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Hello, New Orleans

So we're doing this, this sort-0f-lockdown, for another month. OK.

A friend recently helped me identify a thing I was (am) struggling with as life is canceled and postponed. It's not just the fact of the cancelations and postponements. It's something a little bigger — and akin to the very human fear of the unknown. It's that we're losing things to look forward to.

So I'm trying to adjust my outlook on that. It might fill me with anxiety to try to look forward to my wedding this fall, but I can, very safely, look forward to:

  • pretending to be Andy Dufresne in the rain this weekend;
  • an enormous stalk on my bird of paradise plant unfurling, gloriously;
  • the to-go margarita I intend to order tomorrow;
  • listening to this Fiona Apple record 100000000 more times;
  • being married, no matter what happens to the big party.

What are you looking forward to? Reply to this email and share it with us (it really does go to me and I really am a human person). If I get enough of the good stuff, I'll put a little something together.

— Ashley (@AshleyDean)

Blue Dream is boarded up on Chartres St, Tuesday afternoon. New Orleans, Louisiana. April 14, 2020. (Ben Depp/WWNO)
Coronavirus news

Let's go to the stats

The growth in the number of known COVID-19 cases in Louisiana has held steady at around 2.5 percent since Sunday.

And the numbers of people in hospitals and on ventilators continue to drop.

We learned that a lot of people died this week, though. On Tuesday, 129 people were reported dead — the highest one-day total yet. The next day, 90 people were reported dead. That's the second-highest yet. 

A nationwide debate about abortion rights during a pandemic has taken root in Louisiana

A Shreveport abortion clinic is suing the Louisiana Department of Health and the Attorney General over actions it says are meant to shut it down abortion access in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

It's the latest in a long saga of legal battles pitting abortion clinics against avowedly anti-abortion political leaders over regulations and laws that are either, the two sides argue, ideologically tailor-made to shut down clinics or simply measures intended to protect public health


Mayor Cantrell started the week by saying New Orleans' big events should wait until 2021 and ended it by saying the Saints should play without fans present

She also extended the city's stay-at-home order until May 16.

Both Essence Fest and Jazz Fest have canceled.

And Gov. Edwards postponed Louisiana elections by another three weeks.

A report from the CDC that mostly looks at the states, including Louisiana, with the highest cumulative incidence also mentions the whole Mardi Gras thing

Normally, we use this space to point you to the good work of other journalists, but we don't want to inundate and overwhelm. So. If you'd like to learn more, you can find all of's coverage here and The Lens' coverage here.
Not coronavirus news
Note: Some of these are coronavirus-adjacent but they're not *about* coronavirus. Promise.

'Anything can be filtered through the lens of drag'

“Tired of brushing your hair, looking into the mirror and crying?”

“Tired of sitting on the toilet, looking in the mirror and crying?”

Yes, yes we are, Rosemary Westwood writes. Thank glittery goodness we have Laveau Contraire and Tarah Cards. (WWNO)

An interview with DJ Soul Sister, quarantine curator

"I never was a Spotify user before these times. But as a way to keep sane, create some content and share music, I have created a number of playlists."

"And each of them has a different theme. One night (well, it's been a few nights) I really couldn't fall asleep, so I created one called 'Insomniac Boogie.' Another playlist I created is called 'I Wish I was Roller Skating.' And there’s 'Home Cookin’: Funky Soul & Funky Funk from New Orleans, My Home.' The last one I did is called 'What Day is Today Again?'” (WWNO)


I’m Working Remotely. Can I Keep Hiding My Secret Baby? Yes, this is as good as it sounds. No, it's not fiction. (NYT)

Where to listen to Jazz Fest artists and get Jazz Fest food, since we can't go to Jazz Fest. (NOLA)

After The Spill: A Deepwater Horizon Oral History. (NPR)

Ten days after opening it, the Army Corp began closing the Bonnet Carre spillway. (WWNO)
Here's what the sky is going to do
It's going to be in the low to mid-80s this weekend, with a 50-50 chance of rain and thunderstorms on Saturday and "likely" rain and a (1) thunderstorm on Sunday. Seems incredibly vague and then incredibly specific, but OK. The week ahead is all low 80s and chances of rain.
Here's what you could do
🎶 Sink into a DJ Soul Sister playlist (or 50)
📻 Spend five minutes with American Routes remembering John Prine
📖 Get yourself a copy of "The City We Became" by N.K. Jemisin and absolutely blow through it and wish you could fast forward to the next releases in her "great cities" trilogy
🦞 Get yourself crawfish and a daiquiri (very carefully!) because it's the weekend and you earned it
🍛 Make some red beans and rice, because Ian McNulty said so
🤔 Try to guess just how similar this list has gotten to Ashley's personal to-do list (hint: very)
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