Long gone are the excuses of yesteryear that a Fox News personality’s seemingly partisan appearance was merely a journalist performing his or her journalistic duties.
From TPM Reader PI …
I’m retired, and before Covid, I visited and cared for my mother every day in a nearby memory care facility. She’s in late-stage Alzheimer’s. I took her to nearby parks, manicurists, restaurants and of course doctor visits and hospital stays when she had seizures. I helped her shower and trimmed her hair, joined her in group activities, sat with her in her facility’s garden, or in her room, watching television. I also spent many a time helping her through the fears, delusions or violence that dementia can trigger, then working with her doctor, psychiatrist and neurologist to find the right meds balance to keep her seizure-free and calm.
From TPM Reader BA …
Last year I worked at a law firm, the type started by three guys in the later 80s who decided to never change how they did business. In February I was starting to get concerned about COVID and asked one of the partners what plans the firm had to adjust. The answer was more or less “nothing”. My wife’s company, like many others, instituted a company-wide work from home policy in early March, while the direction at my office was just “Everything’s fine, try to avoid in-person contact while in the office.” Keep in mind that this was an office which previous denied people the ability to work from home unless there was some family emergency.
In these COVID moments posts I’ve been doing, as you can see, I’ve been publishing some that aren’t so much moments as people’s descriptions of how their lives changes beginning in February and much. There’s a subset of those which touch on how their lives changed for the better, or if not better than some relief from what had come before. In some cases, it’s ‘I had a sucky job. I got laid off and now I have a much better job.’ In other cases they’re much more heart-rending and poignant. A few of those are on the way.
Please keep your notes coming.
The Biden White House has brokered a deal between Johnson & Johnson and Merck that will have the latter company produce additional supplies of the recently approved J&J vaccines. The Post reports that the President will use the Defense Production Act to give Merck priority in purchasing equipment to ramp up for production.
TPM Reader AA went back through his records and sent me a tick-tock of the lead up to lockdown in early March. He’s planning the trip of a lifetime to Japan for he and his wife’s 25th wedding anniversary. That’s in late March. Son is home from college. A stream of anecdotes, most of which are captured in this sentence of his: “We couldn’t decide if we were being smart or paranoid.”
And then he comes to this …
From TPM Reader AM …
My wife and I are both (or were) freelance musicians in Chicago. At this time last year, I was playing in the pit of a musical at a theatre in downtown Chicago. I had been following the news about the coronavirus with increasing dread throughout February—partly because there were early covid cases in Chicago in January, partly because I was playing in front of 500 people 8 performances a week, but most of all because it was easy to see that the federal response was currently and was going to continue to be maliciously incompetent. Our first panic grocery shop was the third week of February, by which point I had insisted that my octogenarian parents cancel all possible outside activities (including the choir they sang in) and skip the performance of the show that they were planning on attending on March 15.
From TPM Reader SW …
I suppose, in retrospect, my “COVID moment” came a little late. I’m a union lawyer by trade, and at the moment I represent performing artists who work for non-profit arts organizations across the country. I was dealing with any number of quotidian crises in early 2020 and, as an long-suffering hypochondriac, I had more or less outsourced worrying about COVID to family and friends until it forced itself into my consciousness. So my reckoning came, along with a lot of the country, on March 11, though I think I probably had a few hours’ head start.
From TPM Reader PL …
I lived in Beijing for 5 years and had just left a job working for a Chinese company involved in international trade’s New York office. I saw all my friends in China reacting and realized that it was a big deal, and my wider social network of people who were from or had lived in China were all paying attention to it starting in January. I’d been in Beijing during the swine flu outbreak and knew the Chinese government didn’t fuck around with outbreaks. But when they locked down Wuhan and surrounding areas during Spring Festival, by far the largest travel holiday in the world, I knew it was going to be enormous. It’s not just that it’s an enormous metro-region, but it’s a huge rail transit hub and hundreds of millions of people travel by rail during the holiday. Imagine shutting Chicago O’hare Airport down during Thanksgiving times a thousand.
Even though I wasn’t the one covering it for TPM, I was waiting to hear ex-President Trump’s speech last night because he remains, even after the presidency, a looming presence in our national politics. I watched. I listened to him brag. I listened to his standard barrage of lies about immigration. And then I thought, “Fuck this guy. I don’t need to hear this.” I turned off the feed and went to work on a woodworking project.
This might be a normal response for some. But it’s not for me. When everyone else was treating Trump as a joke I said it was folly to ignore him. Within weeks of his getting into the race in 2015, I thought he’d win the Republican nomination. Indeed, long before Trump, in most everything written at TPM I’ve pressed a basic point. There is a breed of quaint liberal myopia that says that if we just ‘don’t give oxygen’ to awful people that will somehow make them go away, like a toddler who think covering his eyes means you can’t see him. We’re told we shouldn’t “amplify” the likes of Donald Trump. This is all congenial, well-intentioned nonsense – the sort of head in the sand thinking that lets you wake up one day and not now how we ended up with Donald Trump being President.
And yet here, nope.
President Biden has chosen for top positions at the Justice Department three advocates who have spent their lifetimes in the civil rights arena and the last four years in particular combatting the Trump-era’s most egregious assaults on democracy.
The Justice Department signaled Friday it wanted to put a spotlight on its work responding to and disrupting domestic terrorism, marking a turn from the Trump era when any acknowledgement of a rise in far-right extremism could be met with a scolding from the then-president.