Knuckleheads and Knuckle Balls

Husband had been so hopeful.  The two libraries in town (Public and University) had been closed until two weeks ago.  The Public Library opened “appointment only”  and he ordered a classic, 1930’s book from inter-library loan about the history of the Great Plains. He has been reading it this week and is pretty happy about it.  He was hoping this was a sign that things were returning to normal.

The COVID-19 numbers had not increased in our county for about three weeks, with a total of 63 as of last Sunday.  That was until yesterday,  when it went up two. It went up because there is this baseball league in town in which young adult players come from other parts of the country, live in sponsor homes, and play baseball all summer. Well, an 18 year old player from Oklahoma came up Sunday, was feeling ill on Monday, and he and one more person tested positive for the virus. Now, all the players and hosts  and their families are being tested. The rest are all negative as of yesterday, but we will have a couple of weeks of continuous testing to see if it has spread. This is frustrating.

How do you think reopening should occur?  How are you doing with precautions?  What will be a sign to you that things are returning to normal?

43 thoughts on “Knuckleheads and Knuckle Balls”

  1. What’s normal? If normal is being among people without risk of contagion, without masks and/or social distancing, normal won’t happen until there’s an effective and universally available vaccine, if ever. All the gestures toward “normalcy” right now are calculated risks, concessions to the economy and to the population’s restlessness and impatience.

    Has husband also read the Ian Frazier book about the Great Plains? I haven’t (yet) but I’ve read other Frazier and he’s a good writer. When I’m curious about something or someone, I usually try to read at least two books on the subject. Then you have a basis for comparing and contrasting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Short of a vaccine, other medical advances are possible. Maybe a treatment will be found. If there were an effective antiviral that would lessen the severity of the illness reliably, so that people would feel a little ill for a bit but not have to be hospitalized, then it would be just like the usual colds that go around in a normal year.

      There was also some talk antigen tests. If they become widely available and everyone tested several times a week, it might be possible to isolate cases earlier and drive the numbers down.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Regarding the testing, it’s not something you can do alone. Good luck getting everybody to submit to testing, including those who don’t believe the virus is real, or that masks are cowardly, or that they are invulnerable.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Sandy has two cataract surgeries in August. We both of Covid testing on Friday and then have to stay completely cloistered until the surgery Wedsnesday. Then two weeks later we do the same again.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. The antigen test is potentially a spit test. You could just spit into a tube, ideally at home, and drop it off at a drive-thru.

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  2. I can’t imagine how they could do some activities that, by their nature, depend on crowds. I don’t think there is a safe way to do a big indoor political rally, for example. Football with no crowds? Seems like an oxymoron.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    The last several days there has been some information coming out that has allowed me to make some decisions about activities, but that does not yet feel “normal,” whatever that it.

    I have been willing to shop in stores in which I see staff taking precautions (masks, wiping things down) in combination with sneeze screens. If you read any of the data coming out regarding demonstrations and rates of infections, outdoor demonstrations in which participants wore masks had low transmission rates. Thank goodness.

    https://apple.news/AH-fC9Hx7SYqPOVmzw_KGjg

    I am going to Iowa to visit with my mother, outdoors and masked. I feel willing to having outdoor meetings and activities. My gym is open. It is well ventilated, with the ventilation system venting to the outside and without recycled air, so I am willing to go there with a light mask on so that I can finish my knee rehab and strengthening, which was interrupted in March. At this point a weak knee is as dangerous to my health as the COVID virus, due to the dangers of falling or re-injuring myself. So that decision to go to the gym does not reflect “normal,” but rather, considering pros and cons of a weak knee and a virus.

    Nothing is “normal” but it is more interesting than sheltering in place and watching TV or scanning family history documents.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Went to the Farmers’ Market at Signal Hills this morning, and this week they had exactly twice the number of last week’s vendors, so now we’re up to two. The good news is that both vendors wore masks, one of them had fresh Minnesota strawberries, and all shoppers there also wore masks and were maintaining proper social distancing.

    In contrast, yesterday morning I went to ALDI during their senior hour (8:30 – 9:30 AM) and found that they have now dispensed with sanitizing the carts, which they have been doing for the last couple of months.

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    1. Michael Osterholm, in the interview with Terry Gross, says you’re unlikely to get COVID-19 from touching surfaces. Mostly the danger is being in an enclosed space with other people and breathing their air. See Jacque’s comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have so many conflicting feelings about all of it.
    I found the Star Tribune article about the ‘Eight things we got wrong at first’ very interesting. And I think in another 2 months there will be 8 more things done wrong.
    I’m hesitant about pushing so many things off to fall, and are we really going to get the next wave and do it over?
    I haven’t found a good source to say if we’re 6′ apart do I still need a mask or not?
    What about all the videos I’ve seen of China over the years and everyone is wearing a mask and they’re all crowded together anyway. Or were those masks more for pollution? Does it matter?

    Remember back late March, early April when most of the world was shut down and the dolphins were in Venice and animals in the streets? No one talking about that anymore. I knew that was going to get lost.

    Part of me feels like what does anything matter anymore. The earth is going to fall into the sun anyway so go ahead and have that Mt Dew!
    It’s been my go to answer lately and, oddly enough, it helps my stress level. Because when people start talking stupid about whatever project they’re on, I can just tell myself “Whatever” and let it go and I’m a happier person that way. 🙂
    Works for me!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I really don’t know how reopening should occur. I just wish it was possible to get the idiots to wear masks, and I wish that Aldi was REQUIRED to sanitize the carts.

    I’m able to see a few more people because of being able to gather outdoors. I try really hard not to think about winter.

    I’m afraid I won’t see again what I knew as normal. One of my favorite venues here is a lounge at First Congregational which has been transformed into a small concert “hall”, seats maybe 50 people in front of a big old (no-longer-used) fireplace, and there are tables/chairs set up for coffee and treats after performances. The Congo Cafe. I’ll bet it will be a year and a half before that is available again, if it is.

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    1. According to Michael Osterholm, these risk levels would not be accurate. The problem is the air we breath, especially when aspirating droplets or breathing heavily to sing, play a game, or yell. Ventilation and wearing masks are The factors keeping the risks low.

      This rates getting on an airplane at a5. No way: recycled air, people refusing to wear a mask, close contact. An airplane is a 10. This rates camping at a 3. Why? That has to be a 1 unless you are crowded into a campsite with non-mask-wearing strangers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I try to stay informed by sane, reliable, and knowledgeable sources without obsessing over it. I wear a mask whenever I’m in public, and keep a reasonable distance from people I encounter on my way, and in general, I plan ahead so I don’t have to go out more than necessary. Fortunately, I’m pretty content without a lot of social interaction with other people, so I don’t feel stressed out or greatly inconvenienced at the moment. At this point I have severe case of pandemic hair, but so do a lot of other people, so I don’t fret about it. If need be, I’ll cut my bangs myself.

    Who knows what the future holds? I’m afraid that a new normal will be a lot more restrictive than the past, at least in the short term. The thing that I find fascinating is that we’ve known for years, at least some of us have, that a pandemic of this magnitude was inevitable, and yet, we seemed so utterly unprepared to deal with it, especially in the US. We couldn’t have found a worse time to put DT in charge of the whole shebang.

    Probably the most important thing for me is keeping in touch with kindred spirits. I have a small bunch of eclectic friends who constantly challenge, uplift, inform, and amuse me. The baboons fall in this category. Also, I listen to a lot of music and podcasts.

    Liked by 3 people

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