Sunday, April 26th, 2020
The Hubble Space Telescope has been in orbit for 30 years.
The price of gas across the US last week averaged $1.93. Adjusted for inflation, that is about 35¢ per gallon cheaper than the $1.15 pump price when the telescope launched in 1990.
As usual, except for certain disasters and shootings, the news primarily tells us what is coming, not what has occurred. This is a significant change from my youth, when people turned on the news to learn what had happened in select parts of the world. These days, much of what is reported is what will happen tomorrow—even jobs reports. The news includes what the reports are expected to say; then, the next day, they talk about them again. It fills the time, though I am not sure how informative it is.
Today’s news is that the US is close to having one million Covid cases. What’s the point of telling us this?
So we can prepare?
With 24/7 news having been the norm for more than twenty five years, it is hard to imagine that “the news” used to be a half-hour long show, and that seemed to be enough.
International news has been thin recently. There are no statistics about India with its 1.3 billion people. Reports from China say that the last Covid-19 patient was released from the hospital in Wuhan. That seems hard to believe. Will the last Covid patient leave a New York City hospital in a few months?
Africa, the second largest continent, has fewer total Covid deaths than during any two days in New York City last week. Between all 54 African countries thirty thousand cases of Covid have been reported and about 1,400 deaths.
In New York, Covid testing of doctors and nurses will begin soon. Mass transit workers will be next.
The president is sulking after his suggestions about injecting disinfectants were mocked. Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s Coronavirus coordinator, was visible on camera in the White House briefing room yesterday. This was when President Trump floated the idea of light treatments to combat Covid. She looked dejected, hardly supportive of her boss’s newest idea.