It Looks Crazy Over the Sea Right Now | -19, '20 | Issue No. 26

In the months immediately following the election of the 45th president, it occured to me that his particular way of doing things most closely mirrored a DDoS attack. You’ve probably seen one before, or not been able to log onto Netflix, or eBay, or stream songs of Spotify, because a person - or persons - had intentionally flooded the site with meaningless traffic to overload it’s processing capacity and render it inoperable. It’s systematic disruption aimed at total shut down, done for fun, to send a message or to mask an ulterior motive in a deluge of chaotic and confusing distraction. And by the very first lie about how many people attended his inauguration, all the way through to this week’s suggestion that it would be interesting for scientists to check if injecting household disinfectants into the human body held the cure for a disease that’s now killed over 50 thousand people in the nation he leads, I’ve felt flooded to near capacity this week by the President’s traffic, and wondered, as always, what motive it belies.

We’ve heard from a lot of people in the past few weeks. Some working, essentially and still, on jobs that risk their lives to keep the city moving. And some working, tirelessly, to hold on to what they can of businesses they’ve been forced to close and to help the employees they’ve been forced to let go. And with the current commotion over reopening salons and liberating bowling alleys gaining traction from the streets to the white house, it’s hard not to wonder, again, what’s really going on. It stopped making sense that opening a country’s worth of business to a threat that can’t yet be contained and is still relatively unknown would be good for anything. Unless it’s good for the economy, that businesses and workers who heed the call of safety over the din of counterfeit protest won’t be eligible for aid if they can choose to work instead.

But this week, we’re overwhelmed, and almost inoperable, and having trouble figuring anything out at all.

“The Sickness is the Cure”
by Shirin Barghi

Ramadan is a sacred time of fasting and feasting, reflection and socializing for Muslim New Yorkers, but with mosques closed and families separated due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are experiencing the month in self-isolation and within the confines of their homes. In this episode we talk to Raihan Farogui, a physician, health tech consultant, and activist based in New York, as he navigates the rhythm of Ramadan under lockdown as well as his own recent recovery from a weeks-long battle with Covid-19.

“Those Who Had Come Into Contact”
by Ross Tuttle and Sachar Mathias

Despite the nation’s tanking economy and skyrocketing rate of unemployment; warehouses, supermarkets and teleconference companies seem to be hiring at unprecedented speed. But there’s another sector gearing up to recruit hundreds of thousands of new employees. The growth is coming in the field of epidemic surveillance, disease detection, or as it’s mostly referred to these days: contact tracing. It is like it sounds: identifying the carriers of a known disease, and then locating the people they’ve come into contact with, in an attempt to track and control the cycle of infection. It’s among the steps South Korea’s taken to flatten their COVID curve, and was essential to the eradication of diseases smallpox and tuberculosis, and something something AIDS and ebola. Although the practice goes back decades, it’s something that we – well, that many of us are hearing about for the first time now.

“Weekend Weather with Junior Meteorologist Giff City” was produced by Emily Boghossian, Taylor Cook, and Lauren Germain. Brooklyn USA’s “Messages From Over Here” are produced by Voltron.

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Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Mayumi Sato and Charlie Hoxie, with help this week from BRIC Radio Junior Meteorologist Griff City, Lauren Germain, Talyor Cook, and Raihan Faroqui.

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