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A United States Postal worker makes a delivery with gloves and a mask in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The U.S. Postal Service is keeping post offices open but ensuring customers stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart. The agency said it is following guidance from public health experts, although there is no indication that the new coronavirus COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

How to save the Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service has been sick for a long time. The coronavirus has put it on the critical list at the same time we're more dependent on it, especially for packages with essential supplies, medicine and even food because of the self-quarantine imposed on most all of us. What to do?

Americans have confidence the work of the federal government will continue even if members of Congress become ill with coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Bailing out the broken pension system

As Democrats and Republicans prepare for a fight over whether the federal government should print even more money to bail out states running short of cash because of the coronavirus shutdown, some governors see an opportunity to blame the pandemic for long-standing financial problems.

President Donald Trump speaks after signing a coronavirus aid package to direct funds to small businesses, hospitals, and testing, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Immigration put on pause

Last week, President Donald Trump made an announcement via Twitter just about no one saw coming: "In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!" By Wednesday the proclamation had been signed, and just like that, immigration into the United States, with some exceptions, was put on pause.

Pedestrians wearing protective masks cross Canal Street Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The year of the asterisk

If the asterisk didn't already exist, someone would need to invent it. The little starburst is destined to appear everywhere the details of pandemic-dominated 2020 are documented. Wherever it pops up, the asterisk will serve to remind future readers something happened that year which requires additional explanation to grasp. The billions living through the coronavirus contagion, though, will have their own disturbing flashbacks that recall a year like none in living memory.

People wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walk past a mural of the world in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. April 22 is observed as Earth Day every year as a tool to raise ecological awareness. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Digging disease on Earth Day

Earth Day has reached the ripe old age of 50. In all those years, the day of action on behalf of the planet has never produced the real-world impact of the current coronavirus contagion. Now that climate activists have witnessed what a genuine global emergency looks like, their passion for a repeat may prove irresistible. The segment of society that feeds, clothes, shelters and heals humanity -- that is, almost everyone -- should beware of efforts to hitch an environmental crisis to the ravages of a pestilence the world is already battling.

A bee takes off from a flower Monday, April 20, 2020, at Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered state parks to reopen Monday after being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Make Earth Day a time to come together

For the first time since it was conceived, Earth Day will be, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, observed virtually. That's a big change for a 50-year-old cultural event celebrating the wonders of creation and the beauty of the big blue marble on which we all reside.

President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Pinning the quack tail on The Donald

There is a glimmer of reason to suspect the dreaded coronavirus has summited its American mountain of death and is poised to start a downward slide toward normalcy. The hope-filled development has prompted President Trump to ponder what he calls "the biggest decision I've ever had to make": When to reopen the economy. Whatever course of action the president chooses, one thing is certain: His critics will consider him a coronavirus quack.

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Anticipating Opening Day

The coronavirus curve is finally flattening, but so is the U.S. economy. When a full month of dutiful adherence to stay-at-home advisories has passed, Americans rightly expect to see a loosening of restrictions. With thoughtful attention to proper balance between health and financial well-being, authorities will hinge their legacies on whether they choose wisely before hitting hit the "start" button.

In this Jan. 4, 2017, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, watches President Barack Obama, center, at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

In November, Americans vote

During these uncertain times it can feel like just about the most we can do is keep placing one foot in front of the other. Jobs are dwindling, money is tight, people are sick. With the ever-mounting problems of the present, small wonder few of us are in the mood to consider the future.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (CDC via AP, File)

By all means, open up

Americans want to get back to work. What's stopping them is unclear. President Donald J. Trump says he has the ultimate authority to restart the economy but the self-quarantine orders, travel restrictions and other limitations on mobility have all come from the governors and local elected officials.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses an outline for what it will take to lift coronavirus restrictions during a news conference at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Newsom said he won't loosen the state's mandatory stay-at-home order until hospitalizations, particularly those in intensive care units, "flatten and start to decline."(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

Coronavirus follies

The president, too many governors and more than a few local officials have apparently decided that they have the power to order the rest of us to do pretty much anything that strikes their fancy in the name of fighting the coronavirus. Some of their contradictory orders make sense and some don't. Few would argue about the need for what we now call "social distancing," but why can that be used to justify arresting a man for playing catch with his daughter in an empty park in Colorado or two men who dared to play a round of golf in Rhode Island to keep them or the rest of us safe?

The U.S. Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Congress is shutting the Capitol and all House and Senate office buildings to the public until April in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Overusing the coronavirus rubber stamp

The coronavirus is a once-in-a-lifetime catastrophe. As the pandemic continues to savage the nation, government is sparing no effort to minimize the tragic toll in lost lives. When the fog of the war on disease finally lifts, Americans should ask for a clear-eyed review of the battle. One common-sense reform is worth consideration: Making federal disaster designation a more precise response to differing conditions on the ground rather than a bureaucratic rubber stamp.

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 1998 file photo Linda Tripp arrives at the offices of Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm, in Washington to give a deposition in a lawsuit about the FBI files controversy. Tripp, whose secretly recorded conversations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, died Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at age 70. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

A reminder of a sad, sordid time

Linda Tripp died last week at the age of 70. Perhaps second only to President Clinton, she remains the most polarizing figure of the 1998 impeachment investigation -- proceedings that would not have unfolded with such explosivity save for her surreptitious recording of White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

FILE - In this April 7, 2020, file photo poll workers used caution tape and pylons to set up aisles to help maintain proper social distancing at a polling place set up at the Government Center in Superior, Wis., as voters, ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat, cast ballots in the state's presidential primary election.  A partisan fight over voting in Wisconsin was the first issue linked to the coronavirus to make it to the Supreme Court. (Dan Kraker/Minnesota Public Radio via AP, File)

Rejecting outcome-based adjudication

The fights this week at the Wisconsin state Supreme Court and at the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the April 7 Wisconsin primary are prime examples of what can best be described as the "outcome-based adjudication" favored by liberal judicial activists. (It's not to be confused with outcome-based education.)

Pharmacist Michael Witte wears heavy gloves as he opens a frozen package of the potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial, Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) **FILE**

A penny for their thoughts

Epochal events don't come around often, thank goodness. One has turned up, uninvited, in 2020, and it is stretching the social fabric to the limit. As if the coronavirus weren't challenging enough, some deep thinkers read the sudden tumult that deadly contagion has wrought as proof that the world needs an overhaul. Rather than a wholesale overhaul, the world needs a simpler fix: A life-saving vaccine.

A nurse, wearing rubber, waits gloves for the city's coronavirus testing site to open next to Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, March 20, 2020. The site, which opened Friday afternoon, is the first city-run location where people can be swabbed to determine if they have the coronavirus. At the time of opening, it was only for people with symptoms who are over 50 and healthcare workers with symptoms. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Politicizing the pandemic

Health care workers are the heroes of the coronavirus crisis. They're the ones "running into the burning buildings instead of out," as just about everyone said regarding firefighters in the aftermath of 9/11. The doctors and nurses and orderlies who show up every day, work double- and triple-shifts treating the sick and searching for a cure deserve our thoughts and prayers and gratitude.

FILE - This June 12, 2017 file photo shows pumpjacks operating in the western edge of California's Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield. Oil production from federally-managed lands and waters topped a record 1 billion barrels in 2019, according to the Department of Interior on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Brian Melley, File)

Saving oil from the pandemic

A drop in the price of life's necessities is a surprise boon for consumers, but it can mean a bust for producers. The global oil market has gone over a precipice -- partly owing to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and partly due to a price war -- and the U.S. oil industry is caught in the crossfire. Unless the disruptions subside, and quickly, President Trump should not hesitate to take steps to ensure the health of an enterprise that isn't simply vital to the American economy, but its national security.

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