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Purveyors of Electronic, Musical and Vintage goods from then, now and in between. 
Since 1982.

How we at
OakTreeVintage.com
are trying to avoid Covid-19 virus
or potentially spreading it to others...

The precautions and steps we are taking. Some of it relates to the actual business, but most of it is regarding personal hygiene and habits (many of which are also applicable to business life)...and BTW, regardless of 'politics', it's what should be obvious 'COMMON SENSE'.

....
 UPDATED 5/19/2021

 



(photo taken in March / April when there was actually rumors / conspiracy theories that the virus was spread from a Corona Beer. Yes, the original rumors were probably started in jest, but some people were actually believing it as viable or even fact. Maybe funny, but potentially hurts a brands' business as the butt of a joke. NOT funny.)

 

 


So it seems that everyone is posting their ideas and steps / procedures regarding staying safe and healthy regarding keeping the corona virus (nothing to do with the beer as I indicated above) that causes the symptoms of Covid-19.
I'll get right to the precautions and steps we are taking. Some of it relates to the actual business, but most of it is regarding personal hygiene and habits (many of which are also applicable to business life). Frankly, just some of my 'ramblings' on the subject (some of which I will change, omit, modify etc. as we learn more and / or change my mind on)


Much of the following few paragraphs were written in March / April 2020....

BUSINESS: As far as changes here at the shop, we are fortunate that our physical warehouse / shop is closed to the public as a matter of course. EVERYTHING ships so there's no actual, physical 'retail traffic'. The only folks that aren't directly associated with the business that we see would be FedEx to do pick-ups. Our 'incoming' and postal shipments are done else where. Even our consignors aren't doing drop-offs currently. My technicians decided that it would be prudent to 'lay low' for a few weeks, and are not coming in. If there's an 'emergency' repair that needs to be done, that I personally couldn't handle from a 'time / resource' perspective, then we would need to do a work-around for that. Frankly, my techs are using their time to do restorations / service on units they own personally to later consign here, which I welcome. I am pretty much driving from home to the shop and back and with the exception of stopping for diesel, do no other stops, and have been for a couple months now. We 'saw the writing on the wall' early on, and did any physical shopping WAY prior to the 'national lock-down' warnings. Occasionally, if we weren't able to get a FedEx pick-up scheduled, we will do a drop off at FedEx. When doing that we are wearing masks (typically 'cotton' ones that my wife made, with full, elastic head straps {wouldn't like the 'ear loop' style}) and gloves, and the FedEx drop off is generally also practicing 'safe procedures' in their store (see "FUELING UP VEHICLES" below for procedures following the exit from the FedEx / Postal locations).

 

By the way, it's only "hoarding" if you are purchasing an amount that's well beyond what you could possibly use / utilize in a reasonable* time frame. The reason to 'stock up' on whatever item's you need is to avoid going out into the public masses potentially endangering yourself and / or others, NOT because you like having a massive collection of toilet paper.

I hear of folks going to the store to buy only one or two items or simply going shopping frequently. Maybe out of habit. Maybe out of ignorance. Maybe out of callous. Whatever the reason, in these times it's 'stupid' and careless.


GROCERIES / SUPPLIES / SHOPPING / DELIVERIES: We are having ALL groceries and supplies delivered. Yes, you have to plan ahead to make that happen, and there are commonly 'hiccups' in the process, but those are preferable to the potential risks of going out with other members of the public to shop (we could do 'order ahead and pick-up', but you're going to a parking lot, that might be crowded, and potentially next to other folks).
When groceries are delivered, some of it is 'put in quarantine' for 48 to 72 hours depending on what it's packaging is made of (there's plenty out there on the web regarding what surfaces are less or more friendly to the virus). If it's something that's more perishable, it gets wiped down on EVERY surface with a 'blue shop towel' that's been soaked in 70%+ alcohol (we have Ziploc baggies with 3-4 'blue shop towels' pre-soaked in alcohol that we simply add a bit of alcohol to when they need it so as to note waste any). That same procedure applies to our weekly deliveries of milk and eggs that we've always had going on.
If it's a box of supplies that we need to open quicker than the quarantine period, it's done outside. We touch the box as little as possible with our hands, by utilizing a razor blade or razor knife to cut and manipulate the flaps on the box. Once we've removed the contents and deemed it safe to handle, we then do a thorough (and now typical), proper hand wash. UPDATE: We are no longer doing this as the ROI is not likely there. Masks, distancing and hand sanitizer are our recognized practices.


MAIL: When mail arrives, we open the mail box with a plastic baggie (think grocery store bag / carrier bag) at the handle, or down near the corner of the door where no one would typically be touching it, then use that baggie to bag the mail with. That stack of mail / packages then goes to an area (without touching any of it) in the garage lined up with 'sticky notes' stating the date. After 3 days it gets rotated out to then process / read. If it is something that we think need immediate attention, then the outer packaging / envelope is wiped with alcohol soaked 'blue shop towels', is cut open with a minimum of handling and the contents dumped to a clean surface. The outer packing / envelope, if needed, is then either put into quarantine with that day's mail / shipments. UPDATE: We are no longer doing this as the ROI is not likely there. Masks, distancing and hand sanitizer are our recognized practices.

FUELING UP VEHICLES: Nitrile / Vinyl / Latex gloves are donned, a container of wipes is at the ready, as well as a container of hand sanitizer in the console. We have our credit card and any discount card we plan to use already pulled out of wallets / purses. The "Discount Cards" are scanned so it doesn't physically touch anything. We use a wipe to wipe the buttons on the pump as well as the 'Fuel Type Select' button and the handle of the pump is also wiped. The credit card is washed with a sterile wipe after removing it and before putting back into the vehicle. The vehicle door is left open so the door handle is not touched. Once finished, if a receipt is give, it's given a quick wipe (as someone loaded the roll of paper earlier), the gloves are washed in hand sanitizer if they are to be re-used (okay in my book) or taken off 'properly' (and there's info out there as to the correct way to remove nitrile / vinyl / latex gloves safely). Then hands are also washed in hand sanitizer then the door is closed and keys are handled. As of 4/7/20, in Colorado a mask or some sort of face covering is required when out in a public space, so now a mask has become part of that procedure. The mask is put on as a 'first step' and taken off 'last'  (again, there's info out there as to the correct way to remove a filter mask safely).
 

DOORS: If I must open a door to a public building (such as dropping off any shipments to FedEx and again, we're not really going to any 'public buildings'), I take the same precautionary steps as getting fuel, except that I will grab door handles by places that I know most folks aren't if it's an option (although I realize in writing this, that I've just potentially defeated the purpose of doing that).

DRIVING AND ACCIDENTS: Not that we're not careful about things all the time, but we're especially cautious now so as not to end up in an emergency room. Also while driving to the shop does potentially expose myself or someone else to me, during an accident or potential traffic stop, all the more reason to exercise extreme caution.

DR's VISITS / ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS: They have been put off till...? We did have an emergency vet visit a couple weeks ago. The vet tech met us at the car in the parking lot, with gloves and mask on. They had their own leash and we clipped our leash in before clipping theirs off. Then the typical hand sanitizing took place. Hopefully the dog wasn't carrying anything, but that's a possible 'weak link'.

HIKING / DOG WALKS: We are fortunate to live about a block away from a nearly 600 acre 'open space' / park that connects to another 2500++ acres. We take the less populated trails. When we do 'meet' someone on a trail, we maintain a minimum of 6' and are wearing masks (state dictated now and YES, I get the purpose of masks / face coverings and how effective or in-effective they may be in a particular scenario). I pick up a lot of 'plastic' trash / rubbish generally when hiking and if I feel it's something that has been 'recently touched', I use one of the grocery store / carrier bags to pick it up with to deposit in a larger bag for plastic trash I am always carrying (and unfortunately, I can almost always fill a bag with plastic trash from most outings. Yesterday, it added up to 6lbs of plastic trash / rubbish!...Yes, I weighed it. Anyway, that's for a different rant...)


At first we toyed with the idea of, "well maybe we should not be that cautious, get the virus, and get it over with". Then I thought that if we put it off as long as possible, maybe it will give time for potential treatments / medications / vaccines etc to be discovered and come to light. Now having read some of the personal experiences of having it, even with light to medium symptoms, I think it's best to avoid it altogether.

 

I've probably forgotten others steps and procedures that we're doing, and will post or modify them as time allows.
 

THE VIRUS DOESN'T CARE...
Just a somewhat un-related, side note and certainly one persons opinion;
We hear random stories on the radio about different communities / states etc, reacting to "Stay at Home Orders" or other restrictions intended to curb the spread of the virus. Those stories are usually regarding, or at least 'peppered' with aspects of how people are 'taking offense' at a government entity dictating or trying to dictate what they can or can't do.  Now there's agreement that some of the rules / suggestions / laws may seem 'half-baked' (hey, this is a 'fluid' situation, and some leaders are trying to throw anything at it that might help) and there are always going to be folks that balk at any more rules / restrictions / regulations / laws etc that will or may put limits on their behavior, and they immediately jump on the "America is a Free Country" (which has some limited truth to it from a lot of aspects), or "Don't tread on me", or "you can't limit my liberties", "Don't tell me what to do", or "My constitutional rights are essential", or "Don't restrict me", "or", "or", "or"...
Here's the deal, the virus doesn't care about your "liberties", what country you're from or how free it or you might be perceived to be, or what your beliefs are.  If folks exercise common sense, educate themselves about the virus (or how most any virus works / spreads), and it's potential ramifications, and proactively REALLY do things that EFFECTIVELY limit it's ability to spread, then governments would have less need to dictate new rules and regulations (again, some of which I will agree are "half-baked" since many of them are being made and modified 'on the fly'). Most folks are living 'smartly', using common sense, and 'doing their part' to limit (preferably "halt") the spread of the virus, but there's a few out there with a 'chip on their shoulder' or feel they have something to prove (and generally just have a lack of common sense) that are likely going to impede societies progress in defeating or at least quelling the spread until a reliable treatment and hopefully 'ultimately', a vaccine can be discovered.  It's easy to understand that this likely creates hardships for lots of folks (and will for quite some time), but if you think about how the virus can spread and who it can affect, and the possibly ways they can be affected, it should also be "easy to understand" how important it is to listen to the 'experts' and leaders (yes, a few of them are 'flying by the seat of their pants) and do what seems to make sense to stop the spread.  Now look, this isn't to say that many of us can't recognize "too much government over reach", but at a time like this, some additional 'controls' may be and are likely necessary (but again, most of us need the "common sense" to do the smart things on our own and then we wouldn't need the government / leaders to tell us). Look once we have it under control, the portion of society that doesn't want to be 'told what to do', can go back to 'hang'in out at the Quickie Mart, fly'in some sort of rebel flag, preaching about their constitutional right to hold congregations of people etc, have dinner parties, etc., but for now, THE VIRUS DOESN'T CARE!

Ok, have to interject one more time. Additional photos show protesters in Virginia, holding signs that say, "Let me social distance shop" & "I can protect myself", and one of my favorites, "We will NOT comply", ALL while they're standing closely... in a crowd...with no masks. Again, exactly the folks that need a bit more "common sense".

OMG. Just heard that protesters in Israel are blaming the spread of the virus on Jewish folks. HOLY S%!T, there's some stupid people in the world. I CAN'T WAIT to see what the creators of "South Park", Matt and Trey do with this in a couple years!

Yes, I get that the the aspects of the economy that are 'shut down or throttled back' need to be brought back on line, but 'fast forwarding' that scenario with out addressing the issue of the potential spread of the virus. Lets say you simple 'open back up'. There will be a lot of apprehension by folks with more 'common sense' to visit places of business, attractions etc. For example, allowing a restaurant to open for 10-50% of their normal traffic could actually be more expensive than staying closed. Then add in the strong possibility of a 'second wave' of viral infections and there will simply be 'second wave' shut-downs. How does that help?

1/28/2021; Over the past few weeks / months, I keep hearing about folks all 'up in arms' about how their 'rights are being denied / trampled' by being told to wear a mask. Now, while that argument may hold water against a government entity, if a privately owned / held business insists upon certain standards / rules to enter and / or engage with them, that's THEIR BUSINESS!!! It's also incredibly disrespectful for you to enter their place of business when the "Wear a Mask" rule is stated, every one of the employees are wearing masks, as well as the other customers, and you walk in without a mask. Now we can argue the actual vs perceived benefits of wearing a mask, but currently it seems like a prudent measure that has become fairly common place. I hate wearing one, (and even if I didn't think they helped) if a business asked me to wear one, I 'check my rights' at the door. It's also a measure of respect for the rest of my employees and family. If I go out, don't wear a mask, get the virus and transmit it to work or home, that's incredibly disrespectful to my employees, family and friends. It of course would also contribute to the 'spread' of the Virus.

* Terms such as "reasonable" are certainly 'relative' terms.





BELOW UPDATED 3/25/2021


*So someone doesn't 'want' to wear a mask...
Ask them if they have an air filter on their vehicle engine, motorcycle, ATV, lawn mower, weed eater etc..... Your furnace has an air filter. Your air conditioner has an air filter. The electric heater in your bathroom has a filter. Filters WORK. Anyone with a lick of common sense knows that.

If you sneeze into a tissue, most of the crap you expel will be trapped in the tissue. Common sense. And the more that gets trapped, the less that ends up in the air in your immediate vicinity. The less of your 'smegma' that you expel into / onto anyone in the surrounding area, the less chance they have of getting sick (or at least if any of those germs / virus etc get into their system, it will likely be reduced by the fact that you used a tissue, so their immune system won't be as likely to be overwhelmed). Common sense.

If you don't think masks 'work' to block any of the virus, ask yourself this, "would you allow a surgeon to operate on you without wearing one?". I would guess not. Common Sense.

Wearing a mask is LITTLE effort for a big HUGE return. That return being all of the things that should be obvious to anyone with 'Common Sense' (less folks getting sick, flattening the curve so hospitals won't be so overwhelmed {although at this point most are at capacity or will be soon}, the virus has less opportunity mutate {yes, we're now seeing that and as of this writing, 3 new strains have made their way to the USA from UK, S. Africa and Brazil} and also very importantly, business won't be forced to ratchet back and / or ultimately close for good).

Am I implying that a mask blocks everything? No, OF COURSE NOT!!! However it can block a lot, if not most of what you aerosolize when talking, coughing, sneezing etc, and the less you overwhelm an immune system, the better that immune system has of beating down whatever it's being inundated with. Think of it as two armies. If both sides are armed with the same weapons, and one side has 500 troops, and the other has 10,000 troops, the side with "10,000" has a much better chance of winning, simply from a numbers game. The more the disparagement between the armies, the quicker and easier the battle for the win will be for the army with the greater number of troops. Here's where "masks" come in (and hand washing, sanitizing, keeping distance etc). Think of the "immune system" as one army and a virus or communicable disease / sickness as another. Which ever side has the larger army will likely win and win quicker. Recently there's new twists (weapons) being added to the side of the virus. It's morphed and changed into a few more variations, which means it's been given some bigger and better weapons. The longer it's given to thrive, the more time it will have to evolve into stronger, tougher to kill versions. There are a lot of variables and factors to the argument, but the bottom line is the less virus thrown at someone, the better their chances at fending it off, and "masks" go a long way towards spewing less virus towards someone else. Again, my mask isn't so much to protect me, it's a much more effective tool of protection towards anyone else in my vicinity. Your mask isn't to protect you (at least not very much), it's to ensure that you're much less likely to infect others.

More Common Sense; "The world is NOT flat" (that was proven about 500 years ago), "The Moon landing really happened", and little tiny 'Covid' viruses are REAL (even though you can't see them with the naked eye),  and masks / face coverings go a long way toward keeping them at bay! Common Sense.

The excuse that they have a 'medical condition' is likely 99+% of the time bogus. According to most sources, the three characteristics of a legitimate medical / physical condition precluding a mask would be; 1) under 2 years of age, 2) on supplemental oxygen as a matter of course, and 3) unconscious. There also may be less physical / medical condition issues such as COPD or someone on a steroid inhaler who has trouble breathing already and a mask makes it more difficult and / or can make them dizzy. Sorry, but that's why stores offer 'curb side pickup'. I get it. It's a 'pain' for you to wear a mask, and you want to actually 'shop', but the virus doesn't care. You could also wear a 'plexi' face-shield. Frankly, if you have an issue such as COPD, Asthma, allergies or any other reason for shortness of breath, you should probably be VERY concerned about getting the virus, and be doing everything you can to avoid it in the first place (such as dealing with the mask and / or using curb-side pickup).

Also, a "mandate" / "regulation" / "requirement" etc. handed down by Governors, Mayors or other civic leader is treated the SAME as a law (look it up).
Also, a private business pretty much has the right to require about anything they wish from the folks they allow in their doors. Most of your 'constitutional' rights are generally checked at the door. Restaurants, bars etc, generally insist on 'shirts and shoes' (nothing is ever said about pants for some reason???), and now masks are typically a part of those requirements. Covid doesn't care what country you live in, what your constitutional rights are, what political party you belong to, or...or...or...

So in many jurisdictions, you can be charged with assault if you intentionally ‘cough’ at or towards or on someone, whether you think you are infected with something or not. Similarly, if you knowingly and intentionally ‘spread’ any disease or illness you can potentially be charged and prosecuted.

I submit that it’s arguable, and possibly chargeable with assault to mingle with people in public spaces while not wearing a mask / face covering. Everyone knows by now that it is considered standard and safe practice to wear a mask, certainly while in any public space and around other people not of your immediate household regardless of state, county, city, country of whatever jurisdiction someone is in. This should be common sense, at least to folks with common sense. It is widely known that speaking, singing, yelling, shouting, and even breathing is likely the most common way that viruses such as Corona virus is spread via aerosolization, thus anyone mingling with the public, without a mask is showing disregard for public safety / the safety of others and blatantly putting others at risk. Now someone could make their defense by thinking, “well, I just won’t speak or be verbal while out in public spaces”. That’s a pretty hollow defense. Here’s a reason that has nothing to do with speaking and it’s a ‘surprise cough or sneeze’. The one that happens before you have a chance to bring up your elbow or grab a tissue. It’s a cough that I have often that just comes instantly, from out of the blue. It’s the same cough that the person had when standing about 4 feet from me (outside) that I most likely caught Covid-19 from (yes, we should have both been wearing masks even though we were outside and originally 6-10 feet apart. I let my guard down and have no one to blame, but myself). If a mask is being worn, it WILL ‘catch’ most or much of the aerosolized particles, and it’s more likely that a much smaller number of particles will escape the membrane of the mask / face covering. So many people think that the mask is to protect the 'wear' from an 'intake' of aerosolized particles. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's to stop the vast majority of the particles from exiting YOUR mask, thus offering protection to everyone else in your vicinity. If you should be wearing a mask (and you know who you are), DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE. WEAR A DAMN MASK!!!!!!!!
Again, COMMON SENSE.

Call me "Sheeple", a "Lemming" or whatever you wish, but the shut downs and ratcheting back of business due to explosive numbers of infections, MOSTLY related to folks not practicing proper methods of prevention (and at this point well ALL know what they are) is getting ridiculous. Wearing a mask is NOT a big 'ask'. I don't touch hot burners, stick forks into electrical outlets, or walk out in front of speeding cars. Most folks know better than that through 'Common Sense'. That makes us "Sheeple" I suppose, but it makes us 'SMART and ALIVE' Sheeple as well.

At the time of this paragraphs writing (mid November 2020), two companies just announced that they have vaccines to combat this particular coronavirus / Covid-19 to unbelievable success levels of 90 and 95%, however, it will be quite a while until the positive potential of those discoveries (and anymore that come down the pike) will be in place and / or have meaningful results. Until then we must continue proper anti-viral practices.

I hear comments from some folks similar to, "well 'they're' constantly changing their mind on what we should be doing or not doing. First they say we should wear a mask, then they say they might offer some protection or wear one if it makes you feel safer and now, again, "they want us to wear one and / or we must wear one. Seems like 'they' don't really know themselves!"
Yes, or course! That's generally how knowledge is acquired. It's built on past experience, experiments & research. Some people are simply looking for a way to justify 'not wearing a mask'.

 

I have been trying ‘not to’ frequent a well known home improvement chain store in my area as it seems like there’s pretty much ALWAYS going to be about 1-2 out of 20 customers NOT wearing masks (hint, not Lowes as it seems like most of their customers are a bit more respectful and wear masks). While they have signs posted at the entrances of their buildings, their policy then seems to only ‘suggest’ masks, but not press the issue. They can get away with that easily as they’ve been deemed an “essential business” and have not had to shut down as MANY other businesses have. I get why not, as there’s some ‘short tempered’ folks that either think they’re beards will protect them, or they can just “shoot them pesky rascally varmints” and their employees have actually been threatened when they ‘press’ someone on wearing a mask. Well as they’re deemed an essential business (and a fairly ‘Big’ business) and aren’t going to be threatened with official closure I think they hire police to enforce mask wearing who would be able to ultimately either issue citations and / or under ‘trespass laws’ remove / cite dismissive customers.

So I suppose some or maybe all of those customers that are not wearing a mask could have already had Covid, and think they are ‘bullet-proof’ as they either think they have Covid anti-bodies, or have been tested positive for anti-bodies, and / or think they can’t spread the virus. If they’ve had Covid, and haven’t been tested for anti-bodies, my understanding is that having “anti-bodies” isn’t a given. Also, the general consensus is that once you’ve had Covid, 10 days from the onset of symptoms you will test positive, but ‘shouldn’t’ be contagious (viral ‘fragments’ that aren’t viable anymore). Operative there is “shouldn’t be”. Why risk it and why ‘disrespect’ everyone else who are still following proper precautionary measures, which of course includes “wearing a mask”.

I also would think the ‘anti-maskers’ would be some of the last folks who would want the government in their pockets pulling out money, but maybe they’re not aware that all this ‘gubment cheese’ (think PPP, grants, low or no interest loans etc) that is being doled out during the virus is going to come back in a big way down the road as a hugely increased deficit. If this thing could be ‘put to bed’ fairly quickly if the spread could be halted, why not do the ‘small ask’, and WEAR A DAMN MASK?!!! Common Sense.

I hear so many comments from folks that just want all business, but especially restaurants and bars to open up, and schools to open up, and beaches, and parks and playgrounds etc (hey, I do too), however, it is almost never followed up with a "reminder" to wear a mask. If everyone did that and were careful to follow the other recognized protocols (but they're not going to), this Covid thing would probably die out in a month.


I am currently recovering from what so far has been, a "lite version of Covid". The worst thing so far is that I can't smell or taste anything. Really. Nothing. Hopefully that will not be long lasting, however there are some folks who have regained those senses and are noticing that smells and tastes that prior to Covid would have been 'good' are now bad for them, ie; previously 'pleasant' smells and tastes are now rancid, or putrid, or rotten and certainly disgusting. I'm sure (or at least hopeful) that it's not a large portion of Covid affected folks, but it potentially could spell at least temporary loses for restaurants / bars / and food and beverage suppliers. While I'm no longer contagious, I have no desire to go to a restaurant for anything, over the most basic of nutrition. I am not as tempted for snacks as there's little reason. Also, no beer or spirits as they offer not taste. As I say, rice cakes and gruel will now do me (I actually am still eating healthy and have been for years. So, hey, I guess Covid is good for the waist line.

How did I get it? Well, it could have been any number of causes, but one that fits the time frame comes to mind. We spent about 10 days at a campground. They had a large dog park on site, so every morning I would go down with the dog and my coffee. There was a group of 'regulars' typically there, but we were all generally staying about 10' from one another (no I, nor any were wearing masks. Didn't think it necessary as we were outside, and way beyond 6 feet from each other and yes, I used hand sanitizer after touching gates, etc). However, there was one instance where a guy wanted to show me a photo on his phone and was within 3-4 feet of me for a short period. During that time he 'coughed' once (and we both joked about Covid). It was that same, random, singular, 'out of the blue' cough that I had during the first 2-3 days, before I tested positive for Covid. I have no way to track him down, nor get in touch with him to follow up if he ever developed Covid, so am simply conjecturing, but I think it's the most likely scenario.

So if someone won't wear a mask as they don't believe they 'do anything', but is lamenting how business are shutting down, here's how they can help the economy. Have them remove every filter they own, ie; vehicle engine air cleaner, pool / spa filter, HVAC filters, etc. That will definitely increase business for auto mechanics and parts suppliers, HVAC techs and parts suppliers and everyone else in those economies when the items that rely on those filters fail.

You don't need a "government mandate" or a sign on the door to instruct you to take proper precautions. Just do the right thing and ALL that is necessary, that you can do to halt and eradicate this disease. STOP trying to make some idiotic political / religious statement at the expense of society.

When this thing is over, past and done with (although that may not be for a long time, if ever), it will BE NO THANKS, to any of the folks that aren't following, nor didn't follow the CDC, and REALLY common sense guidelines.

Unfortunately the words famously remarked by Mark Twain , "
Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience" have never been more true.
I suppose that is more "Common Sense".

 

 
___________________________________________________________

 

The following is an amazing read that was emailed in back in March.

Italian Clairvoyance on Coronavirus…

(The acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri, who has been under lockdown in Rome for almost three weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has written a letter to fellow people “from your future”, laying out the range of emotions people are likely to go through over the coming weeks.”

“I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in a few days. The epidemic’s charts show us all entwined in a parallel dance.

 We are but a few steps ahead of you in the path of time, just like Wuhan was a few weeks ahead of us. We watch you as you behave just as we did. You hold the same arguments we did until a short time ago, between those who still say “it’s only a flu, why all the fuss?” and those who have already understood.

 As we watch you from here, from your future, we know that many of you, as you were told to lock yourselves up into your homes, quoted Orwell, some even Hobbes. But soon you’ll be too busy for that.

 First of all, you’ll eat. Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do.

 You’ll find dozens of social networking groups with tutorials on how to spend your free time in fruitful ways. You will join them all, then ignore them completely after a few days.

 You’ll pull apocalyptic literature out of your bookshelves, but will soon find you don’t really feel like reading any of it.

 You’ll eat again. You will not sleep well. You will ask yourselves what is happening to democracy.

 You’ll have an unstoppable online social life – on Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom…

You will miss your adult children like you never have before; the realization that you have no idea when you will ever see them again will hit you like a punch in the chest.

 Old resentments and falling-outs will seem irrelevant. You will call people you had sworn never to talk to ever again, so as to ask them: “How are you doing?” Many women will be beaten in their homes.

 You will wonder what is happening to all those who can’t stay home because they don’t have one. You will feel vulnerable when going out shopping in the deserted streets, especially if you are a woman. You will ask yourselves if this is how societies collapse. Does it really happen so fast? You’ll block out these thoughts and when you get back home you’ll eat again.

 You will put on weight. You’ll look for online fitness training.

 You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh a lot. You’ll flaunt a gallows humour you never had before. Even people who’ve always taken everything dead seriously will contemplate the absurdity of life, of the universe and of it all.

 You will make appointments in the supermarket queues with your friends and lovers, so as to briefly see them in person, all the while abiding by the social distancing rules.

 You will count all the things you do not need.

 The true nature of the people around you will be revealed with total clarity. You will have confirmations and surprises.

 Literati who had been omnipresent in the news will disappear, their opinions suddenly irrelevant; some will take refuge in rationalizations which will be so totally lacking in empathy that people will stop listening to them. People whom you had overlooked, instead, will turn out to be reassuring, generous, reliable, pragmatic and clairvoyant.

 Those who invite you to see all this mess as an opportunity for planetary renewal will help you to put things in a larger perspective. You will also find them terribly annoying: nice, the planet is breathing better because of the halved CO2 emissions, but how will you pay your bills next month?

 You will not understand if witnessing the birth of a new world is more a grandiose or a miserable affair.

 You will play music from your windows and lawns. When you saw us singing opera from our balconies, you thought “ah, those Italians”. But we know you will sing uplifting songs to each other too. And when you blast I Will Survive from your windows, we’ll watch you and nod just like the people of Wuhan, who sung from their windows in February, nodded while watching us.

 Many of you will fall asleep vowing that the very first thing you’ll do as soon as lockdown is over is file for divorce.

 Many children will be conceived.

 Your children will be schooled online. They’ll be horrible nuisances; they’ll give you joy.

 Elderly people will disobey you like rowdy teenagers: you’ll have to fight with them in order to forbid them from going out, to get infected and die.

 You will try not to think about the lonely deaths inside the ICU.

 You’ll want to cover with rose petals all medical workers’ steps.

 You will be told that society is united in a communal effort, that you are all in the same boat. It will be true. This experience will change for good how you perceive yourself as an individual part of a larger whole.

 Class, however, will make all the difference. Being locked up in a house with a pretty garden or in an overcrowded housing project will not be the same. Nor is being able to keep on working from home or seeing your job disappear. That boat in which you’ll be sailing in order to defeat the epidemic will not look the same to everyone nor is it actually the same for everyone: it never was.

 At some point, you will realize it’s tough. You will be afraid. You will share your fear with your dear ones, or you will keep it to yourselves so as not to burden them with it too.

 You will eat again.

 We’re in Italy, and this is what we know about your future. But it’s just small-scale fortune-telling. We are very low-key seers.

 If we turn our gaze to the more distant future, the future which is unknown both to you and to us too, we can only tell you this: when all of this is over, the world won’t be the same.”

 © Francesca Melandri 2020

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