Posts Tagged ‘quarantine’

Debacle on 34th Street: No Santas at Macy’s

October 30, 2020

Debacle on 34th Street: No Santas at Macy's

Sorry, Virginia, St. Nick has left the building. For the first time in 159 years, children won’t sit on Santa’s lap at Macy’s department stores. Santaland has imposed COVID-19 self-quarantine. After Thanksgiving, kids can book appointments for a Zoom visit with a Macy’s Santa. Hey kids: maybe Amazon can put Santa on your Fire Tablet!


“Macy’s cancels visits with Santa, offers online experience,” Jean Lotus, UPI

“Santa is skipping Macy’s for the first time in 159 years,” Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business

“Santa Claus won’t be coming to Macy’s this year,” Joseph Pisani, Associated Press

“Macy’s: There Is No Santa Claus (At Company Stores) This Year,” Bruce Haring, Deadline


“Santa actors were offered early vaccine as part of scrapped federal PSA campaign: HHS,” Jean Lotus, UPI


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Image (“Will Ho-Ho-Ho for Food”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Commencement Address, Class of 2020

May 22, 2020

Felicitations! Greetings to all of you joining us today on Zoom (and later on YouTube) on this glorious occasion! Graduates of the Class of 2020, you have passed a final test like no other, the test of coronavirus quarantine, and will now confidently stride, a prudent six feet apart, jaws set firmly under your surgical masks, into the post-pandemic ruins of the world of adulthood.

Each and every one of you has downloaded the distilled wisdom of Western Civilization in a grand adventure in online enlightenment, receiving the best education allowed within the limits of your broadband service contract. You are well-prepared for the long, vacant road ahead, a road of online job searches, Animal Crossing and, for the lucky few, Working From Home. For the rest, you who will deliver our meals and Amazon purchases, we salute you! Please ring the bell when you leave packages at the door.

As you log off now, if you remember anything, make it this: wash your hands, and don’t touch your face. Excelsior!

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COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection

April 20, 2020

COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection
Last week President Trump told governors to “call the shots” on reopening their states’ economies, then called on mobs of his followers to “liberate” states with Democratic governors, specifically the battleground states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. His rabid supporters turned out at state capitals, and some of them were armed.

A photo of the Ohio protesters banging on the statehouse windows looked familiar:

“One wears a Guy Fawkes mask. Two men wear Trump-branded baseball caps. Two women, the closest to the windows, shape their mouths into the same elongated howl as Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream.’ American flags obscure some of the protesters in the back.”

“It looked awfully familiar to Michael Satrazemis, the director of photography for ‘The Walking Dead’ and director of ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ two shows that seem a little scarier these days, since they’re about a zombie apocalypse that begins with an uncontrollable pathogen.

The visual trope is ‘classic horror,’ says Satrazemis. It plays on the common fear of claustrophobia, making the audience “\’feel the walls are closing in and the world is shrinking around you. And there’s no way out.’”

— “That Ohio protest photo looked like a zombie movie. Zombie movie directors think so, too.”Maura Judkis, Washington Post

Mr. Trump must be nostalgic for his MAGA zombie rallies, and uneasy about the likelihood that he won’t be having any rallies before November’s election.


Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

April 13, 2020

Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order went into effect on March 25th, and the governor tried to delay in-person voting until June, but the state’s Republican-majority legislature, in a session attended by only 2 members, convened for 17 seconds to force voting in person on April 7th, pandemic be damned. The Republican-dominated State Supreme Court voted to overturn the governor’s delay order, and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision backed that up.

Thus, on April 7th, the GOP compelled a death march of Wisconsin voters to polling places in the middle of the US coronavirus outbreak. Poll workers, largely elderly and at risk of COVID-19, stayed away, reducing the number of polling places and causing hours-long lines of masked voters in the few that were open. Many voters who requested absentee ballots did not receive them before election day.

Why this unseemly, unhealthy haste? It is a truth universally acknowledged that Republicans must be in want of low voter turnout to continue their gerrymandered stranglehold on the Nation’s body politic. If a pandemic can help them, they’re okay with that. Wisconsin votes will be tallied today, April 13th. Perhaps “I Voted” stickers will get civic-minded victims priority in the state’s ICUs.

Due to the pandemic, many states are transitioning to vote-by-mail systems. Republicans are against it, including President Trump, who recently voted by mail.


“Wisconsin: the state where American democracy went to die,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“The Wisconsin GOP Is Risking Voters’ Lives to Protect Its Minority Rule,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Wisconsin tracking potential spread of coronavirus from Tuesday’s election,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

“Wisconsin health officials step up efforts to track coronavirus exposure from primary election,” Quint Forgey, Politico

“Gerrymandering Meets the Coronavirus in Wisconsin,” Michael Li, Brennan Center

“How Wisconsin’s election disenfranchised voters,” Vox


“Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“Trump Wants 50 Wisconsins on Election Day,” Jamelle Bouie, New York Times

“Republicans Could Use the Coronavirus to Suppress Votes Across the Country. This Week We Got a Preview,” Carol Anderson, Time


“Thousands of Wisconsin ballots could be thrown out because they don’t have a postmark,” Ian Millhiser, Vox


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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San Francisco Shut Down: COVID-19 Quarantine

April 8, 2020

San Francisco during the stay-at-home order, shot and edited by Dan Denegre of Space Race Studio.

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