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How long do you think we're gonna be unemployed?


Frank Hegyi
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I used to work in TV news rooms, three in fact, one in the US, two in Canada.   On a good day the staff sit down and go over story ideas for the, "if it bleeds, it leads" philosophy of the TV news media.  People openly say things like...this story will scare the sh*t out of the public more than this one, it should go first.  COVID-19 is like a Godsend to these people.

R,

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1 minute ago, Richard Boddington said:

Let's say a vaccine is ready for next flu season, how will millions of uninsured Americans get access to it? I lived in the US, the uninsured just avoid doctors and hospitals.  And will you get the vaccine into 60, 000 homeless in LA, no one will want to pay for it.  And by no one, I mean no level of government.  The US is a real outlier when it comes to healthcare. 

R,

The homeless.....you won't vaccinate them, certainly not first, some never as they will refuse medical treatment.

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3 minutes ago, AJ Young said:

Why are you picking this as your hill to die on? (no pun intended)

Guy making death jokes during a pandemic called me heartless. This stuff writes itself, people.

 

3 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

2) Currently 12% of those people who get the virus are dying. TWELVE! I don't care if you're young and think you're healthy, that's a horrible number and its the reason why all the countries are on lockdown, besides the US. 

Could I ask where you got that figure? World Meter has it at 4%
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I was assisting a film last week with actor Sophia Myles, her Dad died of corona virus this weekend. It brings it scarily close and personal fall out is horrible - I've seen it first hand. 

My thoughts are with her and her family. 

We all know people at risk - I really hope people start taking it seriously and try their best to not spread it

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Large scale productions with A list cast, do you think those actors are going to rush back to the set if the ban is lifted in June. They have the money to isolate themselves and be comfortable, why would they risk it?

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5 minutes ago, Max Field said:

Could I ask where you got that figure? World Meter has it at 4%
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This includes mostly people who actively have the virus, not people who have healed from the virus. 

Of the "closed" cases, 13% have died and 87% have been discharged. These cases of course, only discuss people hospitalized. The cases for people who stay at home and never see a doctor are not reported anywhere. 
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All I know is that people in favor of keeping the economy going in combination with heightened personal hygiene are not immoral. I'm seeing countless people, who work in far more blue collar industries than film, contemplating suicide because they have no idea if they'll have a job after this, and no idea how many jobs will be left out there. People who live literally paycheck to paycheck.

Are we still taking mental health seriously? No attempt to keep those people from falling into traumatizing situations? Discussions for other marginalized groups doesn't stop because of the hot, new, more exciting, headlines.

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20 minutes ago, Max Field said:

I'm seeing countless people, who work in far more blue collar industries than film, contemplating suicide because they have no idea if they'll have a job after this, and no idea how many jobs will be left out there.

I spent 2 hours last night talking to my richest friend and tomorrow he's going to close his business, which was one of the most popular job placement sites in the world. The reports he's getting are staggering. Nearly all of his major clients have let go of most of their employees. He said on friday alone 80k from one hotel chain and 67k from another, all in one day. The unemployment figures are going to skyrocket which is going to send the market further down. He expects the market to drop another 60% in the next few weeks. 

He is beyond freak out mode and probably has a 500k nest egg he's sitting on, but not much more. 

I've been living paycheck to paycheck for over a decade, 6 years of that 100% freelance trying to re-build my filmmaking career. This year was slated to be the turn-around year for me, finally have a consistent paycheck, finally have some kickass projects to shoot and now I don't know what's going to happen. If the company I work with continues to pay me, then things will be alright in the long term. If they don't AND I lose my freelance gigs, which have been little to none since this virus started in Feb, then I'll have no choice but to pack up and skip town. I hope it doesn't come to that, I hope we can all continue to work from home (one of the reasons I like post) and just stay on it. I just can't imagine any company, paying their employees for a month of "at home" work when the economy is tanking and people with money are retracting and holding on to it. 

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There are few if any "white collar" jobs that cannot be done from home these days, those people just sit in front of a computer all day at an office.  "Blue" collar folks, not so lucky, hard to work as an auto mechanic from your house.  Hence my argument that the lock down will not be able to last for several months.  Those who keep calling people like me callus, are not even thinking about those who are ill prepared to survive a long term shut down.

Incredibly some industries are hiring people like crazy, the grocery industry here in Ontario is hiring, they can't get enough people. My sister works at a Pet Smart, she says they are doing a booming business, they've never seen sales figures this high.  Walmart stock is skyrocketing.  Normally they spend millions in advertising to get product off the shelves, COVID-19 is doing a much better job, and free of charge.

Production work will resume.  I am still amazed it shut down in the first place.  I am in post on a movie, we are working as normal, and the delivery date will not be missed.

I am seeing huge savings on my mortgage with the interest rate cuts, as will millions of Americans as well.  Plus there will be a world wide stimulus package on offer Europe and Canada are already rolling it out.  Canada has already agreed to allow free lance film workers to collect employment insurance, maybe the USA will follow suit.

Fact is, a lot of, the sky is falling mentality on this thread, and I mean a lot.  

How many hundreds of threads on this very forum about the precarious nature of free lance work in the film industry before anyone knew what COVID-19 was?  It has always been a gamble to do this job even in the best of times.  Sure that precarious nature of the work is being amplified now, yes, but....the work will return.

Oh and as of this writing....Olympics still a go.

R,

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I see a lot of people in this thread saying that society has to choose between:

1. Stopping work and bankrupting everyone on earth who lives paycheck to paycheck.

2. Continuing to work, letting the virus run its course, and killing untold millions of additional people. 

There is a third option, temporary socialism. All we have to do is briefly suspend what we typically believe to be "fair" in a capitalist system. In America that would entail drastic war-time-style government action:

1. Medicare for all during the crisis. People have to feel safe going to the hospital without the fear of a lifetime of medical debt.

2a. Open up the maximum unemployment benefits to everyone. Everyone outside of the government's defined "critical industries" are going to unemployed for months on end. $400/week in unemployment benefits would act as a temporary universal basic income. That would let people continue to pay their bills while staying home, and they wouldn't feel like they have to choose between bankruptcy and spreading the virus.

2b. People employed in "critical industries" need an immediate doubling of their salaries for hazard pay, plus universal 2 weeks of sick leave. That's pretty self explanatory. People have to stay home if they're sick.

3. Suspend all rent payments, mortgages, property taxes, and associated interest accrual. Land ownership adds no economic benefit to society, yet it's the #1 expense for the vast majority of people. The land owners will still own the land after the crisis is done. Right now, we can no longer afford to pay them.

If you don't think we can afford to do all this, consider this. Jeff Bezos's PERSONAL fortune could pay a $400/week universal basic income to every adult in California for 3 months. Confiscate the obscene personal fortunes of America's billionaires, add that to the yearly budget of the pentagon, tweak the numbers until it all adds up, and all of a sudden we can easily tackle coronavirus.

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I can't imagine who'd even want to attend an olympics at this point. It'd be the most rubbish, half-hearted olympics ever.

But when I say "this can't continue," I'm not talking only, or even mainly, about people's livelihoods. That's important, of course, but there are wider issues that come with this situation that can't fairly be characterised as people being concerned about career issues. Do this for long enough and essential services will begin to fail, we risk mass unemployment, mass homelessness, rampancy of the diseases of poverty that the western world has largely forgotten, and the collapse of law and order. This will kill people just as certainly as the disease, as well as a huge number of other extremely awful outcomes that will make career concerns seem trivial by comparison.

I presume I'm not the only person thinking about this. What I suspect is that in a couple of months' time, a way will be found, politically, to justify a phased return to work. If there's any sign that the curve has been flattened at all, this will be easier to justify, but I suspect it will be done either way.

It is possible this will provoke very large numbers of deaths. There may be gruesome scenes of bodies stacked up, awaiting safe disposal, which is one reason this is likely to be more acceptable to the public if those deaths take place over months or years as opposed to weeks. That is why I am certainly not proposing Max's relaxed attitude. Isolation measures should be followed to the letter because they flatten the curve, and anyone who does not understand this hasn't been reading very carefully. 

I have close family members and friends in the highest risk groups. What I'm doing here is risking a prediction of what may happen in the next two to five months which may seem like catastrophic incaution, because really it will be. What it will also be is pragmatism - cold, callous pragmatism.

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16 minutes ago, Frank Hegyi said:

There is a third option, temporary socialism. All we have to do is briefly suspend what we typically believe to be "fair" in a capitalist system.

Sorry but the DNC won't stop rigging the media to keep Bernie Sanders out of office, what's your next idea?

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20 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

That is why I am certainly not proposing Max's relaxed attitude.

How many times do I have to tell people I've been practicing social distancing? I'm saying we don't need to lock people in their homes if people in general weren't total morons who can't understand they need to adjust how they carry themselves daily.

I just got back from the grocery store, trying to pick out a box of candy. I turn around and some dumbass woman is standing literally a foot behind me, waiting for her turn at the candy. I immediately power walked away from the situation, hoping she didn't breathe on me.
Ironically enough, she was at least 65, the big age group we're claiming to protect here.

Also the deli meat slicer guys still aren't wearing masks for face coverings.

Just do all of these things and we're flattening the curve without turning the world off.

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2 minutes ago, Max Field said:

How many times do I have to tell people I've been practicing social distancing? I'm saying we don't need to lock people in their homes if people in general weren't total morons who can't understand they need to adjust how they carry themselves daily.

I just got back from the grocery store, trying to pick out a box of candy. I turn around and some dumbass woman is standing literally a foot behind me, waiting for her turn at the candy. I immediately power walked away from the situation, hoping she didn't breathe on me.
Ironically enough, she was at least 65, the big age group we're claiming to protect here.

Also the deli meat slicer guys still aren't wearing masks for face coverings.

Just do all of these things and we're flattening the curve without turning the world off

Simply appealing to people to practice social distancing isn’t working. A big junk of the world population just don’t get it. Here in the UK people gather in parks as if it was a holiday. There are now curfews in Spain, Italy, Greece and Germany and many other countries. Those drastic measurements had to be put in place to protect people from their own stupidity. What you are suggesting would never work as you have just described yourself. 

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7 minutes ago, Uli Meyer said:

Those drastic measurements had to be put in place to protect people from their own stupidity. What you are suggesting would never work as you have just described yourself. 

Well to get what you're proposing, you're gonna have to literally weld people's doors shut like China was doing. Are you down for that? I'm not saying that like you're evil for wanting it, I'm just saying that's literally what you'll have to do in western society.

I'm seeing "quarantine parties" where tons of kids hang out in the woods or whatever, our culture is too rebellious to listen to what the government tells us.

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36 minutes ago, Max Field said:

m seeing "quarantine parties" where tons of kids hang out in the woods or whatever, our culture is too rebellious to listen to what the government tells us.

Nothing to do with rebellion. More like ignorance. And that’s not limited to your culture. 

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5 minutes ago, Uli Meyer said:

Nothing to do with rebellion. More like ignorance. And that’s not limited to your culture. 

Literally everyone on earth is ignorant, that's why we have governments to organize us in the first place. You think anyone in China cared to not spread the virus? They were forced to care. Like just about everyone else will need to be if they want this curve significantly flattened.

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2 hours ago, Richard Boddington said:

Production work will resume.  I am still amazed it shut down in the first place.  I am in post on a movie, we are working as normal, and the delivery date will not be missed.

This is true, our deadlines haven't changed. What's changed is that the next job has been canceled. 

We can work from home all we want, but reality is. If people aren't willing to risk investing in projects due to the economy, then there won't be projects to shoot or edit, even if you can make them from home. 

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1 hour ago, Frank Hegyi said:

1. Medicare for all during the crisis. People have to feel safe going to the hospital without the fear of a lifetime of medical debt.

Well yea, this is of course the basic rights issue that Bernie Sanders has always been saying. We have the right to kill each other with guns, but we don't have the right to medicine that's affordable. 

1 hour ago, Frank Hegyi said:

2a. Open up the maximum unemployment benefits to everyone. Everyone outside of the government's defined "critical industries" are going to unemployed for months on end. $400/week in unemployment benefits would act as a temporary universal basic income. That would let people continue to pay their bills while staying home, and they wouldn't feel like they have to choose between bankruptcy and spreading the virus.

Yes, this is what they need to do for the majority of people. However it wouldn't work for an at home freelancer in most cases. 80% of my freelance gig's weren't on the books.. There are millions of people in the US who can't prove employment of any kind, who would not be able to apply for UI. The $1200 check they plan on giving to people isn't going to do anything but put food on the table. Rent still won't be paid, debt's won't be paid, utilities won't be paid, car insurance won't be paid. How are people going to live when they can't even pay their insurance so they can drive to the store? Right now it's not bad, but what is it going to be like in 7 weeks when we're still on lockdown and the economy has busted so bad, everyone is scrambling for any work they can get? 

1 hour ago, Frank Hegyi said:

2b. People employed in "critical industries" need an immediate doubling of their salaries for hazard pay, plus universal 2 weeks of sick leave. That's pretty self explanatory. People have to stay home if they're sick.

Agreed, but it's never going to happen. The critical industries are if anything, having to hire MORE people, so there isn't necessarily more money to push around, just more work that's needed to be done. Some of the big chains like walmart and kroger, need to step up and fix this problem. 

1 hour ago, Frank Hegyi said:

3. Suspend all rent payments, mortgages, property taxes, and associated interest accrual. Land ownership adds no economic benefit to society, yet it's the #1 expense for the vast majority of people. The land owners will still own the land after the crisis is done. Right now, we can no longer afford to pay them.

Of course, but again people who own property that is rented, generally need the income from the rent in order to pay their own bills. I can't imagine if I didn't pay my land ladies, they'd be so fucked. They'd kick me out the moment this was over and that's the fear many will have. The moment this crisis is over, the amount of evictions will skyrocket as people who didn't pay are pushed into the streets. You can't protect people forever and oh this will happen. I hope that it's not bad, but I predict looting and other theft to be up once this virus calms down and people are unable to find work due to the bad economy. Long-term we're screwed. 

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5 hours ago, Richard Boddington said:

I used to work in TV news rooms, three in fact, one in the US, two in Canada.   On a good day the staff sit down and go over story ideas for the, "if it bleeds, it leads" philosophy of the TV news media.  People openly say things like...this story will scare the poop out of the public more than this one, it should go first.  COVID-19 is like a Godsend to these people.

Yeah, NPR is definitely known for its "if it bleeds, it leads" news culture.

46 minutes ago, Richard Boddington said:

What do ya'll learn from this chart? Way more people are recovering than dying, who get COVID-19.

I learned, from this chart, that COVID-19 has a 4.3% mortality rate.

At 1 million people, that's 43,000. At 10 million: 430,000. At 1 billion: 43,000,000.

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The death figures are after lock downs etc, the doing nothing death figures for the UK in one model is around 500,000.  I expect in the end, after going through all this, people will say that death figures aren't that high and ask was it worth it?

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40 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

To be scrupulously fair, Richard, that doesn't tell us much other than "it doesn't kill absolutely everyone who gets it."

Well, fine. Rabies, Ebola, and HIV don't kill everyone...

That is something to celebrate then, disease, even severe ones don't kill everyone who gets it.

R,

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