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Well, we’ve been cloistered for a couple of weeks now. Of course, being retired for about 20 years has been good preparation.

Barb, Clementine (cat), Skeezix (dog) and I going about our various rituals with minimal disagreements. A trip or two to the grocery store and a prescription now and then. Practicing careful “distancing,” masking and all that. Barb made masks using elastic from some old fitted sheets. They’re on the dashboard in the car for ready use.

Our Easter Sunday church services were online. Pastor did a good job, even walking his wired-in “congregation” through communion. Since bread and wine were not immediately available at that time of the morning, Barb and I substituted coffee and cinnamon rolls. Not exactly “bread and wine” for the elements but close.

Lots of little businesses still operating. Noted a CEO of chain stores said “We are down to the hair color phase of hoarding.”

Speaking of hoarding, I overheard the manager of a local grocery outlet tell a customer a resupply truck was due late Saturday night and there should be some toilet paper onboard. I got to the store at seven Sunday morning. Of the 48 six-packs offloaded, there were only four packs left when I picked one up. One per customer.

While much has been said offhandedly about TP hoarding, some city sewer plants are now being clogged up by things in the lines other than TP. Seems some folks have already run out.

On our little, infrequent trips for necessities, one thing keeps bothering me. With a “Swiss cheese” statewide gubernatorial closure order for all but “essential” businesses, I see an awful lot of stores open for business that don’t seem “essential.”

A block from our house, a golf cart shop remains open. Now, golf carts in our large retirement community are considered second “cars” and run about our streets with abandon. Still, continued sales of such doesn’t seem “essential.”

But, effective this week, our seven public, beautifully groomed golf courses are closed “till further notice.” You can hear the screams of outrage clear to Las Vegas! Snowbirds, who live for winter golf, are supremely pissed. Many are heading “back home” early to Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the Dakota’s. Patio’s bare, blinds down, everything turned off.

Pet stores still open. Selling nothing considered “essential” except animal food – which is essential – but can be bought at grocery stores.

The problem with all these “stay-at-home” orders is there’s no enforcement in too many cases. We’ve noticed a good number of small businesses selling this-and-that still peddling their wares. What police departments have the manpower or the time to nail each violator? Oh, there was one story out of California about the arrest of six guys who had to go from one town to the other for some late night booze restocking. Cops nailed ’em. But, that’s about it.

Now, Trump has formed an “advisory committee” to study all the facts and “advise” him when it’s time to reopen the country and how. Given the name of the committee you just know what the “recommendation” will be. Strong on abortion but willing to kill possibly thousands more of us to get business operating again.

Trump has been strongly advised to “stay-off-the-stage” during those daily COVID-19 updates. He’s managed to ignore that wise advice. But, it’s interesting to see various health professionals openly disagree with our “leader.” Dr. Fauci, more than once, has followed Trump to the lectern with statements of fact 180-degrees from our President. Dr. Birks also has openly expressed factual data refuting Trump’s statements made only minutes before.

Interesting bit of non-logic from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on one of the Sunday talk shows. Claimed his refusal to issue a stay-at-home edict was proving “successful.” Said his state has a small population and “social distancing just isn’t necessary.”

Well, Sir, we’ve got a long way to go before we’re nationally out-of-the-woods. Health professionals who know are talking about a possible “second wave” of COVID-19 and the likely need to extend our lock-down environments. Some of us are curious to know how many of your constituents have to die before you face the hard reality that “social distancing” is saving a lot of lives in other states.

For all of us, our current environment is something we’ve never known. Hundreds of thousands of us stricken by an invisible virus. Terrible death numbers each day. We’re urged to stock up and stay at home. Told to avoid others because they – or we – might be carriers of disease. Told by reputable medical professionals that today’s restricted status quo may last until 2021.

When all this ends – and it will – we will not be the same. Not even the same as we were three months ago. Our entire economy will need to be restructured. We may come to our senses and finally decide health care for all is a right of citizenship and not for just a few who can afford insurance. Our school systems will be forced to undergo changes. How we compensate those who are unemployed or who fall through the cracks because they aren’t eligible will have to be re-examined.

Health care providers and insurers will have to change how they do business and figure out how to include everyone with at least minimal qualification for pandemic and other health catastrophes.

As we sit in our isolation, we need to consider what we’ll face when this pandemic is over. Consider what conditions will be and how we’ll react to that new environment.

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