Daily corona round-up

Mounting losses

It’s been eight weeks since we started issuing the coronavirus daily update, and we are still counting the losses — lost days from work, lost business opportunities, lost plans, lost events, lost time.

Many have also lost loved ones — 52 people have died in Guilford (45) and Forsyth (7) counties.

Today, FloydFest was canceled. Cary canceled all its summer camps — a precedent? — and the Wyndham Championship is still up in the air, though PGA officials are trying to salvage the season.

The NC Dept. of Transportation is losing so much money that it’s shutting down rail lines and canceling road projects. The DOT is funded largely by a tax on gasoline, which is cheaper than it’s been in decades and still not selling very well.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has extended its moratorium on new evictions until May 28. On May 29, they’ll begin processing the 140 or so evictions in the queue. The document’s not posted yet but when it is you’ll find it here.

You know who didn’t lose any money? Sen. Richard Burr, who sold off a bunch of his stock around the same time he told a room of wealthy donors to prepare for devastation from the coronavirus, and then told his constituents that the federal government had the situation well in hand. The FBI seized his cell phone last night, and today he resigned his position as chair of the Intelligence Committee.

I’m old enough to remember 2009, when he told his wife to start a run on the bank in Winston-Salem in the middle of a financial crisis.

The numbers

  • There were 691 newly discovered cases in North Carolina today — the most yet — bringing our 7-day average up to 444/day.
    • These guys say we have no new recoveries today, and 12 new deaths, measuring NC’s fatality rate at 3.8 percent.
  • Forsyth County had a bad day, with 60 new cases today, making 555 total, and two deaths making seven — no one had died from COVID-19 in Forsyth County since April 16. No new recoveries either.
  • Guilford County added 37 new cases for 720 total, five new recoveries for 319, no new hospitalizations or deaths.

A diversion

Back in the days of network television, some truly awful shows made it to the top of the heap — “Welcome Back Kotter,” for instance, the 1975 classroom sitcom where John Travolta landed his first big role, is unwatchable. And often, great shows never catch on. That’s what happened with “Arrested Development.” In these annals, “Frank’s Place” may be one of the best shows no one has ever heard of. It starred Tim Reid, fresh off his role as Venus Flytrap on “WKRP in Cincinnati,” as a New Orleans bar owner with a past, along with a smart, predominantly African-American cast. CBS doomed it from the start, shifting its time slot into obscurity. Here’s the pilot, from 1987. Worth a dive into the rest of the season.

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 “Jonah and the Whale” — the version from the Quran — a painting on paper from about 1400.
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