From the Left



Summer people are already here. and are snowbirds staying?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

When the pandemic hit this winter, city people with second homes moved into them. This upset the rhythm of beach, lake and mountain communities that attract a lot of "summer people" -- but not until the summer.

As for winter destinations -- Florida, Arizona, Texas or any ski area -- the snowbirds seem to be lingering into the spring. Full-time ...Read more

Cuomo for Vice President is the ticket to victory in November

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Joe Biden still has time to do the smart thing and name New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo his running mate. The top two reasons would be Cuomo's proven competence managing his state's coronavirus crisis and a strong personality unafraid of that other son of Queens, President Donald Trump.

We know. Biden pledged to name a woman as his vice president. ...Read more

Pandemic makes end-of-life care harder

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

I just lost a dear elderly friend to cancer. Home hospice workers kept him comfortable. He spent his final weeks watching spring unfold in the outdoor Eden he had nurtured for decades. He died peacefully at night with me present.

My friend's death had little to do with COVID-19. One can say that he was spared the trauma of getting hit by that ...Read more

What Joe Biden doesn't have to do right now

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Joe Biden has not been loudly beating up on President Donald Trump for his pathetic performance during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has already killed over 80,000 Americans and cratered the economy. And the United States has become an object of international pity.

"Why is Biden sitting at home?" chronically anxious Democrats ask.

...Read more

This #BelieveWomen business has gone rancid with opportunism

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

The hashtag #BelieveWomen stemmed from an era when women claiming to have been sexually assaulted were broadly dismissed. That is, if you ignore the history of white women falsely accusing black men of rape. Those women were largely believed and the accused often summarily tortured and hung by the neck from a tree.

Ida Wells, an African ...Read more

Who doesn't use cash? More people than ever

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Last year seems a lifetime ago, but even then, cash was no longer king. The greenback had already lost its premier role as Americans' medium of exchange in dollar terms. Plastic card and digital transactions had taken over. And that's how stores, restaurants and other businesses seemed to want it.

COVID-19 has accelerated this process for ...Read more

More than comfort, 'The Golden Girls' could be our future

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

No surprise that Americans have spent much of their lockdown watching TV -- nor that one of the most-watched shows has been "The Golden Girls." First aired in 1985, the sitcom portrays four older women, three widows and one divorcee, sharing a house in Miami.

They're "sheltering in place" in that they don't have outside jobs to go to. They do ...Read more

After COVID 19, will we want what we wanted?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

When Germany let smaller stores reopen, the expected didn't happen. Officials thought that shoppers would burst out of their five-week lockdown and spend, spend, spend. They were wrong.

As the manager of an espresso machine store in Berlin told the Financial Times, "No one really wants to go shopping right now."

Same story in the Atlanta ...Read more

Why people will leave -- and stay -- in the big cities

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

The coronavirus has rearranged American life. Mask wearing and social distancing is still required in the stores, gyms and restaurants now open, or set to be, across the nation.

But what about the big, crowded cities? New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and, of course, New York have become the virus hotspots mainly because they put people in ...Read more

Can the Earth breathe deeply as oil use crashes?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

The bizarre collapse in oil prices reflects a world largely shut at home. People are no longer driving much or flying at all. Factories are silent. The supply hasn't changed radically in the past month. It's the demand that's crumbled.

Environmentalists, hold that thought.

Friends on the environmental left are not always swift at gauging how ...Read more

An America worse off than today but not totally unlike it

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

The Brooklyn Hospital Center, now treating a flood of COVID-19 patients, has performed in national crises for over 150 years. During the Civil War, poet Walt Whitman spent time there, tending to rows of wounded and dying Union soldiers.

Whitman left Brooklyn for Washington, where he nursed "the shattered, traumatized, and suffering men dragged ...Read more

In a reversal, Trump 'authorizes' governors to do their job

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

You'd think that even a president who claimed "absolute authority" would step aside as groups of West Coast and East Coast governors devise strategies for reopening their economies without causing a spike in coronavirus cases. They know their hot zones and travel patterns across state borders. A president committed to the public weal might even ...Read more

In the time of the virus, grooming takes a hit

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

A friend closed in his northern Italian apartment for almost six weeks emailed me saying that his wife says he looks like a "clochard." That's French for street bum. This from a man who once was a walking advertisement for fine Italian tailoring.

Grooming has taken a hit as the coronavirus shuts down public life. That's understandable, though ...Read more

COVID-19: Pearl Harbor -- or War of the Worlds?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that this week of mounting death from the novel coronavirus could be "our Pearl Harbor moment." He was referring, of course, to the surprise 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy base in Honolulu, which pulled the nation into World War II.

Pearl Harbor would be a reasonable description of our awakening ...Read more

Trump's takes a remarkable turn to single-payer

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Hospitals struggling to treat waves of very sick people now face a new threat: millions of uninsured Americans pounding at their gates. How can the hospitals afford to treat them, even if they have the beds?

The obvious response was for President Donald Trump to open early enrollment in the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace. The 11 states...Read more

How Governor Cuomo filled the void

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

"Politics abhors a vacuum," said the late John McCain, as have others. The coronavirus menace shows the truth of it. President Donald Trump's floundering response created a void into which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was sucked.

New York City is itself a stage, and Cuomo now commandeers the spotlight. His daily news conferences detailing how the...Read more

Virus escapees' dilemma: Borders without doctors

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

In "The Decameron," seven women and three men leave plague-tormented Florence for a villa in the hills, where they tell one another bawdy stories. Written nearly 700 years ago, the tale remains fresh, as affluent New Yorkers try to escape the coronavirus outbreak by moving into their second homes at the beach or in the woods.

But there are two ...Read more

There are a few rainbows behind the virus crisis

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Milan is the V-8 engine of Italy's economy. Known as an industrial and financial powerhouse, Milan is also famous for its foul air. Now the city and its region, Lombardy, have become the epicenter of Europe's coronavirus pandemic. To stop the virus' spread, factories, offices, restaurants and bars are closed. People are ordered to stay at home. ...Read more

We're all occupying the same strange times, and that's a form of togetherness

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

As the coronavirus stops normal life, trapping more Americans in their homes, some have raised the specter of another health threat: loneliness. Before this crisis seized our anxieties, much discussion centered around the dangers of perceived social isolation and feeling cut off from others.

A 2015 analysis by Brigham Young University found ...Read more

Votes do matter, Bernie

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

If Bernie Sanders were amassing a nearly insurmountable lead in the delegate counts, I have little doubt that he would be saying to Joe Biden: "Democrats have spoken. Time to drop out and help the team."

But doing what he expects of others is not Bernie's way. As in the past, he can stay in, waving the implied threat that not adopting his ...Read more


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