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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Last month was the first March since 2002 without a school shooting in the United States.

Five million additional Americans filed for unemployment benefits, bringing the past month’s total to 22 million, erasing a decade of job creation.1 Officials in Italy, which was previously averaging about 800 fatalities per day and where more than 159,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, said that the reduction in new cases means that businesses such as children’s clothing stores, stationery shops, and bookstores will reopen shortly, while the Mafia is gaining support in southern regions for distributing free food to poor families in quarantine.2 3 The Chilean health minister said that the country’s count of patients who are “no longer contagious” includes “the people who have completed 14 days of diagnosis or who unfortunately have passed away.”4 An anonymous tip led police officers to discover 17 bodies stacked inside a small morgue at a nursing home in New Jersey that has been linked to 68 recent deaths.5 Small-government groups affiliated with prolific right-wing donors, assorted supporters of Donald Trump, and a mix of anti-vaccine and anti-gun-control advocates staged demonstrations in several major U.S. cities to protest stay-at-home orders and business closures.6 At the Tennessee capitol building, a home health nurse from Nashville announced that “all our hospitals are sitting empty,” even though the state has reported 724 COVID-19 hospitalizations; in Michigan, a protester told a reporter, “You can’t buy paint … you can’t buy lawn fertilizer or grass seed.”7 8 A pregnant woman in Georgia hijacked a CBS News van.9 Seven states were sued after they declared abortion a nonessential medical procedure, and Florida governor Ron DeSantis classified live professional wrestling as an essential service because content-deprived home viewers are “watching, like, reruns from the early 2000s.”10 11

Managers of hedge funds, which are designed to employ as few people as possible so traders don’t have to share fees, claimed coronavirus bailouts as small businesses, and the price of U.S. oil dropped below zero for the first time.12 13 The Environmental Protection Agency rolled back restrictions on power plants’ release of toxic materials including mercury, a heavy metal linked to brain damage.14 Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms killed more than 34 people in the American South, and a study found that the current drought in the Southwest is as bad as or worse than longest-lasting droughts in the region over the past 1,200 years.15 16 In Indonesia, where village youth groups have begun dressing as pocong (shrouded ghosts) to scare people into staying indoors, the growing popularity of bird singing contests has led to mass poaching and the disappearance of members of protected songbird species.17 18 Mountain goats roamed through a town in Wales, whales swam into Mediterranean shipping lanes, and sea turtles strolled on empty Brazilian beaches.19

The Florida Department of Corrections ordered inmates to make protective masks for corrections and parole officers before themselves.20 Last month was the first March since 2002 without a school shooting in the United States.21 A gunman’s rampage in Nova Scotia killed at least 16 people.22 In India, a police officer’s hand was chopped off with a sword while he was trying to enforce lockdown measures at a traffic barricade.23 A former Samsung employee who is conducting a sit-in and hunger strike against the company’s labor practices and working conditions passed his 315th day atop an 82-foot-tall traffic-camera tower in downtown Seoul.24 A zoo director in Germany said that if the zoo’s coronavirus-related financial strains continue, its animals would have to be fed to one another.25 Online searches for “what day is it” spiked.26Justin Stewart

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