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Too soon?

Friends,
As I practice social distancing (or “working from home”, as I had erroneously been calling it for the past couple of years), I’ve been pondering the implicit trade-off society at large seems to be making between economic production and human lives. By my calculations, a saved human life appears to be worth somewhere north of $300,000* (give or take). How far north? I hope we never find out! Granted, this is not a cold, calculated financial transaction, and the costs/benefits are unevenly distributed --plus, my math may be way off. If my numbers hold, that's a much higher figure than I had predicted going into this exercise (kudos to society's higher than expected willingness to forgo economic activity.). Also, my calculation doesn't take into account any environmental benefits (less travel/transportation = less fossil fuel burning) or personal pain and suffering. I’m fortunate that my work can be done remotely, unlike many jobs which require workers to be present. For many, staying home means forgoing work, and the fruits of that labor. Businesses shuttering (some for good), people left without jobs (some permanently). And there's the hidden toll of living in fear and isolation. My thoughts and prayers are with humanity as we face these strange new routines. I raise a donut to each of y'all's health. Stay calm, stay healthy, think happy thoughts and, whatever you do, wash your hands!
Happy Friday!


* JP's back of the envelope math: For those of you wondering how I came-up with the number and are unafraid of simple math, bold assumptions and round numbers, here's my methodology. If we use the stock market’s loss of a third of its value since February's peak as a proxy for expected lost productivity, and we consider the world’s GDP is about $80 Trillion, this superficial analysis would put the price tag in lost production at $25 Trillion. If we assume calloused inaction could lead to an incremental 1% of the world's 8 billion inhabitants' deaths, that would be 80 Million saved lives. Divide these two figures out and you get ~$312K. Hopefully this math exercise is not a sign that my social distancing is turning into emotional distancing.


P.S. Here's a photo of yesterday's snowfall to help you think happy thoughts!

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