The great liquidity

There’s a lot of talk about money this week as government cash begins to flow to private individuals through stimulus payments — that’s the $1,200 or so that everybody is supposed to get. Anecdotally, I know that SBA products — both the PPP loans and advances on the the EIDL loans — are beginning to drop into bank accounts. And the federal unemployment benefit, $600 or so, is supposed to be added to unemployment payouts this week.

That’s a lot of clams to hit the streets all at one time. Let’s see what it does for the economy.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, a private Facebook group called “Reopen NC” staged a huge, IRL meet-up today at the Capitol, honking their horns in unison every 15 minutes. They demanded an end to government restrictions so that we can all make individual choices as to how we deal with the coronavirus, and also “get back to work.” At least one was arrested for violating Gov, Cooper’s executive order.

I’ll just assume they spent the rest of the day licking car-door handles and spitting in each others’ mouths.

This is as good a spot as any for some news.

Some news

  • On the actual reopening of North Carolina, this is form House Whip Jon Hardister’s Facebook page: “People are asking what our plan is to reopen North Carolina for business. Leadership in the General Assembly are having discussions about this, and we are collaborating with all branches of government. It is my hope that we will soon move into a transition period, where businesses can reopen and operate with basic regulations and guidelines in place. Please know that these conversations are happening, and that we want our economy to get back on track as soon as possible, while also being mindful of public safety related to the virus.”
    • Another from Hardister: Amazon is hiring in North Carolina. Apply here.
    • You should be following his daily Facebook updates.
  • The News & Record breaks a story today about a COVID-19 outbreak at Heritage Greens, a residential-care facility for seniors. Lots of unanswered questions here, but we know there must have been at least two diagnosed cases.
    • Residential-care sites, unlike nursing homes, were not affected by the last executive order because they do not house actively ailing residents, and are not de facto medical facilities.
  • And let’s give the Journal some love for this story about free citywide bus service starting tomorrow, and also a bit about how the stay-at-home order is extended from April 16 to May 7.
  • Find all of Triad City Beat‘s coronavirus coverage here.

The numbers

  • Stay-at-home is working in North Carolina. After yesterday’s high-water mark of 378 cases, today we’ve only added 115 to our total of 5,084. Yes, we broke the 5k mark, but we’re stopping acceleration.
  • Guilford Claims 137 today, just two more since yesterday.
  • Forsyth added four to make 123.
  • We’ve lost 108 people to COVID-19 in NC — that’s just 0.4 percent of the 22,252 Americans who have succumbed. On the books, anyway.
  • You can tinker with the graphs on this page to see data on recovery in NC — 325 have recovered so far.

A diversion

There was a time in American television when the star-studded variety shows were considered the height of entertainment. It all began with Ed Sullivan, but a new wave of mod variety hours crashed with shows like “Laugh-In” and The Smothers Brothers. It had begin to get a bit corny when Sonny & Cher and Donnie & Marie got into the act, and it officially jumped the shark when the fake family from “The Brady Bunch” got its own star-studded TV variety hour (I think it was because they secretly wished they were the Partridge Family). But the world of country music, never ashamed to latch on to the ass end of a trend, backed this one, Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters, Louise and Irlene, that came out in 1980 and lasted two seasons. This episode kicks off with Dolly Parton, even then a grand dame of country music, and still as charming as ever.

Program notes

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