I spent most of my day wildly oscillating between despair and inspiration.
The despair came from, y’know, the news: The increasing numbers of reported infections and deaths. And the fact that we’re only two weeks into what’s going to be a rather lengthy shelter in place order.
The inspiration came from … well, people doing amazing things.
Below, we have links to 16 stories—and three quarters of them are at least partially “good” news. Go look (after you finish reading this introduction, of course). I promise you: You will feel a little better after perusing these links.
I am also inspired by what’s going on in my little corner of the journalism world—where things, economically, literally could not be worse. We are all fighting to stay alive while covering the biggest story in a century. Yet some of the ideas that my fellow publishers—people who are clearly more creative than I—have come up with to serve their communities and bring in revenue are amazing.
This brings me to the fact that yesterday, I said I’d be sharing more info on the Independent’s future plans today. Well, we’re going to save that for the weekend now, partially because some of those plans have changed slightly due to the wisdom of my fellow newspaper people, but mostly because I wanted to get all this good news out to you.
On with the news:
• Breaking and important news: Gov. Gavin Newsom has finally heeded the call for an eviction moratorium in the state. But make sure you read the fine print.
• Duke University has come up with a way for medical professionals to safely decontaminate and re-use N95 masks—which, given there’s a shortage, could be a big frickin’ deal.
• Meantime, a group of amazing locals are sewing masks in case they’re needed. Get to know and support the C.V. Mask Project.
• Elon Musk can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but he did a very amazing thing by delivering 1,000 ventilators to the state in Los Angeles.
• Buried within this piece from The Washington Post about the Alabama governor, well, being an idiot: Hints that the shelter in place order in California is working.
• OK, this is one of the stories down here that is decidedly NOT GOOD: Kaiser Permanente is no longer filling routine prescriptions for chloroquine.
• A lot of scientists are being told to stop working and stay at home, like the rest of us. Our partners at CalMatters, via the Independent, show how that will take a toll on everything from wildlife research to cancer treatments.
• Are gun shops essential businesses? Gov. Newsom refuses to say for sure.
• Walmart says all this working from home has made Americans eschew pants.
• The Independent’s Beth Allen checks in with an update from the high desert, where Pappy and Harriet’s is offering takeout—but locals want people to stay away.
• News from the sports world, sorta: Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry did an online chat with Anthony Fauci, and it was amazing.
• More news from the sports world, sorta: A baseball-jersey company has shifted gears and started making masks and gowns.
• The recently passed stimulus package will make it easier to tap into retirement accounts.
• Buzzfeed listicles generally fill me with despair over the state of what passes for journalism these days, but this one, while still annoyingly presented, is helpful: It highlights children’s shows that Amazon is now streaming for free.
• Meanwhile, international treasure Patrick Stewart is reading sonnets to us all.
• Like indie film? Well, some art house theaters are now streaming what would be new releases of indie films, and keeping half of the proceeds. Since we don’t have one locally, we’re going to send you to some friends of mine from my Tucson days: The amazing Loft Cinema.
That’s all for now. I’ll be back over the weekend with the update on the Independent that I promised. Wash your hands. Get takeout from a local restaurant if you can afford it. Savor the food. Live in the now. Enjoy life. And you like what the Independent is doing, please send us a few bucks.