Newspaper sell, and television news collects viewers, by reporting bad news. It’s always been this way, and the coronavirus has only amplified that. But in this case, the media are either playing “Gotcha!” or speculating about the future (as if anyone has a crystal ball), and doing their best to inform, educate, and generally incite panic. It’s difficult for any politician, at any level, to resist the pressure of screaming reporters. John Horvat at The Imaginative Conservative suggests that, when panic becomes policy, wisdom must step in.
A side note: while newspapers are gaining new subscribers by the fistfuls, newspaper advertising has collapsed. Many weeklies that depend upon restaurant and entertainment advertising have suspended publication or closed down altogether, and many dailies are furloughing staff.
Whether it’s Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, or the United States, new phrases, and old phrases with new meanings, have entered our vocabularies. Lockdown. Shelter-at-home. Social distancing. Self-isolation. Self-quarantine. Eleanor Parker at A Clerk of Oxford has given these words and phrases a collective title, and writes about at The Long Lent and the History of Quarantine. And Malcolm Guite discovered that a poem of his from three years ago has become a lockdown poem.
And lest you think everything these days is about the coronavirus, Vanessa Smiley at Emerging Revolutionary War Era takes a look at beer drinking in the 18th century. Colonial Americans believed beer was healthier than water; that it was a good supplement for the entire family’s food; and it was an acceptable way to promote social discourse (as opposed to social distancing).
More Good Reads
A Very Different London – A London Inheritance.
Writing and Literature
To Truly Live: Barricade and Blessing in Les Misérables – Annie Nardone at Literary Life.
Old Rowan Oak: William Faulkner’s Conservatism – Carl Rollyson at The Imaginative Conservative.
Whisper of Thunder – T.M. Moore at Society of Classical Poets.
In Transit: Part 1 (A Collaboration) Part II and Part III. – Kelley Belmonte and Tom Darin Liskey at All Nine.
A Sonnet for Palm Sunday – Malcolm Guite via Kingdom Poets.
Day 17 – Sonja Benskin Mesher (Hat Tip: Paul Brookes).
Four Poems – Marly Youmans at A New Decameron.
“A Power for Good” – The St. Louis Ladies’ Union Aid Society – Kristen Pawlak at Emerging Civil War.
Spring Fever – Glen Sharp at Front Porch Republic.
Life and Culture
Starbursts and Some Change – Sam Van Eman.
All Your Silver: To My Grandmother – Hannah Hubin at The Rabbit Room.
Until we meet again – Alun Ebenezer at Evangelical Magazine.
The Severe Mercy of a Stay-at-Home Order – Jared Wilson at The Gospel Coalition.
A breath of fresh paint: A revival in figurative art and the changing face of portraiture - Cindy Polemis at Standpoint Magazine.
Does Art Matter in a Pandemic? – Samuel D. James at Letter & Liturgy.
Is He Worthy? – Andrew Peterson
Painting: The News in the Artist’s Studio, oil on canvas by Luigi Bechi (1830-1919).