Do you find yourself tearing up over the sight of empty grocery shelves? Unable to watch talk show hosts broadcasting from home? Eating meals of zero nutrition? You’re not alone.

Today’s Coronavirus Briefing is 1,059 words and will take you five minutes to read.

Top news

  • Millions of U.S. residents left their homes this week, even though yesterday’s COVID-19 Senate hearing was essentially a two-hour-plus warning about reopening states too fast, too soon.
  • California State University, the nation’s largest four-year college system, plans to cancel most in-person classes this coming fall and offer instruction primarily online.
  • New York City can’t catch a break. Once the epicenter of the virus, the city is now plagued by an unidentified COVID-related illness affecting children. Up to 100 cases have been identified statewide, and five children have died.

The Takeaway:

This is the summer to rent a Vanagon and live out your Kerouac dreams.

Law and justice concept. Judge's gavel, scales, hourglass, vintage clock, books
Source: Getty

Legal advice and guidance

We have enough to worry about right here, right now, but the future looks rife with legal disputes.

  • COVID-19 is putting pressure on all areas of the supply chain. With no clear end in sight and cash flow coming to a standstill, many businesses are rereading their contracts to find loopholes for easing the strain. In Supply Management, Martin Noble, commercial partner at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, takes a look at best practices for negotiating coronavirus contract disputes.
  • In Monthly Prescribing Reference, Ann Latner takes an in-depth look at four types of lawsuits that could potentially rise as a result of retired physicians, medical school students and practitioners in other areas being called upon to help our overburdened healthcare system.
  • People Management delved into the details of the U.K.’s long-awaited industry-specific guidelines for employers looking to bring employees back into the workplace. This in-depth piece breaks down the stipulations that employers need to be aware of.

The Takeaway:

Flexibility, patience and negotiation are the themes here.

Legs of a young businesswoman on a bicycle
Source: Getty

Nice! + what? + yes! locomotive moves

Goodwill, willful and wonderful news.

  • Automotive after-part title CAT writes about how U.K. independent parts distributor TM Factors Hereford has been helping its local community by carrying out a number of goodwill gestures for individuals and local charities supporting vulnerable people. Most recently, the business donated vans and voluntary drivers to deliver prescriptions and organized a collaborative effort to help a frontline nurse at Hereford City hospital whose car had broken down.
  • Autocar Professional in India explains how Elon Musk sued authorities in California in a dispute over plans to reopen his Tesla Fremont factory, which has been closed since mid-March when officials issued a stay-at-home order. Musk took to Twitter to air his grievances saying, “Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
  • Miles of new bike lanes are being created across Europe, the U.K. and in Seattle, Washington, in an attempt to provide commuters with alternatives to buses and trains that don’t allow for social distancing.

The Takeaway:

Two wheels all the way.

Flowers in plant nursery
Source: Getty

Growing well

Garden centers across the U.K. are opening today with minimal stock and staff.

  • A new app called Picker is helping farmers, growers and their labor force as lockdown restrictions prepare to change. Horticulture Week explains that Picker allows farms and growers to state the time period for which they are seeking workers, and allows applicants the ability to choose locations and the length of time they can work. This direct recruitment approach is designed to remove the need for third parties and speed up the application process.
  • Among the challenges for reopening garden centers is ensuring staff are psychologically prepared. “Wednesday opening should be good for securing jobs and gives us a couple of days to get ready,” Mike Burks, president of the U.K.’s Garden Centre Association, told Horticulture Week. “Physically, this has been hard work but the tougher challenge is making sure that we and our teams are mentally ready.”
  • A group of old high-school friends who had gone their separate way years ago, moved back to their Washington state hometown together to buy a 30-acre tulip farm. As their first crucial spring season approached this year, so did the global pandemic. This redemption story is a clarion call to friendship and innovation.

The Takeaway:

It’s a good time to connect with old friends.


Art of the pandemic

Despite the full stop on production, creatives are getting creative with campaigns.

  • TikTok’s first ad, “A Little Brighter,” is profiled by Campaign UK. It brings to light the unifying power of the app for keeping the nation amused during lockdown, with everything from dance routines to pranks to glow-ups (transforming one’s appearance) to challenges.
  • Campaign UK also features Spotify’s “Listening Together” campaign, with musicians such as Selena Gomez and Dolly Parton sharing the playlists and podcasts keeping them sane during lockdown.
  • Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (Oct. 4 –10), Campaign UK describes how the charity Football Beyond Borders is launching an initiative that pairs young people with professional football players and mental health practitioners over a digital game of FIFA.
  • In March, the U.N. put out a call to all artists to produce “concise and impactful visuals to help share life-saving information on COVID-19.” Since then, it has received nearly 17,000 designs from artists in 143 countries, ranging from photography to animation, graphic design to hand-drawn posters. Here are some of them.

The Takeaway:

It’s been said that great art comes from great suffering. But more compelling is the director David Lynch’s belief (paraphrased here), that you can make art when you’re depressed, sure, but imagine how much more you could make if you felt happy?


For those of you out there desperately missing the communal, sweat-soaked, festival-phantasma of live rock shows, this excellent piece about our lust for linking arms with strangers and singing at the top of our lungs from Dave Grohl is today’s swan song. Live banger clips accompany:

See you tomorrow.