Sunday 3.29.2020 New York Times Digest

1. April Bills Loom. The Economy Hangs on How Many Are Left Unpaid.

“Even the Cheesecake Factory, a multibillion-dollar company, has told landlords not to expect an April remittance.”

2. Driving the Long Haul, and Sensing a Slowdown

“‘I live in something smaller than a jail cell all the time,’ Mr. Woolsey said. ‘I hear other people complaining, and I’m like, get over it. There’s lots of us living like this all the time, coronavirus or not.’”

3. A Job-Eating Virus

“All the traditional rules of engagement in a job hunt suddenly feel irrelevant.”

4. Advice for Getting Through a Crisis

“Somebody once suggested that when you’re stuck in a situation that you can’t do anything about, the best thing is to immerse yourself in study.”

5. Logged On From the Laundry Room

“As the coronavirus sweeps the globe, even chief executives — who normally flit from meetings to conferences in chauffeured SUVs and private jets — have been confined to spare rooms.”

6. Doctors Are Writing Their Wills

“We are standing on the edge of the ocean in the dark. We’re waiting for the wave to hit and we have no idea how high the wave is going to be.”

7. What the Coronavirus Means for Climate Change

“This global crisis is also an inflection point for that other global crisis, the slower one with even higher stakes, which remains the backdrop against which modernity now plays out.”

8. A Natural Classroom, Run by Wolves

“Thanks largely to the wolf’s reintroduction into Yellowstone, their reputation has swung from scourge to savior, at least among some, as biologists have come to understand the wolves’ role in maintaining the park’s ecological balance.”

9. The African-American Art Shaping the 21st Century

“We asked 35 major African-American creators from different worlds (film, art, TV, music, books and more) to talk about the work that has inspired them the most over the past two decades.”

10. Panic Buying Comes for the Seeds

“For me, the need to buy seeds and garden felt like part of the broader suite of practices I’d taken up — running, meditating, jump roping — to stay calm.”

11. America Stress-Bought All the Baby Chickens

“Murray McMurray Hatchery, of Webster City, Iowa, ships day-old poultry through the Postal Service, and is almost completely sold out of chicks for the next four weeks.”

12. I Never Planned on Being a Playboy Pinup

“Last week, seemingly lost amid the new coronavirus news, Playboy announced that the company will stop publishing a print edition. The spring 2020 issue is the last. A quiet exit for a magazine that liked to make noise, beginning with its splashy debut 67 years ago, when Hugh Hefner put Marilyn Monroe on the cover.”

13. GoFundMe Confronts Coronavirus Demand

“The new coronavirus presents an extreme case of the country turning to GoFundMe as a financial safety net.”

14. How to See the World When You’re Stuck at Home

“There is something tantalizing about being there but not being there, about being everywhere and nowhere at once. The geospatial distance leaves us wanting, hungry for more. I’m enamored with the glitchiness of these human landscapes, the way people’s legs are sometimes separated from their bodies, the way everyone’s faces are blurred out, as if they no longer exist (sometimes they no longer do). This is our world, but it is not our world.”

15. A Poet’s Anguish Vibrates Through Time

“In 1820, the British poet spent 10 days quarantined in the Bay of Naples as typhus raged, an enforced stillness mirrored by our own.”

16. In This Moment of Solitude, Books Can Be Our Passports

“So much of childhood involved boredom, lying on the rug on my stomach — as I am right now — wishing I could see more of the vast world than was available to me as a 7-year-old. The reason I fell in love with books is that they were a passport to other places and lives. Books mimicked travel. In a book, I could go anywhere and be anyone. I haven’t read with that primary motivation in a long time, but it feels especially attractive again.”

17. Where America’s Fight for Housing Is an All-Out War

“During the Great Inflation of the 1970s, when living expenses became unstable, factory jobs disappeared and C.E.O. pay began its exorbitant rise, home prices also spiked and, for the first time, outpaced stock performance. Two things happened to homes, according to Dougherty: They became not just dwellings but strategic investments — ones that represented the bulk of American household wealth. As a result, cities, driven by ‘homevoters’ — essentially single-issue voters who wanted to protect their property values — began passing zoning ordinances to limit growth and ‘protect neighborhoods.’”

18. Talk: Werner Herzog

“I advise you to go outside on a clear night and look out into the universe. It seems utterly indifferent to what we are doing. Now we are taking a very close look at the sun with a space probe. Look at the utmost hostility of the hundreds of millions of atomic bombs going off at the same time in its interior. So my personal interpretation of nature comes from taking a quick look at the stars.”

19. Why Would Anyone Want to Visit Chernobyl?

“I was on a kind of perverse pilgrimage: I wanted to see what the end of the world looked like. I wanted to haunt its ruins and be haunted by them. I wanted to see what could not otherwise be seen, to inspect the remains of the human era. The Zone presented this prospect in a manner more clear and stark than any other place I was aware of. It seemed to me that to travel there would be to look upon the end of the world from the vantage point of its aftermath. It was my understanding, my conceit, that I was catching a glimpse of the future. I did not then understand that this future, or something like it, was closer than it appeared at the time. I did not understand that before long the idea of the Zone would advance outward from the realm of abstraction to encompass my experience of everyday life, that cities across the developed world would be locked down in an effort to suppress the spread of a lethal new virus, an enemy as invisible and insidious in its way as radiation and as capable of hollowing out the substance of society overnight.”

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