COVID Bits

* Not all countries are equally vulnerable to the coronavirus. Exhibit A: Estonia. The tech-savvy, Baltic nation of 1.3 million has a dynamic economy, a good chunk of which, fortunately, is digital. That includes companies that can deliver services digitally and where employees can work from home.

* We’ve seen effective, draconian lockdowns in China–as only an authoritarian government can enforce. Too bad an authoritarian approach to transparency can’t work.

* The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 24, are now postponed. Finally. For a time, it seemed that denial had become an Olympic sport.   

* “The federal government’s not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.”–That was the Unifier-in-chief, inimitably explaining that it was largely up to governors to deal with a dire shortage of masks, surgical gowns and eye gear to protect medical workers from the coronavirus.

* “At this point in the emergency, there’s little merit in spending time on what we should have done or who’s at fault.” That was Adm. Tim Ziemer, whose perspective is well grounded. He led the pandemic response unit on the National Security Council–before it was disbanded under Trump.

* “The best case is that the virus mutates and actually dies out. Only in movies do viruses seem to become worse.” That was Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who was actually a consultant for the movie “Contagion,” now streaming back into popularity.

* For self-isolation perspective, Anne Frank and seven others hid in a 450 square-foot attic for 761 days–quietly trying to remain undiscovered to stay alive.

* “Touch elbows and smile. That works, as long as the warmth is there.”–Tampa City Council member Charlie Miranda on how Latin culture–where showing affection through touch is a given–can be altered for the common good.

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