Unlike some parts of the US, in Texas, face masks have been mandatory since early July. When a bus driver in Lubbock asked a passenger to put on a face mask, the passenger smashed up the bus and attacked the driver. This was not an isolated incident. Across the US, face mask rules have caused arguments and violence. In Palm Beach, Florida a shopper in a store pulled a gun on another customer after being called out for not wearing a mask.
Mohan Paswan made a living as a tuk-tuk driver in New Delhi. Every week he sent money back home to support his family. In January, he was hurt in a traffic accident. He needed someone to take care of him. His 15-year-old daughter jumped on a train to save the day. Jyoti Kumari did her best to nurse her father back to health. Then the Covid-19 pandemic spread to India. Her father’s health was improving, but he could not work because of the lockdown. They were out of the frying pan and into the fire. Running out of money, they couldn’t pay for rent or food. They had to find a way to get home.
In 1606, the bubonic plague returned to London. Two years earlier, it had killed 30,000 of its inhabitants. The plague hit like a hammer that winter. This time the city took no chances. It shut down on a massive scale. All the theaters closed. This was a bitter blow for playwrights and actors. Out of work and under house arrest, they had little to do but twiddle their thumbs and play the waiting game.
While all phobias are irrational fears, some are stranger than fiction. Most of us are afraid of dying, but people with Apeirophobia are cut from a different cloth. They are afraid of living forever. When Bobby Azarian was four years old, his grandfather died from cancer. Bobby was told the old man had gone to a happy place where he would enjoy eternal life with his loved ones.
After 13 years of playing hard to get, two giant pandas in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park Zoo have finally mated. Zookeepers were over the moon. Pandas have a mating season of just 24 to 72 hours per year. Normally the zoo is flooded with throngs of daily visitors. But since the zoo has been closed because of the coronavirus, these two pandas finally got the privacy they needed.
As of early April 2020, over one-third of the world is facing some type of lockdown because of Coronavirus. People in different countries are facing various levels of quarantine and social restriction. But what we are all experiencing is a steady stream of bad news. We are drowning in stories of sickness and death. But there are also rays of hope and human kindness penetrating the separation and isolation.