The Gist: Nothing for the weekend

Sit still, while everyone moves around you.

The Gist: Nothing for the weekend

Mothering Sunday spent without meeting any elderly mothers. Restless movement, urges to escape to Western isles. The weekend has been a disjointed one.

Infection, Control

Facebook announced they would be donating 720,000 facemasks they had to medical staff. This news prompted the universal response “What on earth do Facebook have 720,000 facemasks for?”, the answer to which doesn’t seem possible to both know and feel better about.

In the UK, all the government media proxies suddenly had one message- Dominic Cummings made the Prime Minister make a terrible policy error that might yet kill a quarter of a million people. All those things that are happening aren’t the PM’s fault, it was his soon-to-be-found-under-a-bus advisor.
Much good that will do anyone when the numbers start to climb.

In the US, new estimates from Morgan Stanley Bank suggested that the past three months had suffered a quarter where economic activity had contracted by 30%. For context, the previous largest contraction was 25%,  for the Great Depression in the 1930s.

On the Internet, lots of lads made charts out of numbers to try to exert some control over the sudden chaos of their lives and who am I to say they were wrong. (But similarly, they were of use primarily as a sort of occupational therapy, like basket weaving with spreadsheets)

The US senate started to row about the terms of their bailout, to try to keep a ghost of their economy running.

And, back in Ireland, we saw a heavy emphasis on ramping up capacity (building test centres, taking samples, testing, results) even as the public discourse ramped up on the consequences of the public wandering around. The logic of increasing levels of restriction seem inexorable- one of the most dangerous sentences imaginable.

Stay well. Keep clear of each other. Wash your hands. It’s all ahead of us.
There’s always another trip to the fridge in the meantime.