Skimm'd with picks to Press Pause

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

APRIL 13, 2020



Skimm'd with picks to Press Pause


"Live from Zoom, it's somewhere between March and August" – Kate McKinnon, kicking "SNL" off...remotely. The weekend update we all needed.


The Story

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. And a climate of fear has some looking for scapegoats.

Tell me more.

We know the virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China. But health officials made a concerted effort early on to leave the origin out of the name, instead calling it COVID-19 – for the coronavirus disease. The goal was to not associate the virus with the place or people where it originated from. (Note: this was not the case with some past viruses. For example, MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.) But still, the spread of COVID-19 may be leading to a rise of racism and xenophobia.

Where is this happening?

Europe...where Chinese citizens and people of Asian descent have reportedly been victims of racist incidents, including verbal attacks and being barred from hotels.

The US…where an FBI report is apparently warning of an uptick in anti-Asian American hate crimes. New research also seems to show anti-Chinese sentiment growing online, in places ranging from 4chan to Instagram and Twitter. One professor has logged more than 1,100 reports of "coronavirus discrimination" against Asian Americans – including verbal harassment and physical assault. And last month, a man in Texas allegedly tried to kill an Asian American family, stabbing three. Asian American leaders have called on Congress to denounce the racism.

China…where there's been concern over a second wave of COVID-19 cases coming from abroad...and some are blaming Africans. Earlier this month, there was a rise in reported cases in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou – home to a large African expat community. Now, there are reports that police there barred restaurants from serving people who look to be "of African origin." Some have reportedly been evicted from their homes despite claiming to have no recent travel history or contact with coronavirus patients. Nigeria and several other African countries have voiced concern over the reports. Chinese officials said they treat all foreigners equally when it comes to enforcing containment efforts.


This pandemic has brought out some of the best in our society as we've banded together (at a safe distance). But it also appears to have brought out the worst. And serves as a reminder that fear is no excuse for racism and xenophobia.


One challenge coming out of COVID-19: food supply chains. Roughly half of US farms reportedly send their food to restaurants, schools, and places like theme parks, cruises, and stadiums. But with shutdowns across the US, they're having to rearrange their supply chains to get food to places like grocery stores and food banks.

That kind of adjustment can reportedly take a year or so to coordinate, but farmers only have about a week before the food goes bad. If they're unable to move and sell the produce quickly, their farms could shut down. And until then, many have reportedly resorted to dumping millions of gallons of milk and tens of millions of pounds of produce.

The issue is just the latest logistical challenge as businesses are disrupted amid the pandemic. And it comes as Smithfield Foods – the world's biggest pork processor – has had to shut down one of its US plants because of a wave of coronavirus cases there.


Who's answering each other's call…

Apple and Google. On Friday, the two said they're working together to allow contact tracing on their devices. Yes, all billions of them. The goal: to track (and help reduce) the spread of COVID-19. Here's how it would work: users could opt into an app (created by public health authorities) that uses Bluetooth tech for contact tracing. If someone you've come into contact with in the past 14 days tests positive for COVID-19 and notifies the app, you'd get an alert that you might have been exposed. One key hiccup: the apps don't exist yet – and it's not 100% clear if the US gov and health officials are on board.

  • Timing is everything: President Trump says he wants to start reopening the country on May 1. These tech companies plan to release the tool publicly "in the coming months." You do the math.

  • Pri-va-see what you did there: The companies say the info would stay anonymous. But critics are concerned about entrusting people's physical locations and personal health data to large tech companies with a less-than-spotless record on privacy.

PS: GV (formerly Google Ventures) is a minority investor in theSkimm.

Who's feeling slick…

The world's oil producers. Yesterday, they finalized a deal to cut output by 9.7 million barrels a day – the largest production cut in history. Reminder: the coronavirus outbreak has caused lower demand for fuel since mostly everyone's been parked on their couch. Last month, Russia and Saudi Arabia (two of the world's biggest oil producers) couldn't agree on a deal to cut production, launching a price war and causing oil prices to tank. Now, OPEC and friends agreed to limit output to give oil prices a boost. Unclear if it'll work while stay-at-home measures are still in effect around the world.

Who got everyone's 'best wishes' cards…

Boris Johnson. Yesterday, the British prime minister left the hospital where he'd been staying for COVID-19 treatment. He's still not out of the woods – but after getting oxygen treatment in the ICU, he's now recovering at his country home.

When you can't do Disney on Ice…

Try Disney on Ice Cream.


COVID-19 is impacting more than just Americans' health. All over the country, millions are out of work. You might be one of them. You might live with one of them. Or you might be worried about losing your job in the near future. Unemployment can mean a lot of uncertainty and anxiety.

Join us live on Thursday 4/16 at 12pm ET for 'Unemployment, Skimm'd.' We'll break down what you need to know about the unemployment numbers, how it affects your wallet, and what to do if you're recently unemployed.


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all in different ways. No matter your situation, sometimes you just need to press pause. Enter: our picks to help you take a break…

1. Really, really short workouts. Like really short. As in 10, or seven, or four minutes, or less. HIIT Me Baby One More Time.

2. Four-ingredient recipes. Ideal for dwindling pantries. Or that recipe chain email your BFF put you on. What could go wrong?

3. A "Grey's Anatomy" cross stitch pattern. Stitch for yourself, or for the Meredith to your Cristina. Because she's your person. Here's a how-to guide to help you get started.

PS: Sign up to get more ideas like these in your inbox once a week.


For when you're using this time to get sh*t done…

Start with insurance. This company compares different quotes from top companies all in one place. Making choosing a home or life insurance policy easy. So you can move on to your next task. Check it off.*

For when you wish you could feel immortal...

Do as the Cullens do. A "Twilight" actress says she loves this drink mix as part of her wellness routine. Because it helps hydrate you super fast. Plus it comes in flavors like blood orange and grapefruit. Oh, and Skimm'rs get 50% off a 10-pack. Drink it in.*

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Paw-ssionnate...Emily P(CA). She runs Live Love Animal Rescue and has coordinated a vast network of foster homes to take dogs out of the Long Beach Animal Shelter during the lockdown.

Suds up...Laura F. She's the co-founder of The Right to Shower and is working to send thousands of soap bars and body washes to ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to hygiene products. Learn more about what they're up to here.

(Some) Birthdays...Beckley Mason (NY), Helen Brennan (OH), Ira Harris (FL), Allison Williams (NY), Jaqueline Moreno (CA), Maureen Alley (WI), Viviane Rowan (NJ), Stephanie Wilkins (IL), Kalani Reed (UT), Susana Rosa (NJ), Stefanie Getz (MO), Deb Goggia (MA), Ashley Krug (NJ), Faith Clark (ON), Michelle Hillmeyer (CO), Lauren Press (CO)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.