• Sen. Ron Wyden, known for his town halls all over the state of Oregon, held an April 17 virtual town hall on Facebook, and it was fascinating. From his Washington, D.C., Senate office, and through the Town Hall Project, Wyden answered questions from Nick in Enterprise, Allison in Portland, Jane in Salem, Erika in Happy Valley, Jerry in Grants Pass and many more. Wyden said we need a citizen uprising to demand national vote by mail, calling it a public safety issue. The senator also countered some local news stories when he said there has been a “huge increase in domestic and sexual violence cases” with Oregonians forced to stay at home with no jobs, no money and the threat of the virus. When the town hall was finished, we wondered: What has happened to the safety net for Americans, not just in this crisis, but long before that? After November 2020, we should have a chance to start restoring it with a new president, a new Senate majority, or, preferably, both.

• We are feeling very lucky at Eugene Weekly to have applied for and gotten a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan. Between that, the ads we are still getting from awesome businesses and the wonderful contributions we are getting from our amazing readers, we are hanging in there and still printing news, arts and that sudoku you all love so much during COVID-19. Not all businesses were so lucky. The program, which ran out of money April 16 but hopefully will be replenished by Congress, was intended for small mom and pop businesses, but chains like Shake Shack got a $10 million PPP loan and Ruth’s Chris steakhouse got $20 million. When Portland is open for business again and Shake Shack opens downtown, you can feel OK eating at the burger chain — when the news came out that they got the loan, Shake Shack gave it back. Hopefully the next round of loans will make it to the truly small businesses that need it. 

• Will we ever get to see University of Oregon Ducks’ Sabrina Ionescu play with New York, Satou Sabally with Dallas, and Ruthy Hebard with Chicago? Not until pro sports are back on the calendar, paying audiences are in the arenas, and we can get the WNBA games on our TV sets. The season was supposed to start in May. Seems unlikely. We just hope Ionescu has a key to a gym somewhere so she can keep shooting. And don’t forget to keep an eye on which team Oregon quarterback and Eugene native Justin Herbert ends up with when the NFL draft kicks off Thursday, April 23. He probably won’t get the No. 1 pick like Ionescu, but we expect Herbert to go in the first round.

• Can we just be done with 2020 already? There’s now to be no Bach this summer in Eugene. News came April 21 that the 2020 Oregon Bach Festival, which was to have run June 26-July 12, has been postponed for a full year (see details in our story on the EW website along with other web-only articles). That’s a smart decision, if a little late in coming, but it reminds us how many cultural events we will miss on account of the virus — and how many arts organizations are in deep trouble as they go on indefinite hiatus. Please contribute freely to your favorite arts groups to help them survive.

What we’re reading: The Splendid and the Vile, a saga of Winston Churchill, family and defiance during the Blitz, by Erik Larson. At the top of The New York Times bestselling nonfiction list, this book can’t be there because of great writing. It must be because we are so hungry for real leadership in this time of crisis, and Churchill was truly a great leader.