The Ballad Of The Lonely Mascot, And Other Haunting Tunes Of The COVID Era

Darlings! We have entered the last week of July 2020, which means that we only have five more months of this insane year. Now, those five months include two political conventions, Presidential debates, and an election, all of this whilst America continues to mess up its response to the novel coronavirus as other countries begin to re-open.

Oh, I’m sorry, I’m getting a note from my editor that this is WAY too much of a bummer to kick off a Missive with, so here’s an otter.

I Made This Special, It Otter Be Good! GIF - Otter Eating Animals GIFs


  • Sometimes, the hive mind giveth greatly: on a trip to a grocery store recently, I bought a large bottle of off-brand hand sanitizer for my car. But to my absolute dismay, when I went to use it a couple of days later, it filled my Bolt with the intense aroma of what I can only describe as distillery and despair. As someone who gave up drinking 5+ years ago because she had to let other people #bebest at it for awhile, having my vehicle smell like tequila isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, so I tucked the bottle away into my emergency supply box and promptly turned to Twitter to ask the void how God could allow this assault on my olfactory system to occur - and I got my answer! A bunch of responders mentioned this but @SmartiniGirl pointed me to an explanation from Wirecutter: Why Do Hand Sanitizers Suddenly Smell So Awful? Turns out it’s a combo of distillers pivoting from booze to denatured ethanol production (bless them for it,) and not doing a final filtration through activated carbon, which removes the rotten smell. Thanks, internet!

  • Today, in “dogs are just too good for us, bless them!”: Trained dogs were able to sniff out Covid-19 infections with 94% accuracy: study. I have no idea if there are any issues with this study, but if this means more dogs doing more jobs, I am HERE FOR IT!

  • Those of us able to do so have been working from home since at least March with no end in sight (Google announced that their teams will be WFH until at least next July.) As Friend of the Missive Christopher Mims points out in this week’s WSJ tech column, we’re seeing one of the most rapid workplace transitions since the Industrial Revolution, and we’ve got a lot to learn: The Work-From-Home Shift Shocked Companies—Now They’re Learning Its Lessons.

  • Speaking of WFH, companies may have figured out how to ensure everyone can get on the Zoom call, but have they dealt with the emotional stress of living in your office? Because we need to. FotM Sarah points us to this Indeed piece: Fighting Emotional Exhaustion: How Companies Can Combat COVID-19 Stress. 

  • And finally, the next time someone asks me how I, as a single person living alone, am doing right now, I’m going to send them the picture of Lou Seal holding up a LOUD NOISES sign in an empty stadium: These Photos Of Lonely Baseball Mascots In Empty Stadiums Are A Whole Mood. 

You’re all great. Eat a healthy breakfast, drink some water, wear a mask, and be kind to each other.

xoxo Amy

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