Skimm'd while checking in on our mental health

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

MAY 12, 2020


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Skimm'd while checking in on our mental health


"I cannot keep up with her" – Matthew McConaughey on quarantining with his 88-year-old mom. She's doing alright, alright, alright.


The Story

As the US begins to reopen, other countries could be sending a warning.

What do you mean?

Some countries that have loosened coronavirus restrictions are now seeing more cases. Like…

South Korea: The country was originally touted for how it handled the outbreak, which included mandatory isolation, mass testing, and contact tracing. With everything seemingly under control, it started easing up on some restrictions last month and even held a national election. But on Sunday, it reported 34 new cases – the biggest one-day spike in a month. In Seoul, all nightclubs and bars are once again closed, and President Moon Jae-in said to "brace for the pandemic's second wave."

China: Early last month, the country where the outbreak originated lifted its 76-day lockdown. Measures like strict testing, quarantine, and mandatory tracking apps helped them report a drop in infections. But this week, the country ordered new restrictions after two cities saw a spike in new infections. There's now a lockdown in Shulan, in the country's northeast. And there's a new cluster of cases (think: at least six) in Wuhan.

Germany: The country was one of the first in Europe to roll out widespread testing. It loosened restrictions last week. But yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said Germans should still be "keeping their distance" after officials warned that the rate at which the virus is spreading is rising.

So is this a second wave?

Experts aren't sure. Yesterday, the World Health Organization said countries need to take a "slow, steady" approach in lifting restrictions to try to prevent a new wave of infections. And that approach includes three major steps. First, get the epidemic under control. Then make sure the health care system could cope with a potential second wave. And finally, provide widespread testing and contact tracing.

Are we there yet?

It doesn't look like it. Health experts say the US needs to be doing more antibody testing – which could help the country reopen, based on who might have some immunity to the virus. Right now, dozens of states have at least partially reopened. But President Trump is urging faster action, criticizing Democrats for what he described as moving slowly for "political purposes." Meanwhile, the White House hasn't been spared by the pandemic. Staffers must now wear masks or facial coverings after new cases were discovered last week.


South Korea, Germany, and China have each been held up as examples of countries that can have it all: a semi-open economy while maintaining a relatively low case count. But these new infections show how vulnerable all countries are – and they come as Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly plans to warn the Senate today of the dangers of reopening too quickly.

Skimm More: We explain what reopening the US could look like.


What threw a curveball…

This antibody study. Earlier this week, researchers announced that less than 1% of MLB employees tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. Back in April, more than 5,600 employees from 26 MLB teams participated in the largest antibody study of its kind. The goal was to gather data on the spread and infection rate of the coronavirus throughout the US based on a nationwide sample. When the results came in, researchers said they were surprised about the low positive rate, and that it appears the virus had not spread among the league. But they warned that its employees could still be at risk.

  • Not pitch perfect: The study wasn't a representation of the country's population – most of the participants were under the age of 65 and more than half were men. But it included people from all over the country, which researchers said gave them an idea of how widely the virus has spread. They found that the epidemic is still "in the early stages."

What students are cramming for...

AP exams. Yesterday, more than 3 million students started taking their college-level exams online. Because, COVID-19. The tests are open book and only 45 minutes (much shorter than usual three hours). But the changes have raised concerns about fairness. Not only because of the lack of equal access to reliable computers and internet service. But also for geographical disadvantages since students all over the world will be taking them at the exact same time – meaning some could be loading up their laptops in the middle of the night.

What's saying 'clock's ticking'...

The IRS. The agency is giving people who haven't yet received their stimulus check until tomorrow at 12pm to update their direct deposit information and get their money faster. After that, the gov will begin sending millions of paper checks that are expected to arrive later this month and in June. Don't snooze on this one.

Psst...we answered more of your stimulus money Qs here – from how much you can expect to whether you'll have to pay it back.

Who's got us singing 'he was a skater boy'...

This Gui.

When you can't get married at Niagara Falls...

This ought to make up for it.

Life lessons fron CTG

Catherine the Great was an OG badass who broke glass ceilings before it was cool. As in, she took over and ruled Russia in the 1700s. So in honor of Hulu's new show, "The Great," we're partnering to bring you some wisdom from Cath herself. Preview coming in 3,2,1...

Catherine the Great was originally just a girl, standing in front of a Tsar who she was arranged to marry. The problem? He was an idiot (her words, not ours).

So, she had two options. She could play the role of a 1700s wife – you know, someone who smiled at parties, laughed at bad jokes, and generally tried to keep her husband happy. *Shrug emoji.*

Or...she could take his job.

To find out what she did, read on here. Cheers to strong women.


Spotlight on the Issues: Education

Education has long been a top issue for voters. COVID-19 has presented new challenges, as school closings impact tens of millions of students. And the future of schooling remains uncertain. Here's where the candidates stand:

President Trump…his admin has set aside tens of billions of dollars for things like helping students continue to learn from home. And is letting people with federal student loans pause their payments for now. Beyond COVID-19, his admin supports school vouchers – giving students public funds to go to private or charter schools. And last week, it reworked how schools need to address sexual misconduct allegations.

Former VP Joe Biden...supports providing funding to help with remote learning due to the pandemic. And student loan relief until the "worst" of the crisis is over. Beyond COVID-19, he's promising universal pre-k for three- and four-year-olds, two years of free community college or job training, and higher teacher salaries.


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. 15 tools that'll save you time in the kitchen. Because you're spending 32 hours a day there, and the things on this list will make it easier. Like an egg cooker, a veggie chopper, and something to keep your counters clean AF.

2. A Vogue-approved playlist. Sarah Jessica Parker curated songs based on this year's Met Gala theme: time. We couldn't help but wonder…what is time anymore?

3. At-home facials. Maybe she's born with it. Maybe she followed this step-by-step guide.

PS: Sign up to get a list of things to do, watch, eat, and more to your inbox every Monday.


For when you've worn out your slippers…

Kick things into high gear with sneaks from this company. Their most popular style is finally back after having a 12k person waitlist. It's made from bamboo and recycled plastics, so it's good for the earth and good for you. Psst...Skimm'rs get 15% off. Add to cart.*

For when you finally got your dog to sit on command...

He's on the right track. Your turn. This health care company uses behavior change psychology to help you achieve your wellness and fitness goals. And right now you can get a free 14-day trial. Treat yourself.*

For when you actually miss running errands…

Something you don't miss? The pink tax. This company makes razors specifically for women, minus the markup. You can get started for $9 and they ship right to your door. Psst...Skimm'rs get 10% off starter kits. Shave on.*

*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.

Setting goals...Molly S (IL). She works at a nonprofit that provides financial support to families with kids battling cancer. The org is now trying to raise $50K to help these families amid COVID-19. Learn more and donate here.

Offering a hand...Mindy L (CA). She's working with Covid Assist, a project that's helping neighbors who can't leave their homes by doing things like shop for groceries and pick up medicine from the pharmacy. Learn how you can help here.

(Some) Birthdays...Jessica Artille (FL), Sarah Kosid (KY), Lauren Mason (IA), Alicia Muzzi (MA), Chad Gent (NE), Katie Humphries (AL), Emily Stone (CA), Monique Skordas (UT), Maureen McNamara (CO), Caitlin Estes (OR), Maria DiCamillo (CT), Julia Kresky (CA), Shanna Howard (TX), Taylor Hosey (OH), Kaitlin Rathe (CA)

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