Wear em if you got em

Monday Monday. March 30th. Happy birthday to Gomez Addams.

How things were in the olden days.

Bruce Mohl notes that Massachusetts is upping its game on coronavirus testing. He also references a South Korean doctor that advises wearing masks to help slow the spread. South Korea had its first case the same day the US did but infections there are generally under control now. Masks, unfortunately, are not readily available in the US today and in any case should be going to healthcare workers first. Then first responders and grocery store workers.

The Financial Times has a comprehensive recap of the global spread and impact of the virus so far. Lots of interesting charts and graphs.

A 44 year-old state rep from Michigan is one of the latest coronavirus fatalities. The Detroit police chief has tested positive and about a quarter of the force is in quarantine.

For people renting, Tom Acitelli has a list of resources for dealing with the impact of the virus. And David Rabinovitz writes about how small businesses are dealing.

Even if you’re stuck at home you should be walking, walking, walking.

And Thomas O’Grady writes about photography as literature, particularly the work of Dublin photographer Fionán O’Connell.

End of the week roundup

Good Sunday morning. A rainy day. It’s Eric Idle’s birthday.

The turkeys are taking over the city we left behind.

Coronavirus in Italy becomes a case study for the Harvard Business School.

If you’re looking for something constructive to do this week, The Red Cross needs blood. Find a nearby location, fill out the RapidPass information, and donate.

This is as good a time as any to learn about The Science of Well Being. It’s one of Yale’s most popular courses and it’s available now online, for free. Enrollment starts today.

Shift4 Payments handles financial transactions for the hospitality industry. What they’re seeing play out is not pretty.

An NYPD detective has died from coronavirus. He is the third employee of the department to die from the virus. 700 New Jersey officers are also positive.

Former City Councillor Tito Jackson has tested positive for covid-19.

And if you can’t find hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes, here are some alternative cleaning solutions that are just as effective against the coronavirus.

Force majeure

It’s March 28th. Saturday. Be nice to your cat.

Can we draft Bill Gates for president?

The current president is invoking the Defense Production Act to order GM to produce the ventilators that governors are screaming for. So now maybe they’ll actually get them …if they’re nice. Then again, people who run companies that already make ventilators don’t think auto manufacturers will be able to produce them. As for the drive-through parking lot testing sites that were touted by the president, not much has actually happened and those plans have been quietly scaled back because of a lack of available tests.

In Massachusetts, the Health Commissioner, Dr. Monica Bharel, has tested positive. The Governor is not, at this point, showing symptoms. – The Harvard Street Health Center in Dorchester is adapting to the crisis by embracing telehealth technology. – That halt to construction in the city is impacting some large projects but others are planning to move ahead on schedule. – And Boston Magazine has some tips for redecorating your home during a pandemic. Of course they do.

A 101 year old man, born into the Spanish Flu, has recovered from Covid-19 and is being released from an Italian hospital.

In Denmark, the government is underwriting most peoples’ salaries for the next three months. The Irish government is nationalizing the country’s hospitals until further notice.

And for many people, if you’re not commuting you’re not listening to podcasts. But if you are still listening to podcasts, here are two conservative libertarian economists discussing the impact of coronavirus. It’s an interesting take.

One in every crowd

Friday. It was a long week.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive. He’s working from home. His Health Minister, Matt Hancock, is also infected.

You’ve got to give members of Congress credit. Many are flying or driving back to Washington for the coronavirus relief bill vote just to make sure Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky) doesn’t throw a wrench into the works. I’m sure they aren’t particularly happy about traveling to, or lingering long in, the District at this point in time.

Charlie Baker is danged mad.

The National Police Foundation and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS have collaborated on an ESRI dashboard for law enforcement infections. It seems to rely on self reporting and for Massachusetts the numbers don’t seem right. It’s a good idea but I don’t see jurisdictions being in any hurry to advertise staffing problems.

Ian Mackay and Katherine Arden go into a little more detail on how long the coronavirus can live on surfaces.

Wondering how much of a stimulus check you’ll get? This might give you an idea.

And this snippet video must have taken some work to put together but it gave me a lift. We could all use three minutes of fun these days.

In the trenches

It’s a bright sunshiny Thursday morning. Happy birthday to both Freebie and the Bean.

Three more Boston Police officers have tested positive, bringing the total to four. Ayanna Pressley and Seth Moulton are showing symptoms. James Taylor, who is “inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the health care heroes in the trenches” is donating a million bucks to Mass General. Good for him.

Studies show that the virus can live for a time on surfaces, including cardboard, and people are worried about the packages delivered to their homes. Experts are divided about the real risk although they say that if you’re careful it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you may want to avoid overnight delivery.

The economy and much of our way of life has been shut down for about a week now and some folks are thinking that’s enough, that we’re over the hump. But here’s a reality check from Dr. Fauci, as of yesterday.

We are in the escalating phase of a very serious pandemic. That is a fact. We have got to realize that and to prepare and respond. It is not, as it were, under control. Because it’s still going up. Are we trying to control it? Yes. Are we having an impact? We are doing some rather dramatic things. California shutting down. New York doing the same thing. And for the country in general, the physical separation. So even though the infection is going up, there’s no doubt that what we are doing is having an impact.

That being said, there does need to be a plan to restart the economy and get things back to ‘normal’. But it won’t be simple and it won’t be soon, definitely not by Easter. And we have to consider the potential of a resurgence of infections in the fall.

Local media around the country are covering the coronavirus crisis under stress, both from the virus itself and from the impact of budget cuts. But it’s the “story of a lifetime” and outlets are going above and beyond in their efforts. Harvey Leonard is still forecasting the weather but these days it’s from his living room.

And in an alternate universe somewhere, we listened to Bill Gates back in 2015 and none of this ever happened.