Continued Idle Thoughts: Come Pray With Us in Florida!

River at Tampa Bay Church
Source: Tampa Bay Times

After resisting earlier calls to enact a stay-at-home order, the governor here in Florida finally issued one earlier this week. It mirrors those of other states, allowing citizens to go out to grocery stores, visit a healthcare provider, fill up a car at a gas station, etc. Noticeably different, however, is that it also allows houses of worship to hold services. I wonder if choir members will all wear masks?

Our financial advisor continues to make me a little wary. Yesterday I received an email inviting us to check out his new Etsy store.

I had a long-scheduled appointment with my doctor this week for an annual physical. I tried to get it postponed, but they said they wouldn’t renew my meds unless I came in for it. They assured me, however, that no sick people are allowed into the practice. Sure enough, I went through two “checkpoints” outside where they screened me with a temperature check, followed by an interrogation about my current state of health, the health of those living in my home, and my recent travel history. I can remember when the only thing that worried me about visiting the doctor’s office was the prostate exam.

Sign outside my doctor’s office

We learned from Jared Kushner this week that the medical supplies found in the Strategic National Stockpile are not intended to go to any of the states. He explained that states should be taking care of their own needs. I can just tell that this man has a bright future ahead of him in public service.

We haven’t been to the grocery store in over a week. It wasn’t toilet paper the last time, but canned pumpkin which managed to flummox my lovely bride. So she ordered some on Amazon instead. Technically speaking, folks, this is not hoarding. I’m just sayin’.

Note: Amazon would only sell this by the case!

We have a local fish market here that we absolutely love. It’s a tiny place, but they have an amazing selection of fresh fish and seafood. I was curious if they were open, so I called the other day and listened to a new voice mail announcement they had made. They’re currently closed until at least April 18th, pending business and health conditions in our community. They said that when they do reopen, they’ll try some new approaches to selling: i.e., enhanced phone orders, one customer in the store at a time, running wrapped orders out to cars, etc. As happy as I am to hear this, I nevertheless have a nagging fear that when I arrive, they’ll merely hand me a fishing pole and be done with it.

It continues to be nice that so many entertainers are offering up special videos for us from their homes. Sometimes, though, I have to laugh at the little things I’m catching. For instance, Graham Nash recently performed a few songs from his Manhattan apartment. I really enjoyed; it includes a rare rendition of him singing Stephen Stills’ “4+20.” But at around the 7:00 minute mark, I swear I hear a clothes dryer in the background! Proof that famous people are indeed just like us. I hope he remembered the fabric softener sheet.

Prior to COVID-19 forcing us to stay home, we purchased a brand new car. Gorgeous received a follow-up call from our saleswoman the other day, who was reaching out to make sure everything is going okay with it. She also asked that we recommend her to any of our friends who might also be looking to buy a car. I guess it’s something we can mention to all those people that we’ll be sitting next to in the pews, eh?

Wherever you might be reading this, I do hope you and yours remain well. Please continue to stay home, wash your hands often, and stay six feet from others if you do have to go somewhere.

Unless, of course, you’re in a house of worship here in Florida.

Until next time…

48 thoughts on “Continued Idle Thoughts: Come Pray With Us in Florida!

  1. Week 2 of my county’s Stay at Home Order in Texas, but we are still allowed to go get booze and bullets (in addition to groceries). I’m curious what you two are going to make with the canned pumpkin!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant post. It’s either laugh or cry, right?! Those who are smart enough to stay away from the houses of worship (good grief, the Pope gave up public gatherings weeks ago) will definitely keep to the stay-at-home rules, knowing that there are group worshippers on the loose. Talk about scary!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “My” state is one of the hold-outs.
    All the stores are shut, so at least that’s something. I made a few face masks yesterday…designer fabric, of course. 😬
    One is pink Duke fabric and the other is EMT/Paramedic.
    Being a seasoned recluse anyway…I don’t know where I’ll wear the darned things. I do know…it won’t be to church! Lord have mercy on my ovaries! What are people thinking? Oh…that’s right…they’re not thinking. UGH!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m sure your governor talked to God before making that decision. I hear He gives messages to folks in the south that us northerners aren’t getting. Our churches locked their doors weeks ago and are streaming services. We are in week 3 of lockdown. Sanity is getting scarce. We are starting to get queues at grocery stores limiting the amount of people allowed in the store at one time. Stay safe and don’t go to church.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ’tis true that we’ve got a direct pipeline to the almighty in these here parts, Kate! A pity you heathen aren’t as fortunate. Wow… queues at the grocery stores up there now? Ugh. I fear it’ll only be time before it happens here also. You stay safe too; and no church, I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s the same here in Canada as in Kate’s area, Kate and Marty. And first we were told not to wear masks unless we are sick – now we are all supposed to be wearing masks when we are out. Homemade cloth ones are acceptable. Gonna have to McGyver one from a bandana, I think. Funny post Marty – thanks for making me laugh!


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, all we have at the moment are dust masks we were able to snag at Lowe’s when all this madness broke. Gorgeous is going to make some cloth ones soon, but for now we’ll use these useless ones and just continue to steer clear. Thanks, Deb!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I made 2 masks today from stuff I had on hand. I learned a few things. Thick tee shirt material is uncomfortable and our ears are too big for 1/4″ elastic. I may have the pattern down pat but they still don’t look as good as what McGyver would come up with!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. The fishing pole got me, too. And I’m beyond angry at DeSantis. Heaven help us (pun intended). I’m curious about the seafood place you mentioned. When we lived in Melbourne we patronized a place called Petty’s. They were more than seafood, though. The place sold gourmet condiments and they had a wonderful deli department. Also, one could sip free wine and/or beer while shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s called “Kyle’s Seafood,” and they’re on north U.S. 1 in St. Augustine as you leave town. It’s really just a shack, but they have an amazing selection, and they cut and filet right at the counter to your specification (i.e., skin on/off). They also make their own chowders (red and white) plus a homemade tarter sauce that’s really good. Check them out the next time you come to town, and bring a cooler for the drive home.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yum! My husband does not eat seafood, so I am limited to what I can have at restaurants. Plus, except for an occasional order of shrimp, I’m pretty much a vegan these days. My seafood days are all but over. 😢

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I was very worried about the “democrat hoax” virus until I found out that Jared Kushner was on the job! I’m sure we can all breathe a sigh of relief (but only from at least 6-feet from others). I’ve been busy making fabric masks… both so we’ll have them when we need them, and to just feel like I’m doing something positive. I’ll trade you a few for some pumpkin scones 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Careful what you’re asking for here, Donna. With her, I could easily fill an entire post on her baking! It comes comes awfully close to a religious experience for her. 😉 I’ll do my best to oblige you, though.

      Yes, the good governor here has succumbed to his better judgment. 😳


  7. I loved the fishing pole but couldn’t hit ‘like’ on this one because all those Covidiots who attend that service will then leave and infect God only knows how many other people, then they will get on the road and travel to another state, and on and on, until this lockdown gets extended because of it. Can you tell we’re on Day 20 with 21 more to go. 🙂 I’d really like to not have it extended because of the states ignoring what is going on. Folks here are in until May 4th, and there hasn’t been a church service in so long I can’t remember. We are all in this giant fish bowl (pun intended) and one state really can’t call its own shots without affecting all of us. Maybe I need to look up Fl Gov’s address and not get on my soapbox here, but you opened the gate. 🙂 By the way, I LOVE pumpkin scones so any leftovers send my way because our bakeries are closed. Stay safe, and pray from home, please. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From your mouth to G-d’s ears… or perhaps certain government officials, Judy! I know, we’re all living in this quasi-bizzaro world right now where reason and logic have taken a back seat to convenience (and in some cases political convenience). Health policy should never be a basis for argument or debate. What’s sensible and logical to keep people from passing on infections is obvious, or so I thought.

      I’ll do my best, re: leftover scones. 🙂 Be safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My husband is facing the same thing on renewing his meds. Then about two months ago, his doctor retired. Wow, on the checkpoints. Adapting and evolving by the hour, my husband may get a virtual appointment with a physician to discuss medications. Since I am the loving wife, I am ‘encouraging’ (bugging him daily) to get in the queue for an appointment.

    A huge smile on “flummox my lovely bride.” Now I feel I should find some organic pumpkin somewhere, just in case. We are heading into Day 21 of completely self isolating from everyone including stores. I handed my husband a blank piece of paper this morning with three columns, labelled A B C. A possible grocery shopping list for me entering the war zone within the next couple of weeks. I wish I was kidding.

    You have likely heard the ‘it is better to stay six feet apart than six feet under.’ I also wish I was kidding. Overall, major count our blessings and everyone in our immediate family is healthy. I cannot ask for more. Well, maybe more of Marty, Gorgeous and their updates and shenanigans. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, you always know just what to say, Erica. Many thanks.

      Yeah, we braved everything and went back out to the shopping center this morning for the first time in about a week. We were getting low on essentials, so we donned masks for our first time and headed to the grocery store. Gorgeous tends to linger (and linger, and linger, and linger…) in the produce section, so I reminded her that we need to “speed shop” as best we could. We did, but somehow still managed to have a full cart when we arrived at the (note: empty) checkout line. We live in an upstairs condo, and it took three trips upstairs to bring up all those “essentials.” Ugh. But I think we’re good for at least ten days now, hopefully more.

      My doctor’s office does do tele-appointments, but for not for annual physicals. So I was forced to trudge in. At least I have all those renewals now. I hope your husband can get his virtually

      You guys stay safe too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The way it should be right now, no? To be fair, most churches in Florida seem to be closed. But there are a minority of them, primarily evangelical from my unscientific study, that are asserting what they see is their right to convene. No words to describe their behavior!


  9. My LOL for the day was your crack about Etsy. still giggling.

    I find I’ve been LOL’ing a lot lately and I don’t normally. I mean, the “out loud” part. Must be pent up emotion.

    Stay well, and post again soon. Love reading you.

    That didn’t sound right.

    But you know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I made two face masks for myself yesterday. The kind they’ve shown how to do with a bandana and hair ties. I’m going to venture to the grocery store this week. Mostly for fresh fruit and veggies so I’d rather touch them myself than do a call & pick-up.

    I appreciate that you’re back in the blogging mode – your posts (almost) always make me smile. I need smiles these days! We are in day 22, and Ohio is “closed” till April 30th (at least) Yes, cabin fever is setting in, although I am walking around the neighborhood a bit when the sun comes out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sent a do-it-yourself mask article from the Washington Post to my wife, and it crashed her computer. The Washington Post for G-d sakes! She ordered some tea towels online and wants to use those, so our homemade masks will have to wait till they arrive, I guess. In the meantime we’ll make do with the dust masks we got a few weeks ago at Lowes. We ventured out early this morning to Publix; it thankfully was comparatively devoid of humans, so I guess we managed that one okay. I trust we’re good for the next ten days or so.

      Take care up there. I do hope we all get through this in one piece. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Interesting post. Love how musicians all over the globe are singing and playing from home and improving our lives.

    Here in our new home base of Mexico…. things are slow to catch up to the US and Europe and we were just recently requested to stay at home if we are in the vulnerable category. We are new here and happy to be here, seeing as we are #caronarefugees…. we were unable to return to our home base in Viet Nam when we left briefly to go to Sri Lanka … borders closed to foreigners and we had to make a very quick decision, choose a new country and get tickets and go fast!!! Fortunately we were able to keep one step ahead of borders closing, flight cancellations etc etc. Whew.

    No hoarding here, no panic.. plenty toilet paper, plenty food thankfully and people taking it all rather alarmingly casually.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what drama you went through! So sorry you’re not able to go home, but it sounds like you are in a good place for now. Glad you’re safe and sound.

      My haircutter is Mexican-American, and she tells me all these stories about the healthcare in Mexico, and how good it is. I literally had no idea. I hope you’re able to tap into it while you’re there, if you need to anyway. Stay safe!


  12. Thanks for the update, Marty. It is good to see that you are staying healthy, and haven’t lost your sense of humor. From what I have read and gleaned from the news, it seems that De Santis is taking his cues from Trump. If so, God help you! I am surprised that your doc couldn’t renew your meds by e-mail. At least you know your prostate is OK for another year. Take good care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s insane how some governors are falling right in line with White House spin that puts an emphasis on lies over what’s actually happening on the ground, Joe. It’s a cult of personality gone amok.

      Re: my doctor. I was perplexed by their insistence that I stick to my appointment, and then only after I got their did they laud their tele-doc enhancements. I guess they’re figuring it all out like the rest of us. But I’m good for another six months anyway.

      Take care out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I realize that everyone copes with this virus in his or her own way, but these individuals who insist on going to church during a time when doing such can kill other people… well, why, why, why? It’s not exactly the best way to model behavior based on the golden rule. Just saying, there’s some kind of disconnect between principle and practice among some of these people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It boggles my mind too, Ally. I just have to believe that these ministers aren’t trying to make a point about faith, but instead are walking a very slippery political slope on purpose. It preys on the vulnerable and ends up endangering all of us. I could later be standing in front of or behind them in a grocery line. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Only saw your post today that’s hilarious. I can’t believe they allow that? Church gathering? That’s how you spread it? Shame on your doctors not writing scripts for you. Over here all that is done by phone and scripts posted out. No one goes to the doctors unless it’s an emergency now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the whole church thing is only happening in a handful of states. Unfortunately mine is one of them. Re: my doctor’s office. I know, right?! I’m really not sure why they have this rule, ESPECIALLY since they’re so proud of their telemedicine offerings. Oh well… I survived it and have my Rx renewals for the next year. Be safe, Vy!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I raised my eyebrows way way up when I read about this but I’m more surprised that your doctor’s surgery didn’t waive the medical check up – or carry out a limited version via video call. Over here it really is “only emergencies”. I called my mother’s doctors last week where the phone rang for over 30 minutes. I rummaged around & found an email address on their website. It did have an addendum stating “don’t use in an emergency as we only check it intermittently” but I gave it a shot. To my relief, I received a return call within 15 minutes. Even more to my relief, my Mum found her blood pressure & with some video coaching from me, we found her blood pressure was just fine. The doctor believes she’s experiencing the return of cataracts which can certainly wait, while massively high blood pressure could not. So phew! I also experienced a virtual physio appointment last week which was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose if I had pushed, moaned, and complained enough, they probably would have agreed to a videoconference appointment. But when the nurse called to assuage my concerns, I decided to go. I wasn’t crazy about it, but I decided to do it. Now that I’ve had this so-called required in-person appointment, I suppose any further needs I have for the remainder of the year, can now be done virtually. But, ugh, it was a pain.

      So glad to hear that you were able to get your mother’s needs taken care of. The primary med I needed my doctor to renew for me is for high blood pressure also, so absolutely that’s important. All kinds of things can happen without it!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Marty – Just have to say (and would love if you could confirm) that the “Reform Jewish” photo you used in this post was not taken in real time even in Florida! We Jews, even the Southern ones but especially the Reform ones, are way too smart (except the Chasids, I guess) to congregate (pardon the pun) like that, knowing the risks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, still digging deep on my older posts, eh Sue? 😉 Another “ancient” gem from the early lock-down period. It feels like 40 years ago at this point!

      Yes, rest assured that was a pre-covid picture of the synagogue congregants. But, oy, those orthodox right in NYC right now; they’re insane! Stay safe out there.


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