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QVC: Quarantine, Value, Convenience

TV shopping remains an essential American service.

After Governor Tom Wolf ordered all “non-life-sustaining” businesses in several counties in Pennsylvania to shutter last week — as one of a growing number of governors to issue “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus — only the most Dickensian remained in operation.

It was not possible, on Monday, to send a child to school in Pennsylvania or for the Department of Transportation to perform any but the most urgent bridge repairs. But bookkeepers, slaughterhouses, steel mills and QVC stayed open.

Indeed, by grace of the commonwealth’s declaration that “electronic shopping and mail-order houses” should be permitted to continue physical operations, viewers in every state and territory of the American republic retained the right to purchase, say, a reversible sequin shamrock T-shirt in six installments of $6.41, as advertised by a QVC host broadcasting live from the home shopping company’s TV studio in West Chester, a suburb of Philadelphia.

In some respects, no network is better suited to see viewers through the unraveling global catastrophe. Even under normal conditions, the shopping channel’s hypnotic, sales pitch-style programming soothes like a balm. Source: New York Times


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