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Saturday, 19 December 2020


Might easily be Virus related. Not that they have it but avoiding anything that has them in contact with others. You can control who you have contact with but not who they have been around. So easy to be in contact with someone who was exposed or is positive for the virus and may spread it - but does not show symptoms.
If you can avoid contact why not do so?

Some may be positive or just doing the self quarantine route. Not telling anyone means word does not get out. Once folks find out you have been exposed or have this virus you are Typhoid Mary - even after you recover.

Check the obits.

Here in the UK there seems to be a new edginess as Christmas approaches and people are asking themselves if they are doing the right thing with their plans for the forthcoming holiday. Plus of course we have a new, more contagious version of the virus on the rampage which isn't helping - it feels as if the pandemic is circling in ever smaller circles, getting closer and closer. Throw in a stiff shot of Brexit angst and voila, 2021 begins to come to a close...
Stay well Mike.

Not entirely surprising. Covid infections are climbing fast, as are deaths. Just a matter of time when this starts to have a noticeable personal impact.

I knew no one in my own entourage who had been sick but in the last two weeks one fellow died and another lady was hospitalized. And this is in Canada, where per capita infections are much lower than in the USA.

I presume you've seen that story about the wedding photographer in Texas who was infected at the mask-less reception (story on dpreview and elsewhere). It's only one story, but if there are 500,000 small incidents like that, then it becomes a big story.

There are still people who are hanging on to the idea that it's nothing serious, just another flu. People often confuse contrarianism with independence of thought.

In the town that I am living in now, the Main St. has been in the running for "Best Main St. in America" for many years, and even won a few years back. It is a nice mix of Mom and Pop shops and excellent small restaurants. I have photographed it for the last twenty years, so I know it very well.

This year, I am shocked at how many businesses are closed. Windows are scrapped clean of painted on names, ornamental decorations are gone and general upkeep is lacking. You can literally see a fully open storefront on Monday, and by the weekend "out of buisness" signs. This hits the restaurants and bars particularly hard.

The lock down kills the influx of money, so the employees have none to spend in other places and the circle of hurt keeps widening.

F%$# 2020!

Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US are up for the 13th day in a row. Some of the "freebreathers" are finding out that breathing ain't free in the ICU - they charge for oxygen there.

We live in Santa Monica, CA only 10 blocks from the ocean. Over the last 9 months the apartments around here have been clearing out rapidly. One building across the street has only one unit of ten occupied. Moving trucks crowd the streets so the Amazon vans can hardly get by.
Best we can tell is people are bailing to the country or young ones moving in with parent because they either do not have to go to an office anymore so anywhere with Internet is OK (both our programmer kids work at home, one in SF and one in Austin) or have lost their jobs and have to find somewhere to crash (mostly parents.)
At this point about 50% of the local small shops, bakeries and restaurants have folded. Several high-profile ritzy restaurants nearby have closed - one opened as the top choice of food critics and lasted only a couple of months before the shutdown. The surviving ones are doing takeout - even the Michelin-starred one on the next block - almost funny to watch M-Bs, BMW, Bentleys, Lexuses and Teslas pull up to get handed a paper bag with dinner ready to serve! All the theaters are closed too.
At the corner liquor store, however, business is booming. (Aside: during the BLM demonstrations, the owner parked his big-ass pickup on the corner and sat in the bed on a lawn chair holding an assault rifle. That says something about our culture today, eh?)
The snowbirds we know up in Canada are staying home - they get turned away at the border.
But the redistribution of wealth is readily visible here on the streets in Santa Monica. The streets are filled with new expensive cars. We always had lots of Porsches, but now there are bunches of GT3s with tacky wings. We see Ferraris parked on the street overnight. Teslas are like Priuses were a decade ago. Not just Bently SUVs but we've seen several Rolls Royce and Lamborghini SUVs.
We are not coming out of this as the same society, I am afraid, if we come out of it at all.

I am often accused of seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses, but I think that there is nothing rosey about what is happening.

The best case is that they are self-isolating as required and don't want the word to spread.

At worst, they have held on as long as they can hoping to survive and have reached the end of their financial rope.

Sadly, this pandemic will shutter many businesses that deserve to prosper.

For the record I don't think it's the lockdown that destroyed businesses, I think it's the presence of a virus that has killed 300k people in under a year and ain't stoppin'...

I don't think normal will look like normal for several years, at least.

The first problem we all face are the idiots who don't understand any basic physics and how stuff floats or gets projected across distance. I laugh in despair at those who wear a plastic visor, no mask, and think they are safe unto themselves as to others. I suppose they think that air from nose and mouth falls vertically to the ground, never, ever, for a single moment will it move around the sides and bottom of said mask...

The next problem is bravura and testosterone: both can get you killed.

The third problem is that with time, people accept anything as a worthwhile risk: what major changes did AIDS bring in the end? None. People still do what they do and always will. In fact, more and more political clout is given those who are the perhaps the prime spreaders. The world is not going crazy, it's already there.

This is happening at my workplace. “Hey has anyone seen? (Fill in the name). Management has even lied about the cause but we find out later. A co-worker that I am in close proximity to went out with COVID-19 a few days ago. We even passed off the dept. phone on a regular basis. I work in a retail environment 8 hours a day dealing with strangers getting far too close. Well I have run out of words. Not fun.

Melbourne Oz is still waking from its 8 August to mid/ate November lockdown and curfew - including the first closed State borders since Oz was founded - with ongoing limitations on employee numbers, etc. etc. There’s no arguing that the near complete quarantine stopped COVID 19 in its tracks. The State has had no cases (cases not deaths) at all for a month and only a few cases in international quarantine since reopening the border a week or so ago (it helps to be an island nation, albeit a really big one). But there’s also no arguing that the economy and small business has been utterly devastated- just counting local shops near home and CBD small business near my office in town, and talking to remaining business owners at both, my reckoning is that 35-40% of the smaller to medium businesses won’t be reopening. Having said that, as one of my friends who is among them said, I’d rather be alive and healthy to start my business again than be wealthy and dead.

As Kirk said, wearing a mask isn't a fashion statement its an IQ test

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