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“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one. We’ve already stopped any centralized April Fool’s efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about. Please suss out those efforts and make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned — internally or externally.”

So read the leaked memo from Google. April Fools’ Day is officially on hold.

According to USA Today, Alex Boese, author of The Museum of Hoaxes: A History of Outrageous Pranks and Deceptions, said that if a business were to engage in April Fools’ Day jokes as usual:  “It definitely does seem a little tone-deaf.” 

CNN’s take on it is: “Here’s a better April Fools’ Day prank this year: stay very far away from people, wash your hands, and don’t pluck at the few fragile little threads holding together our collective sanity. It’ll be a hit.”

Life feels like one big prank at the moment, but let’s try and savor any time we find the chance to smile this month. April – we’ve got this.


NEW YORK STORIES 
Tom Fervoy nominated Dan Beyrer and Eric Howard and their crew from our neighborhood firehouse as W42ST Hell’s Heroes.  The Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9 crew is seen as Broadway’s firehouse. 

These brave firefighters protect us all in a crisis. On September 11, this station lost all 15 of its personnel.  In this crisis they are coping with a deluge of 911 calls.  True heroes. Read their story – at w42st.com


HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Many of you have asked what you can do to get involved. Here are some ideas: 

1. Tell us your self-isolation survival hacks. And send us photographs (or videos) of how you’re making the most of your days. 
2. Talk to us. Say thank you. Say hi. Say you haven’t showered or worn pants in a week. We want to hear from you – we’re feeling isolated too.
3. Encourage five of your friends to sign up to this newsletter – those numbers will make a huge difference to our business (and our egos).

Thank you! Hell’s Kitchen, we love you.

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ONE LINK
Felix at American Home Hardware emailed me last night with a BBC story about “How to stay happy during the corona virus outbreak.” He said: “Share in your newsletter.”  I appreciated Felix taking the time. It resonated with him – and I share it with you now.

That one email triggered me to ask a group of friends: “If you could share one link to keep our readers updated and upbeat, what would it be?” Some of the replies are below. If I didn’t ask you, what’s yours?  I’m here to share tomorrow too.

Bryan from Fresh from Hell certainly came up with the most “updated” link. This is a real-time stats page. It will encourage you to stay indoors – and will be so much more upbeat when the numbers start heading downwards. Use with caution.

My buddy, Joe (of Perudo fame), went with Bored Panda. He acknowledged it might be at the upbeat end of the market – without much update. But who can resist a site that can surprise you with orangutans (and otters)?

Megan from Intrepid Museum and Rachel from The Artist Co-op both nominated Some Good News with John Krasinski.

Thanks to Nicki at Domus for this video link that does a great job of explaining the Federal stimulus package for business. The first interview answers so many questions – and it applies even if you are a sole trader or self employed. 

Edith, who hosts W42ST’s storytelling series, said: “Since I can’t go outside, I love the podcast Bird Note. I can listen to bird song from my window, instead of focusing on the ambulance sirens. It connects me to spring and nature. And it’s only a couple of minutes’ long.

Finally, Mandy from Ardesia recommended @goodnews_movement on Instagram. “So many great stories of happy things that are happening in the midst of all of this.”

Please send me your favorite link for tomorrow’s newsletter. I’ll pick a few – and it will keep me cheerful. Happy Humpday!

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