Coronavirus Briefing: Support for mask mandates, the pandemic versus the US and flourishing misinformation

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,131 words and will take you six minutes to read.

I burst my shutdown bubble over the weekend. Since early March, my wife and I had promised our youngest child – naively, as it turns out – that he’d be able to have a full-on birthday party. When the calendar turned to June and it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to make good on the guarantee, we panicked. This manifested itself in a parade of Amazon trucks that delivered the fruits of our overcompensation.

But he still wanted to see his pals, so on Sunday we opened our driveway to an ice-cream truck and our backyard to a gaggle of first-graders. We distanced and we masked, save for the moments when Chipwiches were steered into our maws. The kids ran around and yelled and giggled, as is their wont.

It was in the neighborhood of normal. It was lovely. I’ll take it.

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,131 words and will take you six minutes to read.

The return

In many parts of the world, the word “normal” is no longer automatically preceded by the word “new.” Normal actually means normal, not a vague approximation thereof. I want to go there.

The Takeaway:

Get back to where you once belonged” now sounds less like an exhortation than a tantalizing possibility.

The shame

I wonder: Would it be possible to go a full day without feeling shame over where we find ourselves vis-à-vis COVID-19? It would require staying at home (no mask), not engaging with any media (no news) and burying the smart phone deep in the couch cushions (no contact/no clue). It feels doable, and also like letting myself off the hook.

The Takeaway:

After compiling the above section, I’m up for a little self-inflicted obliviousness. Who’s with me?

The operators

“Operators” sounds more sinister than intended, but it’s an apt descriptor for the organizations and individuals who are working to repair what’s broken and, in doing so, make sense out of this sad and strange era. We need more of them.

The Takeaway:

So many people, so many agendas. Thanks to the many who are pursuing community and not individual ones.

The education and the miseducation

I have no idea if schools can safely reopen. But I’d sure like my kids to get back in the saddle at some point soon, if only so that they can acquire the critical-thinking and evaluation skills that they’ll need to function in the current iteration of America. This feels like it should be higher on the lower-grade syllabus than, say, long division.

The Takeaway:

At some point in the future, we’ll once again be able to trust the vast majority of what we see and hear. Right? Maybe? Please?

The rest

…and some songs.

That’s it for this week. The next Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing will be published on Wednesday, August 12. Thanks for reading, as always. Stay well.

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