Sunday, April 5th, 2020


Harbored Illusions

Nothing is the same as what it was. And this week, things will take another dramatic turn, downward. Surgeon General Jerome Adams: "This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized. It's going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that ... This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives."

+ There will be much sadness, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor analogy is wildly false. With covid, we could see the arsenal headed our way months ahead of time; and even as explosions began to detonate all around, those charged with defending us denied there were any bombs at all. AP: U.S. ‘wasted' months before preparing for virus pandemic.

+ Roses are red, violets are blue, risk is low for the coronavirus, but high for the flu. Who published that catchy poem on Feb 1? Surgeon General Jerome Adams. (To put that date in context, it was the period when China was urgently trying to build new hospitals in ten days.)

+ As I wrote in America is Sick: "The cure for our broken nation is the same curative needed to face this evil virus: The truth."



"The couple arrived just married from South Africa, where they are citizens, on Sunday, March 22, planning to stay for six days. For a 27-year-old teacher and a 28-year-old butcher, the holiday 'was an extravagance,' Ms. De Freitas said. But since they hadn't lived together before exchanging vows, it would be a short, firecracker of a launch to their marriage." The NYT on a honeymoon that seemed like it wouldn't end (and that might bankrupt the couple). They Were the Last Couple in Paradise. Now Their Resort Life Continues. (Since the publication of this article, the couple has been moved to another hotel by the South African government. When will they be brought home and experience a return to normalcy? "Still unknown." We all know that feeling.)


After the Fire, The Fire Still Burns

"Just as there are many ways for microbes to infect a body, there are many ways for epidemics to play out in the body politic. Epidemics can be short-lived or protracted, or, like the Justinianic plague, recurrent." The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert: Pandemics and the Shape of Human History. "Outbreaks have sparked riots and propelled public-health innovations, prefigured revolutions and redrawn maps."

+ "The greatest error that geopolitical analysts can make may be believing that the crisis will be over in three to four months." Thomas Wright in The Atlantic: Stretching the International Order to Its Breaking Point.

+ Ryan Broderick: "Before the pandemic began, the systems that govern our world were brittle. Today, they are broken. When we emerge, the world will be different, and so will we." After The Coronavirus Passes, Your World Will Not Go Back To Normal.


It’s All Relative

"Twelve doctors at her hospital and the chief executive were sickened with the coronavirus. A colleague had died. Patients as young as 19 were being placed on ventilators. But Michele Acito, the director of nursing at Holy Name Medical Center, in the hardest-hit town in New Jersey's hardest-hit county, felt like she was holding up. Then her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law arrived."

+ That story is from New Jersey, one of the new hot spots. Meanwhile, we're undercounting the victims, the dismissed captain has the virus, and some crazy governors are still resisting reality. Here's the latest from the NYT.



"For many, this coronavirus pandemic involves the most dramatic kind of fight — for life, for food, for money. For others, it can feel absurdly trifling as they stay inside — a fight against boredom, binge eating, isolation." 24 Hours in a Pandemic Nation. (It's go time. But for the vast majority of us, that means going nowhere.)



"Heidelberg's corona taxis are only one initiative in one city. But they illustrate a level of engagement and a commitment of public resources in fighting the epidemic that help explain one of the most intriguing puzzles of the pandemic: Why is Germany's death rate so low?"


Satan’s Understudies

"Hannity. Rush. Dobbs. Ingraham. Pirro. Nunes. Tammy. Geraldo. Doocy. Hegseth. Schlapp. Siegel. Watters. Dr. Drew. Henry. Ainsley. Gaetz. Inhofe. Pence. Kudlow. Conway. Trump." Those are some of the misinformers. In the age of information wars, this is what mass casualty carpet bombing looks like. (Share the hell out of this.)


To Influencer, With Love

"The new celebrities emerging across Europe as the coronavirus burns a deadly path through the continent are not actors or singers or politicians. Instead, they are epidemiologists and virologists who have become household names after spending most of their lives in virtual anonymity." The Rising Heroes of the Coronavirus Era? Nations' Top Scientists. (Fame and influencer status being given to scientists? Thank god.)


Feel Good Sunday

Not all world leaders hate science. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is returning to medicine to help during the crisis.

+ "Burchett, who has had friends who have died by suicide, decided he wanted to do something to help people directly. He asked for people who are 'feeling overwhelmed or scared and just want to talk to somebody' to call him." Congressional Rep Tim Burchett is coming up big for his constituents.

+ Quarantine culture from rooftops, balconies and windows.

+ Trumpeter serenades Maine woman on her 104th birthday outside her window. (On my 104th, can you choose a slightly quieter instrument...)

+ Sacramento food trucks help families at domestic violence shelter.


Something, Something, Something Murder

The most excellent Damon Lindelof has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. The first 10 chapters are here. Read it and spread the word.

+ If you're all caught up, check out yesterday's NextDraft which had several interesting articles and my pulitzer-level blurb on the toilet paper shortage. The Tissue Issue.

+ Then Draft Some New Readers.