After COVID-19, we must invest in—not isolate—our most vulnerable communities


Quarantine is not a new strategy in America. As our colleague Andre M. Perry, Princeton sociologist Patrick Sharkey, and several others have pointed out, our nation’s go-to approach for “solving” social problems has long been spatial segregation and boundary drawing, from redlining, to racist urban planning, to concentrating health hazards in poor neighborhoods.

A more granular examination of our policies of separation reveals that they have also been used to keep the most vulnerable populations within communities in crisis. The ways in which we’ve quarantined these groups in ordinary times—from those without a permanent home to those in the criminal justice system—provide the most potent illustration. Now, as these systems, including our jails, prisons, and homeless shelters, crack under new pressure from COVID-19, they present the most obvious indication that further isolation will not see us through long-term recovery.

As COVID-19 starkly exposes the frailties of our health, welfare, and justice systems, there is an opportunity—and imperative—to restructure them after the pandemic subsides.

Source: After COVID-19, we must invest in—not isolate—our most vulnerable communities

Stretching the international order to its breaking point


At this stage in the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty prevails.

The greatest error that geopolitical analysts can make may be believing that the crisis will be over in three to four months, as the world’s leaders have been implying. As documented in The Atlantic and elsewhere, public-health experts make a compelling case that COVID-19 could be with us in one way or another until a vaccine comes on the market or herd immunity is achieved — either of which could take 12 to 18 months, unless we get lucky with a cure or an effective treatment before then.

A long crisis, which is more likely than not, could stretch the international order to its breaking point.

Even after a vaccine is available, life will not go back to normal. COVID-19 was not a black swan and will not be the last pandemic. A nervous world will be permanently changed.

COVID-19 is the fourth major geopolitical shock in as many decades. In each of the previous three, analysts and leaders grossly underestimated the long-term impact on their society and on world politics.

Source: Stretching the international order to its breaking point

Indian leaders hesitate to end world’s biggest lockdown | Reuters


India has so far escaped a big surge in cases after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked its 1.3 billion people to stay indoors in the world’s biggest lockdown last month that authorities have enforced tightly.

But shuttering down the $2.9 trillion economy has left millions of people without work and forced those who live on daily wages to flee to their homes in the countryside for food and shelter.

Source: Indian leaders hesitate to end world’s biggest lockdown – Reuters

Fighting Over Limited Medical Supplies Is No Way to Respond to COVID-19


It doesn’t have to be this way.

Early in the last global crisis, the Great Recession, the heads of state of the countries in the G-20, which had previously been a smaller summit of mostly finance ministers, met for the first time as a group to develop a cooperative response to stimulate the global economy, including pledging to avoid protectionist measures.

This time around, the leaders of the G-20 had to meet virtually, given the restrictions in place to try to contain COVID-19, but they notably declined to condemn export restrictions, saying only that measures should be “targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary.”

Given the utter lack of leadership in the current crisis, it is not surprising that barriers to medical exports, and even some staple grains, are growing, complicating an effective pandemic response and putting countries that rely on imports in danger, particularly developing countries with weak health care systems.

Source: Fighting Over Limited Medical Supplies Is No Way to Respond to COVID-19

11 ways marketing can prepare hotels for life after COVID-19 | Hotel Management


Only a couple of weeks ago, we never could have imagined the world would come to a complete stop. Who would have thought that we all would be practicing social distancing or that a large percentage of the population would be under “stay-at-home” orders?

Well, that is the world we are living in.

But are there steps that hoteliers can take now to best prepare for business after the coronavirus crisis? Yes.

Source: 11 ways marketing can prepare hotels for life after COVID-19 | Hotel Management

How to Shut Down a Restaurant the Right Way | Nightclub & Bar Digital


Closing isn’t as simple as turning off the lights and locking the doors. There are calls to make, partners to contact, utilities and services to address, and employees to keep informed and safe.

Because this is a difficult decision to make, many owners will understandably feel overwhelmed by the ramifications, emotions and sheer number of tasks related to this choice. To help give owners, operators and managers a clear path to shutting down properly, I spoke with Chef Brian Duffy about what to do once the decision to close the doors has been made.

Source: How to Shut Down a Restaurant the Right Way | Nightclub & Bar Digital

Agriculture and biodiversity: A make or break for European Green Deal | EURACTIV.com


A recent impact report published by the European Commission lays bare the terrible mismatch between the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the bloc’s biodiversity objectives, writes Jabier Ruiz.

Under extraordinary circumstances that are unprecedented in modern times, the EU policy world still maintains some activity during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

On Friday (27 March), the European Commission finally released its report about the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on biodiversity. It’s a thorough analysis to keep one’s mind busy in times of confinement, and yet another piece of evidence about the poor performance of the EU’s farming policy on nature protection.

Source: Agriculture and biodiversity: A make or break for European Green Deal – EURACTIV.com

India racked by greatest exodus since partition due to coronavirus | The Guardian


It followed the announcement last Tuesday night by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, that for the next 21 days the entire country of 1.3 billion people would be under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Shops, factories and restaurants would all be shut and people would be confined to their homes for all but essential activities.

While it was met with approval by experts and health professionals, the lockdown has already proved catastrophic for India’s millions of migrant and daily wage workers, who earn their salary hundreds or sometimes thousands of miles away from home and live a hand-to-mouth existence.

With no way to earn money and feed their families for at least three weeks, millions decided last week to head back to their villages in order to survive.

Source: India racked by greatest exodus since partition due to coronavirus | World news | The Guardian

Grocery workers are keeping Americans alive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what they need.


As worried Americans pack supermarket aisles in anticipation of quarantines and shelter-in-place orders, grocery workers like Courtney Meadows are working at a frantic pace to keep Americans fed and alive, and risking their own health in the process.

Over the last week, I traveled to supermarkets across the Washington, D.C. region and interviewed workers from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the District to hear—in their words—how COVID-19 is impacting them.

These crowded stores I visited had few visible safeguards or protections for workers.

Source: Grocery workers are keeping Americans alive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what they need.

The sordid history of the humble fork


And with that, Saint Peter Damian closed the book on the fork in Europe for the next 400 years.

For the next few centuries, the only utensils most Europeans used were spoons to eat their soupy stews or knives for stabbing meat dishes. Many people, even aristocrats, preferred to eat with their hands. This was actually a rather civilized practice, and handwashing was a ritualized part of the meal.

In medieval France, for example, the nobility were called to dinner by a trumpet blast called corner l’eau, which sounded the horn for water, and pages would pour scented water over the hands of each diner and provide napkins for drying before they dug into their meal.

Source: The sordid history of the humble fork