Coronavirus Diary Day 250: November 17, 2020

Philly Lock Down 2.0


On Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced a second lockdown for the city. The refreshed quarantine will begin this Friday and last through New Year’s Day. Some restrictions include:


*No indoor gatherings of any size are allowed, in any location, including: parties, group meals, sports watching, visiting between households, weddings, funerals, and baby showers.


*Outdoor gathering are restricted to 10% occupancy or 10 people, with no food or beverage and mandatory mask wearing at all times.


*Indoor dining at restaurants must end, and outdoor dining is restricted to 4 seats per table, with all 4 persons from the same household.


*Retail stores can operate at reduced density with mandatory mask wearing.


*Museums, theaters, gyms, libraries, bowling alleys, casinos, senior day services, and youth sports must cease operations.


*Religious services can operate with 5% occupancy.


*People should continue working from home wherever possible.


*Colleges and high schools can only operate through online learning.


*The State of Pennsylvania followed suit today by tightening the requirements for mask wearing (including in the home when members of more than 1 household are present) and requiring out-of-state travelers to test negative for Coronavirus before entering the state.


I mean, OK. How do we require people to wear masks within their own homes? We can certainly suggest it, and perhaps people should take the suggestion. But can we require it? Are we enforcing this? Or, is it only after your brother-in-law is hospitalized with Coronavirus that some temporary state contractor will trace his ailment back to your kitchen island, at which time, you’ll face criminal charges.


Are we stopping all the cars that cross the borders into PA to see if the occupants have tested negative for COVID-19? If that’s the case, my Penna. friends, please purchase all of your booze in Delaware. Because, if you’re gonna get caught carrying Mad Dog 20/20 across the PA/DE border, you might as well make it a real good story.


You guys, I’m not exactly mad at these rules. I get it. These are scary times, compounded with continuing election woes, unemployment, social unrest, and a shortage of daylight hours. I’m dreading the call I will inevitably make to my brother, informing him that The Hubs, Ryan, and I won’t attend his Thanksgiving feast in New Jersey, not because of all the restrictions our legislators have put in place, but because I don’t want my family to get sick.


And by that, I mean, I don’t want anyone to die.


Does that mean I’m buying into all the political power grabs? No, I’m not. In fact, I’m picking up Ryan from West Virginia University tomorrow. I’ve given him the function to make his own decisions regarding gatherings and Coronavirus since he arrived there in August. I trust he’s made good decisions, but some of those good decisions involve parties and football games. Kids need social lives, and if you don’t think so, you don’t currently own a teenager.


As for me, I’m seeing friends this weekend. We’re all in good health, which means: We’re fit. We don’t smoke. We don’t have immune disorders or underlying health conditions. We’re under 50 60. Also, we’re aware of the risks, and we accept them.


Afterwards, I will quarantine.


As for the holiday at my brother’s house, along with my parents and my sister-in-law’s parents? Nope. There’s no way in hell I’m exposing them to my germs – or Ryan’s germs – on Thanksgiving Day. We can FaceTime. That’s still a thing. (I will definitely need some tequila before I explain that to my mother.)


Cozy fire at home in suburban Philadelphia, because I like it this way.



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