Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are here to save us all

March 13, 2020, 5:56 PM UTC

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Medicaid is further restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, chaos in San Francisco’s immigration court, and Pete Buttigieg brings joy as a late night guest host.

But first, here’s your week in review in Haiku.

Australia saved the
world! Sweet Rita Wilson and
her husband, now in

isolation, thanks
to a simple test. Think: How
many fans would have

been felled by their hugs
and loving high fives? Wouldn’t you
take a selfie with

Mr. Rogers if
you could? The fame they wear so
lightly, now is lethal.

Instead, let love go
viral! But from a distance—
like Tom and Rita.

Have a happy and hygienic weekend in your neighborhoods! Keep calm and wash on.

Ellen McGirt

On Point

The Trump administration is blocking states from using Medicaid for their pandemic responses Even on good days, Medicaid is a lifeline for the poor and very sick, so in troubling times, loosening certain rules and restrictions gives states some of their best options to help deliver care to people who need it most. The administration’s refusal to do so prevents states from reigning in the pandemic in a number of ways: By signing up poor patients, bringing in more providers, setting up emergency clinics, or testing homeless populations. “If they wanted to do it, they could do it,” Cindy Mann tells the New York Times. Mann oversaw the Medicaid program in the Obama administration and helped coordinate the response to the H1N1 crisis in 2009.
Los Angeles Times

Pinterest is doing a very good job This is what you get when you search for coronavirus on their platform: “Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation. Because of this, we've limited search results to Pins from internationally-recognized health organizations. If you're looking for medical advice, please contact a healthcare provider.” 

Indigenous communities without clean water are at disproportionate risk for the coronavirus Reporting on conditions in Indigenous communities in Canada, many of which are in remote regions, leaders report that the lack of clean water and access to health care facilities are making it impossible to take measure to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s a recipe for disaster. “We can’t tell people to wash their hands if they don’t have clean drinking water,” says Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “We can’t tell them to go see a health professional or nurse when we don’t have that in our nursing stations. We have very limited capacity with equipment.”

Inside San Francisco’s chaotic immigration court It is one of the busiest immigration courts in the country, and is sagging under the weight of new regulations, inadequate technology, and the desperation of an increasing backlog of cases. There were a record 443,000 new cases in fiscal year 2019, largely due to an increase in asylum-seekers. Fortune was on-hand the week of February 10, and has turned in a grim tick-tock of justice under the most difficult of circumstances. “Immigration law is incredibly complex, to the point that even judges and government attorneys often do not fully understand it,” one attorney said. “It takes years to grasp, and to make someone go through immigration court proceedings without a legal representative is totally unfair. There is no due process.” Please read and share.

On Background

The inside story of the “flatten the curve” graphic The #FlattenTheCurve graphic has become the defining image of the coronavirus pandemic, a simple way to explain how small steps like hand-washing and self-isolation will slow new infections and lighten the load on the health care system. Mark Wilson tracked down its source. “With roots that trace as far back as a 2007 paper published by the CDC, the core scheme of Flatten the Curve is an idea that’s been repeatedly remixed by health experts to reach its final, clearest form, proposed by New Zealand epidemiologist Siouxsie Wiles and drawn by illustrator Toby Morris,” he says. But now, with 4.5 million social media impressions and counting, it’s become the literal poster child for design impact. “This is my favorite dataviz about the coronavirus,” says Mauro Martino, founder of the Visual A.I. Lab at IBM research. “The message is altruistic: we must help sick people who need to be hospitalized.”
Fast Company

Pete Buttigieg had a blast guest hosting for Jimmy Kimmel First of all, he was really good at it. But the real gift was his guest, the great Sir Patrick Stewart, known to many as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Like many lifelong Star Trek fans, I am deeply committed to the canon, but I may have found my rival in Mayor Pete. Enjoy this brief clip of their conversation, and Buttigieg’s unalloyed delight at the gift Stewart brings him. A balm in troubled times. Engage.
Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube

We are just a small part of a big, beautiful universe What if the mantra of business and tech was not to move fast and break things, but to slow down and understand them? This is one of the underlying themes of "To Scale: The Solar System," a beautiful seven-minute video shot by filmmakers Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh. “Every single picture we ever see of the solar system is not to scale,” begins Overstreet. If you plotted our sun and neighboring planets on a piece of paper, like most school kids do, you wouldn’t be able to see anything at all: The heavenly bodies would be microscopic. Instead, every photo, every image, every rendering is not only wrong, it gives us an oversized idea of our own place in galaxy. If you held up a blue marble and called it Earth, you’d need seven miles of empty land to draw an accurate representation of the solar system—which is exactly what they did in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. In a delicious irony, it’s the home of the annual Silicon Valley fixation known as the Burning Man festival. Enjoy the big picture.
To Scale: The Solar System

Tamara El-Waylly produces raceAhead and manages the op-ed program.


“Star Trek is my statement to the world… [it] is more than just my political philosophy, my racial philosophy, my overview on life and the human condition.”

—Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, in The Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek: Essays on J.J. Abrams' Final Frontier.

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