Hustler at the end of the world

Illustrations by Emily Lopez for The Verge

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As the world shut down in March 2020, anxious knowledge workers barricaded themselves at home, scrubbing produce with soap. Fear sometimes manifested as altruism: checking on neighbors, organizing mutual aid. But the crisis also prompted cynics to root around for new loopholes to exploit, for ways to raise prices, feign hardship, get a rent reduction, slack off. For every person who spent that spring self-soothing with Animal Crossing or struggling to manage small children, there was someone else out there thinking, “How can I take advantage of the chaos?” This is a story about one of those people.

You see, freaking out was for normies. In the early days of the…

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Author: Amanda Chicago Lewis