* The word “reopen” is a double-edged directive. While it’s intended to carefully ease up on the economic shutdown for certain businesses, that’s not the connotation heard by lots of eager patrons who hear what they want to hear. It’s re-OPEN! It’s time to celebrate, which is at odds with elbow-bumping your buddies and staying prudently distanced. It’s also at odds with a virus that is still circulating. The West Wing isn’t exactly safe, but a bistro is?
* The good news: Global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to plunge nearly 8 percent this year because of worldwide lockdowns and an “unprecedented” decline in the use of fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. The reality: Will air-quality improvements be motivation enough to continue the trend (via green power and electric vehicles) in whatever becomes the post-COVID normal?
* Nursing homes, cruise ships and ICE immigration detention centers: the three biggest incubators for COVID-19 infection.
* “Right now many or possibly most carriers are asymptomatic, yet most businesses do not have the capacity to test customers for COVID-19, which they would want to do if the tests were available, which they aren’t.”–Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University.
* Masks: In a pandemic, they have to be seen as symbols of respect and responsibility–not as signs of big government overreach.
* With just five percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has nearly a third of the reported COVID-19 cases–as well as a globe-topping total of more than 80,000 deaths.
* The U.S. was a no-show last week at the teleconference of global leaders pledging contributions for a coronavirus vaccine.
* How ironic that two of the factors that likely mitigated COVID spread in Tampa Bay were urban sprawl and a car culture necessitated by a lack of mass transit that packs in commuters.
* How can those who channel an authoritarian protest the (pandemic-induced) lockdowns of government “tyranny”? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.
* “Beach Capacity Dashboard“: The online tool launched by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that allows beachgoers to check crowd sizes at beaches and parking lots.