Inside, looking out and about

Another Monday morning. Here we go again.

Can Bill Belichick have a winning season without a big name quarterback? I guess we’re going to find out.

Cellphone location tracking data, the same information Google uses to calculate driving time, has been analyzed to show, on a map, how and where in the country people are social distancing. Some areas of the south and midwest are lagging behind. Maybe it’s because the number of cases is still low there. Time will tell if whether those areas end up being harder hit by the virus than the areas that hunkered down early. But it’s becoming clear that states that got ahead of the crisis are getting better results.

Police chiefs from around the country, including Bill Brooks of Norwood, had a chance to talk to the president late last week. Chief Carli of Vacaville, California, suggested we “Stop testing NBA players, and start testing our first responders.” Good point. A Boston Police officer has tested positive. And don’t forget the folks working long stressful hours in the 911 call centers. This is a tough time for them.

New York City, which has become an epicenter for the coronavirus, shut down last night at 8 PM. Or at least it PAUSE‘ed. Gothamist breaks down what it means for New Yorkers.

And a loss of smell or taste could be a sign of infection. I hadn’t heard that before but it could be important.

The luck of the Irish

Tuesday, March 17th. Erin go Bragh. And all the pubs are closed.

Canada is closed and Mexico is considering closing its border with the US.

Don’t drop your iPhone. Apple stores are also closed until further notice.

What will the worldwide shutdown do to the global economy? It’s still an open question. In a Times article, Neil Irwin highlights the basic underpinning of any economy, “One person’s spending is another person’s income,” and takes it from there.

Bye bye Tom Brady. Not such a big deal really, in context.

An interesting and important fact about Covid-19: some infections are mild and the people that have them are less infectious to others. Many of these mild cases are under the radar. But when they do spread to another person, that new infection is not necessarily mild.

Old people are complaining about young people. Young people are complaining about old people. Sounds about right. Some people seem to think they’re going to need a gun to defend their toilet paper. I doubt that will be necessary. This is not an apocalyptic every-man-for-himself scenario. This is more of a we’re-all-in-this-together-let’s-all-pitch-in situation. Taylor Swift is helping. And supermarket workers. Also Gov. Mike DeWine. Not helping? …Ron Paul, Softbank and people who spread stupid rumors.

And, if you watch anything today, watch this.

Hunkering down

Monday morning. It was quite a week and there’s more to come.

Yes, the debate last night was a little boring. Adult policy stuff is boring. These days I think the country needs its government to be more boring …and a little less entertaining.

Time is of the essence as we try to prepare for what’s coming. The Fed is cutting interest rates to zero and going heavy with QE efforts. But markets don’t seem to be completely reassured. And some GOP senators are quibbling over details in the relief bill passed by the House and supported by the White House.

It was a very short season for Plimoth Plantation. Opened Saturday and closed Monday. All bars and restaurants are now closed in Massachusetts. Take out or drop off delivery is still an option. This is going to be hard on restaurant workers. Screening at Logan for international arrivals is apparently going better than at other airports. Better but not perfect. And Microsoft has a real-time coronavirus tracker with breakdowns by state. We’re at 164 this morning.

Emergency room doctors and nurses are on the frontlines and are at particular risk. Two ER doctors, one in New Jersey and another in Washington State, are in critical condition with the virus.

I was never a great fan of Mike Pence but I’m happy that he is stepping up now at a time when we need calm, concise and articulate messaging from the White House. The entire team he leads is doing a good job. The contrast between his boss’s rambling introduction yesterday, which actually included complaints about how he’s being treated unfairly by the media, with Pence’s self-assured direct and to-the-point crisis communication, was striking.

And why are teams lining up for Brady while Phil Rivers, with more yards, is being ignored? It’s all about the interceptions.

Banishing the snakes

It’s Tuesday. March 10th already. In 1876, in Boston, Alexander Graham Bell made a telephone call to his assistant, Thomas Watson.

John Clayton lists a few options for Tom Brady.

Universal Hub is tracking many of the Boston area event cancellations, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and breakfast. The website for the Situate parade is boldly proclaiming that the event is still on. New York’s parade is also still scheduled to take place according to Mayor de Blasio. We’ll see. The St. Patrick’s breakfast on Capitol Hill hasn’t been cancelled but the president is skipping it because it’s being hosted by Nancy Pelosi and he’s mad at her. Yascha Mounk, writing in The Atlantic, says we should just cancel everything.

This tweet by Trump is …weird. Either he is blissfully unaware of the whole idea of Nero fiddling while Rome burnt or he’s mocking us all. Very strange.

Mortgage payments are suspended in Italy. And companies like Microsoft and Amazon, along with Italian telecoms and publishers, are stepping up by offering free services for people homebound in the red zone.

Boston Magazine provides coronavirus etiquette tips, as only Boston Magazine can.

Both Starbucks and Dunk’s have stopped filling reusable coffee cups. At Starbucks you can, at least, still get the discount if you bring your cup.

And John Krasinski instructs Stephen Colbert in the fine points of a Boston accent. May the faarce be with you.

Time for a change

It’s a bright Saturday morning as we begin the second week of the second month of 2020. RIP Mary, Queen of Scots.

Remember Lycos? It’s still around. And it works pretty well. It has a nice modern design now. Not as I remember it.

Also, time was updated this week. That’s time.gov, the website for NIST, with the official United States time. Here’s what it used to look like. So an obvious improvement there too, I’d say.

Tom and Gisele’s Brookline mansion is still on the market. Even with a $5 million dollar price drop it hasn’t moved. Maybe it’s a sign. Of a slowing real estate market.

Using the Cloud to search local files on your hard drive? What could possibly go wrong?

Bloomberg is at number two for the Democratic nomination. It’s not a poll but it is an interesting result given the last week. His spending and organizing are also beginning to turn heads.

And this writer doesn’t like dog parks. But do you know who does like dog parks? Dogs.