Economics/Class Relations

A cure for your phone addiction

March 6, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Three years ago this month, COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in New York City. China was already under quarantine, Europe was in chaos, and New York quickly became the epicenter of the outbreak in the US. (Check out our 10-minute, Emmy-winning documentary about this time.)

A lot of us in NYC likely remember this as the month offices started to close, makeshift morgues were set up outside hospitals, grocery store lines went around the block, and normal, everyday activities suddenly became much more dangerous.

This week, I’ll be focusing my notes on COVID-19, three years on. It’s changed just about every facet of life, from how we work to how we communicate. I’d like to hear from you — how has COVID-19 significantly altered how you live your life? Let me know:

— Nicholas Carlson


In today’s edition

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Twitter, Toblerone, & more

  • A Twitter engineer says the company is “like a building where all the pieces are on fire.” More here.
  • Toblerone chocolate could lose its iconic Swiss mountain logo as it won’t be able to meet the country’s standard of “Swissness.” Find out more.
  • Chris Rock says he tried to call Will Smith after Jada Pinkett Smith publicly discussed her affair. More from his Netflix special here.

Drug coverage dilemma

Crystal Cox/Business Insider


Workers are clamoring for pricey new weight-loss drugs like Ozempic — and companies that pay for workers’ health insurance are grappling with how to respond.

Some of the new weight-loss drugs exploding in popularity can cost over $1,000 a month — and many must be taken long term.

So employers are faced with a dilemma. The drugs work. Covering them could help improve workers’ health. But the cost is a tough pill to swallow for companies already dealing with high premiums, inflation, and difficulty retaining workers.

“They’re willing to cover the heart attack and the cath and joint surgery and bariatric surgery,” one doctor told Insider, “But why aren’t we preventing this stuff in the first place?”


Phone addiction, “BRRRR,” &  more

Will Varner/Insider


  • A simple trick can cure your addiction to social media. Trying to limit your screentime? Hoping to stop the mindless scrolling? A new app uses a simple, science-backed trick to break the bad habit. Read the full story here.
  • “I’m 36 … but a ‘biological age’ test said I’m almost 42.” The concept of biological age is somewhat controversial. Our health correspondent Anna Medaris, who has generally healthy habits, used a “direct-to-consumer” kit to find out hers — and was surprised by the results.
  • Real-estate investors are shying away from a tried-and-true strategy to fix up homes and make money. Home rehabbers are quickly finding that the once-reliable method known as “BRRRR” — short for buy, rehab, rent, refinance, and repeat — has become much riskier. What to know.
  • Side hustles with no up-front costs. Entrepreneur Jen Glantz tried different winter side hustles that generate extra cash — including several that can be done on the weekends. From selling your stuff to being a personal organizer, check out her recs for five easy side hustles.
  • “I’m a 34-year-old CEO who worked remotely from different cities for five months.” Roman Pedan, the founder of a short-term rental platform, is sharing what he’s learned — from what to know about walk-in closets (spoiler: not great as offices) to how much time it takes to get to know a new place. Read more here.
  • Today in lists: where your retirement money will go the furthest. Most Americans now think they need $1 million to retire comfortably — and we’ve ranked the 10 states where that’ll go the furthest, including Mississippi and Georgia. Check out the list.
  • Facebook and Google are handing over user data to help police prosecute abortion seekers. Law enforcement is turning to social media to build cases against women seeking abortions or abortion-inducing medication. Get the full story.

Business class only

Taylor Rains/Insider
“I flew on the world’s only business class-only airline.” Our reporter flew on one of French boutique airline La Compagnie’s planes from Paris to Newark, New Jersey, and said it was almost like crossing the Atlantic on a private jet for a fraction of the cost. Take a look on board.

Skyscraper on fire


A skyscraper under construction in Hong Kong caught fire. The fire could cost as much as $64 million, which would be among the highest insurance payouts in Hong Kong history. See it for yourself.


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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, Jack Robert Stacey, and Shona Ghosh. Get in touch:

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