Mother's Day at a distance
Written by Erica Salowe, Researcher
Edited by Laura Hamilton, Managing Partner
Good morning, In my most recent expedition to forage for fusilli at the supermarket, an aisle of pink and glittery cards reminded me that Mother’s Day is just around the corner. With Boris Johnson urging Britons to avoid non-essential contact, many may feel bereft of ideas on how to celebrate mothers in the midst of this pandemic. Well, you’re in luck; as someone who has spent the last two Mother’s Days an ocean apart from my mom, I have a fair amount of experience in showing how to care from a distance. Of course, the go-to option for celebrating Mother’s Day is purchasing one of those glittery, oversized cards and popping it in the post. Alternatively, you could curb the consumerism and draft a thoughtful, handwritten letter. Don’t worry about Royal Mail; along with hauling oodles of Amazon packages, the postal service has assured the public that letters will circulate as per usual. Thanks to the marvels of technology, it’s also easier than ever to coordinate a Mother’s Day lunch over Skype or FaceTime. If you happen to have most cooking essentials handy, save yourself a headache of navigating supermarket restrictions and see if you can brainstorm recipes based on ingredients already in the cupboard. Unfortunately, due to stockpiling, many food banks are struggling to supply those in need with basic necessities. Contributing to your local food bank in your mother’s name – whether it be volunteering, donating food, or pledging money online – would be an honourable and altruistic gift. And although it saddens me that the Dutch flower industry is wilting due to a lack of seasonal demand, there may be a more practical gift to give in lieu of tulips. Perhaps you could take inspiration from one Arkansas florist, and design your mom her very own toilet paper bouquet.
Boris Johnson has announced a closure of schools nationwide to curtail the spread of coronavirus. The shutdown will last until further notice, and Johnson said that grades will be determined through an alternative system. Children of key workers such as NHS staff, police and delivery drivers will attend “skeleton schools” to ensure the continuance of essential services. Up to 40 London Underground stations will be closed for the foreseeable future as part of increasing measures to control the spread of coronavirus. Transport for London announced the action yesterday evening and urged Londoners not to travel if possible. China, Singapore and South Korea are experiencing a second wave of coronavirus due to returning residents importing the disease. China reported 34 cases and Singapore announced 47 cases from those who have recently returned. It is unclear how many of South Korea’s 152 new cases are from importation.
Business and economy
After an emergency rate-setting committee meeting last night, the European Central Bank has announced a €750 billion package, entitled the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme, in response to financial turbulence caused by the covid-19 pandemic. The ECB also reported that all extra asset purchases would take place this year, and will cover corporate debt and sovereign bonds. Britain’s holiday rescue fund, the Atol scheme, faces difficulty coping with the impact of coronavirus after it was drained £500 million from the collapse of Thomas Cook last September. The fund now has limited resources to cover cancellation costs and bring home stranded Britons. (£) Tesla’s factory in northern California is still running operations despite a shelter-in-place order. The move has put Elon Musk at odds with local authorities, as the local sheriff’s office claimed that Tesla is not an essential business and should close operations aside from the minimum needed.
Columns of note
In The Guardian, Simon Hattenstone and Daniel Lavelle question how Britain’s homeless will fare as coronavirus sweeps the nation. The authors argue that Boris Johnson’s pledge of £3.2 million to protect rough sleepers seems insufficient, considering that sum would need to be divided by roughly 25,000 homeless and amount to £128 per head. Hattenstone and Lavelle argue that the government lacks a larger strategy for society’s most vulnerable to self-isolate, and recommend that emergency legislation be passed to allow homeless to take residence in hotels which are already near-empty. Graeme Wood of The Atlantic argues that Trump’s referral to covid-19 as “the Chinese virus” is meant to incite outrage and deflect from the government’s lack of action to prepare for the pandemic. The public mustn’t be distracted from the administration’s failure to adequately equip Americans with ventilators, tests, and protective equipment. Wood contends that, while Trump’s tweets are undoubtedly harmful, the most urgent matter is to hold his administration accountable for incompetence that could cost hundreds of thousands of American lives.
Source: Evening Standard
What happened yesterday?
With fear over coronavirus outpacing the UK government’s assurances, sterling slumped to its worst level in decades. The pound lost 4.18% against the dollar at $1.1551 and ended the session down 2.36% against the euro at €1.0702. Chief market analyst Neil Wilson attributed the massive loss to a “severe dollar liquidity crunch” which central banks could not control. An anticipated decline in energy demand led to US oil benchmark WTI’s third worst day on record, with crude dipping roughly 24% to $20 per barrel. Brent also fell 9% to $26 per barrel, its worst day in 17 years. The S&P 500 ended down 5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 11% in intraday trading, officially erasing all gains since Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s spiked 12.66% and Morrisons gained 10.51%, which may be attributed to both consumer stockpiling and Rishi Sunak’s assurance that retail businesses in England would receive a 100% business rates holiday for the next year. The FTSE 100 ended the day dropping 4.05% to 5,080.58, while the FTSE 250 lost 6.58% at 13,008.19.
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Spaghetto, confetto, and graffito are the singular forms of spaghetti, confetti, and graffiti.
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