Lindsey Graham doesn’t understand unemployment compensation and 10 other things coronavirus has taught us

'Another brazen attempt to rewrite reality': Trump claims he knew coronavirus was a pandemic even before it was declared one

Flickr/White House

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We’ve learned a lot from the coronavirus crisis. We should wash our hands more often…working from home and closing down factories dramatically decreases air pollution…Lindsey Graham doesn’t understand unemployment…Madonna likes to sing about fried fish.

Wait, what?

Yes, coronavirus has brought out the confusing, the adorable, and the weird. Below are 11 surprising things that have come to light as a result of the coronavirus.

1. Lindsey Graham doesn’t get how unemployment compensation works

Lindsey Graham


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is part of a group of GOP senators who have threatened to block the $2 trillion coronavirus bill because a provision in the bill would pay laid-off workers an additional $600 per week. That pay, Graham claims, would provide an incentive for workers to stay home rather than go to work.

However, the $600 provision expires in June and workers who receive unemployment compensation, by definition, don’t have a job. Perhaps laid-off workers could seek Graham’s job, so they could get paid $170,000 a year to misinterpret legislative language and mess with the lives of hard-working Americans.

2. Wingnut Alex Jones sells conspiracies — and toothpaste

Ex-Infowars editor admits 'We made it up'

Source: Screenshot/YouTube

Or at least he used to. NY Attorney General Letitia James has demanded that Jones “cease and desist” telling his audience that Super-Silver Whitening Toothpaste has “patented nanosilver” that “kills the whole SARS-corona family at point-blank range.”

Jones is a radio host and Trump supporter who once claimed he had proof Michelle Obama is a man. And families of Sandy Hook shooting victims are suing Jones, who repeatedly said the shooting was a hoax, for defamation. So, selling coronavirus-killing toothpaste is business as usual for Jones.

3. Penguins enjoy visiting the zoo

Penguins at the St. Louis Zoo


With the St. Louis Zoo closed because of coronavirus, employees took the penguins out for a walk around the grounds.

King penguins Elliot, Ethel, and Arthur, Gentoo penguin Schroeder, and southern rockhopper penguins Woody and Buddah seemed to enjoy the walk, especially when a few snowflakes began to fall.

4. Drones may make dogwalkers go the way of the do-do

11 facts we've learned because of coronavirus


A man who didn’t want to leave his house and risk exposure to coronavirus used a drone to walk his dog, reports The Mirror. Vakis Demetriou, a fitness instructor in Cyprus posted a video of his drone and his Pomeranian on Instagram, writing: “5th day quarantine. Stay Home Safe but don’t forget your dog happiness.”

5. When Madonna gets cabin fever, she sings about fried fish


Madonna is reacting to being cooped in, well, a Madonna-like fashion, as ET reports. She uses a hairbrush as a mic while parodying one of her own songs and speaks earnestly—from her bathtub—about how coronavirus makes us all equal.

It’s hard to say which is more painful to watch, her videos or the Trump administration’s farcical coronavirus briefings.

6. Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker is still alive

Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker

Flickr/Peter K. Levy

And still lying to his viewers. Jim Bakker got caught hawking a product that he claims could kill coronavirus. The state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker after a guest on his show pitched Silver Solution, which she said could cure everything from SARS to AIDS, NPR reports.

This isn’t Bakker’s first controversy. Bakker and his wife Tammy Faye Baker hosted The PTL Club until Bakker left the show after being caught up in a sex scandal, and Bakker later went to prison for conning his viewers out of millions of dollars.

7. Pro-life can mean pro-death (for old people)

Dan Patrick suggests grandparents should die for the economy. Grandchildren disagree.

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a staunch abortion opponent, says that “lots of” grandparents would be willing to risk coronavirus exposure and death by going back to work or go out to a restaurant. Patrick’s logic, such as it is, because doing so (for a few weeks until they get sick?) would improve the economy, which would allow their grandchildren to lead better lives.

Activist Susan Watts responds on Twitter:

8. Trump’s HHS is clueless

Unsplash/Ern Low

Two HHS officials had a plan to make Anniston, Ala., a coronavirus treatment center, according to the Washington Post. Flights filled with California coronavirus patients, they said, would land at Fort McLellan Army Airfield and be treated at a nearby facility.

However, when briefed by the HHS on the plan, local Anniston officials informed HHS that the runway was in bad shape because the base had been closed for 20 years. Also, about those isolation rooms at the old hospital on the base, they’re fake. It’s a training facility now, with props instead of medical devices and “light switches” painted on the walls.

The plan, thankfully, has been abandoned. Like the airfield.

9. George Carlin was right

George Carlin

Flickr/Tony Fischer

Carlin once told his audience to think about how dumb the average person is and then realize that half the people are dumber than that.

Apparently, a few beer drinkers were on the very tail end of Carlin’s bell curve. As Barron’s reports, they were refusing to drink Corona beer because, well, you know, “Corona.”

But there’s a slight chance people are smarter than Carlin would have us believe: Barron’s notes that Corona beer sales are up in recent weeks.

10. People eat bat soup (but it’s not the source of the virus)

Bat soup


Three-year-old video of Chinese vlog star Wang Mengyun eating bat soup in Micronesia somehow led people to believe bat soup was the source of coronavirus, according to the Australian outlet

The “somehow” is actually the toxic mix of conspiracy theorizing, racism, fear, and ignorance that thrive in the dark corners of the internet.

There are probably a lot of reasons not to eat soup. Fear of catching coronavirus is not one of them.

11. Donald Trump is a disaster

Trump administration concealed a pandemic threat study

Source: U.S. Department of Treasury

Okay, maybe we didn’t learn this fact recently, but it’s certainly been reinforced by his bungling of the coronavirus crisis, including his recent failure to use the Defense Protection Act to meet the needs of health care workers and patients.

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