March 22nd – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Advice from somewhere out there, more leaders test positive, and why 'going live costs lives...'

“I deliberately paced myself because I knew I was in it for the long haul — just like we all are today. Take time for fun activities: I met up with crewmates for movie nights, complete with snacks, and binge-watched all of Game of Thrones — twice.” Scott Kelly in the NYT: I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share. “You will find maintaining a plan will help you and your family adjust to a different work and home life environment. When I returned to Earth, I missed the structure it provided and found it hard to live without.” (This quarantine is giving new, urgent meaning to the phrase, “I need some space…”)

+ If you missed yesterday’s edition, there were a lot of informative, worthwhile reads on the workers on the front lines and other different topics from today. Also, you can now catch up on Damon Lindelof’s exclusive quarantine story.


What a Fool Believes

“Across the United States, from Florida beaches to California mountains, casinos to national parks, legions dismissed the growing demands this past week to isolate themselves and stop congregating as the coronavirus spread through the country and shut down nearly all facets of American life. They were the defiers and the disbelievers. They were those eager to flout authority or those afflicted with cabin fever, if not Covid-19. They were the officials crowded on the podium of the White House briefing room, doing not as they say.” John Branch in the NYT: Deniers and Disbelievers: ‘If I Get Corona, I Get Corona.’ Related: It’s nuts that members of Congress aren’t voting remotely. Rand Paul is the latest to test positive. And in Germany, Angela Merkel is in quarantine after doctor tests positive for virus.

+ “As casino floors fell silent — many for the first time since their construction — a desert town built on tourist traffic from around the globe boiled with anxiety. In local union headquarters, homeless shelters, around-the-block gun store lines and churches, people of all stripes braced for an uncertain future. It was almost unthinkable, this city up against the only true showstopper it has ever experienced.” WaPo: Coronavirus shut down in Sin City. (Any place not shutting every non-essential thing down is the real sin city now…)

+ Baltimore’s mayor basically urges residents to stop shooting each other because hospitals need beds for coronavirus patients.

+ Again, it’s not a hoax. It’s not just the elderly. Nola: This 39-year-old New Orleans woman tested for coronavirus. She died before getting her results.


For the First Time in Forever

“To quantify the present reality, we have to rely on anecdotes from businesses, surveys of workers, shreds of private data, and a few state numbers. They show an economy not in a downturn or a contraction or a soft patch, not experiencing losses or selling off or correcting. They show evaporation, disappearance on what feels like a religious scale.” In short, no one alive has experienced an economic plunge this sudden. This Is Not a Recession. It’s an Ice Age.

+ “Rather than do rounds of firing followed by rounds of hiring, which will delay the recovery, let’s throw the whole economy into a deep freezer, and when the virus winds down we can thaw it out and almost everybody will still be with the company they worked for in January.” In Denmark, by taking such measures as paying workers 75% of their salaries not to show up, they are essentially freezing the economy. (Someone should have frozen the stock market a few weeks ago…)


Won’t Get Fooled Again

“One of the requests to Congress would allow the department to petition a judge to indefinitely detain someone during an emergency.” Politico: DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic. Mike Lee’s reaction seems to sum things up.


Suspicious Minds

“These White House sessions — ostensibly meant to give the public critical and truthful information about this frightening crisis — are in fact working against that end.” Margaret Sullivan: The media must stop live-broadcasting Trump’s dangerous, destructive coronavirus briefings. (I’ve been saying this for several days. Going Live Costs Lives.)

+ “A slow-motion disaster only now coming into view. When its true proportions have been measured, it will make the early government response look even more outrageous than it already seems. What’s happening here, in this country, was avoidable. Nearly every flaw in America’s response to the virus has one source: America did not test enough people for COVID-19.” The Atlantic: How the Coronavirus Became an American Catastrophe.

+ Why Asia now looks safer than the US in the coronavirus crisis.

+ FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor says more masks are being shipped from stockpile amid shortage. He couldn’t say exactly when or how many. But there’s a bigger question: Why not three weeks ago?

+ Africa gets emergency medical supplies from China’s Jack Ma. (Jack Ma is the new super power.)

+ And… Trump sends letter to Kim Jong Un claiming to be impressed by North Korea’s coronavirus response.


New York State of Mind

“Fewer people were out on Saturday as chilly weather returned, but Gov Cuomo warned that sunbathing is not an essential activity. ‘You’re not Superman and you’re not superwoman,’ Cuomo said. ‘You can get this virus. And you can transfer the virus. And you can wind up hurting someone who you love or hurting someone wholly inadvertently.'” 60 dead from coronavirus as NYC becomes the epicenter of the corona crisis.


Shelter From the Storm

“At some Spanish hospitals, doctors and nurses resort to taping garbage sacks to their arms to shield themselves while they work to save an avalanche of patients fighting for breath. They’ve run out of disposable coats.” (Places in the US are not much better off as a desperate shortage of personal protective equipment is hindering testing almost as much as the lack of test kits.)

+ Since doctors and nurses can’t protect themselves, this is not a surprise. Target and Walmart aren’t protecting staff amid pandemic, workers say. (I had to make a Walgreens run yesterday and saw several employees sans gloves or any other protection.)


Gimme Shelter

“When you bought into such a scheme, you tapped into a fever dream from the depths of the libertarian lizard-brain: a group of well-off and ideologically like-minded individuals sharing an autonomous space, heavily fortified against outsiders – the poor, the hungry, the desperate, the unprepared – and awaiting its moment to rebuild civilisation from the ground up.” The Guardian: Real estate for the apocalypse: my journey into a survival bunker. (Who knew your own home would basically become a survival bunker?)


Feel Good Sunday

Let’s keep today’s song title theme going…

+ I Touch Myself: New York City Made A Guide To Safe Sex During The Coronavirus Outbreak.”You are your safest sex partner.” (And often your best as well…)

+ You Are So Beautiful: What Americans Are Doing Now Is Beautiful.

+ Lay Your Hands on Me: Two 20-somethings extend ‘invisible hands‘ in virus outbreak.

+ I Drink Alone: Brooklyn Bartender is Biking Door To Door To Provide Essential Medication.

+ Umbrella: Rihanna’s foundation donates $5 million to the cause.


Something, Something, Something Murder

As you know, the most excellent Damon Lindelof of Lost and Watchmen fame has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. It’s fun, it’s great, and it gives you something to look forward to other than bad news and cheap puns (wait, who just said that?). Take the weekend to catch up and share the story with others. The archives, with a fancy cover, have come alive: Something Something Something Murder.

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