Thursday, January 12, 2023

Pretend and Extend

The costs and benefits of any particular covid-related policy might be unknowable - and maybe we've done it all just correctly - but of course there are ongoing costs.
Some 1.5 million people missed work because of an illness last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The month before that, it was 1.6 million. In October, 1.3 million and in September 1.2 million. In fact, the last time there were fewer than a million Americans missing work because of an illness was November 2019.

That year, in fact, there were nine months with fewer than a million people missing work because of an illness. In 2018, there were another nine such months. In 2017, there were seven months under a million, but every single month that year saw fewer people missing work because of an illness than the month with the lowest level of missed work in 2022.
Of people I know (including myself), getting knocked out of commission for 5 days was pretty typical when testing positive for covid (recently, post-vaccines). Some industries can tolerate those kinds of absences in various ways, but some can't function very well with them. Planes can't fly if enough flight crew fail to show up, and there often aren't that many extra available local flight crew on standby, for example.

Ongoing disruptions are inevitable!