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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine April 17, 2020

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

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Land:
United States
Taal:
English
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The Week Publications, Inc.
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Weekly
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48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

Some uses of technology I did not anticipate a month ago: a Passover seder on Google Hangouts; a Zoom visit to my first-grade son’s classroom; my wife, who teaches art, moving her class online; my mother, a therapist, doing virtual sessions—some with clients ill and in quarantine. Far more dark: watching the worldwide progress of the coronavirus pandemic on Johns Hopkins’ real-time maps. My expectations of “virtual learning” were abysmally low. Now I see my son’s virtual classes—made possible by a combination of technology and the heroic efforts of teachers who’ve made themselves available on video chat almost 24/7—as an amazing island of stability. Given how well technology has worked where much else has failed, I now wish we’d left more in the hands of technology companies. I wonder, for…

5 min.
deaths mount amid hope distancing is working

What happened The top U.S. health official warned this week that the nation’s “Pearl Harbor moment” of the coronavirus pandemic was at hand, as a surging death toll shot past 10,000 Monday and took its greatest single-day leap Tuesday, when more than 1,900 deaths were recorded—50 percent more than any previous day. As The Week went to press midweek, there were more than 400,000 confirmed U.S. infections and more than 14,000 deaths. The center of the pandemic remained New York City, where officials contemplated mass temporary burials to deal with the crush of bodies. While deaths hit record highs in New York and New Jersey on Tuesday, signs that the curve may be leveling offered tentative hope. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were signs that social distancing “is actually…

3 min.
a catastrophic freeze for workers and business

What happened America’s economy buckled under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic this week as new figures revealed a staggering 10 million people filed for unemployment during the final two weeks of March. With 46 states shuttering nonessential businesses, commerce withered and at least a quarter of the U.S. economy went into hibernation. Total national production has plunged 29 percent since the first week in March—a shriveling of the economy more extreme than the 26 percent loss from 1929 to 1933. Soup kitchens and food pantries reported long lines. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis projected 32.1 percent unemployment in the second quarter, with job losses hitting especially hard the 27 million Americans whose livelihoods rely on face-to-face interaction. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for an additional $250 billion in government…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Renee Hellman has been avoiding human contact for weeks, because she has respiratory and heart problems and is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Unable to go the store, the 71-year-old Coloradan has instead been getting groceries delivered to her home—by dog. Every week, neighbor Karen Eveleth sends her golden retriever, Sunny, to pick up Hellman’s grocery list. A few hours later, Sunny returns to Hellman with a bag of supplies gripped between his teeth. “He’s a humble hero,” said owner Eveleth. “I’m so proud of him.” The coronavirus pandemic has forced houses of worship around the world to shut their doors, so spiritual leaders are finding new ways to be present with their congregations. As Easter approaches, Father Giuseppe Corbari in Italy’s Lombardy region has been broadcasting Mass from his empty church…

3 min.
wisconsin: can democracy survive the pandemic?

We don’t yet know the results of this week’s elections in Wisconsin, said Paul Waldman in The Washington Post, but the life-threatening fiasco that voters endured was a nightmarish “preview of what could happen in November.” With the coronavirus death toll climbing, Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had tried to postpone the elections, as many other states have done. After the Republican state legislature blocked the move, a state court granted a six-day extension for absentee ballots to be returned, because election officials were overwhelmed with 1.2 million absentee requests from voters obeying stay-at-home advisories. Republicans—who believed lower turnout would help their candidates—appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose conservative majority voted 5-4 to overturn the extension. The election took place Tuesday as scheduled, even though a shortage of poll…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Baseball fans, with the news that Major League Baseball is discussing a plan for all 30 teams to play a shortened season at spring-training fields in Arizona. Players would have to be tested and quarantined, and no fans would attend the televised games. Posterity, with the announcement that Dr. Anthony Fauci, lead scientist of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, will be honored with his very own bobblehead doll. “He shoots straight and tells it like it is,” said Phil Sklar, CEO of Milwaukee’s National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. Stillness, after seismologists reported a sharp reduction in the “ambient seismic noise” of the Earth’s crust, because of a major drop in car, truck, and train traffic and other human activity. Bad week for: The buck stopping here, after President Trump blamed the…