomed.” Then that same afternoon I tell Patient B the exact same thing — that she, too, has a one in eight chance of cancer recurrence — and she says, “OMG I love those odds, that’s fantastic, I’m so relieved.”

Same thing with this. Say you’re on the Red Line with 38 other people in your car. Do you look around and go, “OMG, one of these people has Covid right now and I’m going to get it for sure?” Or do you sit and smile to yourself and say, “37 of these people are totally healthy — I’ll be fine!”

People experience risk differently and that’s important to know about yourself when deciding what to do about reopening."

 
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Johnnyrocket891

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I'm wondering if the shutdown should have only been 2 weeks to prep the hospitals and prepare the nursing homes.
The damage to the economy and the wellness to our society is going to be worse than actual virus.


In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms

 

Arenacale

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An excerpt from an MGH doctor's blog- food for thought:

"Study of interest this week: MGH did a very cool combined nose-swab “PCR” study (which shows if you HAVE it) and an antibody study (which shows whether you HAD it) in Bostonians who had no symptoms and no previous tests.

They did testing in areas with both high and low levels of Covid. They found:
a) 1 in 38 people (2.6%) were PCR positive (ie had Covid right that minute even though they had no symptoms)
b) 1 in 10 people (10%) were antibody positive (had already had it but didn’t know).

They also found that people were more likely to have unknowingly already had Covid (eg have a positive antibody test) if in the last month they:
a) thought they had had it (I call this the “‘I told you so’ syndrome”)
b) had had a fever at some point
c) had lost their sense of smell or taste

So this says two things to me. 

One, 90% of us in Boston haven’t been exposed to the virus yet (don’t have antibodies).

Two, the 1 in 38 number of people who turned out to be actively infected with no symptoms — this is a very interesting number. These are the people who are a real risk to you and me — they are almost definitely contagious.

Some people hear that number of probably contagious people —1 in 38 — and it feels super scary. But other people feel reassured. It’s all about perception of risk.

My cancer patients have taught me a lot about perception of risk.

Sometimes I tell Patient A in the morning that she has a one in eight chance of having her cancer come back and she says, “OMG, that’s so high, I’m doomed.” Then that same afternoon I tell Patient B the exact same thing — that she, too, has a one in eight chance of cancer recurrence — and she says, “OMG I love those odds, that’s fantastic, I’m so relieved.”

Same thing with this. Say you’re on the Red Line with 38 other people in your car. Do you look around and go, “OMG, one of these people has Covid right now and I’m going to get it for sure?” Or do you sit and smile to yourself and say, “37 of these people are totally healthy — I’ll be fine!”

People experience risk differently and that’s important to know about yourself when deciding what to do about reopening."

Now that's a good blog. My worries throughout all of this have been those who are unwilling to accept any level of risk, making any sort of compromise on mitigating measures to open things up effectively impossible. You can already see it in people criticizing Baker's reopening plan for being too quick, of all things. It's fair to be worried and have some anxiety about the pandemic, but I also don't think it's reasonable to allow those with the most anxiety to dictate measures going forward. People will have to take some amount of personal responsibility and make decisions based on their own internal judgement, maybe take some mitigating actions, and try to avoid bad situations. Hey, that sounds like life in general!
 

Blackdog

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An excerpt from an MGH doctor's blog- food for thought:

"Study of interest this week: MGH did a very cool combined nose-swab “PCR” study (which shows if you HAVE it) and an antibody study (which shows whether you HAD it) in Bostonians who had no symptoms and no previous tests.

They did testing in areas with both high and low levels of Covid. They found:
a) 1 in 38 people (2.6%) were PCR positive (ie had Covid right that minute even though they had no symptoms)
b) 1 in 10 people (10%) were antibody positive (had already had it but didn’t know).

They also found that people were more likely to have unknowingly already had Covid (eg have a positive antibody test) if in the last month they:
a) thought they had had it (I call this the “‘I told you so’ syndrome”)
b) had had a fever at some point
c) had lost their sense of smell or taste

So this says two things to me. 

One, 90% of us in Boston haven’t been exposed to the virus yet (don’t have antibodies).

Two, the 1 in 38 number of people who turned out to be actively infected with no symptoms — this is a very interesting number. These are the people who are a real risk to you and me — they are almost definitely contagious.

Some people hear that number of probably contagious people —1 in 38 — and it feels super scary. But other people feel reassured. It’s all about perception of risk.

My cancer patients have taught me a lot about perception of risk.

Sometimes I tell Patient A in the morning that she has a one in eight chance of having her cancer come back and she says, “OMG, that’s so high, I’m doomed.” Then that same afternoon I tell Patient B the exact same thing — that she, too, has a one in eight chance of cancer recurrence — and she says, “OMG I love those odds, that’s fantastic, I’m so relieved.”

Same thing with this. Say you’re on the Red Line with 38 other people in your car. Do you look around and go, “OMG, one of these people has Covid right now and I’m going to get it for sure?” Or do you sit and smile to yourself and say, “37 of these people are totally healthy — I’ll be fine!”

People experience risk differently and that’s important to know about yourself when deciding what to do about reopening."

This is a great blog post but unfortunately it looks like those antibody tests could be wrong.

CDC - Antibody Tests

From the link:
Some tests may exhibit cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses, such as those that cause the common cold. This could result in false-positive test results. Some persons may not develop detectable antibodies after coronavirus infection. In others, it is possible that antibody levels could wane over time to undetectable levels. IgM and IgG antibodies are not present early in infection. Thus, serologic test results do not indicate with certainty the presence or absence of current or previous infection with SARS-CoV-2.
 

George_Apley

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Here are the new state guidelines for restaurant reopening.

Summary of today's announcements modified from UHub:

Outdoor dining can reopen first and tables will have to be six feet apart and parties cannot have more than six people.
Similar restrictions will apply to indoor dining areas once they're allowed to re-open, which will come at some later date; depending on Covid-19 data. Bar seating will be banned; restaurants will be allowed to re-purpose bar space for tables.

Diners must wear masks into restaurants or while moving about a restaurant, but will be allowed to remove them while sitting at their table.

Tables may no longer have bottles or jars of condiments on the table or be pre-set with silverware. Restaurants are encouraged to ask diners to order online in advance to help reduce contact between workers and patrons.

The governor's administration is currently working with the legislature to make it easier for restaurants that currently only have indoor liquor licenses to gain approval to offer drinks outdoors as well.

Boston will launch its own proposal to expand sidewalks into streets to give Boston restaurants more space to offer outdoor dining.

Restaurant owners will have to comply with a host of new cleaning and sanitizing regulations and could face closure should one of their workers test positive for Covid-19 for even more intensive cleaning. Owners are also required to let workers go home if they feel ill.

Hotels, B&B's and the like will be allowed to begin offering room to "non-essential" guests - but with the proviso they tell out-of-state guests they have to self quarantine for 14 days, but it will be up to guests to actually quarantine; the state won't enforce that.

Hotels are urged to leave rooms vacant for 24 hours between guests to allow for deep cleaning; even longer if a guest tests positive for Covid-19.

Hotels will have to continue to keep their ballrooms and conference rooms shut.
 

Arlington

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As someone who enjoys biking, I have to say that it is great to see so many other people on their bikes--many of them clearly new to biking--at all hours of the week. And so many more people walking.

Biking is rare: across the metro, most measures of biking put it in the single digit % (almost no matter what the question is (commute vs leisure) or what the framing is (urban core vs burbs)), meaning that 90% of people mostly never biked.

But let's imagine that before COVID 5% of people said "yes" to a "biking", and 90% said no.

Now let's say that 30% have tried biking during COVID. If just 5% of those 30% say "yes" that's about 2% "new yesses", and enough to cause the total number of cyclists to grow by 40% (from 5% to 7%)
 

Java King

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Anyone else missing all the Pride Celebrations that would usually happen this week? Sure doesn't seem like Pride Month! I'm going to have to fly a rainbow flag in Scituate.
 

citydweller

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George_Apley

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I hope that local businesses start to see that losing parking and making more space for pedestrians is good for their business and not bad. I'd love to see some of these changes stick around long after COVID is under control.
 

Vagabond

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I hope that local businesses start to see that losing parking and making more space for pedestrians is good for their business and not bad. I'd love to see some of these changes stick around long after COVID is under control.
 

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