Tuesday, March 24th, 2020


A Win Win Win Win

Last week I told you the best crisis-related idea I'd heard so far is funding local restaurants to feed hospital workers and others in need. It's a win-win-win-win as it supports shuttered restaurants, saves jobs, assists those on the front lines of the crisis, and makes you feel better for supporting a great effort. Well, just such a program has been launched in LA (it will connect with other like-minded programs and go statewide and national). Eventually, one hopes, states will jump in to support these efforts. But in the meantime, it's up to you and me. Help Feed the Frontline is working with Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen, and all donations are tax deductible. Donate now via this GoFundMe Page. (You can put NextDraft in the comment box to help motivate our community!) Please help me spread the word.

+ You may have noticed the new "ad" at the top of the newsletter. NextDraft has gone revenue-free and will instead support Crisis Text Line, an amazing organization providing help when and where it's needed. If you need help, just visit their site. If you have help to give, you can sign-up to be a volunteer to counsel people over text (don't worry, you will be trained). This organization has already helped thousands. They're not new. But this challenge is.


The Madness of King Don

In the coming days, you'll start hearing about many great projects being led by excellent leaders and ordinary Americans. They will help immeasurably. But, sadly, they're working against the relentless falsehoods and near-insane denial coming from the president, who in the face of horrific virus numbers, now says he wants America back open for business by Easter. Cases are doubling in NY every three days, the Olympics have been postponed, companies are retooling to support health care, hospital workers are begging for support; people get it. Just not all people. Here's the latest from the NYT.

+ "In his unprecedented dual role as president and owner of a sprawling business, Trump is facing dual crises caused by the coronavirus." WaPo: Before Trump called for reevaluating lockdowns, they shuttered six of his top-earning clubs and resorts. (Maybe the Easter deadline is intended to resurrect business...)

+ Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick said grandparents like him would be willing to die to save economy. "That's doesn't make me noble or brave or anything like that." No, it makes him uninformed and a danger to society. Forget the general idiocy of the argument. It's based on false information. Young people are getting the virus and dying from it. Here are the actual covid-19 risks for different age groups, explained

+ LA Times: Will Texas or Florida be the next Italy? States lag in stay-at-home orders.

+ Officials field complaints as Liberty's Jerry Falwell Jr. has welcomed students return.

+ If it makes you feel any better, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador could be handling this crisis even worse.

+ Hope for even out most clueless leaders? A spring breaker who went viral last week for not giving a crap about the coronavirus during a television interview has now apologized.

+ Want a politician you can trust on this topic? Listen to Amy Klobuchar. Her husband is in the hospital with clovid-19 and she can't visit him.


Waiting for Closure

"It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases." As WHO warns that the pandemic is accelerating, many world leaders are heeding that message. All of India, more than 1.3 billion people, is now under lockdown. And Boris Johnson has ordered a full lockdown across the UK.

+ "Though many in Italy now argue that their government waited too long, democracies across the West have been mulling the same decisions — and in some cases have acted less decisively." Italy's coronavirus deaths are staggering. They may be more preview than anomaly.


A Package Deal

The Dow is soaring as world markets anticipate the completion of a government aid package. Here's the latest.

+ Nothing about shutting down the economy is easy. But it's not just the Six Flags-esque drops in the stock market. It's about the people the shutdown will hurt the most. How the coronavirus crisis will hit American workers, in one chart.


You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party

"The real problem is that we're taking our medicine haphazardly—and as a result, experiencing all of the side effects and few of the benefits. That needs to change." The Atlantic: Don't Halt Social Distancing. Instead, Do It Right.

+ Andy Slavitt: "For every person you don't infect, you save hundreds of people from being infected. Because each person you don't infect won't infect others and others and others."

+ 5 Coronavirus Facts to Use on Anyone Who Isn't Listening. (In some cases, pictures might be necessary.)


Mask Me Anything

"How did a flimsy polymer cup become the most significant health device of the 21st century? It all started in 1910 with a little-known doctor who wanted to save the world from one of the worst diseases ever known." FastCo: The untold origin story of the N95 mask.

+ Can blood from coronavirus survivors treat the newly ill?

+ WaPo: The coronavirus isn't alive. That's why it's so hard to kill. (After two weeks in quarantine, my family has described me the same exact way...)


Kids These Days…

Can your teen go hang out with other teens? Should your child be skateboarding this week? A UCSF pediatrician talks kids and coronavirus.


Look at All the Lonely People

One of the big problems in this fight is that the virus is where you want to be. And for many, staying where they are is brutal. Robin Wright: How Loneliness from Coronavirus Isolation Takes Its Own Toll.


Feel Good Tuesday

Tours are canceled. Restaurants are empty. And centuries-old temples are quieter than usual in this ancient capital city of Japan. But the deer are there.

+ When Chris Cuomo thanked his brother Andrew for coming in his CNN show, the NY Governor responded, "Mom told me I had to." The Cuomo Bros, the comedy routine America needs right now.

+ 4,500 retired doctors and nurses sign up to rejoin NHS in just 48 hours. (This is happening in cities around the world. Beautiful.)

+ Sikh volunteers dubbed the 'Turbans for Australia' send 1.5 tons of food out in care packages for the elderly.

+ Pub Choir's evolution to Couch Choir brings light.

+ People are stocking their little free libraries with food and toilet paper to help neighbors.


Something, Something, Something Murder (5)

The most excellent Damon Lindelof has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. Past chapters here. To be continued, daily...

Chapter 5: Spring Breakers Will Kill Us All And No I Don't Mean The James Franco Movie But It's Not Doing Us Any Favors Either

Verbatim text thread between Dr. Elizabeth Bohrs-Rosenberg ("ME") and Albert Bohrs ("DAD") // Twenty Days AH&W, Iteration One
ME: Hey, dad. How are you?

DAD: b

ME: ?????

DAD: ok thx

ME: Did you read the article…?

DAD: yes

ME: And….?

DAD: intresting

ME: Please don't be dismissive.

DAD: (emoji of taco)

ME: ??????

DAD: oops didnt mean to do taco.

ME: You have a college education. I wish you would capitalize. And punctuate. And spell "interesting" correctly.

DAD: and i wish you single spaced after periods oh well

ME: The double space is perfectly acceptable… and if ever there was a time for more spacing, it's now.

ME: That's a social distance joke.

ME: …Hello?

DAD: ys funny

ME: If you read the article then tell me where the party was.

DAD: conneticut.

ME: Connecticut. Capitalized. Missing "c."

DAD: one c too many if you ask me

ME: Dad… can I ask you an ethical question?

ME: … Hello?

DAD: shoot

ME: Let's say I had a way to go back to that party… where they all got infected. And let's say the only way to prevent them from getting infected involved killing one of them. That means ten less super-spreaders, which would have bought us almost two extra weeks before the tipping point.

ME: ... JESUS DAD… HELLO?!?!?!?

DAD: sorry watching wheel rerun not the same without your mom vanna seems less shiny somehow

ME: So… Is it ethical? If I could… is it okay? Take one life to slow exponential growth? Save hundreds of thousands… maybe more?

DAD: not ethical, no.

ME: Yeah. I figured.

DAD: but if your going to hell…


DAD: might as well make it count

ME: ?????

DAD: fuck conneticut problem is with the orangutang in the white house you want to change things change that

DAD: … Elizabeth?

ME: You capitalized my name.

ME: (crying emoji)

To be continued...