A Horrific Week: But We Can Do This!

Coronavirus dominated our news, our minds & our future. Retake offered varied perspectives from Buddhists to scientists with charts, maps, videos & advice on how to practice social distancing. Now: Time to Shelter in Place.

Today, we republish the posts from last week, each of which had a very different perspective on COVID-19, our state and national leadership and how all of us need to support each other. Links to each are offered below. This is an excellent post to share with friends as many are holed up at home with time to read and the last week’s posts offer sanguine insights into how to cope with today and tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will begin exploring what we need to learn from the pandemic and what new kinds of systems we need to seek for a saner, more just future. We will continue to offer coverage of COVID-19, but feel it is important to buoy our spirits, as what is coming is going to be very tough to digest. It will help to have one eye on the horizon.

Subscribe? Those of you who are getting this post via a Facebook share or by having had a friend forward it to you, check out the posts below and consider subscribing. We publish 4 days a week and we like to think Retake offers a unique perspective on social, economic and climate issues. Click here to subscribe and try it for a week or two.

Question I: We have been using Zoom to connect with family, friends, and others. Would it be good to have Retake host a Zoom in a week or so? Perhaps show a share a brief video focusing on political and economic transformation and then have an open, largely unmediated discussion? Please comment and suggest other topics or zoom options.

Question II: How is the blog doing? What else could we be covering? Are you over-saturated on COVID-19 or get enough elsewhere? Or has what we’ve published been timely and useful? Let us know.

Action: Earth Care / YUCCA Mutual Aid Network. This effort is being coordinated by Raashan Ahmad/Beth Gutelius and organizers with Earth Care YUCCA/Red Nation/Santa Fe DSA/Fathers NM. EC YUCCA has shifted its climate organizing campaign to focus on mutual aid and is helping to staff this effort. Here’s the idea: pair those in need in Santa Fe with those able to help by filling out this form. Tell YUCCA if you need help, the kind of help you need or tell them what you can do to help meet the needs of others. They’ll do our best to match offers with requests.

Action: We are facing what could be a rather extended lockdown. This is hard enough for a couple, but for those friends of ours who live alone, it must feel far more isolating. Make a list of a few folks you know who live alone and maybe call one of them each day this week, just to say hello, how are you doing?

An Illuminating Interactive US Map: “The Curve” for Each State

Click here for an interactive map of the US showing the curve, estimated hospitalizations and deaths for each state under four scenarios: do nothing, Texas-style shelter in place, full shelter in place, and Wujan style lockdown. Thanks, Dan Potter, for sending this our way. The good news: If NM behaves and we shelter in place, we can keep deaths below 1000.

The bad news: If we don’t behave 32,000 New Mexicans could die. Shelter in place!!! You Can Do This!!!

A Look Back At A Very Rough Week

Today, we offer links to all four posts from last week, along with one from eight days ago. We’ve been publishing the blog for almost four years now and it is often surprising how readers respond. Sometimes a post we think is incredibly important and well developed goes largely overlooked and then something slse goes unexpectedly viral (an apt term these days). The post immediately below was published on March 15, over a week ago, and yet it continues to be opened by over 100 folks even now and has been read by more of you than any post we’ve ever written. Actually twice as many ‘reads’ as any post we’ve done. If you missed it, find out what the stir is about.

Otherwise, I’d most recommend the post from yesterday, at the bottom of this post as it has also been widely shared and it lays out clearly why even social distancing will not get this done. We need to lockdown.

An Important Coronavirus Message from Albert Hsu, LANL Scientist

Sunday, March 15. This post was read more than any post in Retake’s four years by a very, very large margin. It offers two very different, but very important perspectives on COVID-19. HSU lays out very clearly the science behind this epidemic and why it is indeed an enormous threat to millions of Americans. We then provide a spiritual view on the epidemic from Paul Levy a decade-long practicing Buddhist and spiritual leader.

Click here to read the full post.

How Long Will Social Distancing Continue? + a Piece on Suicide Among Rural Farmers

That’s Quilo Our Cat, Gold Medal in Social Distancing

Tuesday, March 17. Links to two COVID-19 articles, one projecting how long social distancing will be required and a 2nd on why people should NOT shop again unless absolutely necessary.

Plus we break from coronavirus coverage and examine the plight of rural farmers. This is an important read, as the piece on rural America makes clear that corporate America and both political parties have sold them a false bill of goods, that they suffer the same form of capitalist exploitation as the urban poor and that there is much to be gained from helping rural America and urban America identify their common foe.

Click here to read the full post.

GOP Leader Declares Trump Presidency “Over,” Naomi Klein Calls for a Movement & What Happens if Trump Cancelled the Election

Thursday, March 19. I read dozens of coronavirus pieces in the last 2-3 days and today I share the best along with an important video from Naomi Klein. We also hear from a GOP leader declaring Trump’s presidency over & a piece on Trump trying to secure a vaccine for the US only, essentially trying to bribe a German firm to give the US an “exclusive” deal. Please note that the article describing what would transpire if the President cancelled the US election missed some nuances that will be covered in Tuesday’s post.

Click here to read the full post.

Trump Knew, He Did Nothing & Now He Lies; Hundreds of Thousands May Die

Saturday, March 21. From multiple credible sources: Trump knew about the looming pandemic in January, and studies done in 2017 and 2019 pointed to how poorly prepared the US was to fight a pandemic. And Trump did nothing. And now we are far behind in addressing the virus and with a president who stubbornly refuses to offer support to States.

Click here to read the full Saturday post.

If You Think We Are Over-Reacting, Think Again; Read This and You Will Want to Stay Home

Sunday, March 22. The post drew from a tremendous piece of writing by Jeff Wise, published in the Intelligencer. It traces a single New Yorker on an innocent coffee date and how that one decision leads to the virus moving to scores of others. Wise combines the science of how the virus multiplies with a deeply human view of how it impacts those infected. A very powerful piece and one that was shared broadly. People who dismiss the gravity of the situation need to read this post. It also includes a short video of the Governor of Illinois’ press conference featuring a hospital medical directors impassioned plea. Also powerful and worth your viewing.

Click here to read the full Sunday post.

Hang in there, friends. We’ve got a long haul and we need each other.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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7 replies

  1. Thank you Paul and Roxanne. You have been a rock in these last months. A topic I would like to see come to light is where John’s Arthur smith, senate finance leader, And his cronies have pushed in the permian basin beyond belief. No mention was given in today’s new Mexican article about the people being affected . it was all about is it economically feasible to continue and thanking the governor for allowing the pack housing situation to remain and fester. These counties are in big trouble, and having a prophets only perspective Is very sad. Big wheel keep on rolling… With the shelter in place, it would be a great opportunity to rethink how we are using and ruining that land. Also creating a building plan for housing that is affordable for the workers. And then we could pay them less balancing out the cost. The land may never recover but hopefully the human spirit well. O

  2. Living plant and animal spirit is inexorably tied to the vitality of the land and water. The imperative is to know this and fight like hell to NOT kill all the land.

  3. The one thing I don’t see anywhere is the positive impact of a time out. People are cooking, and finding things to do, besides shop and work. Skills that people depended on in past decades, like basic cooking are suddenly a thing to do to break up the monotony. The media has not adequately explained how long this could go on. They are treating it like it will be over in two weeks, like the president “hopes.”

    It will be interesting to unpack this, and think about how life would be if we did not live in such a competitive capitalist society. Suddenly people can spend time with their kids, and maybe read to them instead of the highly marketed screen entertainment, with advertising. The media always driving sales, panned the empty shelves in markets, creating a frenzy, and fueling anxiety. This resulted in people taking more risks of exposure, out seeking supplies. We don’t see anyone in media rethinking their actions. The president went on TV and lied while pumping a few corporations.

    We have not really seen much difference in our corporate media, at least some outlets are no longer running “both sides” during a Global Viral Pandemic. We get to see the worst in humanity, and maybe some of the good, like the physicians and health workers putting their lives on the line. At least we get to see how rampant unregulated capitalism applies to a Viral Pandemic. Putting out scarce medical supplies for bid, and not criminalizing price gouging, is not only terrifying, but inefficient.

    There are still too may people out there who still believe that this is not serious,and each of them is a potential virus spreader. I had hoped that something like this would get some of the fact resistant, to think about things. One thing is clear, social media and big tech made this worse a lot worse. They monetized the fear, despair and confusion. Alternate facts, hate and division are profitable.

  4. We need each other. Hear, hear!!

  5. The Corona virus is here to stay. It is just one of many. It will spread and, eventually, will not become as deadly as it is today. The other side of the coin is the sure destruction of the foundations of the republic, from where democratic institutions can develop again, and of the few good government agencies left alive so far.

    “But that’s not all. Defense contractors want their payments sped up, and I’ve heard they want to widen a giant loophole called ‘other transaction authority’ to get around restrictions on profiteering. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos want “$5 billion in grants or loans to keep commercial space company employees on the job and launch facilities open.” They also want the Internal Revenue Service to give them cash for R&D tax credits.”

    from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/coronavirus-relief-bill-corporate-coup

    The spread of this strand of Corona viruses is just an expression of our capitalist culture. One of its many symptoms.

    We need to retake our economy and move it from a capitalist, monopolistic business model guided by greediness, narcissism and cut throat competition to a Democrat-Socialist/Solidarity, cooperative, Main Street, business model.


    According to Ronnie Cummins we have a shot at meeting the 2030 deadline for stopping GW if all of us get behind the Green New Deal. Please see:

    We may want to push for legislature creating a NM GND AND LOCAL FOODSHEDS RE-DEVELOPMENT.

    Thanks to Roxanne and Paul for everything you do.

  6. I would like to suggest a focus on primaries, primary election reform, election reform for November (i.e. nationwide mail-in with extended early-voting time) and the registration and GOTV activities to go with it, which will now have to be done with minimal face-to-face contact.

    There are now NINE states plus the District of Columbia with primaries scheduled for TUESDAY, JUNE 2nd.
    Six of these have been delayed from earlier dates. The complete list is: NEW MEXICO, Montana, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, South Dakota, Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana and Rhode Island.

    Louisiana and Kentucky have also been delayed until even later in June, with Louisiana scheduled for June 20th and Kentucky, proud home of Moscow Mitch, bringing up the rear on June 23rd. Several others have gone to mail-in only primaries.

    We may have an opportunity with the current crisis to clean up this mess for the future, and possibly even help to increase voter participation this November, which is critical

  7. I would like to find or start a circle (online, for now) to study Joanna Macy’s work – The Work That Reconnects. I agree with Roxanne that what we need most is a new consciousness, a new mind.

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