The Female Gen X Midlife Crisis During a Global Pandemic
How have the women of Generation X (or Gen X for short) been sleeping during the first year of the pandemic? Not very well, says Ada Calhoun, the author of Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis.
Not that Gen X women (those born between 1965 and 1980) ever really snoozed blissfully, at least not in midlife.
Calhoun lays out her argument in her book (and in an interview with Everyday Health published in February 2020): Middle-class women who are now in their forties and fifties are depressed, overwhelmed, and feel like losers.
Out of the Pandemic, Chances for Another Future
About a year ago, just as the pandemic was hitting New York City, St. John Frizell and his two partners were readying for the grand reopening of Gage & Tollner, a newly renovated, 140-year-old restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn. One day before the March 15 opening — for which the three partners had spent almost a year and a half preparing — they made the difficult decision not to open.
Mr. Frizell retreated to his home in Brooklyn. “The only sounds in the street were ice cream trucks and ambulances,” he recalled. Anxious about going to the supermarket but needing groceries for himself and his son, he reached out to one of his vendors, Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op, to see about having some food delivered. Lancaster was delivering boxes of seasonal produce, but needed an order large enough to be worth the trip. So Mr. Frizell, who suddenly had downtime, did something he hadn’t done in a while: He reached out to his neighbors.
A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains
An emerging branch of neuroscience asks a question long on the minds of researchers. Recent stimulus payments make the study more relevant.
New monthly payments in the pandemic relief package have the potential to lift millions of American children out of poverty. Some scientists believe the payments could change children’s lives even more fundamentally — via their brains. It’s well established that growing up in poverty correlates with disparities in educational achievement, health and employment. But an emerging branch of neuroscience asks how poverty affects the developing brain.
The Global Economy’s Uneven Recovery
While the US, China, and other leading economies are on their way to a robust recovery, many others are struggling to return to pre-pandemic GDP levels. In most regions, including Europe and Latin America, the 2020 recession will most likely leave long-lasting scars on both GDP and employment.
The chances for a swift, uniform rebound from the COVID-19 crisis have dimmed, and the world economy now faces sharply divergent growth prospects. Although the latest update of the Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) offers some grounds for optimism, it also raises renewed concerns.
Do the Rich Support the Tax the Rich Campaign?
At 1 p.m. on a recent Sunday, faces and distinctive red-rose graphics began appearing in the windows of a Zoom meeting, as Pete Seeger’s “Which Side Are You On?” played in the background.
The call’s chat box filled up with names, pronouns, and affiliations, including ten different New York chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America (the rose is the group’s logo), from Buffalo to Nassau County. “Big statewide energy,” Stephanie Lemieux, from Brooklyn, wrote. The attendees were volunteers, and their mission was to phone-bank registered voters and ask if they supported taxing the rich.
Breaking the silence — an intergenerational call for unity and action
“I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed … without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words — delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, exactly one year prior to his assassination in 1968 — resonate even more deeply now than when he first spoke them.
Who is hungry in America? The pandemic has changed the answer.
Before the pandemic, rates of food insecurity in the United States had been declining during the longest economic expansion in the country’s history. The percentage of households that were food insecure for at least some portion of the year had dropped from 14.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
But within those households, that still represented 35.2 million Americans worried about a low-quality diet or even when they would get their next meal.
Some of America’s wealthiest hospital systems ended up even richer, thanks to federal bailouts
As the crisis crushed smaller providers, some of the nation’s richest health systems thrived, reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in surpluses after accepting huge grants for pandemic relief.
Last May, Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest nonprofit hospital system in Texas, laid off 1,200 employees and furloughed others as it braced for the then-novel coronavirus to spread. The cancellation of lucrative elective procedures as the hospital pivoted to treat a new and less profitable infectious disease presaged financial distress, if not ruin. The federal government rushed $454 million in relief funds to help shore up its operations.
The Politics of Stopping Pandemics
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, global instability had caused a worrying rise in epidemics. Medical science alone won’t be able to turn the tide.
“Just a few years ago, many of us in the global health policy community were thrilled at the prospect of eliminating catastrophic infectious and tropical diseases,” Peter Hotez writes in his new book, “Preventing the Next Pandemic” (Johns Hopkins). He dates this high point of optimism to the start of 2015, when the success of vaccination campaigns had become dramatically evident. Polio, once endemic in more than a hundred countries, had been limited to three—Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Measles deaths were down by eighty per cent, from half a million children worldwide in 2000 to a fifth of that number.
How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights Is Tearing America Apart
“Essential and fresh and vital . . . It is the argument of this important book that until Americans can reimagine rights, there is no path forward, and there is, especially, no way to get race right. No peace, no justice.”—from the foreword by Jill Lepore, New York Times best-selling author of These Truths: A History of the United States