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January 1, Stay at Home, or Wear a Mask



This Day in History | 1996

Theodore John Kaczynski is arrested by FBI agents and accused of sending 16 mail bombs, killing three people and injuring 23 others during an 18-year period. He had earned the nickname the Unibomber. 

Good morning Middle Americans, 

If you don’t already have some of those masks, you should stock up now. If you can find one or more. After a lot of back and forth, the White House is expected to announce today that they want everyone to wear a mask if they venture out of the house. This, while Dr. Anthony Fauci says the entire country should stay home under a lockdown order. Just when you think this can’t get any more crazy…. Welcome to Friday. 

It’s not an easy read, but it will surely help motivate you to stay at home. We have a story about what New York City funeral homes are dealing with. Like a lot of you, we are starting to hear about friends and family members who have died as a result of COVID-19. That’s hard enough, but then think about not being able to say goodbye because you can’t have a funeral. Also think about the morticians and embalmers who are running out of room and refrigeration for the mounting dead. 

Finally, we now know what happens when you speak out in the Navy.  The captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt has been relieved of duty for going public about a COVID-19 outbreak onboard the warship. 

White House Expected to Recommend Everyone Wear Masks

(The Washington Post) -The death toll and economic devastation from the novel coronavirus reached staggering new levels in the United States on Thursday as officials reported more than 1,000 deaths from the pandemic in a single day and revealed that more than 6.6 million Americans had sought unemployment benefits in a single week.

The White House is expected to urge at least some people across the country to begin wearing cloth masks or face coverings in public to dampen the spread of the virus. The potential reversal of earlier mask recommendations – which White House officials indicated Thursday were still being debated – signaled the seriousness of the outbreak and rising concerns in Washington about the effect it could have on millions of Americans.

Local officials in one Texas border town already have threatened to fine those who don’t cover their nose and mouth if they go out in public. Vice President Mike Pence said guidance on the topic would be issued in coming days; a White House official later said that the guidance would be targeted to those in areas where community transmission is high.

But coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx on Thursday said officials worry that encouraging mask use might interfere with the White House’s prior social distancing guidance, which calls for people to stay home, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and keep a safe distance from nonfamily members.

Learn more here

‘Surreal’: NY Funeral Homes Struggle as Virus Deaths Surge

(AP) — Pat Marmo walked among 20 or so deceased in the basement of his Brooklyn funeral home, his protective mask pulled down so his pleas could be heard.

“Every person there, they’re not a body,” he said. “They’re a father, they’re a mother, they’re a grandmother. They’re not bodies. They’re people.”

Like many funeral homes in New York and around the globe, Marmo’s business is in crisis as he tries to meet surging demand amid the coronavirus pandemic that has killed around 1,400 people in New York City alone, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. His two cellphones and the office line are ringing constantly. He’s apologizing to families at the start of every conversation for being unusually terse, and begging them to insist hospitals hold their dead loved ones as long as possible.

Read more here

Navy Relieves Aircraft Carrier Captain Who Raised Alarm About Outbreak

(NBC News) – The Navy announced it has relieved the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Capt. Brett Crozier, who commands the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000, was relieved of his command Thursday, but he will keep his rank and remain in the Navy.

Crozier raised the alarm this week, sending a strongly worded letter to Navy leadership that detailed his concerns about the spread of the virus on the ship. The letter leaked to the media and generated a series of headlines.

See what happened here

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