Anyone who tries to tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic, and its associated social, political, and economic panics, are good things is  an idiot, or trying to sell you some kind of snake oil, or both. Society-wide disasters are always net negatives, or we wouldn't think of them as disasters in the first place. Silver linings are never as shiny as the clouds they run through are large. That doesn't mean silver linings don't exist, though. They do, and some of them are significant.

DAVENPORT, IOWA (April 6, 2020) — Scott County Health Department (SCHD) has been notified of the first COVID-19 death of a Scott County resident, an elderly adult (>81 years old).

Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor of The River Church in Tampa, Florida, strongly believes that God wants his church to continue holding live services for hundreds of parishioners, even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister and state attorney Andrew Warren strongly believe that they're entitled to threaten Howard-Browne with arrest for holding those services, then follow through on that threat.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”—Viktor Frankl

"[A]s the top US watermelon-producing state prepares for harvest," Reuters reports, "many of the workers needed to collect the crop are stuck in Mexico .... Without the workers, crops could rot in fields throughout the country,” starting in Florida and California where major harvests begin in April and May.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released, on March 30, its analysis of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget using its own assumptions to evaluate the budget’s policies.

Around the US, "essential” workers are going to work every day and doing their jobs, COVID-19 pandemic or not. Factory workers are producing things. Truck and delivery drivers are transporting those things. Grocery store employees and food service workers are making sure food reaches our tables. Congress, not so much.

On March 23, 14 US Senators from both major political parties asked US Attorney General William Barr and Michael Carvajal, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, to "transfer non-violent offenders who are at high risk for suffering complications from COVID-19 to home confinement." It's a smart idea, and one local jails and state prisons around the country are already implementing. But it raises an important question and also points to an important opportunity.

DAVENPORT, IOWA (March 25, 2020) — Davenport Public Library’s annual Shred Day has been rescheduled to Thursday, September 10, 1–4PM, at Eastern (6000 Eastern Ave).