The Main Street ManifestoProject Syndicate, June 24, 2020
The economist Nouriel Roubini argues that the historic protests that have swept the US were long overdue, not just as a response to racism and police violence but also as a revolt against entrenched plutocracy. But this phenomenon is not limited to the US. In most countries around the world, a growing number of people live in economic insecurity (the “precariat”) and risk falling into unemployment while big corporations take bailouts and slash labor costs. Something has to give.

Most People With Coronavirus Won’t Spread It. Why Do a Few Infect Many?New York Times, June 30, 2020
A most useful read to understand the pattern of COVID infections: Growing scientific evidence shows that most infected people aren’t spreading the virus. Super-spreaders do, and super-spreading seems to depend more on circumstance than biology. At the moment, research concludes that 10% of infected people are responsible for 80% of new infections, meaning that most people pass on the virus to few, if any, others.

The Luxury Face Mask Has Arrived Quartz, July 7, 2020
It was inevitable that face masks would become fashion accessories after COVID-19. And where there is fashion, there is always luxury. A small high-end segment has emerged in the form of pricey designer masks that trade at a premium on resale sites. Designers normally in the business of producing runway collections have recently added masks to their offerings. These masks are as much about the visual statement they make as they are about anything practical.

Why Your ‘Weak-Tie’ Friendships May Mean More Than You ThinkBBC, July 3, 2020
Weak ties are more important than strong ones to generate new insights and ideas. The same goes for friends. Close friends are important, but research shows that building networks of casual acquaintances can boost happiness, knowledge and a sense of belonging.

In Praise of SolitudeLos Angeles Review of Books, June 28, 2020
This review of The Art of Solitude does not contradict the posting above: friendship and solitude are not incompatible but co-exist! According to the author (a former monk), solitude has little to do with the place one inhabits or the other people in it. It is not a state of mind but rather “a practice, a way of life—as understood by the Buddha and Montaigne alike.” It is not isolation or alienation, though these are its shadow side. Rather, it is a way of caring for one’s soul, of sheltering it from noise and agitation, of directing it toward its authentic purpose.

A Striking Stat:  Forty-seven percent of people in the UK have tried new fitness and wellness practices since the COVID-19 lockdown; 61% value wellness practices more than ever before, and 77% are re-evaluating what’s important to them in life.

Source: Allegra Strategies survey, June 2020

 

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