It’s April 1, no’ foolin. That means one of the most insanely awful months in American history is finally behind us.
How long was March? The obvious, mathematical answer is 31 days. But, man, were those a looooong 31 days.
Here’s how long March was: Remember Pete Buttigieg? When March started, he was still a presidential candidate. Yep: He dropped out on March 1, two days before Joe Biden’s decisive Super Tuesday wins.
Back then, most of us had no idea what in the hell was coming—or if we had any clue, we couldn’t fathom what it all meant.
A story in the print version of the March 1 edition of The New York Times had the headline: “Readiness of U.S. for an Epidemic Raises Fears About Shortages.” It’s worth noting that this story, while on the front page, was below the fold.
The online version of the story had a more search-term-friendly headline and sub-headline: “How Prepared Is the U.S. for a Coronavirus Outbreak?” The subheadline: “The country is better positioned than most but could still face critical shortages of respirators and masks. Hospitals have triage plans in place. State and local governments have broad powers to quarantine.”
Uh … well … yep?
The local BNP Paribas Open was cancelled on March 8, the day before it was supposed to start in earnest. Coachella and Stagecoach were postponed on March 10. The NBA kept playing until a March 11, when a player tested positive, halting a game in Oklahoma City just before tip-off.
That was just three weeks ago. Yeesh.
Now, it’s April … and we’re looking down the barrel of a month virtually none of us could have imagined in our worst nightmares just 31 days ago.
Yet, there are reasons for optimism. We’ve linked to stories in previous days that indicate we’re having success in #flatteningthecurve here in California. And every day means we are one day closer to the end of this, whatever that may mean.
Stay home as much as possible. If you’re one of the “essential workers” who can’t stay at home, God bless you, and be as safe as you can. Enjoy this time, as bonkers as it is, as much as possible.
Oh, yeah, and 1) stop flushing wipes down the toilet, and 2) wash your hands.
On a personal note: Thank you so very much to the 30-plus people who became or maintained being Supporters of the Independent in March (plus today). Whether you gave us $10 or you gave us $500, your support means so much to us.
To Jill Arnold, Morgan James, Ken Alterwitz, Elizabeth McGarry, Alex McCune, Miho Suma, Gustavo Arellano, Howard Goldberg, Richard Fluechtling, Cactus Hugs/Casey Dolan, Debby Anspach, Scott Phipps, John Delaney, Leonard Woods, Michael Herzfeld, Kenneth Theriault, Lynn Hammond/Lynn Hammond Catering, Jeffrey Davied, Harvey Lewis, Vicky Harrison, Joanne Bosher, George Bullis, Joshua Friedman, Darrell Tucci, Scott Balson, Elizabeth Wexler, Deidre Pike, Marsha Pare, Jeffrey Norman, David Ponsar, Lea Goodsell, John de Dios and Anthony Gangloff … thanks for helping us continue to do what we do in these unbelievably tough times.
Now, for today’s news links:
• If you fear you may be sick: Call Eisenhower at 760-837-8988 or the Desert AIDS Project at 760-992-0407 before you go anywhere.
• I will again be joining Shann Carr, John Taylor and Brad Fuhr tomorrow on the I Love Gay Palm Springs podcast with Dr. Laura Rush. If you have any questions about this damn virus and whatnot for the good doctor, send them to me before 8 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) at email@example.com.
• If you need help, the amazing people at FIND Food Bank are heading to a local town near you to help with its mobile pantry. Get the details and the schedule here.
• SiriusXM is offering free streaming through May 15.
• Independent TV columnist Bill Frost points out that a whole lot of the streaming services you normally need to pay for are offering programming for free right now—and he also has information on a dozen streaming services that are ALWAYS free.
• Also from the Independent: What better time is there to go outside and enjoy the stars and planets (as long as everyone is social distancing and stuff)? The Independent’s Robert Victor has the scoop on what to watch for in the heavens in April.
• Related: The Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory has moved its Swoon at the Moon program online, starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight!
• Yet another excellent scholarly article from The Conversation offers a silver lining in all of this: Could COVID-19 end the world’s illicit wildlife trade?
• In this era of Zoom meetings, be careful with the filters you have on your phone, lest you wind up becoming a potato.
• Being a brand-new parent in the age of the coronavirus leads to a whole bunch of surprising worries, as this story from friend of the Independent Gustavo Arellano illustrates.
• Why is Dolly Parton a national freaking treasure, besides, you know, the obvious? Is it because of her amazing generosity? Or is it because she’s going to start reading bedtime stories to us all every Thursday? You decide.
• Another, albeit very different national treasure, Samuel L. Jackson, encourages you to Stay the F**k at Home.
• Need some quick, relatable laughs? Make sure you’re following Leslie Jordan on Instagram.
• LGBT folks and allies, take note: A whole bunch of pride-festival organizers, including Greater Palm Springs Pride’s amazing Ron deHarte, will be hosting an online Global Pride on June 27.
That’s all for today. Wash your hands. Reach out to a loved one. Tomorrow’s a new day. Now go wash your hands again. More tomorrow.