Jul 24: At least 18 people in the past week have been arrested as federal agents continue to crack down on protests in Portland, Oregon. The CDC says as many as a third of coronavirus patients who were never hospitalized do not recover within three weeks of their diagnosis and instead experience ongoing symptoms like fatigue or a cough.
Jul 25: More than 1,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 each day since last Tuesday. Protesters return to the streets in several American cities Saturday in solidarity with demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice in Portland, Oregon.
The battle over Portland is in its fifty-fourth day. It is currently being fought with leaf blowers.
It is the absurd made real, the objects of everyday made exceptional. It is a manifestation of creative protest and a harnessing of the alternative spaces and tools that the great leviathan state has overlooked. All of these protests are participating in a long historical tradition. The Wall of Moms harkens to the women’s movements that have historically mobilized femininity as a weapon against the status quo. It conjures images of angry women wielding rolling pins as they marched to Versailles and dethroned Louis XIV in October of 1789. In the 1960s, Women’s Strike for Peace used to their sacred roles as mothers to justify their protests against continued nuclear testing. Today, they do the same, declaring that they are compelled as mothers to defend their children from the rubber bullets and tear gas. Today, instead of rolling pins, they carry leaf blowers. Even more profoundly, these protests are reminder that the quotidian can also be heroic. As the Chinese literary scholar, Xiobong Tang, has argued, in the living of our every day lives, we can attain a kind of “revelatory desolation,” a quiet triumph brought on by everyday kindness and empathy beneath the relentless march of our rapacious world.
I ran an informal poll on social media asking people what they miss the most. 350 people replied. Here are their answers in order of frequency:
Ann Powers, a music critic for NPR, wrote to me that she misses the ability to feel good around people who likely have very different political views that music concerts enable: “especially at country music shows, I could get into a zone where I felt connected to people in a crowd who might be visibly displaying social and political stances I don’t espouse, because we’d all be united singing along to some song.” Unfortunately, she says, she can’t imagine that anymore.
Are we really in a place now where even music cannot tear down our boundaries? She is right. I have had to break off contact with some of my oldest friends because their complacent racism cannot be dismissed with a laugh and shrug. It never could. I have to be honest, I have come to a place where I do not think I can budge on this question. I know that my implacability does not foster dialogue, but it is time now for the other side to come to us.
By the way, the thing I miss the most are the movies. My children could care less; everything is streamable at home, after all. But there is something magical about the dark, cool theatre and the grand cinema, larger than life, that cannot be replicated on my couch. I pray that the theatres will come back.
I also just miss not being here. My husband told me this morning that he can see my “pilgrim soul starting to clang against the bars.” You know things have gotten weird when going to your office at work feels like liberating, risky behavior. I used to travel in the Middle East alone and brave men with machine guns to get into archives. Now I feel rebellious when I pick up takeout from the Egyptian café downtown.
And I am one of the lucky ones. Another 1.3 million people applied for new jobless benefits last week. I bet we could guess what they miss if we asked them. 19.3 million people are now received unemployment benefits, all while we hit a new weekly high of 60,000 in COVID cases.
 Xiaobing Tang, Chinese Modern: The Heroic and the Quotidian (Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books, 2000), 5.
Ford Fischer, “Heavily Armed, All-Black NFAC militia marches in Louisville, KY,” News2Share (July 25, 2020), https://youtu.be/XPM-K1hoTGc
Ford Fischer, “Heavily Armed, All-Black NFAC militia marches in Louisville, KY,” News2Share (July 25, 2020), https://youtu.be/uXBQHD0iib4
*If the pdf thumbnails are not appearing, please reload the page.
Third world military state. This looks like Guatamala in the 80’s when their government would disappear dissenters.— We Dem Winners (@Noonan54875953) June 25, 2020
And to recap, what John Ioannidis wrote about bias in scientific research himself: pic.twitter.com/uxEUZmChWy— Health Nerd (@GidMK) July 24, 2020
3 Stanford Profs implicated: Ioannidis, Bhattacharya, Michael Levitt.— Mallory Harris (@malar0ne) July 24, 2020
Comment from Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School prof who studies the role of science in politics:
Decision to push an untested theory to influence federal policy, went “against the ethos of science.”
Here’s the new LEGO set for Trumps America. pic.twitter.com/ihj9K3snpd— Dishwasher Opossum (@MattyHeffner) July 24, 2020
Fact Check: Despite White House claims, PAW Patrol and police LEGO have not been canceled https://t.co/boIkthSsVK— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 24, 2020
Whoa. This is Louisville right now.— Jesse Damiani (@JesseDamiani) July 25, 2020
Look at the size of the NFAC (an all-Black militia) marching for Breonna Taylor.
This government does not have a speech writer good enough to put some kind words together for the people to hear, to calm the division and try to bring people together. Every time shit gets hot, they go… “hey! Look over there, a UFO”. pic.twitter.com/WkcRrDZy5c— last (@lastliphe) July 24, 2020
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but, using UFOs as a distraction expired in 2016. Sharks could walk out of the ocean and start eating people on the beach at this point and nobody would flinch.— Michelle GET VACCINATED! (@SoSofieFatale) July 24, 2020
Sinclair Broadcasting says it's delaying this weekend's segment with the discredited researcher behind "Plandemic".— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) July 25, 2020
However, they still plan to air the segment — which focuses on a conspiracy theory about Dr. Fauci creating coronavirus — next weekend.https://t.co/hf97ipU0Zr
* Timeline summaries at the top of the page come from a variety of sources:, including The American Journal of Managed Care COVID-19 Timeline (https://www.ajmc.com/view/a-timeline-of-covid19-developments-in-2020), the Just Security Group at the NYU School of Law (https://www.justsecurity.org/69650/timeline-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-u-s-response/), the “10 Things,” daily entries from The Week (theweek.com), as well as a variety of newspapers and television programs.