1

There’s No Dying in Baseball!

The prospective return of baseball gives new meaning to the opening stanza of Casey at the Bat. The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day: The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play, And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same, A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game... When Ernest Lawrence Thayer wrote those words, the dying was intended to be metaphorical. In the age of Covid-19, that potential outcome is all too real. The plan in progress is "nothing that has been attempted in the history of American sport, less a baseball season than a military-style operation in which any number of variables could derail the plan, or, worse, contribute to the spread of the deadly disease." How MLB is navigating the coronavirus pandemic to play ball. The Trump administration "has privately exhorted the players to serve as 'the pied piper' to 'bring the country back,' a union source told ESPN. But guidance from the White House on the return of sports has been 'confusing' and, at times, in conflict with the advice of public health experts." (Some days I wish we could get the Fyre Festival organizers to take over our pandemic response). Let's hope things go better for America than Mudville: And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

2

We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

In between doses of hydroxychloroquine, President Trump ruminated on the fact that America has the highest number of Covid 19 casualties. "I view it as a badge of honor ... Really, it's a badge of honor. When we have a lot of cases. I don't look at that as a bad thing. I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better." You know what would be a badge of honor? A leader wearing a mask. Of course, we don't have the best testing and the administration (and many state governments) are working overtime to keep the numbers low—by any means necessary. NPR: Florida Ousts Top COVID-19 Data Scientist.

+ CNN on the CDC: We've been muzzled.

+ AP: Trump allies lining up doctors to prescribe rapid reopening.

3

Borderline Hospitality Disorder

"Some young migrants have been deported within hours of setting foot on American soil. Others have been rousted from their beds in the middle of the night in U.S. government shelters and put on planes out of the country without any notification to their families." NYT: 10 Years Old, Tearful and Confused After a Sudden Deportation.

4

Bo Knows Coronavirus

"'There were hardly any questions from community members about the effect on themselves,' she said.'It was all, ‘How am I going to get my elderly neighbors tested? How are we going to get the homeless population tested?' One guy I guess rings bells in a church, and he was, like, ‘I'm ringing the bells for this!'" The New Yorker: Bolinas, California, the Town That Tested Itself for the Coronavirus. "A tiny hippie enclave north of San Francisco, mounted one of the most advanced coronavirus-testing efforts in America. What did it learn?" (Full disclosure: My friends ran this program. I threw in a few bucks to support the project. I don't live there, I'm neither tiny nor hippie, and it strikes me as Bolinas-backwards that private citizens need to spearhead these public health programs.)

5

In Pod We Trust

"Single people are moving in together. I've heard of parents hiring quarantine au pairs to help out with kids who can't go to camp or school. I know one family, long since decamped to a vacation home, that's letting a colleague from a crowded group house move into its now-vacant primary residence. Me? I've formed a pod." Slate: I Have a Quarantine Bubble With People Outside My House. You Should Too. (I've created a quarantine bubble inside my house.)

+ Time: Is There Any Safe Way to Socialize During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

+ "She also bought T-shirts that said 'Covid Survivor,' anticipating that some of the neighbors on her cul-de-sac in Cape May Court House might have some lingering discomfort. Ms. Martucci soon learned that she had drastically underestimated the anxiety she and her son, Marcus, would encounter. Even now, a month into their recovery, some neighbors see them and run." They Beat the Virus. Now They Feel Like Outcasts.

6

The Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Glue

Reuters: U.S. airlines step up safety measures in preparation for recovery. "United will roll out Clorox Co's electrostatic sprayers and disinfecting wipes at its Chicago and Denver hub airports." (Only to be used on the outside of your body...)

+ Ultraviolet light to zap COVID-19 on subways, buses. (See above warning.)

+ NPR: More Lysol, No More Pens In Rooms. Hotels Adapt To Win Back Guests. "They will see that some of the items in the room that could likely be fingerprinted by previous guests — magazines, notepads, pens — those items have been removed from the room ... I think the death of the minibar is probably finally here." (That's OK, I'll have to be pre-drunk the first time I go back to a hotel...)

7

Pleading, Citing, and Arithmetic

Popular Mechanics: "Earlier this year, a first-time academic author published a new mathematical study in the journal Research in Number Theory. The twist? The researcher, Christopher Havens, is also serving a 25-year sentence in the Washington Department of Correction following a murder conviction." (Kids, let that be a lesson to you!)

8

Couch Potatoes and Rotten Tomatoes

"A whopping 70% say they are more likely to watch from their couch, while just 13% say they are more likely to watch at a local cinema (with 17% not sure)." Variety with more evidence that we're largely in agreement when it comes to social distancing opinions. Study Shows 70% of Consumers Would Rather Watch New Movies at Home. (My son and I found the key to making this work. Red Ropes. It's a product you only eat when you're out at a movie or a game. And eating them at home tastes like ... victory.)

9

Feel Good Wednesday

GQ: Thrash Metal Drummer Awakens from Coronavirus Coma, Doesn't Think Satan Is That Cool Anymore. (Good news for him. Bad news for the next album...)

+ Jacinda Ardern flags four-day working week as way to rebuild New Zealand. (How about if she works 4 days a week running New Zealand's response, and one day a week running America's?)

+ This Bar Is Using Individual Bumper Tables to Enforce Social Distancing. (I felt like I had an invisible one of these around me during most of college...)

+ Magic Johnson offering $100 million in loans to minority-owned businesses left out of PPP loans.

+ Slate: "I Really Can't Overstate How Riveting This Video of a Guy Solving a Sudoku Is."

10

Pillow Balk

"An online survey of 933 parents with children under 18 conducted by YouGov for The New York Times in May found that only about a third had kids who were struggling with sleep issues in the past year. But among those parents, almost half had given melatonin to their children." NYT: Parents Are Relying on Melatonin to Help Their Kids Sleep. Should They? (The answer really depends on how many darts are left in the tranquilizer gun...)

+ Reminder: The NextDraft Store is open and awesome.

+ Damon Lindelof's Something Something Something Murder story's final chapters will be here at the end of the month. In the meantime, the first 15 chapters are here.