The lost quarter
It’s the last day of June, which means that we’ve endured one full quarter of life under the coronavirus. In these three months we’ve shuttered huge tracts of the United States economy — in May, just 52.8 percent of the US population had a job. In the past 14 weeks, 47 million Americans have filed for unemployment. States and municipalities are scrambling because of anticipated loss in tax revenue. The Payment Protection Program ends today, with a $130 billion surplus. The $600-per-week unemployment bonus is set to expire in July, as is Phase 2 in North Carolina’s recovery, after which bars, gyms and other businesses can reopen.
- Dr Fauci came on TV today to warn that we’re possible on pace to hit 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the US, largely due to growth in the West and the South.
- Yes, us.
- Also, they’re speeding up the vaccine.
- ProPublica continues its crusade against NC with a deep dive about how we became the worst states in the union for the unemployed.
- We’re still awaiting more reporting on the death of John Neville, who died in the Forsyth County Jail in December but we’re just finding out about it now.
- Gov. Cooper announced that we’ll be testing every employee and resident of every nursing home in the state, because that’s where the worst outbreaks have been happening.
- Got a new tracker, from Johns Hopkins University. Here’s their data on NC.
- TL;DR — We’re increasing, but we’re decreasing our rate of increase. Meh.
- 1,186 new cases in NC today, making 64,670 total.
- 65 new hospitalizations. We’ve got about 25 percent of our hospital beds and ICU units available.
- Guilford County has 63 new cases for 2,808, with 1,648 recoveries (+50) and 112 deaths (no change).
- Forsyth County claims 2,996 diagnoses, with 18 new ones. There have been 1,920 recoveries (+70) and 34 deaths (no change).
- For comparison with Dr. Fauci’s numbers, we’ve had 26,324 new diagnoses in the US so far today.
People used to put a lot more effort into TV theme songs back in the day. Sometimes they set the backstory for the show, like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” or “Gilligan’s Island.” Sometimes they’d set a mood, like “Cheers” or “WKRP in Cincinatti.” And sometimes they were hits, like the theme song for “The Greatest American Hero,” a mediocre superhero TV show with laughable special effects and a weak lead. “Believe it or Not” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981. Total yacht rock. Here’s the series pilot, first aired March 18, 1981.