Medical and hospital things

It’s Wednesday, April 1st. No one is in the mood.

Telework is not always easy, especially if the infrastructure isn’t in place. Watching TV news anchors broadcast from their dining rooms makes you appreciate the sound engineers who work in the studios. And if you’re participating in a Zoom meeting please wear pants.

Gronk is donating 10,000 N95 masks to Boston Medical Center and a hospital in New Jersey. Not the money to buy masks, but masks themselves. Good for Gronk! But how is it that he can he get masks when the government and well-funded hospitals can’t? And, we’re sending equipment overseas at a time when we have shortages at home? WTF!

The respirator situation is also a mess. Governors are beyond frustrated. This is the kind of scale-up situation that the federal government is supposed to be good at but they’ve allowed it to become every state for themselves.

The Mass legislature is fast tracking a ‘no eviction’ bill that would protect renters and mortgage holders who are having problems making payments because of the virus. It’s a real problem.

Bill Gates has more advice.

And BPD is offering safety tips for delivery drivers. (Let’s hope those aren’t the only tips the drivers are getting.)

Let the grey come through

It’s Tuesday. Cool and cloudy. March is going out like a damp surly lamb.

Government budgets, which need to be submitted by July, are being worked out now. It may be a tough year for the state of Massachusetts, which could see a $3 billion dollar shortfall.

Barber shops and salons are closed. We’re all going to look a bit shaggy when this is over. Maybe I’ll go for the Moe Howard home special.

Boston Police are counting nearly 20 officers now testing positive.

The question of whether to mask or not to mask is still unresolved but the needle is moving in the direction of making and wearing masks. The stats on fatalities in New York are showing some unexpected (and unwelcome) trends. But social distancing seems to be working, at least according to those smart thermometers. And not only for coronavirus but for the regular flu too.

Vince Cerf has tested positive.

And some good news: A guy provided free grocery delivery to help homebound older folks. Wuhan is preparing to reopen. Kids in Brooklyn and around the world are painting rainbows and placing them in windows to cheer us up. And John Krasinski has a whole channel devoted to good news.

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.