21 Comments

  1. Or it’s the end of some official quarantine period, and he can freely go outside, but it’s disappointing because life still isn’t back to normal, and won’t be for a long time. (Ha, ha, I guess?)

  2. I think Bill got it. Or another candidate for YTATI (Yes That’s All There Is).

  3. So, Tatulli gave up ‘Heart’ to devote himself to Lio’s new ‘All-Covid, All The Time’ format?

  4. I think one political leader in a country not my own, who had originally declared Easter the time to reopen for business, later said that May 1st should be that day. But it turns out it isn’t, not in that country anyway.

    Our own political top dog, having had a close encounter with an intensive care unit himself, is rather less gung-ho about lockdown release. We might get to hear the outlines of a plan next week.

  5. @ Brian – Not to mention that the “humor” has been (at best) very minimal. All we have here is the “Schadenfreude” of laughing at Liō’s disappointment(*), but the laugh’s on us: we’re all in the same situation.
    P.S. Showing the Sun wearing a mask is just silly, but I sort of like the fact that it has a visible “corona“.
    P.P.S. (*) – The quarantine periods that have been announced so far have all been highly optimistic (and far short even of the “forty days” from which the word is derived). No elected politician wants to risk frightening the populace with a realistic discussion about the amount of time it will take to achieve “herd immunity” (if that is even possible), or to develop a reliable, verified vaccine. For this reason, sequential extensions are to be expected.

  6. Here in New York, we will probably see the beginning of restriction-loosening in a couple of weeks. Not where i live, mind you, where the infection rate is higher than New York City, but in upstate areas that never had much COVID-19. I’m very ready to go back to normal, but I must say that this makes a lot of sense. Germany is already loosening restrictions. New Zealand now reports being totally clear of the virus, so they’ll be keeping restrictions on foreign travel and not much else, I understand. (Being an island nation probably helps.)

  7. @ Carl – Germany is loosening some restrictions (on a state-by-state basis), but in very tiny baby steps, and backed up by a declining rate of new infections and a very deep testing capacity. Some stores are now allowed to open, but only if they have distancing and hygiene protocols in place. We’ve just completed the first week with a nationwide mask requirement (at least in public transportation and stores), and all major public events are “verboten” until at least August 31st: neither of these conditions is going anywhere any time soon.
    P.S. Unlike a number of other countries that have already cancelled the rest of the season, Germany is still considering restarting its top football (soccer) leagues. If they do start playing soon, it will be in empty stadiums, and will require a very large number(*) of tests (every week) to hold the risk down to an acceptable minimum. The logistics presented so far sound like they might work (as long as all of the tests remain negative), but I have yet to hear of a credible plan for what they will do as soon as someone who was on the field tests positive.
    P.P.S. (*) – Personally, I would call the number of tests needed “irresponsible”, or at least “unjustifiable” (why soccer, but not other athletes?), but there is a fair amount of political support for the idea, both as a functional distraction(**) and as a plausible façade of “normalcy”.
    P.P.P.S. (**) – Similar to the traditional Roman concept of “bread & circuses”.

  8. @Kilby – you’d think golf or singles tennis (not doubles) would be examples of elite sports better suited to being released from lockdown than football, where people are always barging into one another and getting in their faces. Tennis would have to discard balls after each serve, though. And have no ball boys and girls, especially the ones who carry sweaty towels.

    Actually, American football might be a good candidate for release too, with some techy intervention – modify helmets with a supply of air, astronaut style, and the players could be hermetically sealed form one another. Same with ice hockey. Cricket is mostly dispersed and people aren’t supposed to collide, though at quite frequent moments they do have to run close by each other.

    Various athletic field events like javelin and pole vault are already very isolated so could start today – though the pole vault and high jump etc landing bags and cross-bars, for instance, would have to be cleaned after each contact. Track events not so much, especially distance races.

    Swimming would be OK – an Olympic pool is 25m wide with ten lanes, so each starting block is more than 2m apart. And chlorine is quite anti-viral.

  9. @ narmitaj – It’s not absolutely necessary to maintain all distancing rules for the participants of a spectator-free event, although it does make sense to employ such distancing as is easily implementable. Within the (limited) pool of participants, it would be easy to document contact chains, so that in the case of a positive test, everyone within the relevant chain could be notified and tested. For this reason, it would not be necessary to discard or sterilize the tennis balls, although it would clearly be a good idea to make players manage their own towels.
    Many sports could be conducted under “Covid-19” conditions, but it’s a question of whether they still can be financed in such a situation. Most events depend on ticket sales to keep the ball rolling. The fundamental leverage that soccer has over tennis or golf is a highly profitable TV contract. All of the teams in the German first and second leagues are heavily dependent on pay-per-view TV money, and a few of them would be at risk for bankruptcy if this season’s final cash installment cannot be redeemed. Even before play was suspended, Sky Sports had offered to televise “empty stadium” games in “free TV”, which was both a very generous and a brilliant strategic move. It remains to be seen whether they will hold the offer open if the rest of the season is played that way.
    P.S. One detail that I learned from the German soccer plan is that there are normally twelve ball boys and/or girls on the sidelines. The plan calls for reducing the number of ball kids from twelve to four, and eliminating the “walk-on” kids entirely (from the ceremony at the beginning of each game).

  10. I think Bill has it, but the exact thing WW described just happened to me. I returned home and had to self-isolate for 14 days. We had a calendar on the fridge just like that one. Yesterday, we went for our first legal jaunt outside only to find empty streets and closed businesses.

    Still, it was nice to get out. Believe me.

  11. That’s the sun??!??

    You mean a volleyball isn’t about to hit Lio?

    (I guess the sun does make more sense… but a volleyball makes about as much sense as a thumb being the calendar picture for the month of May.)

  12. Kilby: I agree that for politicians, it’s generally safer to have sequential extensions, rather than starting off with a long quarantine period. It’s also probably logistically more practical, since it’s easier to extend quarantine rules, and possibly make practical modifications at the time of extension, rather than to change the rules partway through an already announced period.

    However, ending “quarantine” doesn’t require herd immunity or a reliable, verified vaccine – at least, not as I define “quarantine.” Returning everything back to normal may require one of those things. But if most people are able to go outside with careful social distancing, and most businesses are able to reopen with limited capacity and greater regulations, I would consider that as “ending quarantine.” But it’s probably going to be a longer time before, Disneyland, for example, can safely reopen.

  13. Missouri is officially opening now, but individual jurisdictions are supposedly able to have stricter timetables. One business is threatening to sue St. Louis County over its extension.

  14. Back in March I figured that end of May was the earliest for isolation to end and probably more likely sometime up to the end of June.

    Robert has come to the understanding on his own that some time in two weeks or so we will have to go out and buy food plus he mentioned to me what I truly afraid to mention to him – only one of us may be able to go in. I have not yet mentioned that we will need to renew some meds after next week as we will be out of three meds between us by the end of the that week (and that involves my splitting old different dosage pills of ours for a med we both take in different doses – cut 1/8 off old pill and that pill is good for me, add that 1/8 to another full pill and that is good for him. Have 11 days extra of that med that way. He knows that we are getting computer calls from the pharmacy that one of us needs to renew “prescriptions” (plural) instead of “prescription” as we had been getting and he figured was for his (basal) insulin since he is using 1/2 of his normal due to cut in how much we are eating and has not needed to renew it yet. Walmarts on Long Island have no delivery service or pickup, but he thinks that they will bring meds to the door if we call when we get there.

  15. @MerylA: both Walgreens and CVS absolutely will deliver prescriptions free of charge. So will Value Drug, now that I think about it. Is there a reason you can’t switch the prescriptions to reduce your exposure?

  16. I was thinking the same. Even if you need to quarantine the packages that should be better.

  17. Carl Fink – yes, we took a Part D policy for Walmart as that is where we always go anyway (I always used to say (before we started to be home all the time – a day without a trip to Walmart is a day we went to Micro Center and probably ended up at Walmart anyway.) We have gotten every prescription at Walmart through the 3 policies we were on before Medicare – somewhere around 15- 20 years, so a problem never occurred to us.

    I called in the renewals. We will call before we go and then when we are there we will call them and tell them where we are parked and they will bring the meds to us with a credit card reader. In other places Walmart is still delivering, here on LI they do not deliver and other than for prescriptions there is no order and pickup. We could probably get them to run it through the online service and still be okay with our insurance, but Robert takes Levemir insulin and it needs to be kept cold and we had trouble in the long past with same by mailed/UPS delivery and do not want to chance it. It really is only prescriptions – they cannot denture adhesive to the order.

    Thank you though for the suggestion.

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