COVID Bits

#AloneTogether

* How ironic–and maybe karmic–that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had recklessly pledged to “go on shaking hands with everybody,” has tested positive for the coronavirus.

* Repurposed Olympics: With the Olympic Games now postponed till next year, Tokyo is looking at using the Olympic Village as a place for patients with milder cases of coronavirus.

* Encouraging that subway service is being restored in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus first emerged in December.

* As of early this week, only Hawaii and Wyoming remained as states with no reported deaths linked to the outbreak.

* The right and responsibility to vote meets the clear and present danger of gathering during a pandemic. Voting by mail is now a no-brainer. Not doing it is brainless.

Not too long ago, I was feeling almost nostalgic about when communities turned out to cast votes in person. In the era of online living, we don’t gather as diverse communities the way we used to. Voting, among neighbors of different party affiliations, was still a collective, communal experience. It was still America. But the combination of a pandemic and unprecedented, visceral partisanship in the era of Trump makes mailing it in the only alternative. Trump and COVID-19 changed everything.

* There are more than a dozen physicians in Congress, most of them Republican. Why aren’t they the loudest, most coherent and most helpful voices during a health crisis? Or did they take the hypocritical oath?

* “We cannot create an incentive not to work.” That was Sen. Rick Scott’s rationale for being one of four Senate Republicans who objected to a temporary hike in unemployment benefits in the stimulus package. Yes, he’s still Rick Scott–and we’re still “on the hook” for his “leadership.”

* Iso Update I: Binge watching for a certain age group–such as those who fondly recall “The Twilight Zone”–should come with a spoiler alert. Themes of manipulation–from aliens to grim reapers–and eerie uncertainty abound. Hardly escape, although Rod Serling is still cool. And if nostalgia includes “The Honeymooners,” it won’t provide nearly enough escape either. You’ll be reminded that Ralph Kramden would have been a Trumpster.

* Iso Update II: What day is this again?

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