Last night, Senators worked late trying to reach agreement on a stimulus bill to help workers and businesses survive the pandemic shutdown. At this writing, the idea of two rounds of $1000 checks per person seems to have been replaced with one $1200 check and $250 billion to shore up the unemployment insurance program, to insure that people thrown out of work keep getting regular checks to help cover their bills. The latest proposal is that the one-time payments would phase out above $75,000 a year gross incomes for individuals and $150,000 for couples. Here are more details, but it’s not worth spending too much time on until some agreement is reached, because chances are good that the details will keep changing.
Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst has proposed a bill that would take $350 million from the “obsolete and outdated” Presidential Election Campaign Fund (set up to reduce special interest influence, but campaigns have become so expensive that no candidate uses it anymore) and direct the money to health efforts instead.
On the other hand, Mike Bloomberg has something better to do with the $18 million he still has left over in his campaign fund: he’ll give it to Democrats to help them take the government back over on all levels and handle this virus as well as they did the swine flu. A reminder: he self-funded his campaign, so that’s actually just giving $18 million from him to the Democrats, who oppose letting billionaires buy elections, if I recall correctly.
By the way, he could also use it to pay his laid-off staffers through November, as they claim they were promised, but instead they’ll only be paid through April 1. Well, they trusted Mike Bloomberg, so April Fool!
Seniors are at the greatest risk from the COVID-19 coronavirus, so it’s important that they stay home to avoid contracting it. However, many seniors may not be aware of how they can deal with basic needs, like getting food and drugs delivered, errands run or advice from doctors. If you are in that group, or know someone who is, click the link below or share it. It features information and links to various sources, groups, companies and stores that will help take care of seniors’ needs at home and get them through this crisis safely.
If you’re griping about not being able to go to church, concerts and other large gatherings, count your blessings. Bangkok didn’t take the virus threat seriously and allowed a crowd to jam an arena for a big kickboxing championship. It’s estimated that at least 100 people were infected there and took it home, resulting in a spike in cases all over the country that were traced back to that one sporting event.
I’m not going to report every claim or study related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, since you can find that everywhere and anywhere, 24/7. But this one may be important enough to mention. It’s possible that even though the worst symptoms are respiratory, the very first may be digestive issues such as diarrhea. That’s good to know for catching it early, but it’s also worth a reminder that just because you have digestive issues, that doesn’t mean you have the virus. But if you do suddenly feel as if you might actually need that garage full of toilet paper you bought, then definitely check with a doctor for testing, to be on the safe side.
I suppose it shouldn’t even be considered news that someone who works at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic has no respect for other people’s lives, but this is at least a new way of showing it.
It’s said that it’s an ill wind that blows no good, meaning that in every terrible turn of events, someone benefits. In the case of the coronavirus scare, many people may be out of work or stuck working at home, but retailers who have to deal with panic shopping, stockpiling and massive increases in delivery calls are hiring. Just three of them -- Walmart, Dollar Tree and 7-11 -- are looking to hire a total of 200,000 temporary workers, which should help some of the people put out of business in the restaurant, bar and service industry. Walmart is also giving bonuses to its current workers who are dealing with the crisis, and they say many of the new temp workers may become permanent employees. Meanwhile, Domino’s Pizza is looking to hire 10,000 workers, and Amazon is hiring 100,000.
And here’s something I’ll bet you never thought you’d hear, and it would be great news under happier circumstances: Drive-in movies are suddenly the hottest entertainment venue in America. The icons of the 1950s have nearly been driven to extinction by suburban sprawl, but the ones that remain are suddenly the only place in the nation where families can get out of the house and see a movie on a big screen. Some report that attendance has leaped by 40%. To help combat the coronavirus, they’re instituting new safety measures, such as limiting lines at the concession stands.
Let’s hope that once the current pandemic passes, people will have rediscovered the fun of a Friday or Saturday night at the drive-in and keep coming back. In the meantime, if you’re going to be spending that much time in your car, here are some tips on how to disinfect its interior to make sure there are no viruses lurking on your steering wheel, dashboard or door handles. Sorry, if you’ve been to the drive-in, tips on getting mustard and nacho cheese out of the seats are not included.