Red alert, day 43. Lockdown, day 33. Suffolk has 850 (+149) confirmed cases in today’s figures, neighboring Essex has 2119 (+190, about 2X Suffolk population) cases and Tower Hamlets has 582 (+18, about 0.5X Suffolk population) confirmed cases as of this morning.
The UK has recorded 143,464 cases on 612,031 tests (+28,532, some on the same people). A total of 19,506 (+684) deaths in hospital have been recorded. Every life a story. Obituary writers are trying to keep up.
Finland Sanna Marin gets the good press today for holding the first children’s press conference. It’s like PMQs, but with (future) voters! (YLE transcript, Areena recording, English news story on This is Finland PR site)
I did a second pass and then a rejigged the marking for my larger class, and returned the papers. This took a day and a half. Grading has been the most exhausting part of my job. Reading student work and giving feedback can be heavy, of course, but the real stress is in having to produce and justify precise numerical judgments. In raising the scale (only A’s and B’s) I was less concerned about minimizing the risk to grade point averages, which the university has measures to mitigate, and more concerned about minimizing the risk to motivation and mood. Practically the whole class did the assignment, and that I think is a victory for them all under these circumstances. And yes, equality begins with equal sleep.
One of the best essays so far, by Rebecca Solnit (excerpt):
The scale of the economic crisis is almost incomprehensible and it raises big questions for me. Will landlords evict broke tenants in an economic climate where new tenants are not easy to find? Will the state allow people to starve when the scarcity is about the circulation of that abstraction money and not scarcity of the tangible reality food? Will basic income and universal healthcare become necessities and will we somehow exit the free-market-worship era because of this even when the medical crisis is over or at least relaxing? What will become of the large number of workers whose jobs were connected to disposable-income spending–tourism and recreational travel, dining out, luxuries like having your nails done and buying pretty things?
One of the most important things I learned about disasters is that they begin suddenly and never really end. We will never return to where we were, and we will eventually find a new equilibrium of sorts, but I believe it will be really different (and that it’s really important to remember that the old order that ended six weeks or so ago punished, starved, deprived of homes and hope and healthcare too many people already; it was a slow low-visibility crisis, or one seen as being about specifics of the homeless of San Francisco or the loan burden of these particular students rather than a whole system failing a significant portion of the population in many ways that were really one way: misdistribution of resources).