History · The World

How the Coronavirus Compares With 100 Years of Deadly Events

This coronavirus pandemic has killed over 100,000 Americans alone. It has changed the way we live.

That’s pretty awful. But compared to other historical events, how bad is it?

This article shows how this pandemic compares to other major disasters of the last 100 years. It’s worse than the 1918 Spanish flu was in New York City and Boston, but still not as bad as the Spanish flu in Philadelphia. And not as bad the 2011 Earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi, Japan.

This article only covers the 20th century. I wish they could have included the Bubonic plague or other plagues to see how our current experience compares. 🤷🏻‍♂️

It’s a great visual to help understand a terrible event.

The World

Know Thy Enemy: Inside the Coronavirus Genome

Here’s an amazing detailed look at coronavirus genome. This article breaks the genetic code down into components such as Protein Scissors, Bubble Maker, and Copy Assistants.

This reads a lot like a software design document, with its factories, helpers, validators, and garbage collectors. 😬

The creepiest thing is the very end, where the genome trails off in a series of a’s, like the padding at the end of a Base64 string. 🧐

The coronavirus genome ends with a snippet of RNA that stops the cell’s protein-making machinery. It then trails away as a repeating sequence of aaaaaaaaaaaaa…

Travel

Queensboro Plaza

I keep seeing this spot come up in classic NYC transit photos.

Next time I’m in New York, when all this pandemic craziness is behind us, I’m going to find this spot and take this photo myself. 🤓

The World

It’s Time To Go On the Offensive Against the Coronavirus

I was talking with my kids about going after the virus the other day, half jokingly but also half serious…

I’m tired of sitting around the house waiting for the pandemic to solve itself. We didn’t win World War II sitting around the house hoping the Axis would surrender! We didn’t land on the moon waiting around doing nothing to see if somehow someone magically landed there!

It’s the same with the virus. We need to go after the virus! We need to hunt it down and destroy it until the planet earth is free if this deadly, hidden nemesis of all humankind.

It’s time for action!

As Winston Churchill would say, or rather did say, near the beginning of World War II…

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Winston Churchill – June 4, 1940

I joked with my kids that we should have a day where everyone in the world just Clorox’s every inch of the planet. “Inch by inch!” was our rally cry.

So I was pleased to see this article come up on The New Yorker, which offers more realistic and helpful ideas than a Clorox Day. Still, it basically says that that yes, we can and should go on the offensive against the coronavirus. It offers hope and something specific to actually do! 💪🏻🌎

👉 It’s Not Too Late to Go on Offense Against the Coronavirus

Thank you, Jim Yong Kim, inspiring physician and anthropologist. Via Apple News.

The World

Covid-19 Relief Fund

If you’re fortunate enough to have a steady paycheck through this pandemic and you want to help other people affected directly or indirectly by the lockdown, here’s a simple way.

👉 Covid-19 Relief Campaign

The fund is underwritten by The New York Times. Every dollar goes to aiding organizations that:

  • help food banks across America meet increased demand
  • bring books to children studying at home
  • support social services, arts, and cultural organizations affected by the virus
  • deliver meals to those in need

You

Improv Class and Uncharted Territory

A few months ago, I took an improv class. You might think I did it to learn to be funnier. I mean, it did help a little. But mostly it helped my attitude, just being open and ridiculous. I do still have a stockpile of ready-made dad jokes, though.

Improv is not only about laughs. It’s about facing uncharted territory with curiosity, enthusiasm, and fearlessness.

The post below perfectly captures the real reason that I took improv, which is mainly dealing with fears and ambiguity when you can’t sit and think about it for more than, say, two seconds. I’m naturally a sit-and-think-about-it kind of person, so I needed some help on that. 🤷🏻‍♂️

👉 Improv as a Crisis Management Tool: Tackling Uncharted Territory

Cheat sheet from the article… Improv helps with:

  • Helping people build out their ideas even if you don’t agree with or understand them
  • Learning how to make decisions on a shoestring
  • Fearlessness, bravery and getting comfortable with mistakes

By the way, Merlin Works, the same place where I took my improv class, is now offering online Zoom improv classes for the pandemic. If this thing drags on long enough, I might do improv 201 online. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Music · The World

New York, New York 🎶

Here’s a great tribute to New York City as it suffers through the coronavirus.

We are tough but we are tender, and we fucking love our city though it feels impossible sometimes.

Also, as a musician, it was encouraging to hear her say “This took me a whole day to learn.” 🤷🏻‍♂️

The World

How the Virus Got Out

Here’s a pretty amazing visual story from the New York Times showing how the coronavirus started in a market in Wuhan and then spread around the world.

What I love about this article is the highly visual storytelling. It helps you understand how the virus spread around the world so much better than just a bunch of words.

Amazing work as always from the Times.