Recommentunde: One Year Later | 19 May 2020

it's the latest edition of

The Recommentunde Newsletter

Sent on 19 May 2020 Edition

Hi you,

It’s me.

This Thursday, I’m doing something special. It’s been one year since my TED talk about living while black went online. Considering COVID-19, and the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, I am returning to the themes of that talk and inviting you to join me to discuss the year since and what’s next.

This Thursday May 21 at noon PT and 3pm ET I’ll be doing a one hour live stream. I’ll share the full talk (with some bonus moments), and I’ll take your questions after. Call it a TED talkback. There’s no cost. Register here to be notified of exactly where the stream will live, and to maybe get your question or comment to the top of the queue.

Now, for your regularly-scheduled content in these irregular times.

Thanks to Eliza who shared this during Sunday's show taping. It's on the Reddit.

Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry

Essential reading in The New Yorker

Written by Atul Gawande, this is one of the most clear and comprehensive explanations of how we need to adapt to safely reopen society: hygiene, distancing, screening, masks, and culture. Also umlauts. I’ve never seen so many umlauts in a piece of modern English-language writing.

We’re asking too much of Zoom

Video moment from Live On Lockdown

Zoom wasn’t meant to handle all we are asking of it. I offer a public acknowledgment and appreciation for this business conference call software that’s been asked to save society.

COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard

Impressive resource by Columbia University

Ensuring stable housing is way more complicated that temporarily blocking evictions. The team at the Eviction Lab reviewed all kinds of approaches and scores each state. Look yours up, then fight for something better.

America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, but if they’re white men with guns, we just give them what they want

Video moment from Live On Lockdown

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but white men with guns are having a moment in the U.S. The re-open protestors in Michigan managed to shut down the legislature, and I had some thoughts on the matter.

14 Virtual Birthday Party Ideas

Practical tips from The Wirecutter

I participated in my first physically distant birthday party yesterday. We were literally dancing in the streets.

We could stop the pandemic by July 4 if the government took these steps

Op-Ed in The Washington Post

The team behind that “mobilize and transition” plan I cited weeks ago keeps cranking out the best ideas for how we should proceed. In this case, testing, tracing, and supported isolation but with geographic distinctions based on disease prevalence. Please send this to your elected officials.

Family cooking under coronavirus: ‘I’ve become a chef with two grumpy regular customers’

Article in The Guardian

For the parents. This piece is for you.

Uplifting idea: Cranes reunite families in corona crisis

Article by Associated Press

This will make you feel better.

How Slovakia Contained the Coronavirus

Article in The Atlantic

Another bit of good news from that parallel universe known as NOT-the-United-States, where leaders lead, and institutions respond according to the scale of the crisis. Slovakia has the lowest per-capita death rate in all of Europe. They saw what happened to Italy, and decided, “No thanks.”

Ahmaud Arbery’s Final Minutes: What Videos and 911 Calls Show

Video re-construction by The New York Times

This is hard to watch, but if you’ve been at all confused about what happened to Arbery, the Times threw its journalistic resources at the question and came back with the most comprehensive visual view of the tragedy.

Whiteness In The Outdoors

Images on Instagram

This is how you ally. It’s a really thoughtful and generous post about what being in the outdoors means for people of color versus white people in the U.S.

My report from Hyde Park anti-lockdown bash

Video on Instagram

Nimrod Kamer interviewed anti-5G, anti-lockdown protestors in London’s Hyde Park, and it just made me sadly glad that America doesn’t stand alone in our crazy.

“How to hydroxychloroquine… “

Short video on Twitter.

Sarah Cooper is back with another re-enactment (or should I umlaut it? reënactment??) of our dear leader.

A 29-year-old plasterer has invented an ingenious solution to cuddle his grandma during the lockdown

Story from Sky News

I double dog dare you not to cry.


I've been adding to the Recommentunde YouTube playlist and Spotify podcast playlist just for you.

Forward this email to people you know. They can subscribe at

Subscribe to my text messages, and interact with me directly and relatively quickly. Send a message to +1-202-894-8844 or visit here to sign up.


Peace and Love.