A now iconic image symbolic of the COVID19 pandemic has become the infrared thermometer. I must admit that I had incorrectly assumed that they were only available to medical professionals. That is until my son bought me one as a present at a local store. I can just see it now. You meet a stranger and say, “Hi, my name is …. Please just hold still for a moment.” Then you whip out your infrared thermometer and zap his forehead. “O. K., thank you, now we can talk”. We could all carry one in a devised holster like in the Old West. Bizarre, perhaps, as if from some science fiction movie, but if you really want to be sure when you meet a stranger, what the heck!
and I’m all out of bubble gum”. The movie line, of course, is from “They Live” (1988) starring Roddy Piper and Keith David. Game over folks. According to a CNN report today 91,000 people have died in the U. S. since the reopening. There’s a killer on the loose, and he’s hungry. This is not a macho thing. Wearing a mask will not last forever, but it is the smart move perhaps one of the few moves that will save us until better days have come. I’m not asking you to wear a mask or imploring you to wear a mask, I am telling you to wear the mask! The first person that we lay eyes on upon entering this world is wearing a mask, “The Nurse“; U. S. c.1920. Unfortunately, for some of us the last person that we may see when we leave this world will also be wearing a mask, but this time with the addition of gloves and a face shield as well. Don’t be stupid. Follow the science.
O. K. I get it. The virus is like carbon monoxide. Invisible, colorless, oderless. Why should I wear a mask? Some people are just non-believers in science. Thrill seekers. These folks just have to look over the edge at the precipice in California despite the warning sign. Can we assume they they are illiterate? That they cannot understand the meaning of the word danger? I think not. So for varied reasons not everyone will wear a mask despite the overwhelming evidence that wearing a mask will save lives, maybe even their own.
“Danger“; California c.1990
Maybe not exactly what they had in mind when they said we should wear a mask, but this could work! Any face covering is better than none. It just gets a little sticky when the temperature hits 90 degrees.
“Trick or Treat“; U. S. c.2000
Thank you Ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) – “That’s Life”. This virus doesn’t care. Rich, poor, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, race, gender or whatever. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time you will be infected. It does not discriminate. You cannot afford to make a mistake. Shown here is “BMW on the Food Line“; North Babylon High School (7/17/20).
If it’s good enough for you it’s good enough for your vehicle. Would you believe? “Virus-proofing Seen As Valuable New-Car Option”; Newsday 5/28/20. Someone will always figure out a way to make money. Sir, we can virus-proof your car using UVC light or disinfectant for a small additional charge. And how long will that last? Yesterday, I took my Jeep Grand Cherokee in for service. State inspection and an oil change. No problems as it has has not been running for the last 10 weeks. Even my insurance company has given me a 10% discount for the month of June. The service advisor told me that I needed to replace the cabin air filter which I did for an additional $69.00 (see the lead photo). I had always asked about replacing it in previous trips to the dealership, but I was always told that it was not necessary. I think that the Coronavirus has altered their sales pitch.
The dealership has new owners. The previous owner sold several of his dealerships in this current market. As a dealer there is a lot of money to be made, but in hard times you can lose it real fast. It’s the floor planning, stupid! Your bank finances the cars you buy and for every month that a car on your lot remains unsold you have to pay the interest on that loan to the bank. This is why cash flow can keep you afloat in hard times. Sometimes it is more important to take less of a profit on a deal than leaving a car unsold as the interest will just eat you up alive. Anyway, there were only two new cars on the showroom floor. Many desks for invisible salespersons. Sales are now done by appointment only. No customers to just browse. Staff busy sweeping the showroom floor followed by moping during regular business hours. Chairs being disinfected. Signs all over to remind you to keep your distance from other people. It’s a brand new world for sure.
“Cabin Air Filter“; North Babylon, N. Y. (5/28/20)
History tends to repeat itself but not exactly. Are we headed for another Great Depression? Probably not as there is a safety net which did not exist in the early 1930s. Social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Yet there are disturbing signs of the 30s all around us such as this food line at the North Babylon High School. At least we can now line up in our Toyotas, Jeeps and BMWs. I even noticed one fellow in his Corvette this morning. Not like the bread lines of the 30s for sure.
Please listen to Governor Cuomo. Let the facts and science be your guide. All of us want to get back to life the way it used to be. In the meantime we need to obey social distancing. Absolute social distancing will stop the infection rate cold. As this is not possible we must do our best and also wear a mask and wash our hands. If you decide to go your own way on this and flaunt these new directives what is going to happen is that the infection rate will go right back up. So instead of coming out of this nightmare in June, June will stretch into July, July into August and so on. More people are going to die. Many more. To flaunt these new rules will push a re-opening date further back. In just the past few days as some states have decided to re-open just look at what is going on with the infection rate. See the statistics coming from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and Arizona just name a few. If you really want to get out stay in. The virus cannot find you if you never go outside. Those people who contract the virus will either recover or die. Without new hosts to infect the virus will run its course. While we wait for a vaccine this is the only sane course to follow. Unfortunately our health care workers and all other essential workers have to risk their lives daily. We salute you!
“Texting…Texting…Texting“; Manhattan, January 31, 2018.
Thank you, Blondie for “One Way or Another“, but for now this is real. In the era of the coronavirus pandemic we are now in uncharted territory. A new normal if you will. In this lead photo supermarket shoppers are directed to follow the one way signs so as to minimize social contacts.
“One Way Shopping“; Patchogue, N. Y. (April 22, 2020)
It has now been about five weeks since I have ventured outside my home. Retrieving the newspapers delivered on my front lawn, going to the mailbox and taking out the trash have been the extent of my movements outdoors. This morning I awoke to the sound of a lawnmower. Our lawn service has returned! I had not fertilized our lawn for fear that the service would not show up this year as they are based in one of the hardest hit areas of Long Island. Bienvenidos!