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We read Rhode Island’s coronavirus Facebook comments so you don’t have to

Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m finding it much harder to hate the Yankees without any baseball to watch. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 8,247 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and 251 residents had died. There were 269 people in the hospital, 80 in intensive care, and 55 were on ventilators.


If your daily routine now consists of a prolonged debate about whether you need to shower if you’re not going to leave the house and eating too many Pop-Tarts while you anxiously wait for Governor Gina Raimondo to tell you that your favorite summer activity is canceled, welcome to the club.

To show you that you’re not alone, I started reading Facebook comments - thousands of them. What you’ll see below are word clouds of the most common comments made during Governor Raimondo’s press conferences on April 24, 25, and 26.

The comments were made on the Facebook pages for Governor Raimondo, WPRI-TV, and WJAR-TV, which appear to have the largest online audiences for the daily update.

There aren’t necessarily any conclusions to draw here, although you’ll notice that the word “people” stands out on all three pages. Enjoy.

Governor Raimondo’s Facebook page

Governor Raimondo's Facebook pageDan McGowan

WPRI’s Facebook page

WPRI's Facebook pageDan McGowan

WJAR’s Facebook page

WJAR's Facebook page

*Note: The Facebook comments were downloaded using ExportComments.com.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.


⚓ It might not be surprising, but it’s totally heartbreaking that the Newport folk and jazz festivals are canceled this summer. And Governor Raimondo says that you shouldn’t expect any parades or large events in Rhode Island anytime soon.

⚓ In a poignant op-ed for STAT, Dr. Ashish Jha, the incoming dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, writes that “when accurate, timely, nationwide information is the lifeblood of our response, the CDC has largely disappeared.”

Ed Fitzpatrick writes that the state’s grim economic outlook as a result of the coronavirus is becoming clearer.

⚓ Say it ain’t so: The coronavirus is causing a meat shortage.

⚓ My colleague Joan Vennochi has a smart column looking at the reaction to the sexual assault claim against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

BIRTHDAYS: You have one more day to send me the names of any friends or family that you want to wish a happy birthday. Be sure to send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.

⚓ Governor Raimondo’s daily coronavirus update is at 1 p.m. She’ll be answering questions from children today (reporters are more like tweens).

⚓ The Providence Business News is holding a business continuity virtual summit today at 9 a.m.

⚓What’s the future look like for the World Health Organization? Brown University, Georgetown University, and the Washington Post are sponsoring a conversation on the topic at noon.


⚓ Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino says he’s unveiling more coronavirus-related safety upgrades for 100 Westminster Street, one of the premier commercial buildings in the city.

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Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him @danmcgowan.