Jesus H.! I woke up today telling my partner that I felt like the earthquake happened five months ago. Maybe it’s the fact that a new alarming headline seemingly pops up every minute. Maybe it's the Benadryl. In any case, wanting to take stock of it all, I compiled a streamlined (read: noncomprehensive) time capsule of the Week of Our Lord, March 16-21.
Disclaimer: While parts of it are completely informative, other chunks take the piss out of the frenzy. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, including preventative measures, refer to the Centers for Disease Control. For Utah-specific resources, click here.
Testing stats: 700-plus COVID-19 tests administered at statewide public healthcare facilities, resulting in a running total of 39 confirmed cases (29 in Utah residents; 10 in out-of-state visitors).
Local news: Accompanied by Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, local business leaders talk COVID-19 impacts. “Think about supporting local food businesses,” Caputo's Market & Deli’s Matt Caputo pleads. “Amazon is doing very, very well … national grocery store chains? Swamped.”
Vapid national headline: Kim Kardashian spots a live lobster taking a leisurely stroll down the streets of Calabasas. The end is nigh.
Testing stats: 900-plus COVID-19 tests administered, 51 confirmed cases (41 in-state, 10 visitors).
Local news: Gov. Herbert issues a restrictive order on bars and restaurants, suspending dine-in operations for two weeks. (For a work-in-progress list of local restaurants offering take-out and curbside pickup, click here.) “I know this will disrupt lives and cost jobs, and for that I’m very sorry,” Herbert says.
Vapid (inter)national headline: The world holds its breath as the cast of Big Brother Germany, sequestered since Feb. 10, learns about the virus. Personally, I would have rather heard this kid’s reaction.
Testing stats: 1,222 COVID-19 tests administered, 63 confirmed cases (53 in-state, 10 visitors) and zero fatalities.
Local news: Oh, you know, JUST A 5.7 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE HITS UTAH. “I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake, but here we are,” Mayor Mendenhall says. | PBS Utah hosts a COVID-19 virtual town hall, where state epidemiologist Angela Dunn says “testing has been a very important part of this response, but also very frustrating. We know there’s people out there that want to get tested and can’t.” | Capping off a banner day, Gov. Herbert channels his inner See ’n Say in a televised address and notes “cows will still provide milk; chickens are still laying eggs … so please shop normally at grocery stores.”
Vapid national headline: Israeli actress Gal Gadot leads a celebrity-filled rendition of John Lennon's “Imagine” on Instagram. Everyone’s reaction. Still, based on the fact that Lynda Carter is in it, I’ll give it a toot. Several days later, I still have zero clue who this lady is:
Testing stats: 1,526 COVID-19 tests administered, 79 confirmed cases and zero fatalities.
Local news: And lo, the bottle of vodka was not exhausted. Ogden's Own Distillery, makers of Five Wives Vodka, as well as Sugar House Distillery and Park City’s Alpine Distilling, start churning hand sanitizer 24 hours after the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau—which regulates the production of domestic spirits, beer and wine—relaxed its permitting requirements for consumer-grade alcohol.
Testing stats: 2,147 tests administered, 112 confirmed cases and zero fatalities.
Local news: Hill AFB confirms its first on-base case of COVID-19. | Having shared his diagnosis a couple of days prior on Twitter, 4th Congressional District Rep. Ben McAdams is interviewed on CNN. "I am at home, feeling about as sick as I've ever been,” he tells Wolf Blitzer.
Vapid national headline: Bravo’s Andy Cohen tests positive for COVID 19(!) In the immortal words of the Countess Luann, apparently money can’t buy you immunity. 😢
Testing stats: 2,560 tests administered, 136 confirmed cases and zero fatalities. You can find future daily updates here.
Local news: The Utah Dept. of Health amends its order restricting gatherings of 10 or more, and removes the potential criminal penalty for congregating. Read the reworded order here.
Vapid national headline: Cardi B.’s Coronavirus rant remix is projected to make its Billboard chart debut on Monday. Take me now, Sweet Jesus.
That still leaves the Lord’s Day open to shenanigans. But worry not! Heading into the weekend, the guv issued an official proclamation designating it a Weekend of Prayer and Service, so it’s all gonna be hunky-dory. Your move, week of March 23-29!