There was sooooo much interesting news today—from more on California’s reopening plans to the hubbub over Tupac Shakur’s unemployment (not joking!)—we shan’t delay in getting to the links:
• Today’s big news: Gov. Newsom today laid out more specifics on the reopening of California, in a four-stage process. Right now, we’re in Stage 1. (But you knew that already.) He also suggested that the state’s schools could open earlier than normal summer.
• From the Independent: Kevin Allman talked to the owners of Dringk, Bongo Johnny’s and Eight4Nine, as well as the executive director of the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, about the tough decisions restaurants have had to make during the pandemic.
• From the Independent: Matt King is a student at College of the Desert who comes from a family full of teachers—so he decided to talk to several of his teachers, current and past, about the challenges of being a teacher at a time when in-person classes cannot be.
• Two related stories: The Conversation brings us this piece, posted yesterday from a business-law expert, on one reason why meat plants may be closing—a concern over being prosecuted if they get blamed for spreading the virus. And then today comes the news that the president plans on ordering the plants to remain open—and possibly protecting them from liability—in an effort to keep the meat supply chain up and running.
• A sad stats day: The U.S. crossed the 1 million line in terms of coronavirus cases—and the virus has now killed more Americans than the Vietnam War.
• Yet another piece of evidence showing that we’re living in the worst timeline: The feds are preparing to loan big business billions—with almost no strings whatsoever.
• NPR’s headline says it all: “Leaving Off Mask at Mayo Clinic, Pence Said He Wanted To Look Workers ‘in the Eye.’” Sigh.
• The Wall Street Journal yesterday posted this piece: “The Secret Group of Scientists and Billionaires Pushing a Manhattan Project for COVID-19.” While the story itself is interesting, I recommend skipping straight to the PDF report from the group.
• For this one year only, films will not need to be released theatrically in order to be eligible for the Oscars.
• Best Buy today announced that it was allowing the Geek Squad to enter people’s homes again.
• Well, this is depressing: Some stores are running out of sympathy cards because of this damned virus.
• The nation’s hotels, large and small, are getting ready to do things rather differently when travel again becomes a thing.
• As the great Dave Barry would say, we are not making this up: Scientists are examining the possibility that nicotine may keep COVID-19 at bay. Yes, really.
• I repeat, we are not making this up: If you’re having problems checking the status of your stimulus check on the IRS website, try typing things in all caps. Yes, really, again.
• Meanwhile, out of Kentucky comes this headline: “Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear apologizes to Tupac Shakur over coronavirus unemployment claim.” Yes, this headline is accurate, and no, we’re not smelling toast.
• Aaaand in the ever-weird and cutthroat world of British media, a newspaper has suspended a journalist after he allegedly snuck into a rival newspaper’s Zoom meeting.
• This is not directly related to the virus, but we need all the good news we can get, so here’s a just-released trailer for the Kimmy Schmidt special coming to Netflix in May.
That’s all for today. Buy our coloring book, dang it! Let us know if you want a copy of our May print edition sent to you. And if you can afford to support our journalism, please do so, because times are tough. We’ll be back tomorrow.