Reshuffle

We went out for a family picnic today. It was really hot but we played a lot of badminton and eventually decided it was a good idea to go out for an early dinner. Everything is closed on this side of the river so we drove into Missouri.

It’s nothing to us. Takes less than half an hour. In terms of public health, it would definitely be better if people just ate in their small towns instead of driving across state lines and back every time they fancy a restaurant meal.

The people who suffer are the restaurant servers who rely on cash tips and whose livelihood was yanked away for no reason and without warning. It’s the owners of small neighborhood places. It’s the people whose living depends on being tied to a particular spot. They are being schooled into hating the idea of being tied to a spot, of being rooted in a community.

What our governor (D) is doing seems illogical and crazy if you accept the narrative that these measures are about “public health.” But they aren’t. This is a refashioning of the economy. Lockdowns and riots are punishing rootedness and encouraging constant movement, reshuffling, and fluidity.

7 thoughts on “Reshuffle”

  1. You can’t even eat outdoors in IL? We’ve got restaurants open but not bars. A lot of places have outdoor seating at restaurants but not indoors, and have put up big tents. It seems you can go to bars that are in restaurants and I know people who are very uncomfortable with that kind of proximity. It doesn’t depend on political party but on whether or not they have someone vulnerable to the disease at home, or are concerned for themselves. I’m fairly courageous, as it turns out, not generally fearful. But a lot of the people who are worried are the same people who would be worried to live in my neighborhood (no gates / no guards), don’t walk out at night, etc., i.e. they are a more cautious type than I.

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  2. This “COVID Craze” has taken over so much all other health and safety issues are getting lost in the shuffle, so to speak.
    For example: You have a dental appointment, you get to the office and are told to “Wait in your car until we call or text you”. You don’t have a SmartPhone, and the phone you do have you left at home. Plus you either walked or took the bus to the clinic, so you have to ask what exact time you may re-enter the office so you can check on your watch and come back in at said exact time.
    In short, you may find yourself standing in the rain or in sub-zero temperatures for a good 10 to 15 minutes in the name of “health concerns” and “public safety”.

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    1. My father is afraid he might be having a recurrence of his skin cancer. He contacted the dermatologist and was told to take a photo of the suspicious spot and email it to the doctor for diagnosis.

      He’s lucky it isn’t a prostate problem he’s having. I don’t want to imagine where patients are asked to stick their phones for gynecological or urethral issues.

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  3. I’ve mentally broken hygene theater into three parts: reservations required, masks required, and basically other crap (like not being allowed to use the bar part of a restaurant-bar, or not being allowed to use changing rooms). If someplace does all three, even if they are being forced to, that is three strikes in my mind and I’m not going there. One strike and I’ll still patronized the establishment, two its unlikely.

    Where I live, churches and doctor’s offices have all three and I’ve not been to either since before March. Restaurants have gone light enough on this stuff that I’ve gone to them. I’ve been back to two museums and they do reservations and masks but not other crap, so those are occasional visits for now.

    One feature of this is the constantly shifting restrictions across both places and time and I think there is a psychological torture element to it.

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    1. Absolutely with you on the psychological torture element. If you look at domestic abuse, for instance, unpredictability is the main instrument of control over the victim. If the rules constantly change, the victim’s will is broken because you just can’t win in this situation.

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