Day 11

Today marked a turning point of sorts for Jane and me, a simple acceptance that we're in this for the long haul ... and that there's nothing we can do to change things.

For me, life looks a lot like it usually does. I am an extreme introvert and am accustomed to spending weeks at home without going anywhere in a car. I've learned over many years how to be with myself comfortably and quietly. I don't get bored, I clean house instead. I don't get lonely, I make art instead. I don't need to see people in real life, I meet them online, just like I have for the past 15 or so years.

NC's unemployment benefits are a national disgrace

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The NC GOP should be ashamed when articles like this are published:

Because it’s administered by the states, the generosity of UI varies widely. Most states offer up to 26 weeks of UI, but some offer far less: Florida and North Carolina offer only 12 weeks currently, though their generosity increases with the state unemployment rate. Missouri offers only 13 weeks per statute, a number that doesn’t increase with the unemployment rate.

There’s similarly large variance in the recipiency rate — the share of unemployed people getting UI — and benefit size as a share of the average weekly wage. The highest recipiency rate is in Massachusetts, where 57 percent of unemployed people get benefits. In North Carolina, only 10 percent do.

Get that? Only one out of every ten unemployed North Carolinians receive benefits, which means they are out of work a hell of a lot longer than the paltry 12 weeks we offer. Said differently, the draconian measures Republicans enacted 7 years ago are not pushing people back to work, they are pushing families out of their homes. But that 2013 bill did something else, too, which was beyond idiotic:

Wednesday News: The bottom line

RESTRICTIONS ON ELECTIVE SURGERY FINANCIALLY SQUEEZE RURAL HOSPITALS: Preparing for coronavirus patients is increasing the financial strain on rural hospitals, some already struggling to stay open. Many smaller rural hospitals in North Carolina mirror their larger, metro-area counterparts in preparing for coronavirus patients: making plans to add ICU beds, examining staffing requirements, and preserving gloves, masks and gowns. But the official government request to restrict elective surgeries during the pandemic could add to rural hospitals’ financial pain, said Dr. Roxie Wells, president of Hoke Healthcare. “Immediate funding is needed given the request from [the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services] to suspend elective surgeries,” she said in an email Tuesday. “In many instances, a rural hospital’s bottom line is inextricably tied to the ability to perform elective surgeries.” Pressures of responding to the pandemic could force more rural hospitals to close, she wrote.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241462756.html

Day 10

Warning: This could turn into an ugly rant.

I woke this morning ashamed. Ashamed of myself, ashamed of our country, ashamed of our species. Through a toxic combination of reckless ignorance and unbridled greed, we have brought civilization to the brink of disaster. To my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, I am as sorry as I can be. I promise to do better in the few years I have left on earth.

Tuesday News: School's out until May 15

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GOVERNOR COOPER ANNOUNCES NEW COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS: Cooper issued a new executive order that, starting late Wednesday, would make it a misdemeanor for there to be assemblies of more than 50 people, compared to the current prohibition of over 100. The 50-person limit is in keeping with previous guidance from health officials. President Donald Trump also has urged avoidance of gatherings of more than 10 people. Cooper's order also will direct that by 5 p.m. Wednesday all hair salons, barbershops, gyms, fitness clubs and movie theaters must close, as well as similar business activities that run counter to social distancing. Bingo parlors, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors also are on the closure list. Across North Carolina, restaurants and bars can continue to remain open only for delivery or take-out meals. Grocery stores also continue to operate. Public schools statewide will now remain closed for in-person instruction until May 15, Cooper said. He had already ordered closings of at least two weeks beginning March 16.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-educators-seek-federal-k-12-testing-waiver/19025182/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This needs to be fixed, like yesterday:

There are some 3 million sets of personal protective equipment in the national stockpile. It's not enough, but most of those should have already been deployed to shortage areas. Somebody needs to ask Trump about this during his daily circle-jerk press conference.

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