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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Reopening Businesses in the Catskills

I don't think it makes a lot of sense for the news to be positioning this as a conservative v. liberal effort.  We all want/need the economy to open back up.  It is literally impossible to envision this Pause sustained for a much longer period for many reasons - financial as well as mental health.  I can't imagine - actually I can - some of the small urban spaces some of these families are quarantined in and the distress they are in.

Here's the funny upper middle class white persons version below from the New Yorker.  I love how it's titled "Day Two".  For those with less cushion or ability to work, it's less funny, and the impacts don't go away right away.



And then this - 

Truth of the matter is, for whatever show Cuomo is putting on, there is little to no enforcement of the stay at home order, and anyone out this past sunny Sunday - with packed parks, takeouts, motorcycle convoys, etc..., it's clear people are getting restless.  We are social animals.

It's super annoying, because as soon as you say 'lets get this show back on the road', any thinking person soon realizes it can't be done without widespread testing, and for some reason, this country that was made great again can't mobilize and produce tests, even though we are 6 weeks into this.

I'm a big WWII history fan, and I'm listening to a big sympathetic biography of W. Churchill, and I'm just covering the part when American comes into the war.  Literally, through a national mobilization, the US was producing more planes than Germany and England combined.  It's that ability to produce, to lead, to nudge or bully the world in a generally-accepted positive direction that is just missing.   I mean seriously, anyone who thinks we are 'winning' (to borrow from the executive office), or 'winning very much', is unfamiliar with what winning looks like or feels like, because, having won many times and often throughout my life, this whole thing feels a lot like losing, from my experience.  I don't even think you should get a 'participation' trophy for this effort.

Thing is, I live in a poor county (Sullivan) and am transitioning into a mixed social-economic community, NE Pennsylvania, and I've now participated in enough youth sports and seen the antics of these parents and league members to know firsthand that a lot of people have no idea what winning looks like. and mistake it for something entirely different.

But really, there are a lot of ways to open.  If McDonalds can be open, residential construction can be open.  That's not even hard to explain.  If a pizza shop where no one is wearing protective gear, and is fully staffed and crowded behind the service desk - if they can serve 1200 customers a day and the virus isn't spreading, then clearly a tile company and their little crew can be working.

It won't be long till the inconsistency of the State picking winners and losers without real thought will be a problem, and it should be.  And it's up to Us to push them in the right direction.  The idea we all hide out and wait for the all-clear from Cuomo, well, that's not something I'm in favor of, having watched this political animal who loves the 'pay to play' game of Albany play constituencies off of each other for the last 10+years. 

I've been noticing things more, as I pick around the house.  I tried the 'delicate' cycle on my dryer for the first time, now that I'm washing my bedsheets twice as much - just thought I'd give it a try.  The filter on my water dispenser on my fridge, alerting me for at least a year that it needs to be changed, is low-hanging fruit.  I've taken a keen interest in the daily progress of a patch of grass I replaced, as well as the feeding habits of some birds outside (a little disappointed at the variety of birds visiting my bird feeders, but since neither squirrels or bears have yet successfully destroyed them, and they haven't pulled out of the wood fastener and are still hanging) I'll live with the success I've achieved here.

Dog watching the squirrel, who is set on reaching the bird feeders.  It's been sad lately, he's not coming around as much, and I feel bad that he gave up on what I'm sure looked liked the lottery at first.



I'm outsizedly annoyed my Iphone doesn't recognize me with my mask on, and typically I'm wearing gloves when this happens so whatever precautions I have taken get muddled with phone screen UFC match. I've gotten really interested in my pillow arrangement after I make my bed - artistically arranging the 6 pillows each day.  I'm on a first name basis with my Romba Irobot RonJames, and truly feel bad when he runs into problems when i'm not home and is prevented from finishing his job - I know he feels bad, and I feel bad for him.

I think the true tragedy here, the ironic nature of the damage this virus is doing - is, conceptually, we have the right person in the White House for a business emergency.  I mean, literally, we have a guy who has spent his entire life in business, so it's really a situation men of history wait for - a time to lead.   How many great leaders never get that moment to flex the full measure of their ability?  But here we are, with a business guy leading the nation in a moment of business crisis, and can anyone really make a long list of measures being discussed that get to the heart of the problem?

Sure, the SBA stuff is great - but he didn't craft it - ad now instead of digging into policy debates about how to structure it and how to help the business community, Trump is sniping at organizations that maybe should be self-policing and self-denying funds legally available to them. He literally just wastes our time.  My dad - he died in 2014, had a saying, and it was biting in its modesty - 'he's just a disappointment that don't quit'.  It's got impact because it recognizes promise that is self-impeded, and it recognizes the general sadness of its impact on others.

Truly, if there is any good that comes from this, it will be in book form, and it will be 'how not to fight a war'.  It's instructional.

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