THE PIONEER BLOG

Elderly people were already vulnerable to COVID-19. Then it came to nursing homes.

Last week, reports of mismanagement and negligence regarding COVID-19 protocol at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, a state-run veterans’ nursing home, resulted in the deaths of at least 47 seniors. The administrative fallout, which largely consists of blame-shifting between state and local officials, made national headlines, and several investigations of the incident are ongoing.    But Holyoke is just the tip of the iceberg. As of April 15, nursing home residents make up over 40 percent of COVID-19 fatalities in Massachusetts (see Figure 1). People over the age of 70, regardless of their place of residence, have accounted for 85 percent of COVID-19-related deaths in the state.    Senior living facilities are uniquely vulnerable to this pandemic, especially given the reputation […]

Mapping COVID-19 in Massachusetts Cities & Towns

Kudos to he Massachusetts Department of Public Health for posting the count and rate (per 100,000) of confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Massachusetts by City/Town.

Transparency Needed at Long-term Care Facilities

The anxiety of having a parent in a nursing home under the constant threat of Covid-19 has to be debilitating. Residents, many with dementia, who had grown accustomed to their children’s regular visits must be in a state of increased confusion and despair in their isolation. The decision to move a parent into a home is beyond difficult. In the end, though, the decision comes down to basic safety. Are they safer at their own home, living with you when you cannot be there around the clock – or in a facility? Ultimately, it comes down to limiting risks, which often means assisted living, skilled nursing or rest homes. The decision is made to protect with professional care. But the […]

Which industry’s workforce has been hurt the most from the COVID-19 outbreak?

Unemployment claims have reached all-time highs in the U.S. recently as COVID-19 rattles the world. The rapid shedding of jobs that started during the week ended March 21 has affected nearly every sector of the economy, from construction to manufacturing to personal services. Still, some industries remain more vulnerable than others as workers stay home and some online activities spike. Below, I examine how the share of employment claims by industry sector has changed over time.   The sector with the most unemployment claims in Massachusetts in March (including before the widespread layoffs due to COVID-19) was Food & Accommodation, which includes most restaurants, hotels, and tourism businesses. However, Food & Accommodation workers have not consistently risen as a share […]

Will the COVID-19-related economic recession cause a spike in crime?

Intuitively, it makes sense that people replace legitimate business with theft and fraud during desperate times. Many police agencies reported rising instances of robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle theft as a result of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Some publications have even suggested that those who finish their education during economic recessions disproportionately become career criminals rather than gain legitimate employment.     Other observers dispute the link between unemployment and crime, suggesting there are factors underlying increases in unemployment (like a drug abuse epidemic) that better explain the correlation and notable exceptions (like the Great Depression) that otherwise debunk it. With almost a decade of post-recession data analysis in the books, it’s clear that crime rates generally decreased in the […]

State Ranking: Michigan, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Nevada have been hardest-hit by COVID-19 jobless claims so far. Massachusetts ranks as 9th hardest-hit.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that in the week ended April 4, the advance number of seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims was 6,606,000. This follows 6,867,000 initial claims filed in the week ended March 28 and 3,307,000 in the week ended March 21.

COVID-19 unemployment surge is on pace to wipe out the MA Unemployment Reserve Fund within three months

The unprecedented surge of COVID-19- related unemployment claims that began two weeks ago is on pace to wipe out the MA unemployment Reserve Fund within three months, which will force state leaders to turn to the federal government for a bailout loan.

Learning in the Time of COVID-19

Parents are deeply frustrated with the loss of learning their children will be provided as a result of COVID-19. Here are some resources to help address this gap.

Public Statement: Extend Massachusetts’ Income Tax Filing Deadline

Massachusetts must extend the tax filing deadline, just as the federal government and 34 of the 41 states that tax income have done.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Why the divergent fatality rates?, Time for Telehealth, Missing the Greatest Generation, Senator profiting from COVID-19 & more!

Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email:  pioneer@pioneerinstitute.org. Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News: Jim Stergios, Executive Director: This is a really thoughtful, data-driven look at the divergent fatality rates observed around the world, with focus on two western countries (Italy and Germany) and one Asian country (South Korea). The ability of South Korea to drive up testing across all of its populations has been critical in its thus-far successful strategy to turn back the tide on the virus. William Smith, […]

Financial Disclosures – As Important Now as Ever

News sources report that certain senators sold stocks just before the market crashed when the economic impact of Coronavirus came to light. Now more than ever, financial disclosures must be accessible to the media and to the public.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Tracking COVID-19 in MA, unemployment tsunami, cancel MCAS?, cell phone hygiene, salute to James Taylor, state tax filing & more!

Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

7 Tools to Keep Your Child Engaged in Math During COVID-19

Proven resources that every parent can and should make use of now and well beyond COVID-19.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: How some countries are succeeding, Tips for maintenance staff safety, Shelter in place?, Equity in remote learning policies

Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: COVID-19 treatments on the way?, a COVID-19 Manhattan Project, best practices at Best Buy, “Expert Mercy,” a shout-out to a local high school, & more!

Pioneer Institute’s Top Picks for COVID-19 news, resources, best practices & more!