It is pretty obvious what we need to do to get the coronavirus under control.

It is not rocket science; we simply lack the political will to do it.

The entire country needs to lock down again. The federal government needs to provide cash to individuals and small businesses to survive the six to eight weeks it will take.

It will suck, but probably not as much as it did the first time around (for those of us who actually did it, anyway), and it will leave us in a much better situation than our current never-ending limbo.

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It is creepy how close this is to reality.

Your School District’s Reopening Survey – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

Rest assured that no matter how you respond, it won’t matter whatsoever. We’ll come up with a plan in consultation with an anonymous team of stakeholders, three renowned local astrologists, a haphazard compendium of tweets, and a seance that will be held over Zoom (please find the login and password on page 576 of the town bylaws). We will also hold a listening session in ten minutes, if anyone’s around. Expect a link to be emailed shortly; please check your spam.

We welcome your feedback! Stay well!

— Your School District

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Simple-minded freedom

Why the Pandemic Is So Bad in America – The Atlantic:

Despite its epochal effects, COVID‑19 is merely a harbinger of worse plagues to come. The U.S. cannot prepare for these inevitable crises if it returns to normal, as many of its people ache to do. Normal led to this. Normal was a world ever more prone to a pandemic but ever less ready for one. To avert another catastrophe, the U.S. needs to grapple with all the ways normal failed us. It needs a full accounting of every recent misstep and foundational sin, every unattended weakness and unheeded warning, every festering wound and reopened scar.

COVID-19 was always going to be bad, but it did not have to be this bad. There is another virus (probably more than one) out there that will be worse.

There are plenty of people, decisions, and policies that are to blamed—and should explicitly be blamed—for Our Current Situation, but none more so than (as Yong puts it) our “fealty to a dangerous strain of individualism.”

Yes, we all have our freedoms, but we live together and we need one another. This is not rocket science—it is a balance we have managed to figure out in a bunch of different places. Unfortunately, we now have a nontrivial slice of our society that holds a cartoonish notion of freedom.

I don’t know how we overcome this crazy idea that no one is responsible for anyone besides themselves, but we’re going to have to figure that out if we want to survive.

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“Yeah, but there are hardly any cases here.”

I keep hearing this argument, usually as a justification for why some group gathering is fine, or for why this or that should be re-opened.

The problem is that we have to keep making the definition of “here” smaller and smaller. First it is the number of cases in the region, then in the state, then in the county, then in the city or town.

This is how the virus continues to spread. It’s why we are setting new records every day for the number of new infections.

Trump is a loser.

Don’t Cower | Talking Points Memo:

I’ve seen plenty of comments today on the order of “That’s the law? Since when does Trump follow the law?” “You think now he’s going to start paying attention to the constitution?”

I understand everyone is afraid. But this is loser talk.

I’ve been saying for months – along with so many others – that this Fall will be an ordeal of democracy. Perhaps one of the greatest threats our Republic has ever faced from internal enemies. But the truth is that the values and reflexes that make liberals and Democrats support things that will make society more just and humane lead them to react to moments like these with outrage and trembling more than mockery and power.

I can only suggest people not fall back into themselves.

All of this comes from Trump’s weakness rather than strength. A sinking ship. The answer in any trial of strength or right is to maintain the initiative rather than cower.

Things are bad, and they will get worse between now and January. That has always been the case, and pretty much everything since January of 2017 has been about harm reduction and least-bad options.

That said, Trump is a loser. He’s on the run from his creditors (both literal and figurative), and he knows it. He’s a cheap con artist surrounded by fools and sycophants.

While I do not want to understate the dire situation currently facing this country, we do ourselves no favors by freaking out. Stay mad and stay outraged, but stay calm. We can win.

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Sunrise at Beacon Field

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