Monday, May 04, 2020

"Everybody Back In The Pool...!" Only Not

     Yes, Indiana -- along with many other states -- has begun to open back up.  This doesn't include Indianapolis/Marion County, the virus "hot spot" where I live, nor does it apply to Cass and Lake Counties, still struggling to get transmission under control.  We've got until 15 May at the earliest.

     Marion County has had 6,176 confirmed cases so far, with 360 deaths.  Roughly two percent of the population here has been tested and we're well ahead of most counties in the state.

     Even at this first step in the multi-step re-opening, the state strongly recommends wearing masks in public and frequent handwashing.  Restrictions on non-essential travel have been lifted.  Remote work should continue for those who can do so and persons aged 65 years and older (or with other risk factors) should stay home.  Social distancing remains mandatory and social gatherings are limited to no more than 25 people. Manufacturing can restart, subject to state and OSHA/CDC guidelines.

     Retail and commercial stores can open to customers at 50% of capacity, including (after waiting an extra week to be sure) restaurants and bars that serve food.  Gyms, fitness centers, alcohol-only bars, nightclubs, playgrounds, casinos and so on will remain closed.  Places of worship can open back up starting this Friday under a long list of recommendations to help ensure social distance and safety; elderly and high-risk people are advised to attend services remotely.

     That's what the state is asking for.  What we will get -- probably even in here in Indianapolis, which is still under a stay-home/limit non-essential travel order -- will likely be "Olly-olly oxen free!" and the yahoos will rush out, unwashed and lacking masks, to congregate in large groups and sneeze on one another.

     The number of new COVID-19 cases has barely begun to flatten in Indiana.  I predict* that within the next two to four weeks, we'll see a second wave start up, bringing most counties to a per-capita infection rate on the same order as seen in Marion and Lake counties.  I can't do anything about that.

     We'll learn the hard way, just like we always do, and if we're lucky -- as we often are -- we'll learn quickly.  Or there will be less of us, with more compelling memories.
* Based on my vast knowledge of...  Um.  Of authoritative-sounding guesswork, human nature and popular accounts of people's behavior during the beginning of various historical pandemics: nobody wants to take a disease seriously until the dead are rotting in the streets.  This is generally too late.


Carteach said...

I think the virus lockdown orders can be likened to the warning on a hair dryer that it should not be used in the shower. The fact that we seem to need an 'order' instead of a common sense request tells us it's time to late nature sort it out.

Yes, I know I move up natures hit list every day now.... got that.

Unknown said...

Your asterisk says it all......

Eck! said...

With nearly 4000 dead in the state and something over 1000 in the county here,
and hundreds in the town alone its not something to casually disregard.

Bwing old means comorbidity is a real thing. That and why some only get
a little sick and some get really sick is unexplained.

We will open up and I will remain careful, as the alternatives are
not appealing either.


fillyjonk said...

Here in Oklahoma, we reopened doctor's offices for non-emergencies (which seems.....kinda? sensible?) but also hair and nail salons.

One woman who runs a nail salon was boasting on the local news that she had people calling from Arkansas wanting to come in for an appointment. And I cringed so hard I almost felt my soul leave my body. A state re-opening and having people come in from all over is just a recipe for more disease transmission - matters not whether it's from there to here, or here to there.

I admit, I really REALLY really want to go to my favorite open-air garden center (masked up and keeping as distant as I can from people) but I'm waiting at least three weeks to see what happens with the regional case load. If it spikes up -as I fear it will - I'll just scrub the trip. If I'm wrong, I'll rejoice in being wrong and go buy a bunch of perennials and herb plants.

I am a hypertensive (well controlled, but still) with asthma and I am over 50, so I figure the life I save (by staying home) may well be my own...

Bruce Abbott said...

This may be intimidating for some, but our family memory goes back a ways. A little over a century ago, my Mother's family buried two of her older sisters who died within days of each other from Influenza, both in their early twenties. Meanwhile, my Dad's family buried two of his older brothers, victims of mustard gas poisoning in the trenches of France. History sometimes returns with a vengeance...