Americans are losing their jobs and hope. But opening businesses back up would endanger lives. On this episode of Social Distance, James Hamblin and Katherine Wells call Katherine’s brother, Sam, a bartender sheltering in place, for some perspective. And the Atlantic staff writer Derek Thompson joins them to discuss what needs to happen in Washington to make sure people stay afloat.
Sam’s recipe for a mocktail Paloma: Mix three parts grapefruit juice, one part lime juice, and one part simple syrup. Top with Topo Chico, and add salt to taste.
Listen to the full episode here:
Some questions answered:
So what is going on with the economy?
Derek Thompson: It’s a really good question. The short answer is that no good news is going to come from the economy in the next three months. We’re probably looking at the worst decline in GDP in the second quarter this year in American history. But I should stress that typically that would be a purely bad thing. But in this case, I think we need to wrap our heads around the fact that a stark decline in GDP is evidence that something good might be happening.
And that something good is the fact that you do have massive, relatively unprecedented amounts of social distancing all over the country. And so the reason that restaurant revenue has declined to zero and a lot of physical retail revenues declined to zero is because no one is gathering in crowds in places that they used to be. And we should be rooting for that.