“As we stand here today, all 50 states and territories across the country are opening up, and safely and responsibly.“Vice Président Pence, June 26, 2020
Bars here in Florida are closing yet again. Darn the luck. I hadn’t actually gotten to one yet, but sitting amongst some charming, happy-go-lucky inconsiderates sounded like fun. Oh well, I guess I can make it up during the upcoming, third, or fourth wave. Living in the south does give one lots of opportunities.
In spite of Mr. Pence’s rosy optimism, the reason for the closings here and also in Texas are due to the dangerously high spikes in coronavirus infections. Both states reopened rather early, each responding to that catchy Twitter refrain of “Don’t let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
Funny how you don’t hear anyone saying that lately, eh?
This closing of the bars really wasn’t a huge surprise, at least to me. I knew we were in trouble a few weeks ago when some of the local communities around here started discussions on whether they could continue to schedule for the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebrations. That they were even considering it, I thought exhibited a fair bit of denial on their part. I easily visualized lots of young people — and let’s face it, families too — all crowding together, some wearing masks, but most not, “oohing” and “aahing” to a beautiful light show up in the sky. Ah yes, yet another petri dish in the making.
If a church choir in the state of Washington sickened 52 people through mere vocalizing, imagine what hundreds of people holding beers and screaming, “Party down, America, man!” can do.
I’m not purposely trying to be a cynic. It’s just that over the last several weeks, I’ve come to have absolutely zero faith in our fellow citizens’ ability to act responsibly during this time of crisis. Examples are everywhere lately: check out this fun gal who apparently didn’t like being told she has to wear a mask to shop at Trader Joe’s.
I’ve reacted similarly in the past myself, but only because that store tends to always be out of their addictive plantain chips.
Once the beaches opened up here, along with restaurants, bars, baristas, etc., there was a rush to get back to normal life. The problem is that now is not a time when anything can possibly be normal. You can deceive yourself into believing otherwise, but the pandemic has decided to stay for a while. It particularly likes us Americans, especially since much of Europe and Asia have done a far better job in containing it.
The virus absolutely makes no distinction between our northern, eastern, western, or southern states; nor does it happen to be attracted to blue or red voters. Whether you’re marching in the streets for police reform, or cheering for your candidate at an indoor political rally, you are more than likely endangering yourself and others.
I absolutely support businesses opening again. We do need to get money in the hands of workers. Likewise, municipalities are reportedly struggling to maintain basic city services such as street repairs, wildlife control, garbage collection, etc. Getting tax revenue back in their coffers is to everyone’s benefit. But doing all of this in a smart and safe manner is the challenge. I’m pretty sure that throwing a hissy fit in public because you’re asked to wear a mask isn’t helping. Nor is deliberately coughing on your fellow human for that matter.
Gyms opened back up earlier this month, and Gorgeous braved a visit to ours for a grand total of one time. Although they spaced out the ellipticals and treadmills so that exercisers could distance from one another, we both have agreed that neither of us are really all that comfortable in going. Somehow to me anyway, being in a gym isn’t all that different from the people singing in that Washington choir; you’re still with a bunch of people breathing heavy in one large room. I’d consider going and wearing a mask, but I’m all but certain that breathing in my own fumes would knock me out cold within ten minutes. For now I’ll stick to the morning walks outside in our condo development, sans mask.
Which does bring us back to the bars. We personally haven’t been to one since probably February, when I’m sure we visited the local British pub for their regular Sunday dinner. In the summer, we like to make regular stops in the Old City here at St. Augustine, where we’ll end a shopping visit by sitting ether inside or on the patios of the Spanish taverna, the Irish pub, or having a cold Singha under a table umbrella at the Thai restaurant. I do miss all of that, along with going to a movie theater, attending a concert, etc.
But quit crying in your beers, folks. Since young people especially are refusing to take this seriously, what’s left of the brain cells of some state governors have somehow ignited a synapse or two to make the correct decision in closing bars for now. Of all the places and spaces, they’ve proven to be rather dangerous to the greater public. I miss them, but somehow I just have to believe we’ll all find them again when the coast is clear.
So be like me: stay home and have a beer. Look how happy I am about it:
Until next time…