From childhood, I was determined not to become an economist. My father was an economics professor. So was his father, sister, and brother-in-law. I don’t know what other families talk about at the dinner table. My family talked about airline deregulation. My father was conservative, his relatives were liberal, and the same circular arguments about […]
About Martha Nelson
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Entries by Martha Nelson
Dear America, By now, six months into the COVID pandemic, you’re probably ready to punch someone in the face. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe your local school district just told you they’re not offering in-person school this fall. What the bleep am I going to do with my children?? Maybe you’d like to sucker […]
Low COVID infection rates of children combined with other countries reopening schools have made US officials bullish about sending kids back to the classroom this fall. But the question Should schools open? may not be as important as Will they stay open? Recurring outbreaks in a school district could mean a return to online learning […]
A coronavirus kindly spared a few minutes to tell me about the pandemic from its own perspective. Me: Thank you so much for taking the time. America has a lot of questions for you. First, is coronavirus the way you prefer to be called? Coronavirus: COVID is fine. Me: Can you tell us a little […]
As scientists race to develop a COVID vaccine at record pace, it’s worth noting that half the country isn’t planning to take it. Or at least isn’t sure if they’ll take it. Millions of Americans opting out of a COVID vaccine would be catastrophic for public health and economic recovery. So it’s worth understanding why […]
Futbol! As a possible sign that the apocalypse is not coming quite yet, Premier League soccer began in the UK last week. US star Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score for Chelsea. While wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. Was this my reward for all those months of quarantine? But as we celebrate […]
In my last post I mentioned that people shouldn’t assess COVID risk solely based on the presence or absence of masks. But I didn’t clarify what criteria should be used instead. This is the order in which I generally evaluate COVID risk associated with a particular activity. This list is different from the more popular […]
You may have noticed that I didn’t say a word about masks in my recent blog post. Because by this point people are already either on Team Mask or Team Naked Face and no one is switching teams. To Team Mask, masks have become an indicator of whether someone is informed/socially responsible or ignorant/narcissist. To […]
Congratulations, America. You have survived Stage 1 of the Tour de COVID. You pulled together, and learned all kinds of new tricks. How to Zoom. How to order groceries online. How to homeschool kids. And the trickiest of all: how to walk in public with an awareness of your space that requires not burying your […]
Question: Why does the Bible command us to Be Fruitful and Multiply? Answer: Because half of the kids weren’t going to see their fifth birthday. For the last 10,000 years of human history, and as recently as my grandmother’s generation, children grew up with foundational experiences that included death of friends and family by infectious […]