Sherman R. Frederick/Battle Born Media
I have three burrs under my saddle this week.
Mask Switcheroo: I’m not going to hate on anyone for asking me to wear a face mask during the Age of Coronavirus. I get the angst. And, frankly, it makes me feel better in a crowd.
But can one our public health masters please explain why only a few weeks back we were emphatically and plainly told not to bother wearing masks? They weren’t effective, the doctors said, and just made us feel good.
If I may be so impertinent to ask, what new scientific breakthrough justified the 180 change? Plus, the newest research in scientific journals say surgical masks and cotton masks most normal people wear don’t screen finely enough to protect against COVID-19 particles?
Explanation, please. Bueller? Bueller?
Look, here’s my point. It’s best not to make rules like masks mandatory if you are not 100 percent sure. Just make them advisable or optional. Here’s why. Overreach rules invite disobedience. For example, you can walk on the beach, but you can’t sit on the beach? You can sell chicken wings and beer, but not just beer?
C’mon, Dr. No. Think about it.
For Thee, Not Me: Dr. Rachel Levine is a piece of work.
She’s health secretary for Pennsylvania, a state that mandates COVID-19 patients be returned to nursing homes. It’s been a disastrous policy. Of the state’s 3,806 coronavirus deaths, 2,611 had occurred in nursing homes.
While Levine enforced that policy, she said nothing about moving her 95-year-old mom out of a nursing home and into private care. I’m putting it nicely when I say that’s an unmitigated disgrace.
Self-serving SOB: And finally, consider Sen. Richard Burr. After chairing a special briefing on coronavirus in the Senate Intelligence Committee, he sold his stock holdings.
Last week he relinquished his chairmanship after FBI agents seized his cellphone as part of a criminal investigation into his stock sales. The North Carolina Republican said he hoped people would reserve judgment until the “investigation played out.”
Uh, too late, Dick. You used closed-door information to save your own financial skin, while the rest of us took a beating in the coronavirus slump. You are an outrage.
OK, I feel better getting those things off my chest. Now onto other things.
DON’T SCREW UP GREAT PLATES
I love the Great Plates idea and was glad most counties in the Bay Area got on board with the program. Great Plates works like this: The county contracts with local chefs (who are getting absolutely hammered by the COVID-19 shutdown) to prepare unbelievably great meals for seniors, hence the title “Great Plates.”
So far so good. But there’s one, itty-bitty stipulation. The fine print of the program says that these phenomenal chefs must prepare meals that meet federal guidelines, including rules about salt and other stuff nameless federal rule-makers deem inappropriate.
That’s a recipe for disaster. This program promises to deliver fabulous cuisine to seniors using some of the best chefs in the Bay Area. This is not supposed to be federally approved “lunch lady” fare. I hope the county overseers say “screw that” to the fine print and let the chefs do their thing.
From the L.A. Times: “Can you be reinfected with the novel coronavirus? It’s a question scientists are still puzzling over thanks to stories like this: The first COVID-19 patient to be treated at Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville was discharged in early April after her apparent recovery, only to end up back in the hospital just a few weeks later. She’d tested positive for the virus for the second time.”
It’s hard to feel confident in public health rules when our healthcare masters don’t know fundamental things like this.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
The shelter-in-place orders have an unprecedented number of people growing their own herbs, starting craft projects and baking their own bread. This, coupled with no jobs and no haircuts, signals a return to our hippie roots. Far out. Now, if I can only find my Janis Joplin and the Holding Company albums.
WELL PLAYED, SPICERY
As businesses return to work after the coronavirus apocalypse, I must pass along this note from The Spicery in Tiburon:
“It’s been six weeks of shelter-in-place and closed stores, and we have been working hard on developing a business resumption plan that is both consistent with our State and County public health orders, as well as satisfies our own high standards …”
It concluded: “It’s Thyme.”
Very nice, Spicery. But let me show you how it’s done.
ONE MORE THING
— If retired nuns were called back into service, I guarantee you social distancing would absolutely be observed.
— A truck loaded with thousands of copies of Roget’s Thesaurus crashed yesterday losing its entire load. Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied, confused, shocked, rattled, paralysed, dazed, bewildered, mixed up, surprised, awed, dumbfounded, nonplussed, flabbergasted, astounded, amazed, confounded, astonished, overwhelmed, horrified, numbed, speechless, and perplexed.
— If Heidi Klum married Don Ho, she’d be Heidi Ho.
Enough! I’ll let myself out. Until next time around, be well, avoid soreheads, stay safe.
(Sherman Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers, including the Novato Advance, the San Rafael News Pointer, the Mill Valley Herald, the Sausalito Marin Scope, the Twin Cities Times, the Ross Valley Reporter and the Pacifica Tribune. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)