UK Health Minister. I read an article on the BBC that summarized a statement put out by the Ministry of Health in the UK. There was a surprising lack of politics in his statements and made it much easier to understand what the road ahead looks like. Bottom line, "restrictions will be in place at least through the end of the year." At the same time our press is talking about opening up again even ahead of CDC guidelines and what the experts are advising. The president yesterday insisted that we had seen the worst of it and it wouldn't get worse again. While that's based on no science he seemed to get his medical experts to agree. I trust what I'm hearing out of the UK more right now.
Week 7 Begins. This marks the beginning of the seventh week of my personal quarantine. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. While some politicians insist it's time to open up, the professionals are saying we may be three weeks away from relaxing the current requirements. What "relaxing" means is still unclear but it probably means masks and distancing for many months ahead. I would love to have a chat with my future self to understand what all this looks like a year from now. Alas, time travel still isn't a thing.
Happy Birthday. Eve turns 60 today. We will do our best to make it a special day with cake, special take out, a smattering of presents that made it through the constrained delivery services. We have planned a family game night tonight and on Sunday we have signed up for a painting class over Zoom.
Open for Business. States around the country started opening up some businesses. Alaska allows restaurants to open as long they only serve 25% of their normal capacity. Golf courses in Wisconsin are now open. Tattoo parlors and hair salons are open in Georgia. And yet most states are (and some mayors) are doubling down on the need to remain our shelter in place practices. The scientists seem to agree that it's too early and most of my brain agrees, and yet....I saw video of a barber shop in Georgia with both a masked client and masked hairdresser. This clearly is what the future will hold. The barber proudly spoke about his disinfection strategies. We know that if everyone wears a mask, the probability of passing the virus goes down substantially (no, I didn't get that factoid from our president). So why aren't the precautions this barber is taking good enough for everyone else? The only thing missing is the 6 feet of distance, but surely the masks allow for that requirement to be altered. So, I'm happy to let Georgia test this new normal to see if it's safe for the rest of us to come out but as someone with only slightly more scientific experience than our president, I think that with face coverings and regular disinfecting, that that is as much as we can reasonably do. I understand the issue is timing and that we are hoping the virus dies down first, but I think we are all eager to escape. Maybe we all need to wear hazmat suits instead?!
NFL Draft. This was the only true live sporting event in over a month. The remote version was just as boring as the old approach. Despite the "stay at home" draft it was clear that the players were all having draft parties with more than just their quarantine buddies.
Warmth. It's an amazingly warm day. We learned that sunlight kills the virus faster than anything. Sunlight is good. Let the sun shine in.
Injecting disinfectant. The president suggested that it is worth testing whether "injecting disinfectant" into the human body could be a cure. That may well turn out to be the stupidest thing any American President has ever said in our history.
Lawn care. Somehow we talked our neighbor into mowing our lawn. We couldn't be more appreciative. We got rid of our lawn mower decades ago but the county order prohibits gardeners. In the backyard even got on her hands and knees and "mowed" the lawn using hedge clippers.
Spanish Flu. On repeated occasions the President references the 1917 pandemic. It was 1918. Not 1917. It was in 1918. If you can't get this right....
Breaking News. CNN's breaking news sounder plays every hour on the hour seemingly without regard to anything specific. Every hour is breaking news for the foreseeable future!
Tipping. I never tip on a take out order. Should I rethink that?
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