Things will never be the same
A quick aside. Also, you get $1,000, and you get $1,000, and you get $1,000! Plus your kids just might be off school for the rest of the year. And 7 other things worth your time.
The incredible news keeps coming. Yesterday brought a shocking turn — something people were half-expecting, sure, but that they largely didn’t admit would never actually come to pass.
I’m talking of course, about the news that future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady will not be returning to the New England Patriots, after 20 years with the NFL team.
Things will never be the same: well, at least if you care about the NFL, or maybe more specifically if you’re a New England fan. (Later reports say Brady is likely signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)
A month ago this would have been the lead story everywhere—perhaps the biggest free agency story in sports history. And, I’m happy to be able to start today’s email with something other than the coronavirus.
But we must move on quickly, as yesterday this news had to compete with things like:
A radical shift in political sentiment in the U.S. that would have been hard to predict even a week ago. Both the White House and members of Congress of both parties are proposing payments of $1,000 or more, potentially to every single American, as a way to shore up the economy. (Andrew Yang, who campaigned for president on the idea of universal basic income, says his phone is blowing up.)
The stock market rebounding somewhat, after the worst day Monday since Black Monday in 1987.
The European Union locking down its borders for 30 days, preventing most non-EU citizens from entering.
President Trump declaring: “The world is at war with a hidden enemy.”
Not everywhere, though. If you were hunkering down, practicing social distance, and sacrificing for your fellow humans, here’s how some other people spent the day.
A few readers suggested, after I made yesterday’s email all about this dichotomy, that the difference between the people who are hunkering down and those who are partying on might be as much a generational divide as anything.
The Wall Street Journal ($) backed you up afterward. True, I probably would have done the same thing in my early 20s.
Heck, when I think back to college spring break in Panama City Beach, Florida, the idea of spending the day on the beach during a pandemic probably would only have been about the 73rd-most-risky thing we did on any particular day.
I’m not going to describe it all in this newsletter since my parents read it—no need to freak them out two decades later—but you know where I’m coming from.
It’s funny—I was talking with my sister the other day and remarked that I felt like I’ve grown up a lot in the last few years. It might be about time, some might say, since I’ll be closing out my 40s sooner than I’d like to admit.
But that’s what’s happening. And we’re all seeing change much faster now than we would have imagined just a few short weeks ago.
For those waiting, the next edition of Working From Home will be tomorrow. Murphy’s Law governed the launch, as I’ll explain then. Hopefully all the technical issues will be all sorted out, however, and we’ll be good to go.
7 other things worth your time
In Connecticut, unemployment insurance claims went up 10x in less than one week. And while this is obviously a worst-case scenario, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned unemployment could reach 20 percent if Congress doesn’t mass a stimulus bill fast. During the Great Depression, it maxed out at 24.9 percent. (Hartford Courant and New York Post)
Nearly 15,000 people who attended a dental conference in Vancouver are being asked to self-quarantine, after “multiple cases of coronavirus have been traced to the event.” (CBC)
The head of the federal personnel office abruptly quit during coronavirus planning for the government workforce of 2.1 million. Reports say she felt micromanaged and disrespected by White House officials. (The Washington Post, $)
Amazon is banning its warehouses from stocking nonessential items until April 5, during the coronavirus pandemic. This doesn’t mean you can’t order things as long as they’re in stock; it’s more about the Fulfilled by Amazon program, but it’s still a milestone.. (Vox)
What will ESPN do with no sports? They’re panning, “archival content and/or themed and stunt event programming.” (CNBC)
The U.S. Navy is sending two of its hospital ships, the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, to the east and west coasts to serve as backups for civilian hospitals, anticipating a shortage of beds soon. (USNI)
Henry Blodget penned an open letter to airlines that want a massive $54 billion bailout. Short version: a loan, not a bailout, and it can’t be used for stock buybacks. (Business Insider)
One little bonus item: Congratulations to my former colleagues at Some Spider Studios (soon to be renamed Some Spider Family) on their acquisition of the parenting brand Fatherly. The fact that they pulled this deal together during the last week’s craziness is remarkable. (Digiday)
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