I'm lucky enough to live where cases took a nosedive, probably because a huge chunk of the population goes along with the face covering mandate, ergo reducing the spread. Wife and I just spent an extended weekend in New Buffalo, MI. We stopped off in Michigan City, Indiana, on the way, and...well....Indiana is a "facemask recommended" state rather than a "facemask mandatory" state. Thankfully, most people in the store were wearing masks, and the store was big enough with wide enough aisles that keeping away from people who weren't wearing masks was doable. Michigan is a "facemask mandatory if your medical conditions allow you to wear one" state...which begs the question: if you have a medical condition that makes wearing a facemask a hindrance to your well-being...then why are you outside during a nasty pandemic? We'll see if I made it through unscathed in a couple of weeks!
We've been planning a trip to San Diego. We were supposed to go in April, but of course, that didn't happen, so we rescheduled it for August. Now we have an issue: there's a Chicago mandate now that Chicago residents who fly into O'Hare or Midway from one of 15 states on a list, you are legally required to quarantine yourself for two weeks. California is on the list (even though cases in San Diego County are pretty low). You get fined something like $700 - $1000 per day you're not quarantined. Of course, what exactly they mean by quarantine, they don't say. (Do they mean stay in your house 24/7, not even go out to walk the dog? Stay home unless you have to go out to get food? etc.) And how exactly they're going to enforce that, nobody knows. They did say the list will be modified over time, and we're hoping California will fall off the list, but we're prepared to change our plans. I know it's for the good of everybody, theoretically, but it still sucks.
What doesn't make sense is that here, bars are allowed to be open, but beaches are not, despite the fact that 1) Dr. Fauci himself said that one of the most dangerous things you can do right now is go drink at a bar, and 2) I've heard more than one medical expert say that aside from keeping yourself isolated, the safest place to be is in the water at the beach. Mind you, there are strict bar rules: once you get your drink, you are to leave the bar and go to a table, and there's a strict limit on the number of people allowed to be in the building. The common belief is that the reason bars are allowed to be open is so the city can collect the sales tax. But the thing is, almost all of the beaches have busy concession stands that could very well be providing tax dollars, but no. The rule is that everything east of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago is closed (except for the bike / pedestrian trail), which means there are full-service restaurants that aren't allowed to be open in addition to concession stands, independent ice cream vendors who can't sell their stuff, and at least two bike shops that can't be open. On top of all that, that means there are no lifeguards on duty making summer money, most of whom are minorities who could really use it. (Our mayor is black and claims to be on the side of minorities.) And no lifeguards on duty means that if someone ignores the "beach closed" mandate, goes swimming, and gets caught up in a rip current, there's no lifeguard to rescue that person. All the other beaches along Lake Michigan are open, but nope, the mayor won't reopen Chicago's. (Yet I'm still paying taxes that are supposed to allow me to use those beaches.) My wife was practically raised on the beach, and she's REALLY cheesed off about the whole thing.
Speaking of my wife, she's kind of stressed because she's a teacher and is worried about the fall. It seems that all those in charge want schools to be open. Now...where I work, the word is we probably won't be going back to our building until some time in 2021. Just to give you an idea of where I work...my company's Chicago site takes up neatly two complete floors of a skyscraper. We have about 60 employees on site on both of those floors. (If you want to see the building I'm in, watch the opening credits of the later seasons of The Bob Newhart Show -- my building can be seen briefly about 45 seconds in! So you have an idea of how large and wide the building is.) Both our office manager and our parent company headquartered in Texas will not allow anybody to be in our office for more than 30 minutes at a time, and only one person at a time. Now...compare that to, say, 32 kids in one classroom. And my wife is diabetic, so that puts her at an increased risk. I told her if she's forced to teach in person in a classroom, I will pay to have a large Plexiglass barrier installed in her room.
Other than that, though...I guess I'm okay. Now that I'm working from home, I like that I don't have a commute. Down side though is that means I don't bike the 7-9 miles to work and back every day, but I don't seem to have gained any weight. (My shorts from last year still fit without a problem!) And I really liked the strict stay-at-home order we head before because I'm an indoorsman anyway. 🙂
So far my wife and I are both healthy otherwise. Each of us knows someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19. One of her old college roommates ended up in the hospital with a torturous case of pneumonia as a result, but she's fine now. Former classmate of mine had it, but I believe he was asymptomatic; his wife is a physician's assistant who flew out to New York to help with their overcrowded hospitals. And one of my coworkers had it, too; she thinks she got it from her husband, who's a social worker. Thankfully, she's okay now, although apparently she was pretty miserable.
Yeah, on paper, this thing has a high survival rate...but that's just it: survival. How many of those who survived actually came out of it 100% intact, with no long-lasting or permanent damage?
We gotta keep each other safe, everybody.