What are we going to do about evictions? The economy is on its way to being in shambles, and people are going to have trouble paying their rent. Already, people are showing up less and less to their eviction hearings, according to the Seattle Times and the attorney they talked to who helps low-income people fight evictions. Many could be staying home for health concerns. Council Member Kshama Sawant is calling for an eviction moratorium. Landlords in the area are considering at least a 30-day halt on evictions, but Sawant and groups like Working Washington want more.
Congress will do something about this chaos: Elected officials are going to try to do something to alleviate the economic maelstrom the country is facing due to COVID-19. Congress is closing in on a deal that would "include enhanced unemployment benefits, free virus testing, aid for food assistance programs, funds for Medicaid, 14 days of paid sick leave," and more, the New York Times reports.
Everything is closed: Yesterday, my brother—who is very melodramatic and loves sports—was saying that everything fun was canceled. He may not put these closures into that same category, but for me, and for many others, they hit hard: Libraries and community centers are closing in Seattle. From Friday until at least April 13, all Seattle Public Library locations are closed and all Parks and Recreation rentals, recreation centers, and activities are canceled.
The Space Needle: Is officially closed. Until at least March 31.
If you're feeling really fucking tired and sad: That's normal, experts say. It turns out pandemics are not easy on the ol' mental health. Try to be kind to yourself somehow.
A tough week for oil: Oil prices are having their worst week since 2008. They haven't plummeted this low since then. That's... not a great sign. A grim portent, if you will.
New York is limiting gatherings: To 500 people. But restaurants have been ordered to cut their occupancy by half. How do you even do that?
In case you need a visual: Here's what we're dealing with:
This time-lapse shows the evolution of the coronavirus' global spread. More than half of the roughly 128,000 people who've caught the virus worldwide have recovered. https://t.co/ju9xkPBwPn pic.twitter.com/4pwgX3OrgG
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 13, 2020
An update from the teens: They're reportedly calling coronavirus "Boomer Remover." Can't wait to see how angry you are about this in the comments.
Russian Athletics Federation fined: They were fined $10 million for violating anti-doping rules on several occasions. This is an unprecedented fine. World Athletics will only allow 10 Russian athletes to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this summer as neutral athletes. If the Olympics still happen, of course.
Charity from China: China's richest man is donating 500,000 testing kits and one million masks to the United States.
Oops, maybe now's not the right time: Deadspin, the sports website that criticized its writers when they didn't stick to sports, will start publishing again. Unfortunately for Deadspin, there are literally no sports happening.
FYI, Seattle parents: All schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties are closed for six weeks.
The Paid Sick & Safe Time Ordinance allows Seattle employees to take their accrued paid leave when a workplace, or child's school/place of care, has been closed by order of a public official for health reasons. Follow @KCPubHealth, @WADeptHealth, & @CDCgov for COVID-19 updates.
— Seattle Office of Labor Standards (@OLS_SEA) March 13, 2020
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau's wife has COVID-19: Sophie Grégoire Trudeau has the virus. Some suspect she may have contracted it on a recent trip to London. The other Trudeau, the one in charge of Canada, seems to be fine but will be working from home for 14 days. Us too, Justin.
US Soccer Federation president resigns: Carlos Cordeiro abruptly resigned on Thursday night. His resignation comes after a legal filing showing the US Soccer Federation's defense against not paying the US Women's National Team the same as the men's team pretty much boiled down to "women are less skilled than men so we don't have to pay them as much." Cordeiro took credit for the filing.
These were Megan Rapinoe's thoughts on the matter:
Speaking of Rapinoe: Watch her rip this free kick.
Ted Cruz is extending his self-quarantine: The senator reportedly came into contact with another person with coronavirus. Cruz was already self-quarantined after attending an event last month where someone present had the virus. Unfortunately, it seems Cruz is either really bad at quarantining or the universe wants him dead. The latest run-in with COVID-19 Cruz had was during a March 3 meeting with a Spanish leader who has tested positive for the virus. Cruz will remain in self-quarantine until at least March 17.
A fun (sad?) fact for your Friday: There's a whale in the Pacific Ocean whose song is at a different frequency than all the other whales. The other whales keep their distance. This is the loneliest whale in the world.