AT HOME – Leave it to lawyers to find a silver lining around husbands and wives cooped up for weeks on end. Sure, they won’t get sick from COVID-19, but attorneys say they sure are getting sick of one another. Divorce lawyers report an avalanche of anxious phone calls to their offices from married people “exploring their options.” One lawyer tells CBS News, with couples “spending more time (together) than since their honeymoon, it’s pushing them right over (the edge).” A TruePublic survey of 21,000 respondents also predicts an outbreak of divorces after the lockdown ends. But, with New Jersey’s courts basically closed for now, and then hopelessly clogged for months to come, new divorce proceedings will have to wait as these couples stew. Another attorney’s advice: “People just need to sit still.” And not strangle each other.
STATEWIDE – In trying times, there is at least on luxury we can all enjoy: someone else pumping our gas. Or, maybe not. Gas station attendants are quitting because they don’t want to risk their lives to deliver your 87 Regular. And they’re absolutely right. Some are already infected with COVID-19. And everyone, customers included, knows it’s really hard to maintain social distancing at the gas pump. According to NJSpotlight, owners are asking the governor to lift the self-service ban, at least for the duration. New Jersey is now the only state to outlaw self-service. Even Oregon, the poster child for holier-than-thou green living, is letting people pump their own gas. Thus far, the governor seems less-than-taken by the idea. Look, Gov. Phil Murphy: we can pump our own gas, at least until this nightmare is in the rearview mirror. Then it’s back to, “Fill er up!”
NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers to the rescue! University researchers have developed a test for COVID-19 that has gotten an emergency OK from the feds. Rather than deep, uncomfortable nasal and throat swabs, patients just need to spit into a tube. TAPInto New Brunswick says the RU test can process thousands of samples daily, all of which can greatly speed up the number of people who are getting screened, as well as help us get a better control on the reach of this pandemic. These new saliva tests will initially be made available to the RWJBarnabas Health network, beginning tomorrow at the Kilmer testing site in Edison, and then hopefully expanded all over the place.
Professor Andrew Brooks (Photo: Rutgers University/RUCDR Infinite Biologics)
TRENTON – A state assemblyman is ringing alarm bells about proposed legislation that seems to be zooming through the state Legislature, giving health care professionals and facilities immunity as they respond to this crisis. Assemblyman Jamel Holley considers this a civil rights issue, as a disproportionate number of COVID-19 patients are minorities and would be stripped of any legal recourse if disaster hits in the hospital. At least, the assemblyman says, there should be some public comment on this bill that strips patients’ rights before it is rushed to the governor for his signature, which could happen as early as today.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on July 4.
THE STATE LINE – Pennsylvania liquor stores are closed, prompting plenty of beer runs across the Delaware into New Jersey. Keystone cops are reminding their residents that heading into New Jersey to stock up on booze is not “essential business” under that state's stay-at-home order - and they're pulling over motorists, writing tickets, issuing fines and even threatening to seize vehicles or hand out three-month jail sentences to anyone caught crossing the state line with a bottle or two, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Business is pouring in, and complaints pouring out, as Jersey and other border states see "an avalanche" of customers from PA.
KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY
LOUISVILLE, KY – Two women from New Jersey managed to tick off the governors of two states, driving from here to Kentucky to attend an Easter Sunday service. Both Gov. Phil Murphy and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear are banning social gatherings and have been very vocal about it. But the Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville decided to hold the service anyway, attracting the two church ladies from Jersey. WDRB-TV reports that cops recorded the license plates of church attendees and left notes under windshields ordering a self quarantine for 14 days. Pastor Jack Roberts – who we assume is also a knucklehead – touted the two New Jerseyans who drove about 12 hours to risk their lives to be in church. “Our Lord and Savior is risen and we need to come together and feel the spirit of the Lord moving upon all of us," one knucklehead told the Courier Journal, adding church is an “essential right.” No matter the risk to themselves and others.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – While your blooming career may be on hold at the moment, its been a boon for pollsters. Bored Americans trapped at home suddenly have ample time to take surveys and talk to pollsters. They are actually answering the phone and being polite, to the glee of polling companies who are reaping more information than ever. The Hill interviewed more than a half-dozen national pollsters, who are amazed to note that people are suddenly answering the phone when those weird, unidentified numbers appear on the caller ID. One polling director said he just bought a list that gets about 500 respondents after a lot of dialing. This time, he landed 1,000 interviews in no time flat. And people are chatting like never before, willing to yak it up on the phone with a stranger for more than 30 minutes at a clip. Now, that’s boredom.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was on this day in 1948 that the price of the NYC subway token soared 100%, from 5 cents to a dime.
WORD OF THE DAY
Hypnagogic – [hip-nuh-GAH-jik] – adjective
Definition: Of, relating to, or occurring in the period of drowsiness immediately preceding sleep
Example: Sometimes I experience hypnagogic hallucinations with a lot of Smurfs.
WIT OF THE DAY
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”
- Jim Morrisson
“I am working hard to expose the corruption and dishonesty in the Lamestream Media. That part is easy, the hard part is WHY?”
-Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun