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Everything changed for Malene Lawrence within days.

She lost her father George Hawkins, an 89-year-old retired Korean War veteran, to COVID-19, writes City Paper’s Candace Y.A. Montague. On March 28, Hawkins got a call from Medstar Washington Hospital Center that her father, who was staying at a nursing home, was rushed to the emergency room. On March 30, his test results came back positive for COVID-19, and on April 2, Hawkins watched her father take his final breath.  

“I felt like I was being harassed by the social worker and doctors telling me that they needed the bed in the ICU and if someone else comes into the hospital with more dire conditions we don’t want to make that decision for you but we’re going to have to do that,” Lawrence tells Montague. “I’m going through all of these emotions. Now I have the hospital saying ‘Well, your dad is 89. It’s not like he’s going to get any better. You need to make these end of life decisions right now.’”

It was a traumatic five days for Lawrence, and she was left questioning the hospital and the nursing home he stayed at in Northwest called Unique Rehabilitation & Health Center, who did not bother to call. 

Nursing homes have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. A Postanalysis shows that nearly 1 in 10 nursing homes nationwide have reported COVID-19 cases. In dozens of states across the country, including D.C., residents of nursing homes have accounted for at least a quarter of total deaths related to the disease. Some argue that the coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes reveal how the country has failed our eldery and disabled. 

“Nursing home patients are victims not just of density but of a broader societal disregard toward older people and those with disabilities. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick famously suggested that Americans 70 and older should be willing to die to get the economy back running again,” writesVox’s Dylan Matthews—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • At Friday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser says COVID-19 data released over the past week underscores that D.C. is not ready to enter phase reopening because the city is still “chasing” the virus. The average daily new positives over the last 14 days is 169.4. “We have more PPE, we have more testing, we have more contact tracing … so there is indeed a reason to be hopeful. We have more resources to combat the virus,” she adds.

  • As of May 8, D.C. reported 19 additional deaths and 245 positive cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths and infections to 304 and 5,899, respectively. [EOM

  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson tells Ward 7 Education Council that simply raising taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals will not solve the problems introduced by COVID-19. [Twitter]

  • D.C. region is getting worse at social distancing, cellular data shows. [WAMU]

  • Why were 88 white shoes staged in front of the White House on Thursday? [Post

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Participate in our voters’ guide by telling us what you want us to ask local politicians. [WCP]

  • About that Brandon Todd housing mailer… [WCP]

  • Is Karl Racine empire building? [DC Line]

  • Former At-Large Councilmember Carol Schwartz endorsed John Fanning for the Ward 2 Council seat. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • A bartender didn’t want to wait to open his new bar—Show of Hands—so he bottled it up. [WCP]

  • Fine dining take-out, reviewed. [Post]

  • Grubhub is collecting record fees from restaurants during the pandemic. [BuzzFeed]

  • You should be eating more tater tots at home. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Summer Set, the newest novel from local author Aimee Agresti, is the fun romp you could use right now. [WCP]

  • The Arts Club team goes on a journey with a young enslaved man named Hiramin Virginia with Ta-Nehisi CoatesThe Water Dancer. [WCP]

  • Local noir writers support indie bookstores with a series of virtual readings. [DCist]

  • Veteran radio host Jenn White is the new 1Ahost and her first day is July 6. [WAMU]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Runners across the country are coming together virtually for a 2.23 mile run today in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot and killed while out for a run on Feb. 23 near Brunswick, Georgia. Today would’ve been Arbery’s 26th birthday. [Runner’s World]

  • Pro athletes like LeBron James and Bradley Beal have expressed anger and outrage at the death of Arbery, who was unarmed. “Cowardice act!! Justice MUST prevail,” Beal wrote on Twitter. “This is BS on all levels. Don’t matter the race, this should disgust you!” [The Undefeated]

  • Len Bias and Michael Jordan: The best NBA rivalry that never happened. [WCP]

  • The NFL released team schedules for the 2020 season, indicating that the league is planning to hold the games this fall despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The local NFL team, coming off a 3-13 season, will open its season at FedExField against the Eagles at 1 p.m. and will have no primetime games. [Sporting News, NBC Sports Washington]

  • ICYMI:College seniors were prepared to celebrate a triumphant last year as student athletes. Then the coronavirus pandemic changed everything. City Paper spoke to four local seniors on how they’re coping now that their collegiate careers are likely over.[WCP]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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