Welcome to the apocalypse, friends. It’s Rachel filling in for Tristan this week as he takes a much-needed break from . . . well, everything.
For the record, I agreed to take over this week well over a month ago, and I didn’t exactly think too much about it until the Friday before Tristan left. That’s when I realized, “Aw crap, I’ve got the ‘Trump has COVID-19’ newsletter, don’t I?”
Yes, the President of the United States revealed last Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for coronavirus, along with apparently half the White House.
This is after his debate on Tuesday with former Vice President Joe Biden, in which he mocked the latter for his mask-wearing and his social distancing. The Trump party didn’t wear masks at the venue, and Trump wasn’t tested before the event as he arrived late.
Trump spent a few days at Walter Reed Medical Center — everything else aside, he’s a 74-year-old man and firmly in the high-risk category — and has since returned to the White House.
That said, he still doesn’t look so good.
Naturally, the President of the United States coming down with the C-virus he failed to help contain was met with something of a mixed response. I’m going to leave it at that, as I can’t contain the entirety of Twitter in this newsletter. Just take my word for it.
Honestly, I don’t think I need to say anything else about the virus this week, do I? COVID unlocked a pretty big achievement this week, and it’s probably still not going to make a darned bit of difference in how we react to it.
Color me insensitive, but . . . did they sneak him some hydroxychloroquine? You know, just to check?
By the numbers
Given the above, I think it’s best if I just leave this number here again. I agree with Tristan that it’s the only number that really matters right now:
Number of people lost to COVID-19: over 1,000,000
Tweet of the week
What to read
|Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, airborne transmission,|
and the perils of not knowing how to use Excel
|👁🗨||There are, of course, conspiracy theories about Trump’s|
coronavirus diagnosis. (Buzzfeed News)
|🏟||Sports teams are now using drones to disinfect stadiums between games. (ESPN)|
|🌏||Over one million people have died of COVID-19. Here’s how it happened. (CNBC)|
|😷||Almost 20,000 Amazon employees have tested positive or are|
“presumed positive,” (says Amazon); at least 10 have died. (NBC News)
|💨||CDC says the coronavirus can be spread via airborne transmission (NPR)|
|🤒||Over a dozen White House employees have tested|
positive for COVID-19 this year, in addition to the President and First Lady. (Insider)
|🧠||PSA: Your brain cannot be skewered by the coronavirus swab, don’t worry.|
|📊||Almost 16,000 coronavirus cases in the UK are “missing”|
thanks to an Excel spreadsheet screw-up,
leaving thousands unknowingly exposed. (The Guardian)
|💎||Trump’s suite at Walter Reed has a kitchen, a living room,|
and a dining room with a crystal chandelier. (Daily Mail)
In this little section, we’d like to discuss the tech that’s getting us through the pandemic.
We’d like to. But there are much more pressing issues at hand. Despite the fact that people in the US only comprise a small portion of the global population, the lion’s share of COVID-19 cases are in the States.
The nation’s current leadership has downplayed the virus, disputed scientific facts, and showed its willingness to sacrifice lives for political power.
If you’re a US citizen and believe this needs to change: go here.
And If you’re a citizen of any other country, you can pressure your American friends to vote by yelling at them on the internet here, here, here, and here.
We’re all in this together. Even if it feels like everything is completely partisan right now… because it kind of is… we’re still members of the same human race.
Maybe 2021 will be different. But the only way that’s going to happen is if we all collectively decide to look out for one another no matter what.
The good news is that doing so is easy peasy lemon squeezy:
1. Wear a mask.
2. Stay 2-3 meters away from others in public spaces.
3. Support government officials who take the pandemic seriously.
Tristan (and Rachel)