Daily corona round-up

Degrees of separation

We keep a steady watch on the numbers here at the CDU, but we remind everybody that behind each case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is an actual human being. And though today in North Carolina marks the beginning of Phase 1, the first stage of our recovery, the numbers are not slowing down. On the contrary, they’re accelerating. And so, with each new case, it gets closer.

Maybe by now you’ve had it, or someone else close to you has. Maybe you know someone who had it, or know someone who knows someone. Most of us are at most a couple degrees away from this thing, even more ubiquitous than Kevin Bacon.

We’ve seen TV personalities, athletes, actors and lawmakers test positive for the disease over the last few months with the same frequency as outbreaks at chicken plants, factories and senior homes.

And, today, the home office of the NC DMV.

Earlier this week, one of President Trump’s valet’s tested positive for COVID-19. Today, Vice President Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for COVID-19. She’s also the wife of Stephen Miller, a Trump policy advisor and architect of our brutal immigration policy.

So here in Phase 1, we can disagree on the origins of this virus (though we probably shouldn’t), or the prospects for treatment. But certainly we can all agree that a lot of people are getting sick, right here at home.

Some news

  • A monthly jobs report confirms what everybody already knows: A lot of people are out of work, and the economy is in the tank
    • Or is it? US stock markets rebounded strongly in April from March’s losses, about halfway back to February’s high-water mark. I won’t try to make sense of all that.
  • Pride W-S’s Oct. 17 festival has been canceled.
  • Phase 1 is officially on! Phase 2 is schedule to land around May 23.

The numbers

A diversion

God, I miss sports. The NFL schedule came out this week, and I just don’t know what I’m going to do if I can’t make my annual pilgrimage to the Superdome. But really, a lack of sports is not our biggest problem right now. Still, I’m jonesing so bad for some live action I’ve been watching the neighborhood kids shoot baskets in their driveway. And so this week I’m dropping an old episode of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” a perennial Saturday-afternoon favorite that ran the gamut from car racing to track and field to lumberjack competitions, all delivered with a play-by-play and a color man. It’s where we get the phrase, “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” Here’s one from 1983, the World-Record High-Dive Challenge, to help us all scratch the itch.

Program notes

  • I’m getting my public-domain images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City these days. We just call it “the Met.” Tonight we’ve got “The Relation of the Individual to the State: Socrates and his Friends Discuss the Republic,” by John La Farge, 1903.
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