May 14, 2020

Weekend reads: The 'difficult position' of being a 'masked black man'

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    How the new coronavirus epidemic "broke America." Nicholas Johnston writes for Axios that "ongoing cultural wars over everything" in the United States—including the proliferation of misinformation, distrust of institutions like CDC, intense partisanship, the country's worsening income inequality, and more—have "weakened" the country's "ability to respond" to the new coronavirus epidemic. Johnston writes, "An existential threat—like war or natural disaster—usually brings people together to set a course of action in response. Somehow, we've let this one drive us apart."

    Americans are snacking more. As a result of so many people staying home nationwide due to America's coronavirus epidemic, snack-food brands have started seeing a rise in sales, Thomas Heath reports for the Washington Post. While Americans previously had trended toward buying more fresh and private-label foods, "iconic" snack brands like Doritos, Goldfish, and Oreos say they've seen a surge in sales in recent weeks, Heath writes.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Why wearing a mask can be complicated for black clinicians. Gabriel Felix, a psychiatry resident at Cambridge Health Alliance, is required to wear a face mask at work. But he was "pu[t] in a difficult position" when his city enacted an order that requires residents wear the masks in public, as he became worried that being a "masked black man" would make him appear "suspicious," he explains in a STAT News "First Opinion" piece.

    Not practicing social distancing? Online shamers are watching. Law enforcement officers aren't the only ones cracking down on Americans who don't comply with states' social distancing policies. Writing for the New York Times, Amanda Hess explains how pictures of crowded parks and city dwellers who aren't wearing face masks have turned the internet into a "breeding ground for public shaming" during the country's new coronavirus epidemic.

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