Happy Friday, y’all! Hope you are all surviving the isolation OK; we are two weeks into this and I swear it feels like it’s been two months.
But even as my state, New York, sees its number of cases equal about HALF of the total in the rest of America combined, I’m trying to stay positive and optimistic. My wife and I had an awesome time Thursday night making a March Madness style bracket to determine which one of our relatives we’d most like to be isolated with during a pandemic.
We seeded everyone and had them face off in matchups like the NCAA Tournament would, and argued over who got placed where (“Oh come on, no way your aunt is seeded that low, she’s amazing!”) and had a blast figuring out who would beat who.
Highly recommend doing this with your family.
Lots of good news to share this week, but I want to start up in the great state of Maine (well, I’ve never been there, but everyone seems to say it’s great so sure, I’ll call it great).
According to this story on Upworthy.com, Nathan Nichols, a landlord in Maine, announced on Facebook that he would not be collecting rent from his tenants in April due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. He says they are service and hourly workers who may not be able to make much money in the coming months.
“COVID19 is going to cause serious financial hardship for service and hourly workers around the country,” Nichols wrote.
“I own a two unit in South Portland and all of my tenants are in this category. Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April,” he continued.
Nichols made his decision public to inspire other landlords to “consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well.”
Once Nichols’ post started to circulate widely, he followed up a few days later by showing a post from another landlord who said she, too wouldn’t be collecting rent for April.
Hourly workers are getting pummeled in this pandemic, whether they’re a domestic worker, a restaurant or bar employee, or any other kind of service-industry person, it’s brutal out there for the millions who make our lives better and easier.
Great to see a few landlords stepping up.
**Next up today, I think I’ve featured this guy’s videos before but this new one is truly incredible. From the brilliant mind of Joseph’s Machines, I give you this amazing Rube Goldberg-live video, showing a meal done to perfection.
I cannot even imagine how long it took this guy to get this exactly right. Thousands of hours, I think.
**Finally today, baseball season would’ve started this week, which made millions sad because the national pastime is on hold like the rest of life.
So Bill Plaschke, an outstanding sports columnist for the L.A. Times, called one man guaranteed to cheer him up: Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.
Scully, who is now 92, just retired a few years ago from his Hall of Fame career, and happily gave Plaschke lots of positive thoughts to keep in mind.
Here’s just a short excerpt, but the whole column is heartwarming reading. God bless Vin Scully, a national treasure.
From depths of depression we fought our way through World War II, and if we can do that, we can certainly fight through this. I remember how happy and relieved and thrilled everybody was … when they signed the treaty with Japan, and the country just danced from one way or another. It’s the life of the world, the ups and downs, this is a down, we’re going to have to realistically accept it at what it is and we’ll get out of it, that’s all there is to it, we will definitely get out of it.”
“A lot of people will look at it, it might bring them closer to their faith, they might pray a little harder, a little longer, there might be other good things to come out of it,” he says. “And certainly, I think people are especially jumping at the opportunity to help each other, I believe that’s true, so that’s kind of heartwarming, with all of it, it brings out some goodness in people, and that’s terrific, that’s terrific.”