We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were In”—Verily quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Biography Will Drop This Summer
This week, news broke that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s story of stepping down as senior members of the British royal family will be published in a biographical book written by reporters with whom the couple shared their experiences. According to the Amazon description, the book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Royal Family, “goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan’s life together, dispelling the many rumours and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond.” The book is scheduled for release on August 11 and intends to return the narrative to Meghan and Harry to tell their own story, after a difficult time in the British media spotlight. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Megyn Kelly To Release Interview with Tara Reade
Last Friday, the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden publicly responded to Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations on the Morning Joe by denying the incident took place. “It never, never happened,” Biden told host Mika Brzezinski. “Women are to be believed given the benefit of the doubt—if they come forward and say something that happened to them, they should start the presumption that they're telling the truth," Biden said. "Then you have to look at the circumstances and the facts. And the facts of this case do not add up.”
In posts published on her social media channels Thursday, journalist Megyn Kelly revealed she sat down with Reade for a full interview that she will be releasing soon on her YouTube channel soon. From some of the teaser clips, viewers learn that Reade believes Biden should drop out of the presidential race, and that she’d undergo a lie detector test if Biden did, too, because she is not a criminal. We look forward to seeing Kelly’s full interview when it drops. —MRS
Religious Sisters Face Supreme Court at Same Time as Pandemic
Assisted-living facilities have seen alarming numbers of COVID-19 fatalities, and the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, Delaware is no exception. A Roman Catholic residence, The Jeanne Jugan Residence is operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns who are currently in the midst of a Supreme Court Case regarding the HHS mandate.
The Jeanne Jugan Residence sees the death of, on average, thirteen residents per year; that many residents died of coronavirus or coronavirus-related complications in just three weeks since the virus’s outbreak.
“Typically,” according to an article at The Atlantic, “deaths at the home are slow and gentle, with residents surrounded by family and the sisters sitting by their bedside, holding a prayer vigil in three-hour shifts. COVID-19 has taken away all the normal rituals that might happen close to the end of a resident’s life.”
Priests have been unable to visit residents to administer the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick or Reconciliation, and when sisters enter residents’ rooms, they’re fully equipped with gowns, masks, and other protective equipment over their habits and veils.
The Jeanne Jugan Residence has bounteous stories of dear friendship and strong hospitality among its residents; the contagion of this coronavirus has proven detrimental not only to physical health, but it has challenged the strength of residents’ spirits as well. Sr. Raymond Elizabeth Kortenhof, who first began volunteering with the order at the age of 11 said,“If you don’t have a strong faith, this thing would just succeed in crushing you.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor continue to weather both this challenge and their fight for religious liberty in their ongoing court case. —Maggie Sicilia Bickerstaff
Retailer J.Crew Goes Bankrupt
Shopping mall staple J.Crew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, as a long downward slide accelerated amid COVID-19 store closures.
Not all is lost: CNN reports that executives hope to bring the business back out of bankruptcy eventually. Customers can still buy J.Crew’s clothes, and the company’s super-hot Madewell brand remains as a cushion.
Still, it’s a once-unthinkable turn of events for the retailer which helped define fashion a decade ago. Michelle Obama favored the brand’s preppy style, and J.Crew looks even showed up in high fashion environments like the 2015 Met Gala. Entire bridal parties were decked out by the brand’s wedding department, which offered choices that seemed chicer and more re-wearable than traditional bridesmaid attire.
Consumers didn’t stay faithful, however, and as the athleisure trend took off, J.Crew’s crisp signature designs got left behind. The bridal line was canceled. Creative Director Jenna Lyons left the brand and her successors struggled to recreate the magic with customers, who are increasingly enticed to spend their wardrobe budgets at stores like Lululemon and Athleta.
And that was before the coronavirus pandemic closed retail stores for months. J.Crew is the first major retailer to declare bankruptcy in the wake of the virus, but likely won’t be the last. It remains to be seen how many J.Crew stores reopen as quarantine restrictions are gradually lifted. —Margaret Brady
33 Million Have Sought U.S. Unemployment Aid Since Virus Hit
In the seven weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began shutting the doors of businesses across America, roughly 33.5 million individuals have applied for governmental aid.
A report this week from the Labor Department showed that of those who have applied, approximately 22.7 million people are receiving unemployment funding. It is expected that the unemployment rate will be the worst since the Great Depression, likely resting somewhere around 16 percent. Based on economists estimates’, roughly 21 million jobs were lost last month; this is the equivalent of all recovery made since the recession of 2008.
In addition to those who’ve lost jobs, many Americans who remain working have had hours or salaries reduced. Layoffs and reductions have been more concentrated in less-educated populations. According to the AP, 28 percent of Americans without a college degree say their household has suffered a layoff; 19 percent of Americans with college degrees report the same. Among the hardest hit industries are restaurants, retail, and hospitality.
It is believed, additionally, that this 33.5 million figure may still underrepresent those who have lost jobs. The AP reports, “Surveys by academic economists and think tanks suggest that as many as 12 million workers who were laid off by mid-April did not file for unemployment benefits by then, either because they couldn't navigate their state's overwhelmed systems or they felt too discouraged to try.” —MSB
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Good News of the Week
Lowe’s Sends Mother’s Day Love to Isolated Seniors With $1 Million in Flower Baskets Delivered From Local Growers
Lowe’s hardware stores have partnered with local greenhouses to deliver Mother’s Day flower baskets to elderly moms who are unable to see their children this year due to social distancing requirements.
“Mother’s Day is a special time of celebration between mothers, grandmothers and their children, and our hearts go out to the millions of families nationwide who won’t be able to be with their loved ones this year,” said Lowe’s chief brand and marketing officer, Marisa Thalberg.
Flower baskets will be delivered to over 500 senior care facilities and long-term residences in cities that have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, such as New York, Miami, Seattle, Boston, and Chicago. Sourced from local nurseries whose business may have been impacted by the virus, each individually wrapped basket will come with a note of appreciation for the recipient.
This initiative adds to the $250 million dollars Lowe’s has already committed to pandemic relief and, according to a Massachusetts healthcare facility spokesperson, “brought sunshine to both the residents and essential staff.” —MSB
Watch of the Week
Members of the Houston Ballet Academy created a video to a catchy Moby tune to keep moving during less mobile days.
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