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COVID-19 v. TRUMP-20: A Viral Battle For Our Attention

When a virus sucks all the oxygen out of the public space — and then another arrives.

Trump press conference, April 9
Trump press conference, April 9
Andrej Mrevlje

WASHINGTON — Life has become one-dimensional. I don't mean that life before the Coronavirus was much better. Donald Trump was still the President of the United States — and he is not all that different from a virus.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was Trump that was everywhere. He contaminated the media. He left us stupefied by his incomprehensible expressions, provoking constant bewilderment at his discombobulated manner of speech. He penetrated the social fabric, obliterating all other relevant news. Many of us were counting down the days until the end of the Trump epidemic, which has finally arrived now.

He could come back stronger than ever.

But while the fight against the Coronavirus has overshadowed Trump's daily performance, he has not left the stage completely. He still is in the White House, waiting for better times. There is a strong possibility that he could come back stronger than ever when this is all over. But he is now competing with the Coronavirus. He cannot tolerate someone or something – in this case, the virus – occupying center stage in his place. This is the only reason why Trump finally decided to fight COVID-19. This is a war between one virus and another.

Read more at Yonder

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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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