2020 Lexus NX300h. Photo: Lexus

This week, I'm driving a 2020 Lexus NX 300h hybrid, but I have nowhere to go.

The big picture: Michigan is under a stay-at-home order until April 13, and I've been so busy covering coronavirus news that I haven't had much time anyway.

Finally I decided to venture out for a solo drive.

  • I headed out along the lake shore and saw nothing but birds on the water — no freighters, no fishing skiffs, no sailboats. It was very peaceful.
  • I drove by some shopping malls and saw empty parking lots. But I was surprised by how many cars were on the road. Maybe I wasn't the only one with cabin fever.

The Lexus NX 300h isn't the ideal car for a pleasure drive — it's a small hybrid crossover that feels sluggish and cramped — but that doesn't matter.

With a Bluetooth connection and a change of scenery, I was able to talk to friends and family without violating the social distancing rules.

The bottom line: It lifted my spirits. You should try it.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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Expand chart
Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

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Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
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