Monday, March 23, 2020

Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
— H. L. Mencken

Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge

If there is a silver lining to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is what it might mean for the climate crisis. Not only have attempts to control the virus led to a reduction in carbon emissions, they have also led to a significant shift in the way individuals, institutions and politicians discuss our responsibility to protect vulnerable groups in our societies.

Nature is taking back Venice’: wildlife returns to tourist-free cityGuardian 

A popular ditty among the Alpine party set celebrates the Tyrolean village of Ischgl as a “white winter’s dream.” For recent visitors, the town has become something more akin to a prolonged nightmare.

The Austrian ski town that spread coronavirus across the Continent

Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown - WSJ.
If GDP seems abstract, consider the human cost. Think about the entrepreneur who has invested his life in his Memphis ribs joint only to see his customers vanish in a week. Or the retail chain of 30 stores that employs hundreds but sees no sales and must shut its doors.

Or the recent graduate with $20,000 in student-loan debt—taken on with the encouragement of politicians—who finds herself laid off from her first job. Perhaps she can return home and live with her parents, but what if they’re laid off too? How do you measure the human cost of these crushed dreams, lives upended, or mental-health damage that result from the orders of federal and state governments?

Questioning the Shutdown | R. R. Reno
Earlier generations understood that institutions anchor our lives. That’s why German children went to school throughout World War II, even when their cities were being reduced to rubble. That’s why Boy Scouts conducted activities during the Spanish flu pandemic and churches were open. We’ve lost this wisdom. In this time of crisis, when our need for these anchors is all the greater, our leaders have deliberately atomized millions of people

“Be of good cheer,” advises Geoff Dyer, reflecting on the pandemic. But inwardly he’s clutching his head like Munch’s screamer  

What does a writer do when his words stop working? Wait for the muse to recharge or dwell in the struggle to overcome your own  silence  

“Advertising was like art, and more and more art was like advertising. … Ideally, the only difference would be the logo.” So it went at the Warhol Factory