Happy Friday. Quite the gloomy day to end the week on, huh?

I hope that everyone can get out for their appropriately distanced walk and get through the weekend safely and sanely.

The novel coronavirus continues its relentless march around the world, with nearly 1.1 million cases worldwide and close to 60,000 total reported world deaths.

As the grim news continues, there are some pretty amazing “good news” stories out there, too. Celebrities are using their influence to record social distancing and stay-at-home PSAs, some of which are good, and some of which are so bad they are downright awesome.

As more people are talking about stopping the spread, face mask rules are surfacing…and you can check out a site offering free face mask patterns here, along with a how-to video.

There’s a growing list of acts of kindness that truly can inspire you and make you believe in humanity again. With that in mind, I figure starting our final 5 things of the week with one of those uplifting stories can only help us all remember that love, kindness, and humanity will get us all through this.

1) Michigan has quickly risen to one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19, coming in at number four for total cases and third for deaths. In an act of kindness, Detroit resident Allen Marshall took the money he had been saving up and spent it not on himself, but to buy gas for nurses who were out near the Detroit Medical Center Wednesday and Thursday.

Standing at an Exxon gas station close to Detroit Medical Center, Marshall held up a sign that said “FREE GAS FOR NURSES.” After dropping his wife – an essential worker at a local Blue Cross Blue Shield office – off at work, he took the $900 he had been saving up for a knife sharpening tool and paid to fill up the tanks of passing nurses instead.

An employee of the Exxon, Imran Al Samet, said that Marshall purchased gas for anywhere from 50 to 80 cars. When he was done, he printed up a new sign that read
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!” and waved at passersby. Inspired by Marshall’s kindness, another woman known only as “Alana” came to the station and purchased another $200 worth of gas for nurses, pumping it for them as well.

2) The U.S.’s top expert in infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and member of the coronavirus task force, reiterated last night that he feels the entire country should be in a stay-at-home order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Fauci said he is unclear why this has yet been mandated, yet he stopped just short of calling on the president to act. At the task force’s Monday press briefing, President Donald Trump said a national stay-at-home order had been discussed, but that he felt it was not likely one would be issued.

3) Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would sign Executive Order that allows for massive redistribution of the state’s medical supplies. On the heels of yesterday’s revelation that there are about six days before the state runs out of ventilators and reports of personal protective equipment (PPE) getting reused, Cuomo said he felt he needed to take more aggressive measures than simply asking people to do the right thing and share what they have.

The numbers this morning revealed that there are over 102,000 cases and 2,935 deaths throughout the state, with 562 people dying in the past 24 hours – a number that marks the deadliest day of the novel coronavirus in the country’s epicenter to date. The supplies that are being dispersed will be returned to their original facility or that facility will be reimbursed, according to the governor.

This order is intended to get ventilators from private organizations that have not yet donated them to the cause, and Cuomo said he is refusing to allow people to die when there are ventilators still in the state that could be obtained.

4) New York State and SUNY Albany are partnering to open another COVID-19 test site for the Capital Region. UAlbany confirmed today that the main parking lot on the Colonial Quad will be transformed to a testing site that will open Monday, April 6.

According to the university, there will be a minimal impact on life on campus and to those around it, as well as no health risk to those remaining on the campus. The site will be self-contained and have access to bathrooms. There will also be a dedicated trash collection for the site.

They did want to alert nearby residents that due to the test site, certain roadways around the campus are going to be blocked temporarily and recommend residents avoid the northwest corner of the campus.

If you think you have been exposed and have symptoms, please call the COVID-19 hotline at (888) 364-3065, and if approved for testing you will receive a pin. Without a PIN you will not receive a test. UPD, NYS Police and the National Guard will be on-site to maintain order.

5) Every day more items are added to the postponement and cancelation listing. Please check before planning on any event to see if it has been canceled here.

That’s all for this week folks. Have a great weekend, and we will see you on the other side!!

Photo credit: George Fazio.