May 29, 2020

Weekend reads: Covid-19 is driving rats to 'war'

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    This Bolivian Orchestra is stuck in a haunted castle surrounded by wolves. For over 70 days, the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos has been stranded in Rheinsberg Palace in Germany due to the new coronavirus pandemic, BBC News' Oliver Barnes reports. On Marcy 10, the orchestra landed in Germany for a tour that ultimately was cancelled because of the pandemic. Germany then instituted a lockdown and Bolivia closed its borders, leaving the orchestra stranded at Rheinsberg Palace, where had planned to stay for only a few nights. While members of the orchestra are permitted to peruse the palace's grounds, the forest surrounding the castle is home to 23 packs of wolves, making outdoor activities particularly precarious. The palace also is rumored to be haunted by Frederick the Great.

    Drive-in movies are making a comeback. As a result of bans on large gatherings and closures of indoor movie theaters throughout the United States, drive-in movie theaters have started seeing a resurgence. Beth Wilson, owner of the Warwick Drive-in in New York, said showings at her theater have been sold out since May 15. Customers come to the drive-in theater "just to be out and for some form of entertainment that is not streaming on their TV," Wilson said.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Hungry rats at 'war with each other' amid state lockdowns. As states' stay-at-home orders have resulted in empty streets and closed restaurants, rats have begun "turning on each other" as they grapple with being deprived of food they'd usually get from outdoor trash, according to Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist. The conduct has garnered CDC's attention, with the agency on Thursday warning of an increase in "unusual or aggressive" behavior between rodents that are looking for food. According to Corrigan, some rats have even turned to eating each other's young.

    Is small talk possible during the age of the coronavirus? Instead of starting conversations with questions like "How are you?" or "What's new?" people are now discussing the impact of the new coronavirus on their daily lives as small talk. Writing for the New York Times, Lukie Winkie explains how "coronavirus-era small talk propels us into the thick of our feelings" and leaves no "room for artifice."

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