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In which the only way out is through, and the only way through is together.
Stuff I've found helpful in understanding what is happening and coping with that reality:
Healthcare Triage on Covid-19 and the capacity of global healthcare systems:
The wonderful nerdfighter discord Tuataria:
Life's Library Book Club:
3Blue1Brown video about exponential growth and the coronavirus pandemic:
Ours Poetica is so good and calming and humane in these and all times:
Washington Post on why pandemics grow exponentially and how they end:
Our World in Data on the novel conronavirus pandemic:
Hank playing Stardew Valley with Orin:

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Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.

One of my favorite words is together. I really think togetherness is the superpower of our species. Like, yeah, we as individuals are very smart as animals go, but it is our collective knowledge that has made us so successful. No individual human could build water sanitation systems and electrical grids and transportation systems and write Hamlet, but together we've done all of that and much, much more. This also means of course that the systems we rely on are deeply dependent upon large scale human collaboration. Like, last night, I was some broccoli and I started to think about the number of individual humans who had contributed to that stalk of broccoli: the people who grew and harvested the broccoli, the people who transported it, the people who built the truck it was transported in, the people who stocked the broccoli at my grocery store, and the people whose tinkering and use of agricultural science has, over the centuries, dramatically increased the yields of broccoli, and so on. 

There's a similar story behind everything we consume: the electricity we use, the books we read, the medicine we take, the Youtube videos we watch. All of it is deeply dependent upon human collaboration. The word together comes from the verb to gather, and for me, at least, one of the many surreal and terrifying facets of the Covid-19 pandemic is that suddenly, many of us are unable to gather. Our communities have changed so suddenly: children no longer in school and businesses closed and shops with empty shelves and many, many people losing their jobs. And people who gather in sports stadiums or offices or workout classes or places of worship cannot gather in the way they always have.

Our family is self isolating, a phrase that like social distancing, I didn't know a month ago but is now ubiquitous. In fact I think one of the signs that a big and lasting change has come to the human story is when specialized language gets integrated into everyday language, see also case growth factor, transmission rate, and so on. 

It's now clear that this pandemic will put many people at risk of serious illness and death and we must, must, must listen to experts and isolate ourselves appropriately.

For information on the health and systemic risks of the pandemic, I'm watching Doctor Aaron Caroll on Healthcare Triage because he is an expert in this stuff. I'll also put some other resources I have found helpful in the doobly-doo below. 

So we must isolate, but we also must find ways to stay together and to remain connected so that we can keep humanity's superpower. In some places this has taken the form of dancing the Macarena on balconies or coordinating nationwide applause for healthcare workers. Our family has taken to having virtual cocktail hours with friends every evening. We're playing virtual board games. And we're trying to reach out to the people we know whose work and life will be most affected by this crisis and the people who might feel most alone in a period of self isolation. 

Hank, you've been hosting wonderful Twitch streams where you play Stardew Valley with your son, which my kids have loved. And that has inspired Sarah and me, starting tomorrow, we will be hosting regular live streams here and on the Art Assignment channel where we drink only a little wine and make only a little art. There's a great Discord for Nerdfighters called Tuataria if you're looking for social connection or you can join Life's Library Book Club for free. Links to all that in the doobly-doo. 

I've also found Youtube videos helpful from watching Grant at 3Blue1Brown explain exponential growth to me to watching Jane Wang at Ours Poetica read me a poem. Right now, I find poetry especially helpful because it gives language and form to so much that I'm feeling.

Hank, Robert Frost once famously said that the only way out is through, and I believe that. I also believe that the only way through is together. So let us find ways to work with and for one another and to serve and help one another especially the most vulnerable among us. And let us make it out the only way we can, together.

Hank, I'll see you on Friday.