Shelter-in-Place Day 2–6 | #TC55
NATO got new face, COVID crossed 300K, and hair care in quarantine
|Kyle Borland||Mar 23|
There’s a real possibility this pandemic could be historically remembered within the US, and maybe not globally if Beijing has its way, as “The Trumpian Plague.” Like many leaders before him, there was very little DJT could do to stop the association between the pandemic and himself since it occurred during his administration. Ask Emperor Justinian how that’s working out for him.
Trump’s monumental mishandling of this crisis will be remembered forever.
What do most people know about Emperor Nero? That Rome burned under his watch. Why? Humans never forget when leaders fail at their most important job: protect us.
Rather than prepare the American people and the world for the reality we faced, he called it a “hoax” through February and now tens of thousands of people will unnecessarily die because he was too terrified to lead.
Imagine what the United States of America could have done in those first two months if we were led by a half-competent leader? How many tests would we be able to perform every day? How many factories would already be transitioned to vital medical equipment and supplies to meet the challenge at hand? Would 2.25 million Americans have filed for unemployment last week alone? How many LGBTQ+ students wouldn’t find themselves suddenly unsupported and potentially homeless?
Do not get me wrong. I am not discrediting the inspiring work we’re seeing across the country, in every state. It is amazing that many parts of the business community have slowly made that transition.
However, it’s an obstacle that required and still calls for, a leader.
Not even a great one. Not even decent. Just one willing to try.
Stay safe and healthy, beautiful people. And, thanks for reading.
PS – Some shelter-in-place reads for you as the nation follows CA’s lead.
Against Productivity in a Pandemic (The New Republic)
America’s public transit systems are a national embarrassment.
Americans are returning to Drive-In’s – a perfect social distancing activity.
Be on the lookout for live-streamed concerts by your favorite artists!
The Ringer created a master list of streaming content to fix decision paralysis.
This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus (The Atlantic)
“Finish every day and be done with it … You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. To-morrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenly, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Trascendalist philosopher
One Empire Thing: NATO Has a New Member
One International Thing: COVID-19 Updates
US Senate Democrats blocked a procedural vote (47-47) on the $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus package – including direct payments to Americans under a certain income threshold, $200b in loans to distressed industry sectors and $300b in forgivable bridge loans for SMBs – because it lacked proper worker protections and did not properly restrict bailed-out businesses. Notably, the Democrats could only block the measure because three GOP senators are currently quarantined, including Rand Paul and Utah’s senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee. Paul is the first senator and third member of Congress to test positive. Ironically, he and Mike Lee were among the eight senators who voted against the initial coronavirus relief package last week. The eight senators that voted against the Coronavirus Relief Package were: Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Jim Inhofe (R-OK); James Lankford (R-OK); Mike Lee (R-UT); Rand Paul (R-KY); Ben Sasse (R-NE); Tim Scott (R-SC), and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
In more Senate drama, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) sold between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his stocks on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions after a briefing on COVID-19. Similarly, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) sold stocks in February and purchased between $100,000 and $250,000 in shares of Citrix, a remote work software company. Although not in the large sums of Burr or Loeffler, other members of Congress and their staffs are also being investigated for trades they made during February and March.
With more than 33,000 cases confirmed in the US, 1 in 4 Americans are under “stay at home” orders (California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana), New York State has more than 15,000 cases or 5% of world’s total cases, the 5,500+ mile US-Canada border will temporarily close, the US Navy is deploying its two hospital ships – the Mercy and the Comfort – to LA and NYC, the State Department warned Americans not to travel abroad and to return now, Vermont and Minnesota designated grocery store clerks as emergency workers, the Rural South has lost 3,500+ hospital beds since 2005, the Fed has gone into overdrive to keep credit flowing by establishing currency swaps with nine central banks, and the deadline to file taxes was pushed back to July 15, and VP Mike Pence tested negative for the virus.
The EU approved $820B in stimulus to save its economy, Italy overtook China in deaths (3,405) and saw 793 deaths on March 21 alone, Spain became the second European nation to surpass 1,000 deaths, Russia recorded its first death, France extended its lockdown, the Bank of England cut its interest rates to an all-time low of .01 percent, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going into isolation after her doctor tested positive for the virus.
China tried to cover up COVID-19, providing the virus time to spread. However, Thursday was the first day with no new reported cases in China’s Hubei province where the virus originated which is a great sign of progress. Even still, Beijing is taking advantage of the West’s own virus-related fumbles and establishing itself as the world’s indispensable nation during this crisis. History could show COVID-19 as China’s Suez Crisis for taking the reigns of the world from the previous superpower.
Cuba deployed its world-famous medical corps to help Italy with its response.
Australia and New Zealand closed their borders to everyone except citizens.
India banned all inbound flights and closed all schools and universities in Delhi.
According to the Ancient Greeks, plagues follow bad leaders.
One Cultural Thing: Quarantine Hair Care
While my partner and I adjust to quarantine life, there is one aspect of the shutdown that will grow more impossible to ignore with each passing day. Luckily, one of my favorite Instagram accounts illustrated our near future perfectly.