10 Editor's Pick
March 7, 2020

Waylon’s Endless Coronavirus Blog Part I.

This blog is now continued in Waylon’s Endless Coronavirus Blog Part II.

There’s still lots of timeless fun good and/or important stuff below. Enjoy!


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This is what makes America beautiful. @people

A post shared by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (@nygovcuomo) on

Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon

I’ve been doing weekly video Gatherings with you, just touching in with all of you. The response has been tremendous. I think this is a time when we want connection. Kind, safe, honest, helpful community connection. So, we’ll continue to gather every Friday morning (5,500 of you came to the last one) to meditate, write, and/or connect:

Elephant’s (free) Community Covid Retreat.


We’re confused. We’re reopening, right? But nationally, the curve hasn’t flattened if you take out New York, New Orleans, and Detroit. It’s getting worse! In the US, more folks have died than in the last 5 wars combined! 9/11 was a national tragedy, and yet seven times that number have died in New York alone! We’re under corrupt, incompetent leadership. There’s conspiracy-theorists on the left, and right. There’s an allegation of sexual assault on the left, and many dozens on the right. If we reopen too soon, without testing and contact tracing, without health care coverage and financial support for all…this economy will go into a second, and third downturn. All because we didn’t take this seriously.

What do we do!?

Confronted with chaos, we breathe. We soften into our strength. We take science seriously. We take facts seriously. We take our health seriously. We take others’ health seriously. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.

And, this Friday morning, we gather. I’ve made a part of Elephant Academy free—but to attend, you have to save your spot. 


If you’re uncertain, now, that’s because of uncertain (at best) leadership, in much of this world. In countries where journalism, sanity, and science rule (though none of them are solid, all are up for debate!), there may be more calm, and empathy, and this time may be used to step back, refresh, and renew our life’s path.

But for most of us we may feel, at best, confused. One step forward, one step back. Left, right? What do we do!?

The best, of course, is twofold:

Externally, ignore the social-media-trolls and conspiracy theorists. It’s not that there isn’t corruption, but real journalists (as opposed to entertainers who call themselves journalists on TV, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Youtube) are hunting down stories, doing real work every day to uncover BS. Same with real scientists, and government workers, and postal service workers, and other essential workers: real heroes know what they’re talking about, and know enough about what they’re talking about not to claim that they know more than what they know. It’s always that way with wisdom.

Internally, we can cook. We can read (buy your books mindfully, from your local indie bookshop or an indie Raven, AbeBooks, or Powell’s—not Amazon). We can garden, if only in our windowsill. We can exercise, if only to do 10 pushups on our knees, or chair exercises. We can meditate. All of these save money, or are free—and valuable. We have articles on all of these on Elephant.

Today I need to ask you for money. Not because we’re desperate, but because of something far more urgent and important: we reach millions of readers a month. I’d like to see us reach beyond you, however, beyond our choir—so that, as a rare surviving indie, mission-driven media site, we together can be of some bigger benefit. Gosh knows this world of ours needs it (need I remind you insects, birds, bees, wild animals…are all dying, fast—we’re running out of time to reverse our unnecessary violence upon the world we all love).

If you’d like to write a book, and actually make money doing so, take my course.

If you’d like to read unlimited Elephant and only far fewer ads, you can…

…click here, and your $3 will support our editors and top writers to do good work for you, every day.



The most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a week: 

“‘The Great Realisation’ by British artist and poet “Probably Tomfoolery”. He is a brilliant visual storyteller, utilizing all the tools we have at hand – cameras, creativity and poetry – to create masterpieces.”
It’s economy vs. lives, right? There’s got to be a balance, right?

No. If we’d prepared, had testing, then we could return to work sooner, safely. As now, we’ll just re-spike the virus, without testing, since it’s asymptomatic, and that’ll damage the economy again. The best thing to do is prepare, crush it, test, reopen. The spirit of togetherness–supporting folks so they can afford not to work, and not risk their lives and the lives of their grandma or mom or sister or colleagues–is best. See Germany, South Korea, NZ, Canada. Otherwise, you’re just willingly pushing those who can’t afford not to work, to work.

You’re saying all lives don’t matter.


They’re good questions. Important. So if you’re saying mental health is vital for all, you support healthcare for all, yes? If you are concerned for folks livelihoods, you support paying all citizens and businesses through extended PPP so they don’t have to make the choice between life, theirs or another’s, and work, paying rent or mortgage or food?

If we open too soon, without testing, which should have been widely available, free, starting months ago, but isn’t thanks to our President refusing the offer of a test from Europe and failing to lead and coordinate states’ efforts, then you may agree that our economy, hit by new spikes of virus, could suffer longer, and again, and again?



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“Counter Protestor steals show from idiots.”⁠ ~ Reddit⁠

They’re worse than idiots. They’re jerks. And for those of you dear humans who message me every time I get political, politics affect life. Literally, in this case. Our job was simple: prepare, when we had a two month’s head start. Get testing ready. IT’S STILL NOT. Only 3 out of the 14 widely available antibody tests seem to work. Trump rejected the working testing from Europe. Without testing, 12% of us (as in NY) could have it, since it’s aysmptomatic, and pass it on to someone vulnerable, if we ourselves aren’t. Secondly, we pay our citizens and businesses enough to stay home safely. To truly flatten this curve–in many places we have flattened it–because of those who are responsible and kind–but we’ve only flattened the growth–we’re still close to the peak. We’re still close to the peak (say that twice). Luckily, we’ve seen weak but real bipartisan action from our representatives in getting relief to citizens and businesses. We need much more of that, as we’re seeing in Canada, and Germany, and NZ. Then, if we aren’t worried about our next meal, our rent or mortgage, our failing business, we can smash this virus down as we’ve seen in, say, South Korea, and begin to reopen with testing and precautions. ⁠

One note: many of these groups appear to be instigated by one funding site in Florida. And yess, that’s been reported on, with evidence, it’s not conspiracy theory BS. Beware who you’re acting on behalf of.⁠⁠

Two more notes: remember how GOP used to say businesses could do as they liked? Apparently not if that includes requiring masks. Remember states rights, when the GOP didn’t want our LGBTQ sisters and brothers and others to have equal rights? Well Trump has claimed Kingly powers over states, and simultaneously explained that states, not the federal government, are responsible for procuring tests.⁠

Vote 2020. I’ve given three times to Biden, already. Any criticism of him should be listened to, but he’s sane, decent, kind, and has the real support of Bernie, Obama, Gore, and our judicial future, and our heating planet depend on booting Trump to the curb.⁠

Reddit comment: “In the groups I’ve joined on Facebook for reopening my state (just to see what some idiots spout), they hugely disagree with any business requiring them to wear masks. People are cancelling their doctors appointments over being made to wear masks, dentist appointments over temperature checks, in calling for boycotts of any business that requires them to wear masks.

Here’s where the logic fails me. They scream that the shutdown on fringes on their rights to run their business as they see fit, that they should have the right to reopen whenever they want. Our state has not required any business to mandate masks, that’s solely within the discretion of the businesses themselves. But yet, when any business requires masks, they scream that it infringes on their civil rights, but yet they don’t see the contradiction in their argument of why businesses should be able to open immediately. Anyone who tries to put up any sort of law regarding it is posting that sovereign citizen nonsense. But no one actually explains how it doesn’t actually contradiction their pro business arguments.

These anti mask people are idiots. They just flat out don’t want to do anything they don’t want to do, law or no law.”




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“Counter protester steals the show.”

A few top comments for your enjoyment: “They never really cared about all lives matter. They were just tired of hearing about black people.”

“Our Lives Matter” is what they’ve really been saying this whole time.

“I can’t remember the name of the comedian [Michael Che], but he said it’s like if your girlfriend asks “Do you love me?” and you reply ‘I love everybody!'”

“Also there is a guy wearing a shirt that says “pro life pro God pro gun”.

“Surely Jesus was pro-weapons?”

“‘Return your sword into its place; for all those having taken the sword, will perish by the sword.’

So, inconclusive…”

“Right, but what did he say about guns?”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:39-44)

“He was definitely pro weapons no doubt about it.” 😉

“‘Resist like it’s 1776.’ The funny thing is how these people hold on to symbols that have nothing to do with this cluster fuck of a mess they are performing.”


How are you?

What’s one helpful, comforting daily ritual that keeps you sane?

For me, a few: meditation (here’s how) in the morning and evening. Taking off my shoes before I reenter my house—a moment of pause and respect. A daily six-minute exercise video at the end of every long day, via the NY Times. Hot tubbing with a wrinkled New Yorker (the magazine). Not eating after 5 pm, unless it’s popcorn or ice cream as a treat. Hand-grinding my organic, fair-trade coffee (eco and labor matters).

Here’s another one, not from me:

One of my favorite articles on Elephant about the Coronavirus is also one of the most specific.

So good. Dave, my colleague, is the walker. Kaitlin, another colleague, is the Family cameos. I’m the drinker, for sure.

We’ve all basically been on Zoom lately, and I’ve noticed there’s all kinds of “Zoom”ers out there. Which one are you? from r/funny


If we’re alone, Quarantine can be isolating. If we’re parents, Quarantine can be overwhelming. If we’re working, it can be all-consuming. If we’re jobless, the stress of rent, mortgage, feeding oneself and loved ones can be all-consuming.

We are all in this together—but without a government who provides healthcare, monthly stipends that cover our basic needs, we can’t afford to stay home. Without a government who prepared for this, we get hit hard, and we have to shut down. Without leadership who takes facts seriously, who cares about anything other than itself, we are adrift, dependent on each other, sane governors and local farmers, communities, and charities like food pantries and World Central Kitchen. Without a helping government, we’re not truly all in this together—so we have to be there for one another all the more.

This isn’t civilized.

Vote Biden.

He wasn’t my first choice, or my second, but I’m moooore than happy to vote for him—particularly if his VP is someone who can take over if needed. Vote someone who has the respect and friendship of Bernie, and Obama, and Hillary, and me, and who respects science and decency. The alternative is we lose another four years marching in the wrong direction, toward Climate Change, away from basic environmental or economic or international sanity, and away from basic human (women, minority, immigrant) rights as protected, or not, by our courts, for another generation.


Without widespread available testing the fact that we’ve flattened the curve, and then some, in Colorado is great, and to be commended—but somewhat irrelevant if we want to be safe.

Folks fly into DIA every day without being tested—same with driving into Colorado—all it takes is one human who’s asymptomatic or carelessly sick to go to one cafe or shop or bathroom or cough on one doorknob, faucet etc. and we’re putting people in grave risk again. I don’t get why we’re reopening.

In a smart, caring society, wouldn’t we better fund those out of work, those businesses who need relief, so we non-essentials can afford to stay closed–and get testing going as of months ago? That failure to do so must largely be pinned on the Trump Administration, along with defunding/cutting the US pandemic response capability for a virus just such as this. Still, I don’t get why governors–Dem or GOP–are going along with Trump on reopening early.


If we, as has Germany, Canada, etc–funded people, healthcare, and businesses sufficiently to stay closed, and got testing available going months back, as any competent administration would—then we wouldn’t have to make a choice between our economy and lives (as Gov. Cuomo said, my mom isn’t expendable, your mom isn’t expendable).

(I disagree that all administrations are equally-government-hating–the longstanding GOP tactic is to take over government, fire folks, defund it, then point at is that say, “Look, it doesn’t work!” They literally, famously, describe government as something you want to get small enough that you can drown it in a bathtub.


I’m writing the above in response to Gov. Polis’ charts and message on Instagram.

Love and appreciation to our healthcare workers–we support them by staying safe at home and we get support, or should, from local and state and federal to do so.

The solution to folks out of work, which causes real and extreme stress, hardship, pain—isn’t to sacrifice lives and further economic loss. The solution is for all of us to rise up and insist we get the support we need so we can all stay safe for each other and our economy.


It’s our government, our dollars. With what little is left over from our military spending, we should, you know, spend it to save ourselves, our lives, our economy.


If I were in charge.

There would be no anonymous twitter or facebook or instagram trolls. You’d have to register, and your comments and shares and posts would earn you a lifetime Respectful Rating. They have that on Ebay for buyers and sellers, why not for citizens?

When we come out of quarantine, we wouldn’t be allowed to just fly again. Or drive to the gym or drive to go hike.

Well, you could, but get this. We’d all get an equal number of miles. We as a Species would go on the assumption that we like being alive, we like the planet being alive, and we want our grandchildren and children to be able to live. So we’d do the math and work it backwards so we’d all get the same number of miles. Rich folks or travelly folks could buy miles from non-travelly folks or poor folks. A study came out recently that, surprise, showed rich folks are the ones driving climate change, no pun intended, and poor folks–the poorest–are paying for it the most.

Animals would have rights. 50% of bees have died in 50 years. If that ain’t the…bee…in the gold mine of humanity’s future, I don’t know what is. Nature would have rights. Those rights would be based on healthy ecosystems, which we all need to be, well, healthy. ‘Cause call it God’s Creation! or call it Mother Nature, we are it. Climate Change would be fought harder than Rocky fought the baddy in the late rounds, bloodied up, partially-blind, but suddenly lionhearted.

Trees would have real estate value, papers, you’d get a writeoff, and taking one down would be a major pain in your ass. Poison wouldn’t be allowed on food. Food would be taxed higher the farther it was shipped, favoring local and fresh over trucked and flown. Plastic would be made illegal. Pssst: invest in brown paper and paper tape and compostable solutions! Amazon and Walmart would be so weakened, they would complain about big box stores and malls. And big box stores and malls would complain about competition from local craft shops and mom n’pops.

Schools would be funded, prisons would be rehab centers and public never privatized,  homeless would be housed and job-trained, or receive therapy and support (both of which have been shown to save money), drugs and prostitution would be taxed and legalized, giving air and light to any industry that receives too little. Healthcare would be funded, and we’d save money doing so. If you wanted to make a good living, you’d probably go into farming or teaching. Basic needs would be funded. The military would hold those bake sales, and I’d wait in line—I love brownies.

Journalism, particularly local journalism, would be partially funded by Big Tech (which steals from journalism, look it up on…Duck Duck Go or Ecosia) and taxpayers, as they’re doing in Australia. Partisan media would not be funded at all—it would have to swim upstream, naked, in public. Until Reagan, that’s kinda how we did media here.

Data would be owned by individuals. Those damn tech fake-consent forms would be banned. The NSA could take a long walk off a short pier, I got rights.

Guns would be legal but you’d have to get training and the gun would be licensed and tracked, just like cars, and like cars, you’d have to have a key (fingerprint) to operate it.

Voting would be an absolute right and made as easy and as secure as possible. Mail-in voting? Auto registration when you get your driver’s license? Good.

Speaking of, those who walk, take a bus, carpool, or bike—you’re saving road maintenance and pollution with its attendant costs to our wallets and human lives. So: all buses, bikes, good walking shoes and certified carpoolers would get a writeoff. Basically, you bike? You get a free bike. Separated bike lanes would be equal priority to sidewalks and roads and over parking. For those who needed to drive or be driven due to being differently abled, you’d have full support and honor.

City landscape departments would  integrating edibles into all new and existing landscapes and parks. We’d plant lettuce and garlic amongst the daffodils, replace dead trees with apple trees, plant tomatoes amongst the roses. Work with schools to have students get to know the earth and their food, and go home with a boxful.

Anything important would be Deep Stated (wink)—you know, taken out of the hands of partisans. We would have experts who know things look at things and offer suggestions and solutions, not little old white men in fat pants with long ties and hair transplants figuring how to help the poor 1% who still despite all their efforts only has as much money as the 80% (that’s insane). We’ve run parts of Governments like this in the past, we can do it again. You wouldn’t buy meat from an amateur, you’d buy it from a butcher. Actually, you wouldn’t do that either (see #3). We shouldn’t run our world according to the truth-defying wishes of hateful partisans.

Seeds would be protected. Historic Preservation would be trendy. Farms wouldn’t feature cute baby animals for likes, then kill those cute baby animals later on. My mom would be ordered to move to Boulder, as would my aunty.

Taco Tuesday would become law. Composting would be free, Recycling would be expensive, and nobody could afford to fill their Trash bin.

Waylon would stop writing, and walk with Redford before the sun goes down. Medians would be filled with trees and flowers. All cars would go electric and solar-powered and if that wasn’t good enough you can walk, bike, bus or walk. Multi-tasking on our phones would make a Beeep-beeep-beeep sound as if a truck were backing up.

All shower curtains would be cotton duck. Tiger oak chairs on craigslist or yard sales would be hotter than Tiger King. Zero waste shops would be everywhere, it’s ridiculous, who needs so many. To-go coffee would be considered insane. We’d all make way for ducklings. Someone lovely and tall and caring and eco-minded would agree to love me, and we would raise four kind children. Okay, three. I’d be happy with two.

~ Waylon

What’d I miss? (Comment below)

Gore and Biden, oon Earth Day:

Read this, it’s spot on.


There is as much hoax/conspiracy-theory-addled thinking on the anti-vaxx crystals and astrology “left” as there is in the Tea Party-Fox-LIBERATE-Trumped-up “right.” I put both in quotes because crystal-hugging geniuses demonstrate as little care for the vision of a truly Great Society as Trump has care for Republican ethics.

We need journalism, now more than ever. A base-line of truth to argue over.

Right now we’re arguing in different rooms—in different apartments—through the walls, the toxic insulation and our muffled voices giving little hint of our shared humanity.

We need science, more than ever.

We need public servants, more than ever.

We need teachers, more than ever.

We need workers’ rights, more than ever.

We won’t have much of any of that if we edit the “President” out of President Trump.



My favorite One World at Home moments were the heartwarming tearjerkers. Showing the best of humanity, our better angels: caring for one another, all over the world.

Most of the music left me kinda cold. Three exceptions:

Stevie Wonder,

and this one,

…and this one, being exceptions:


Photos, Video: “Denver nurses blocking anti-lockdown protestors.”

Health care workers stand in the street in counter-protest to hundreds of people who gathered at the State Capitol to demand the stay-at-home order be lifted in Denver, Colo., on Sunday, April 19, 2020.

“…these protests were very fringe last week, but with Trump officially endorsing them I expect them to grow exponentially, which will very likely lead to large scale confrontations.”

“Reminder that the nurse is not just counter protesting, he is freeing up enough of the street for ambulances to pass.”

“The man outside of the frame yells: “35,000.”

And she yells back: “Bullshit!”

The pure vitriol and callousness for the suffering for her compatriots is disturbing.

This reminds of the quote below.

‘All of the sons of Adam are part of one single body, They are of the same essence. When time afflicts us with pain in one part of that body all the other parts feel it too. If you fail to feel the pain of others You do not deserve the name of man.'”

“…35,000 really dated this video. It is already 41,000 dead in America now and it this keeps up it’s just going to keep going up.”

“Denver nurses block lockdown protestors from moving closer to their hospital.” All photos:

Nurse blocking anti lockdown protests in Denver

Photos by Alyson McClaran

“Nurses should not have to be doing this.”


Some solid investigation via Reddit on isps behind this:

“This whole movement is some shadow groups work.

Here’s some redditor’s investigations.”




I don’t blame the government for our failure (see below) to fight this Pandemic with testing and a pandemic response team, etc.

Don’t blame the government–that’s the GOP playbook–they literally aspire to hobble government, make it not work, then sit back when folks blame it. Blame those who’ve limited the ability of those good folks (you know, Deep State) who are experts in fighting such events as a pandemic.

“A nurse from Wyckoff Medical Center in Brooklyn.”

[image: Reddit front page. If you know source or want this down, just contact me]

“She is talking about lack of PPE, unsafe working conditions and people not staying home and following instructions.

She does not want you to call her a ‘hero’, instead she wants you to support her and other health professional by following instructions and vote for funding and safe policies for health workers.” ~ Reddit comment

Below are the words of Aaron Mishler, a nurse, former Army Medic, and Ebola responder in West Africa in 2014-2015.

These are the most important words I’ve read in a long time.

These are the same words we used as a team, every SINGLE time we entered the Ebola Treatment Unit:

“Who is the most important person in the ETU?” “I am.”

Thank you, Aaron, for using your voice.

I was asked to repost this with the news of 13 Italian doctors dying from COVID-19. If you do not have proper PPE, do not go in. No matter what.

This post is for my healthcare workers, docs, surgeons, Nurses, aids, and EMS, and all staff.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You as a healthcare worker are a force multiplier. Your training and experience is invaluable moving into this crisis. So, you’re going to be faced with some very difficult moments. You’re going to have to put your needs first.

I’m speaking specifically about PPE and your safety.

If you’re an ICU nurse, or an ICU doc, and you become infected, not only are you out of the game for potentially weeks (or killed). But your replacements could be people without your expertise. Your remaining co-workers are short staffed now, more likely to make mistakes and become ill themselves. You stop being a force multiplier and start using healthcare resources.

You going in may save the patient, it may not. But you cant save any patients in the weeks you’re laying in a hospital bed or using a vent yourself.

People are going to die. Do not become one of them.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

During the Ebola outbreak, people were dying. But at no point did we rush in, we took the 10 minutes to put on our PPE with our spotter. If we didn’t have proper PPE we did NOT go in.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may work in long term care, and want to rush in to save a patient you have had for years. Do not go in without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may have a survivor in the room, screaming at you to come in because their mother is crashing. Do not go in without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may have an infected woman in labor. Screaming for help. Do not go in without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

You may have a self-quarantined patient with a gunshot wound who is bleeding out. Do not go in there without your PPE.

There is no emergency in a pandemic.

Doing nothing may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do in your life.

Many of you say, I could never do that. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from rushing in and saving my patient.

Liberian nurses and doctors said the same thing, and many did run in to help, saying PPE be damned. My patients need me.

Then they became infected, they infected others. And they died.

They didn’t help anyone after that.

Do not let the deaths of hundreds of healthcare workers be forgotten.



Love her reaction when she reminds her future self about all her upcoming travel. “The Australian wildfires joke made me die….’Not even a little bit.'”

That last line was great. Relephant bonus:


6 Reasons why Bernie’s Endorsement of Biden yesterday actually means something.

Bernie just endorsed Biden. Here’s a smart discussion about why this truly means something.

Smart comments via Reddit, plus links to real journalism and their video announcing together:


Joe and Bernie just announced 6 joint task forces made up of Bernie and Biden staff to develop policy.

I think this is an incredibly intelligent way to handle the transition, and hopefully it shows that Biden is truly willing to work with the progressive wing.


I think this is the way Biden intends to govern. It is an incredibly smart way to unite the party and the country on policy and vision. I am simply amazed and didn’t see this coming


We’re going to need a bigger tent!!!


Errrrybody in the tent!


[slaps roof of tent]

“I can fit so many voters in this bad boy.”


Sanders and Biden said they’re creating Joint Working Groups for policies on 6 policies and will be staffed with Bernie / Biden people.

Also Biden said this:

“You don’t get enough credit, Bernie, for being the voice that forces us to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘Have we done enough?'” he says


“The two said they had agreed to form six task forces to work on policy matters. Those policy working groups will cover the economy, education, criminal justice, immigration, climate change and health care.”

 I’m no Biden fanboy.

If the entirety of the land between myself and my polling place is made entirely of alternating mounds of hot lava, broken glass, and Covid-19 medical waste, I will still be at the polls the second they open.

To get Donald Trump the f*ck out of office.


Getting rid of Trump is priority number 1 for both Biden and Bernie.

Don’t believe “Bernie supporters” who sow discord, claim they’ve been forced by DNC to stay home, or vote for Trump. It’s all fake. Downvote and report obvious astroturfing.


Amen brother.

Supported Bernie in 2016. Voted for him this year.

Let’s f*cking go. Biden 2020. I am delighted to see the two working together. I had slight reservations about Biden but this really really helps. I’m now enthusiastic to vote Biden, and not just because I am enthusiastically going to vote against Trump.

Please also remember that this election determines the once-a-decade congressional redistricting with our State House votes. This election determines how gerrymandered we are for the next decade. Mostly Republicans drew the lines last time. Vote down-ticket!


This needs to be heard far and wide. Wisconsin has been f*cked since 2010 because of this. Democrats need to win by 20% statewide in order to have a hand in writing laws in our state. In 2018, we got 190,000 more votes than Republicans statewide. The result? They have 63 of our 99 Assembly districts. A similar thing happened in 2012 when Romney lost by 7% and the Republican party kept 55 of the 99 seats. It’s functionally impossible for anyone other than Republicans to actually get anything written legislatively in this state. Wisconsin doesn’t have a referendum, so citizens can’t request laws either. If you sit this out, you could be in the same situation we have been. Worse, they might just sit on the redistricting in 2020 and refuse to hand control back. I can see our State Supreme Court agreeing with it, especially after they forced us to have an election last week in order to help them keep their majority. Our only real legal hope is a friendly Supreme Court, and the only way to even remotely get that is via a Biden presidency.

I didn’t want him. I’d have taken anyone that wasn’t Bloomberg over Biden. I’m still going to vote for him. I’m still going to vote down ballot. Don’t let your state become Wisconsin. Please.

If there is to be a chance of ANY of Sanders policies existing in the next 30+ years, Biden has to win this election. If not the Supreme Court will be out of reach for that long and they will block anything remotely progressive.


Supreme Court and the federal court system.

> On the courts of appeal, the final word in the overwhelming majority of federal cases, more than one-quarter of active judges are Trump appointees.

Give him another term and it will probably be almost half. The numbers are so big now because of the back log McConnell created during Obamas presidency.

Listen to Bernie, not the “anonymous Bernie fans” on Reddit/Twitter/etc.

There is going to be a coordinated effort to split democrats, because that’s exactly what trump needs in order to get a second term.

Biden wasn’t my nominee, but I would crawl over a parking lot of broken glass this fall to vote Trump out and flip the senate.


“As a Bernie supporter I now am ok with letting the guy who represents everything he was against win a second term.” – A Trump supporter hiding in anonymity in 2016 and going back to the well in 2020.


I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, but I will admit I did get played by the system back then and just didn’t make any effort to vote at all. I got convinced Hillary was bad, and thought Trump was a slightly better option but not good enough to vote for.

This round though, I’ve learned. Even though I wanted Bernie, I’m 100% voting Biden.


Here’s the holy shit email that should have woken Trump up:

“Kadlec and others presented Trump with a plan, “Four Steps to Mitigation.”

We know Trump didn’t follow their advice…”

For the full story, here. Or here, the original investigation and source. Support journalism by reading and subscribing!

We lost at least 6 key weeks: this video is great. More to the point, we wouldn’t have to choose between economic losses and saving lives–both could have been narrowed.

So it’s not even 5G lines that they cut?

Don’t. Just don’t.

Instead of diving into conspiracy theories, dive into kindness. Dive into the present moment, through meditation. Dive into truth, by subscribing to and reading and sharing journalism. Dive into helping your local community. How’s your elderly neighbor doing? How’s that single parent holding up? Volunteer. Serve the greater, and the local good. Avoid plastic waste and stay safe, keep your distance, flatten that curve—let’s help. “It’s happening in the Netherlands as well. As of last night 4 telecommunication masts have been set on fire, they weren’t even fitted out with 5G equipment. It’s effecting the ability to reach out to 112/911 services.” Share your story: elephantjournal.com/post

Bonus: a little background, via Reddit commentss:

Wait 5g network? Wtf does that have anything to do with a virus?

Some conspiracy believers think that mm wave 5G causes the symptoms of Covid-19 and they think there is no actual virus, but it’s a plan of reversing overpopulation involving (guess who) Bill Gates.

That’s the stupidest thing I heard in a while.

One of my high school classmates who I lost contact with but recently found on social media has actually turned into one of these people. He fully believes that the coronavirus is man-made, remotely 5G ‘activated’ RNA that was planted in adrenochrome supplies. Oh yeah…adrenochrome is harvested from little boys and used within the deepstate pedo community so everyone who gets corona is also a pedo. Trying to have a conversation with him is always ‘Just do some research’. Anyone fearing 5G just needs to look up the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Then realize that 5G (along with a lot of other technology that has been called dangerous and cancer causing) is non-ionizing and the only practical danger of it (like a microwave oven) is that the radiation heats things.

Then they’ll say that Calcium channels are affected by 5G. (They are affected by the 50/60Hz AC radio noise as well but hey). Source: #ncbi

The permitted leakage of a microwave oven is greater than the 1 microwatt of energy from a 5G cell tower 100 feet away.

Conspiracy theories make you feel smart, make you look stupid, and often hurt society (truth is good for us, not fiction).

Remember this meme from a few months ago? Aged like milk.

Stop “liking” memes. Stop “researching” conspiracy theories. Start volunteering, helping, start investing in kindness, in subscribing to journalism. Stop blaming “them.”


The two most precious things I’ve come across during this Quarantine? Sir Patrick Stewart’s daily reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and David Whyte’s reading of The House of Belonging, a poem that describes my Home Sweet Home.


Some celebrities sing happy thoughts, some celebrities fundraise happier realities.

“It is going to the Covid solidarity response fund run by the WHO. The goal of this fund is ‘to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them.'”

A fair summary, with typos, via a Redditor:

“Ok so many people dont know what going on.

Lady Gaga delayed the release of her upcoming album chromatica that was due to come out the 10th of April.

The last week she has been talking to CEOs and companys and raised 35 million dollars.

She later made the CEO of Apple donate 10million on the jimmy fallon show.

She announced shes is organising a benifit concert called “One World Together at Home” with many artists for audiences new and old alike.

She said this concert is not a fundraiser, but to lift spirits. She wants her fans and people watching to put away their credit cards and not to donate, because its not fair to ask the people its truly effecting to donate.”



What’d I do over my lunch break? Watch Gov. Cuomo for some welcome groundedness, honesty, sanity, leadership. Bonus: he and his brother together are funny and loving.


Is the Coronavirus already an Epidemic in your County? Click this map over at the NY Times to find out.


How to make a Mask, for free, out of what you already have, right now.

Love this. Here’s how to make a mask, free, out of what you already have right now (gents–you like me likely have a few hair ties laying about 😉 ) ~ Waylon

Note: I’m not doing this. I just ordered some lovely washable, linen, organic face masks (not medical grade) off of Etsy. Handmade, natural fiber (not landfill) and 100% carbon-offset shipping. Recommend!

There’s a bunch I found that I liked, after looking pretty thoroughly. I didn’t get this one, but I liked it.

Liked these, didn’t get ’em.

I got these–super light so you can still talk and be heard, washable, linen as detailed above, organic, and great colors if you look at the options. “The mask is comfortable, it extends over the nose and chin, providing good protection and space for breathing. They are not medical grade. However, linen is an excellent choice for face masks, since it is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic. Also, it is a durable fabric that will be easy to take care of washing in the longer run.”

Also got this: so convenient for cooler days, put it around neck when not using, wool, great for biking.

The Map you’ve wanted to See! Here’s where you least want to be in the US, right now.

This map clearly shows the most irresponsible states (and counties!) in America over the last weeks.

Words have power. To hurt, to heal. Voting has power. Guess who’s least healthy, most exposed in America? Red states: those influenced most by our President and by science-denying Governors. Now, I don’t dislike the GOP. Some have been sensible. I do dislike lies, greed, obfuscation.

This map ain’t partisan, it’s fact. Facts ain’t partisan, unless you consider that those who are most partisan tend to argue with facts most. This map is simply showing the effect of who heard and listened to expert advice, vs. those who, you know…didn’t:

So here’s a map of how slow the States have been to react to the Coronavirus. In other words: here’s the States you least want to be in, in the United States, right now.

For more info andcontext, as well as an interactive map and a second map with more info, click the NY Times link above.


“Be even better if we could test more people.”

“Seattle’s Coronavirus curve is slowing, and its progression is starting to resemble that of South Korea. Excellent work to our amazing community, stay home and stay safe.”

“A N.Y. Doctor leaks footage from inside the front line of the COVID-19 fight. A hospital overwhelmed, a dire lack of ventilators, and angry staff. “Unless people die we will be back to begging for more ventilators in a day or two,” and laments. “We’re supposed to be a first-world country.”

Some comments for context:

Is anyone surprised? The reason why this virus is so serious is not because of the death rate, it’s because the lack of infrastructure to support the sick.

No normal hospital should have enough ventilators to support hundreds of people. That’s why all the major auto companies are beginning to produce them.

lack of infrastructure to support the sick

We watched and laughed at China a month ago while they shut their country down and built makeshift hospitals around the clock. Our president when warned about preparing for this scenario said the virus was fake news.

That’s why all the major auto companies are beginning to produce them.

That has yet to happen. It’s what people are asking to happen, and the president could order it, but he’s only so in a very limited fashion. The earliest we might see a ventilator roll off a GM factory line is the end of April.

Good question:

How is this “leaking” footage? Is there a media blackout we don’t know about? Or some sort of coverup?

The hospital’s media department probably didn’t authorize this. I work in a well-known east coast hospital and there have been a metric f*ckton of emails sent out over the past month or so warning us not to speak to the media. We are told to be cognizant of what we say on social media, or preferably to avoid it altogether. I have no doubt if I went into detail about what’s going on in our hospital I’d be put out of a job.

That said, we’re doing absolutely fine. Nothing to worry about here. Nope, nothing at all.

…My hospital has been emailing (mildly threatening) not to post anything to media or social media. It makes them look bad and is scaring the public.

…You can’t film in a hospital

…It’s “leaking” as in she clearly knows she’s going to get a lot of backlash over this, and has probably been told by her superiors to not communicate with the media.

…If I did this at my hospital I’d be fired and sued immediately. Wouldn’t be surprised if she’s facing the same.

…here in the US, concerning this pandemic, we have leadership doing some f*cking collapse of the Soviet Union level incompetence and misinformation coverup horseshit. this is like Chernobyl-level incompetence and lying about the situation.

every doctor and scientist in the world told us 2 months ago that this was going to happen, and the CDC has been saying since February that we’d have 100,000 new cases EVERY DAY by June, yet media is downplaying it and trying to be optimistic in the face of facts as if there is still some kind of doubt that it’s really that bad, and that it might just all blow over and be fine. and trump has been spreading horrible misinformation directly to the people since it first started in china… so that hasn’t helped.

and then he opted not to use the wartime emergency powers to get companies to start ramping up production of this shit for some reason, due to the fact that a few ultra-rich executives of some big companies thought it would be costly and hurt profits. so… here we are. many private organizations are stepping up to the plate to help produce stuff that they wouldn’t ordinarily make to help out. good on them, but it’s a too little too late.

and then you’ve got all the spring breaker idiots… and those who think the whole thing is just a “liberal hoax.” It really is quite a time to be alive.

Another doctor was fired for speaking out on social media.




…Don’t forget that they take taxes out of your $7.25 as well. So this stimulus check will be more take home pay than a min wage worker actually takes home when working that min wage job.

…Well, you haven’t taken out taxes or transportation out of that yet. Also, consider how many people are just under 40 hours so they can be denied full-time benefits by their employer


Video emerges showing Trump talking about cutting pandemic team in 2018, despite saying last week ‘I didn’t know about it’


This comment thread about this meme (particularly the last comment string, with sources), is quality stuff:

It’s almost as if they only care about who came up with the idea rather than the merits of the idea.

Also who it helps. Does it help lazy minorities? Or does it help me?

And if it helps both? They’ll gladly cut off their own hand to prevent those dirty lazy minorities from getting anything.


Data on their hypocrisy/sociopathy:

Trump fans are much angrier about housing assistance when they see an image of a black man

In contrast, Clinton supporters seemed relatively unmoved by racial cues.

Do white people want merit-based admissions policies? Depends on who their competition is.

white applicants were three times more likely to be admitted to selective schools than Asian applicants with the exact same academic record.

the degree to which white people emphasized merit for college admissions changed depending on the racial minority group, and whether they believed test scores alone would still give them an upper hand against a particular racial minority.

As a result, the study suggests that the emphasis on merit has less to do with people of color’s abilities and more to do with how white people strategically manage threats to their position of power from nonwhite groups.

Opinion of Syrian airstrikes under Obama vs. Trump.


38% supported Obama doing it

37% support Trump doing it


22% supported Obama doing it

86% support Trump doing it

Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/04/13/48229/http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/04/gop-voters-love-same-attack-on-syria-they-hated-under-obama.html

Graph: https://i.imgur.com/lTAU8LM.jpg

Opinion of Vladimir Putin after Trump began praising Russia during the election.

Graph: https://i.imgur.com/OBrVUnd.png

Source: https://today.yougov.com/news/2016/12/14/americans-and-trump-part-ways-over-russia/

The privilege of “economic anxiety” not racism:

Wisconsin Republicans felt the economy improve by 85 points the day Trump was sworn in. Graph: https://i.imgur.com/B2yx5TB.png Source: http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/blogs/wisconsin-voter/2017/04/15/donald-trumps-election-flips-both-parties-views-economy/100502848/

10% fewer Republicans believed the wealthy weren’t paying enough in taxes once a billionaire became their president. Democrats remain fairly consistent. http://www.people-press.org/2017/04/14/top-frustrations-with-tax-system-sense-that-corporations-wealthy-dont-pay-fair-share/

White Evangelicals cared less about how religious a candidate was once Trump became the GOP nominee. https://www.prri.org/research/prri-brookings-oct-19-poll-politics-election-clinton-double-digit-lead-trump/

Christians (particularly evangelicals) became monumentally more tolerant of private immoral conduct among politicians once Trump became the GOP nominee. https://www.prri.org/research/prri-brookings-oct-19-poll-politics-election-clinton-double-digit-lead-trump/

Republicans started to think college education is a bad thing once Trump entered the primary. Democrats remain consistent. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/20/republicans-skeptical-of-colleges-impact-on-u-s-but-most-see-benefits-for-workforce-preparation/

Imgur version with sources and more graphs: https://imgur.com/a/YZMyt

“black and white Americans use cannabis at similar levels” but black Americans are 800% more likely to get arrested for it


After legalization, black people are still arrested at higher rates for marijuana than white people


The Cancellation of Colin Kaepernick. “Cancel culture” has always existed — for the powerful, at least.

A brief accounting of the illustrious and venerable ranks of blocked and dragged Americans encompasses Sarah Good, Elijah Lovejoy, Ida B. Wells, Dalton Trumbo, Paul Robeson and the Dixie Chicks.

Thus any sober assessment of this history must conclude that the present objections to cancel culture are not so much concerned with the weapon, as the kind of people who now seek to wield it.


Republicans’ “Southern Strategy”:

Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters by appealing to racism against African Americans.[1][2][3]


John Ehrlichman, who partnered with Fox News cofounder Roger Ailes on the Republicans’ “Southern Strategy”:

[We] had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying?

We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.

We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.

Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

“He was the premier guy in the business,” says former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins. “He was our Michelangelo.”

Ailes repackaged Richard Nixon for television in 1968, papered over Ronald Reagan’s budding Alzheimer’s in 1984, shamelessly stoked racial fears to elect George H.W. Bush in 1988, and waged a secret campaign on behalf of Big Tobacco to derail health care reform in 1993.

Hillarycare was to have been funded, in part, by a $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes. To block the proposal, Big Tobacco paid Ailes to produce ads highlighting “real people affected by taxes.”


Lyndon Johnson in 1960 calling out their tactics:

If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.


Steve Bannon bragging about using these tactics:

the power of what he called “rootless white males” who spend all their time online and they could be radicalized in a kind of populist, nationalist way


Bannon: “You can activate that army. They come in through Gamergate or whatever and then get turned onto politics and Trump.”


Recent examples of this on Reddit:




“Out-of-work strippers are delivering food through Boober Eats.”

“Aaaaaaaand it’s Portland.”

I like that the security guys go with and they go in pairs and they allll still have jobs. That said, it’ll get shut down asap along with everything else if there’s shelter-in-place, in place.



[RDTM] Toilet paper you need for 14 days in quarantine from r/theydidthemath


This 1,000 times. There is no choice between economy and lost lives. That’s a false choice.

Here’s what’s really up: Trump defunded, cut CDC etc.

Get this:

we were ranked best-prepared for a pandemic,

…and are now ranked worst response to this pandemic.

That’s all about response. Coordination. Leadership. Fast governmental response to get money in the pockets of those suddenly out of work, so they can afford to stay home and be safe. Your mother is not expendable. Neither is mine.

This is about relief not for giant corporations, but taxpayer support for, you know, taxpayers:

…small business owners, and employees.

The only reason we are presented with this cynical “choice” is because of Trump’s dissembling, anti-science, bored and speedy but foot-dragging, pro-stock market approach to “leadership.” We are seeing this again and again, every damn day.

This is not “leadership.” This is not the “choice.” Don’t be a sucker.

We do have a choice in November. Vote hard.

Summary of his morning press conference (but worth watching for his calm focused leadership):

  • Cases are accelerating.

  • Apex may hit NY in 14-21 days

  • 140k hospital beds/40k ICU beds only has 53k beds/3k ICU beds

  • Will need beds, staff, and equipments

  • Ventilator needs especially acute. None left to buy. 7k procured. 30k more needed in next 14 days. Splitting ventilators to work for 2 people.

  • Hotels and dorms will be used for beds.

  • Retired staff being requested to return.

  • Fed Gov can use Defense Production Act to have manufacturers make this happen now. Inexplicable to him as to why feds are not doing this.

  • HHS has 20k ventilators. Gov Cuomo wants them now. Sec Alex Azar hasn’t done this yet. Will take 2 weeks to get these into hospitals. FEMA is sending 400 ventilators yet they want a pat on the back. They are missing the magnitude of the problem.

  • Experimental treatments are being explored. May be testing at some point for people with antibodies to the virus. And plasma treatment with antibodies. Or at least let workers return to work sooner if they have the antibodies.

  • After NY gets through apex send equipment and people to next location that needs them.

  • Goal for economy is to have a smarter approach. No longer isolate everyone. Let recovered and younger, healthy return to work. We can work on public health and economy by being smarter.

  • Lives over economy first.

 Summary of this video.

WCGW hanging out during Pandemic from r/Whatcouldgowrong

“It’s a big deal if you hang out, go home after Spring Break and your 77-year-old grandma starts coughing and dies because of the “random beach gift” you brought home with you.

Back in 1918, against advice from doctors, Philadelphia held a parade to raise money by selling War Bonds. It was hugely successful. In the end, it killed about 12,000 people.”


Post image

“Spanish Flu, 1918. Family Portrait.”

Humor in tough times, is timeless. Making the best of brutal conditions is tough, so tough, but vital.

Let’s make it easier by shopping local. Buy gift certificates. Use them later. Avoid Amazon, Walmart, Costco. Shop your local grocery.

And stay home, unless walking, biking, or doing something vital and essential. The harder we hit this, the more we commit, the quicker we can all get through it togther.*

*that’s the only way we’re gonna get through this in a relatively short period of time. ~ Waylon


Chicago Doctor’s Blunt Speech About COVID-19: “A successful shelter in place means that you will feel like it was all for nothing. And you would be right. Because ‘nothing’ means that nothing happened to your family.”

“You may never know if you overreacted, but it will be painfully clear if you underreacted.” ~ St. Fauci

Too many public officials seem to regard this moment as a PR nightmare, instead of an urgent opportunity to serve We the People, which is their job. Watch two public servants—one who gets it, one who does not—go at it. It’s inspiring, and horrifying.

“Pam Triolo, mayor of Lake Worth Beach, FL. She didn’t shut down the beaches in her district, and she has allowed the continued threat of having people’s power shut off in the midst of a pandemic. When she was called out on this, she shut down the meeting she was in.”

This guy is my hero—he gets that his role is about public service. The others don’t seem to get that. Watch him fight for We the People, while the Mayor seems to do the opposite. Video:


“Pandemics are so relaxing when you don’t have to survive week to week to only lose your job.”

That’s a bit harsh. This poem is about world peace, and peace, not war or greed or division, creates the opportunity for equality.

Still, this seems both beautiful, inspiring, and…tone deaf. It needs to conclude with how they’re donating, and how we can.

Quarantined celebrities sing about a world with no possessions from their multimillion dollar mansions.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world,

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today


Now is the time for kindness, for those who do not have financial worries. For those who do, we need both local, state, and national support–and fast.


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UK NHS nurse in tears after being unable to buy fruit and veg after finishing 48 hour shift:

If you haven’t seen this yet (it’s #3 in the world), this is cool. Children will actually enjoy learning from this (and grown-ups, too):

New from Elizabeth Warren:


The most beautiful speech I’ve seen through this unfolding crisis.

“Jose Andres has closed all of his Washington D.C. restaurants and is replacing them with community kitchens.” 

Look for the helpers:


Trump’s Downplaying of Science and Experts is “Fake News,” right? It won’t cost millions of lives, and extend this virus’ threat for all of us?

In his own words:

January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”

February 25: “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”

February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

February 26: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”

February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

February 28: “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”

March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”

March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”

March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”

March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”

March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”

March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”

March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”

March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”

March 6: “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”

March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”

March 9: “This blindsided the world.”

March 13: [Declared state of emergency]

March 17: “This is a pandemic,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

Trump's Coronavirus Calendar

As Trump pivots to coronavirus crisis mode, let’s not forget the months of downplaying and denial.

Posted by The Recount on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Don’t blame “the government.”

Blame those who called the government the Deep State, defunded it, fired or pushed out experts. This is the philosophy of latter-day conservatism: say government doesn’t work. Hobble it, then say, hey, look, it doesn’t work.

Never forget.

“When President Trump took office in 2017, the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense survived the transition intact. Its mission was the same as when I was asked to lead the office, established after the Ebola epidemic of 2014: to do everything possible within the vast powers and resources of the U.S. government to prepare for the next disease outbreak and prevent it from becoming an epidemic or pandemic.
One year later, I was mystified when the White House dissolved the office, leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like covid-19.”


“Sometimes, even to live is an act of courage ” ~ Seneca the Younger

>We only get through this by helping others. We only get through this by being kind to ourselves. Even if it’s giving ourselves a deep breath, in and out, right now, through the stress. We only get through this, ironically, through community, networking, asking questions, getting advice, slowing down, being brave enough to feel it all.

Share your story on Elephant. (we pay the top 10 writers, each week)

Get our newsletter for morning inspiration. (free)

This is a time of fear, of real danger, of abrupt societal and local change, of brutal suffering for those without papers or healthcare or jobs but with hunger and an urgent need to work, with a need to pay rent on their apartment or shop.

We know all that. But we can overlook what we know, because we don’t know how to feel without being overwhelmed.

So if you’re stressed, but not in that urgent place re healthcare or rent, the best way to wake up is with that feeling of empathy.

Empathy will melt your stress, turning the ego’s inward view outward until, through real mindful action, you find yourself helping others, helping others, helping others.

And that brings a feeling of joy, connection, that creates blessed community.

We’re seeing that in the balcony songs in Europe, or in doctors from China and India flying into newly struggling countries.

We’re seeing the opposite in those hoarding, *and* in those hating on those hoarding. We alllll have that same need—to feel in control, to feel engaged, to *not* feel like a hapless helpless hopeless victim.

So, engage with the true joy that can only be found in compassionate action. Learn how to feel through meditation and tonglen, on elephantjournal.com search “tonglen Pema.” And—if you need it—let’s all give everyone here a big (virtual) hug. Support local! #boycottamazon!

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This is a time of fear, of real danger, of abrupt societal and local change, of brutal suffering for those without papers or healthcare or jobs but with hunger and an urgent need to work, with a need to pay rent on their apartment or shop. ? We know all that. But we can overlook what we know, because we don’t know how to feel without being overwhelmed. ? So if you’re stressed, but not in that urgent place re healthcare or rent, the best way to wake up is with that feeling of empathy. ?❤️ Empathy will melt your stress, turning the ego’s inward view outward until, through real mindful action, you find yourself helping others, helping others, helping others. ❤️?❤️ And that brings a feeling of joy, connection, that creates blessed community. ? We’re seeing that in the balcony songs in Europe, or in doctors from China and India flying into newly struggling countries. ? We’re seeing the opposite in those hoarding, *and* in those hating on those hoarding. We alllll have that same need—to feel in control, to feel engaged, to *not* feel like a hapless helpless hopeless victim. ?‍? So, engage with the true joy that can only be found in compassionate action. Learn how to feel through meditation and tonglen, on elephantjournal.com search “tonglen Pema.” And—if you need it—let’s all give everyone here a big (virtual) hug. Support local! #boycottamazon!

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Yesterday was my first day pulling it all in. I hiked with a friend, and Redford. We biked. We watched Dead Poets Society with Elephant Academy. We watched the Democratic debate (both Biden and Bernie were great). It was great.

We’re all working from home now. I’m grateful to be able to do so. Elephant is losing some advertising from those mindful partners directly affected by the Coronavirus. We may gain some from those who need to get the word out all the more at this time.

You can help, if so inspired, simply by opening our newsletter each morning and sharing one thing you find helpful.

If so inspired, a subscription to read unlimited and see fewer ads is $3/month, though we will likely need to raise it a little soon.

This is my only post about how to help Elephant, as indie mindful media, make it through this with all our employees paid and supported. 99% of the rest of the year we are all about how we can serve you.


Yes. Now.

Directly from Romney’s email:

Immediately Send $1,000 Checks to Each American: Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy. Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the checks will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options. For more.

The main takeaway from the final Democratic Debate, last night, in case you missed it:

Both gentlemen have plans to help all Americans with or without healthcare (we’re only safe if everyone gets tested & helped, quarantined) and all the restaurants, cafes, gyms, yoga studios and all their employees. Akin to FDR in 1932.

Trump, on the other hand, is busy playing it down until it’s too late, slowing testing, blaming others, lying, the usual.


In Buddhism, we regularly take time out of society to meditate, read, go for walks, be silent, be alone, and we do this in groups, too. We call it “retreat.”

Our world needs a retreat now, anyways. We need to slow down.

Read that book. Talk, and listen, with loved ones. Our flights all around the world are killing our world. Our clicking casually to buy things on Amazon, filling container ships, is killing our world and sapping our local communities. Keep supporting your local communities, now, more than ever.

Stay safe. Wash your hands, cover your mouth. Meditate for a few minutes each morning.

Dedicate your day to be of benefit to all sentient beings. Learn new recipes. Try going vegan. Use less toilet paper. Write on Elephant.

Take care of those weak or alone or without resources, now. Call your Congressperson.

Go for long walks, bike rides, hikes if you can. Play games. Heal. Reflect. Garden.


You can take our #howtowriteandsellthehelloutofabook course. ~ Waylon


Five of the top posts on Reddit’s front page are ordinary folk hating on ordinary folk for stockpiling TP or sanitary wipes or whatever. Same hate on Instagram.

Let’s get a little perspective here: we’ve heard about earth-raping corporations and power-greedy billionaires, right?

We get through this not by hating on the fear of the poor, but by reading journalism (truth as basis, not insults or hype or rumors or grandstanding), engaging in kindness, and staying safe.

Update: Do prepare. Don’t hoard. Do stock up.

Don’t stress. Stress weakens the immune system. Do tonglen to process stress. Exercise—in your home, or a bike ride or hike with a pal, your pooch, or on your own. Fresh air will do us good. Eat good, real, simple food. Catch up on book reading. Help those in need out (food pantries!). Support local shops more than ever, not Amazon. Wash those hands more often than you think necessary.

Science has backed up the ability of meditation to help folks cope with stress. This is generally covered in a NY Times article re immune system facts vs. BS today, as well. So! Here’s Pema’s tonglen instruction.< There’s a middle ground between panic and ignoring. Reading journalism for facts, not hype, is a great foundation. Elephant, as always, commits to sharing only real, scientific, solid, backed-up advice.

Not the hero we deserve, but the one we need. from r/funny

Original article follows:

How to be of benefit in reacting maturely to this possible Coronavirus threat:

This possible-likely crisis is a negative opportunity to lay waste to our planet–ie, disposal gloves, take-out food in plastic increasing 1,000x, Amazon $ucking up local businesses, cafés and restaurants and yoga studios losing their shirts. So we gotta be focused on protecting our communities, not just ourselves.

A slowed economy is hardest on our weakest. Support our local vital organizations for the poor and hungry.

A slowed economy can slow crap development, Trump taking credit for a strong economy…it’s not all bad.

Prep your home not out of panic, but out of middle way preparedness.

Buy bulk bags of organic rice, quinoa, flour, lentils, beans, oats. Bulk bags at your local grocery are often 10% off. Bags are compostable. You’ll want some bulk eco TP, nut butter (you can get bulk, bring your own, chapter), make your own oat milk at home (couldn’t be easier: oats, water, add cinnamon, vanilla, a few dates if you like). Bring your own containers, go to bulk shop. Avoid Amazon, Costco plastic and carbon footprint.

Avoid immune-system weakening chemical cleaners and wash your hands, constantly. Work on changing habits now. Cough into elbow, not into the air as the lady did at Wonder, today, right beside me. Don’t shake hands, hug, smooch around town. Touch a doorknob? Wash those hands. 20 second rule.

Exercise outside will still be safe–hike, bike to your heart’s content. May I suggest outdoor yoga classes? Brrr.

Travel less. The planet will thank you.

Drive less: air pollution will thank you.

Grow some veggies at home (garden if it’s warm outside).

Use this time to write a book, reeeead a book (those are the things made of paper without 200 open tabs), catch up on those magazines we might have piled up. Online learning (Elephant has a book-writing course) is a good choice now.

What other eco, constructive, non-Amazony suggestions?

My new pickup line: let’s Netflix & chill…for a month. ⁠What’s yours? 

Covid-19 is coming to town.

My advice with Coronavirus is to use it to make your life and our world kinder and better, not cheaper and panicky and plastic-ful and worse.

Support your local restaurants and economy–if only ordering in—if they use compostable to-go. They’ll need the support. Breathe deeply if you’re feeling afraid and remember this kinda thing has happened many times throughout history and that we have science on our side, now.

Catch up on reading—we all have a few books that’ve been quietly saying, read me, read me! Watch some meaningful documentaries. Take baths. Go for hikes or bike rides. Get a flu shot, maybe. Get probiotics. Refrigerate them.

Vote for sanity and science.

Stay home, work at home, fall in love with home, make friends with being alone or doing less or—good god no—the delicious boredom of not multi-tasking and rushing (great article here) all the time.

When in doubt, wash your hands. Use Apple Pay instead of cash or credit cards. Cough into your elbow, avoid touching your face. Don’t shake hands, as you know. Don’t hug or smooch-smooch. Masks are overrated, and can actually backfire (they collect germs). Clean your phone with soap and a little water on a paper towel, don’t use alcohol. Wash your clothes.

We can prepare without being paranoid.

We can take care of your immune system, and buy bulk (no plastic, no Amazon) bags of organic rice, beans, quinoa, lentils, oats, soy sauce, hot sauce at your local grocery (bulk bags are often 10% off)…and TP.

Here’s an eco TP company we work with, that’ll…ship right to you.


Did I miss anything? Please comment with your helpful suggestions and details! 

Click here for 10 mindful points on protecting yourself. 

Great read on the NY Times: 

For now, we gain a new appreciation for the people and institutions that keep a city running. We turn on the local news, scan the bulletins from the county public health department, listen to the news conferences held by the mayor and the county executive. There’s uncertainty there, too:

Can the public health agencies denuded by budget cuts meet surging needs? Are there enough local news outlets to fully report the story? Shouldn’t we all stop going to work or school now? Local leaders don’t know what is going to happen either. But they calm us with their consistency and expertise, and we trust them.

It shouldn’t take a global pandemic to force us to slow down our routines, to appreciate the communities in which we live, to properly wash our hands. But it has.

Click here for more.

Click here for more.

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