Happy Friday the 13th. Recently, many shoppers have been panic buying large quantities of essential goods – in Japan, those without toilet paper have resorted to stealing rolls from the bathrooms of local businesses. Last week, store owner Mink Itachibe decided enough was enough and painted a sign that placed a curse on her remaining rolls of TP – since then, Mink has reported zero thefts.
“Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.”
– Ralph Charell
Good Vibes Only
In the face of seemingly constant, catastrophic coronavirus and stock market news, it can be hard to recognize all the good things occurring in the world – but that’s what the DONUT is here for. We hope you enjoy this brief respite from the current doom and gloom emanating from the news cycle.
So, what’s all this good news?
The American Cancer Society in 2020 reported its largest-ever one-year drop in cancer mortality rates (2.2%) – since 1991, the death rate from cancer has declined by 29%.
According to the WHO, global deaths due to tuberculosis (one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide) have fallen by 42% since 2000, saving an estimated 58 million lives.
A 2019 NASA study found that global tree cover actually increased by two million square miles over the past 20 years – a size comparable to the entire Amazon rainforest.
Terror attacks around the globe decreased by 33% from 2017 to 2018, falling to their lowest levels since 2011.
Globally, the number of deaths due to HIV/AIDS has been cut in half since 2004 – more recently, the second-ever person to be cured of HIV publicly revealed his identity.
Wasn’t that refreshing? Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least touch on the topic du jour – below are some of the more helpful links we’ve come across in our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
How to Stock Up for Coronavirus Without Getting Fleeced
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Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
There were about 6,000 more confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide since yesterday (>132,000 total), with ~350 more reported deaths (>4,950 total).
In the U.S., nearly 250 more cases were confirmed (>1,500 total), along with one more death (39 total).
All but five U.S. states (Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, West Virginia) have reported at least one confirmed case of the virus.
A top U.S. health official said human trials testing a potential vaccine could begin “within a few weeks,” though a publicly available vaccine is likely still 12 to 18 months away.
Manning Survives Suicide Attempt
According to her attorneys, Chelsea Manning – the former Army intelligence officer jailed for leaking classified documents to Julian Assange – is recovering in a hospital following an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Manning has been held in a Virginia jail for the past 12 months after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.
More: A federal judge on Thursday ordered that Manning be immediately released from prison.
In a partnered operation with Britain, the U.S. military launched retaliatory airstrikes targeting the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group on Thursday. The attack comes after two American soldiers – and one British soldier – were killed and 18 others were wounded in a barrage of rockets targeting an Iraqi military base on Wednesday.
Princess Cruises has suspended all operations for the next two months.
U.S. stock indexes fell ~10% on Thursday (triggering another circuit breaker shortly after open) as the Dow closed at its lowest point since May 26, 2017. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve unveiled a plan to offer $1.5 trillion in short-term loans and Treasury securities buy-backs over the next three months.
TikTok Is On The Clock
Two Republican senators introduced a bill that would expand restrictions on the use of Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to all government-issued devices. Several U.S. agencies, including the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, have already implemented a similar ban.
More: Bytedance Inc., the Chinese owner of TikTok, appointed two executives to oversee its Chinese business on Thursday, leaving founder & CEO Zhang Yiming available to focus on other markets.
Take A Little Pizza My Heart
Julie and Rich Morgan have always held Steve’s Pizza in Battle Creek, MI, as the gold standard of pizza, even though it’s been twenty-five years since the couple last lived in the area.
Julie and Rich had planned on making the trip up to Steve’s for Julie’s upcoming birthday, but an unexpected cancer diagnosis left Rich in hospice care in Indianapolis. When Steve’s Pizza’s manager, Dalton Shaffer, heard of Rich’s situation, the 18-year-old drove 225 miles through the night to deliver to the couple.
Hate Can Wait
Qasim Rashid, a Democratic candidate in Virginia’s first Congressional district, has always believed in compassion over hate. A practicing Muslim, Qasim was recently the target of “deeply hurtful anti-Muslim tweets” by a local resident.
Rather than fight fire with fire, Qasim researched the man, found out he was struggling with significant medical debt, then donated to the man’s GoFundMe campaign and encouraged his community voters to do so as well.
I Got the Sauce
For the first time ever, Chick-fil-A will begin selling their two signature sauces – Chick-fil-A and Polynesian – at various Florida grocery stores next month, with a special charitable twist.
The restaurant has pledged that 100% of the profits will go to the Chick-fil-A Remarkable Futures Scholarship Initiative, which provides scholarships for their employees to attend college.
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🦷 Okay, I’ll Bite… scientists at Kings College London have recently published promising findings that conclude a method for dentists to create self-repairing teeth may be in the near future.
☀️ Here Comes The Sun… an independent think-tank analysis has found that building new wind and solar power plants will be cheaper than running existing coal stations in every major market by 2030 at the latest.
🦕 Meet Microsaurus… archaeologists in Myanmar have discovered – encased in amber – the skull of the smallest prehistoric dinosaur ever found, a bird-like creature just 1.5 cm long.
🛒 Panic! At The Costco… learn the psychology behind why people panic-buy goods in the face of a crisis.
the DONUT’s Dibs
If you’re itching for some political debate…Project Divided is working to bridge the divide between Americans of different political views through productive discussion. Check out their most recent episode (powered by the DONUT), where four healthcare professionals sit down to talk about the system over dinner.
If you’re in need of a health boost… try Sunwarrior. They’re committed to making the best plant-based proteins and superfood supplements, sourcing only the finest organic ingredients across the globe. Their mission to nourish and transform the planet drives everything they do – use coupon code TrymFit at checkout for 20% off.*
Keeping It ‘G’
What was the first Pixar movie to receive higher than a ‘G’ rating in the U.S.?
A) Finding Nemo B) Toy Story C) The Incredibles D) Monsters Inc.