Lake Effect

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Most museums in Milwaukee are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s left museum workers in an interesting predicament: how do they bring their work to people without actually visiting the museum?

Victor Moussa /

Tarot cards have an interesting reputation. Their link to the occult can make them see taboo or sacrilegious. Some people connect them to hustlers or crooks, looking to make a quick buck. But those who believe in it, often see the cards as a way to reconnect with their feelings and aspirations.

Now as many of us stay locked inside our homes for an unknown amount of time, our collective future can feel more uncertain than it once did. Tarot practitioner Laurence Ross, believes these cards can provide a window into the possible and direction when we feel most directionless.

Alexander Raths /

Each day we see the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases as places across the globe work to treat and respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It’s not just global cities that are at risk for things like SARS, H1N1 or COVID-19 —  secondary cities and urban hubs, such as Milwaukee, are too. We’ve seen mandates and efforts passed both on the federal and state level, but cities also play a large part in preparing for, mitigating and adapting to pandemics.

blackzheep /

Although social distancing has many of us stuck at home, there are still opportunities to reconnect with nature. Health professionals suggest getting fresh air, taking walks, and even adding some greenery to your life.

March is a bit early to start digging in the ground, but there are still some ways to work out your green thumb. Gardening expert Melinda Myers has a lot of useful tips for starting seeds indoors, including what plants you should start in March. 

Chuck Quirmbach

As of Thursday, Wisconsin has 155 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Hospitals in the Milwaukee area say they can still take in patients, but they worry about the number of cases possibly skyrocketing. So, some elective surgery is being delayed.

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

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If you drive around Milwaukee or any other city, you're bound to come across a cannabidiol (CBD) shop. In addition to these shops, you can also find many CBD products — oils, drinks and food — in places like drug and grocery stores.

CBD products use cannabinoids that come from hemp plants and are not supposed to contain any psychoactive properties. These products may have benefits ranging from stress and anxiety relief to reducing pain and inflammation.

Pinehold Gardens

Earlier this week, health officials in 16 Milwaukee County municipalities, including the city, have ordered bars and restaurants to close to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That's the disease caused by the coronavirus.

>>Coronavirus: Restaurants Face Potential Loss Of Employees, Revenue Amid Shutdowns

Olivia Richardson

Last year, the city of Milwaukee won a two-year grant to target vacant lots deemed blighted in neighborhoods that are underfunded. After focusing on the allocation of grant money, the city is now ready to distribute the bulk of it's remaining mini grants to residents.

The Love Your Block program focuses on beautifying nine specific neighborhoods where residents may want to fix up an odd lot that could serve the community better if it had a little love.

DARREN HAUCK / Getty Images

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is rapidly transforming the way we live our lives. Many of us, including the Lake Effect staff, have transitioned to working from home for the foreseeable future. But as most of us avoid contact with the outside world, Wisconsin's April 7 spring election and presidential preference primary is quickly approaching.

Julian Hayda / WUWM

Millions of Christians around the world observe Lent this time of year — the traditional 40-day period in preparation for Easter is usually marked by abstaining from certain indulgent foods and behaviors. Milwaukee’s world-famous fish frys owe in part to the Catholic practice of skipping meat during Lent.

READ: Friday Night Fish Fry: The Story Behind A Milwaukee Tradition

Julian Hayda / WUWM

Coffee drinkers around the country got a rare taste of a Panamanian coffee thanks to a deal that Milwaukee, Wisc., roaster Colectivo struck with the Hacienda La Esmeralda plantation.

This particular bean is called “Geisha,” and it’s usually sold in specialty auctions once a year.

The coffee's reputation took off in 2004, when the Peterson family that owns the plantation submitted Geisha beans into an international coffee competition.

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In cities and states throughout the country, census takers have been preparing to ramp up their efforts this month. Already, the 2020 census has been plagued by misinformation. That, coupled with a divisive political climate, has made many Americans suspicious of participating.

Cities around the country, including Milwaukee, had planned big, community-focused events to raise confidence in the census. But now as the nation grapples with the novel coronavirus, most of those events have been cancelled and suspicions remain in some communities most at-risk of being undercounted.

William Murphy / Flickr

St. Patrick’s Day is typically celebrated through parades and pubs packed with people from the early morning late into the evening — but celebrations will be very different this year.

Ireland has cancelled all St. Patrick’s Day parades and closed the bars through the end of the month to curb the spread of coronavirus. Similar measures have also been taken around the world, including here in Milwaukee.

Essay: Coronakindness

Mar 17, 2020
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Scientists are still working to understand COVID-19, and there remains a lot of uncertainty about how it behaves. That uncertainty breeds fear, and that fear can bring out repugnant human behavior.

Lake Effect contributor Arno Michaelis is a former white supremacist who now makes his living traveling the world to speak out against hate and violence. His work has come to a grinding halt due to cancellations, travel bans and practicing social distancing.

Steve Pope / Getty Images

On Wednesday night, President Trump delivered a rare Oval Office address, announcing a European travel ban with an exception for the United Kingdom. The administration later clarified that the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens and their families, permanent U.S. residents, Ireland, or Eastern Europe.