What’s that you say, New Orleans? “Modified”?
New Orleans is officially joining a growing number of places moving to reopen the economy. Sort of.
As some of you know, I’ve not been out and about as I was before this nasty pandemic hit us a year ago. I go out now and then, mostly with focused, targeted short trips. Still, I hear from family, friends and others regularly.
As Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell put us through important and necessary public health steps of stay-at-home, Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Oops Phase 2 again and so forth, I’ve been stuck in Sutton Slow Phase.
What I hear from some is a plain, easy question: Are we OPEN or are we CLOSE?
These folks don’t much use refined terms such as “modified.”
Call it a Modified Phase 3 if want, but it means “We’re Open” to lots of people, and that’s wrong.
Not to get too technical here, but it’s kind of like referencing “modified adjusted gross income.” Certainly there are people who know what it means, and they rely on MAGI to determine whether and when to invest in a Roth IRA. But most people I know drop the “modified,” and they drop “adjusted” and “gross.” They talk in simple “income” terms.
It reminds me about a serious football safety effort a few years ago when some started making a distinction between flag football and “full field tackle football” with a “modified tackle football” concept. Turns out teaching kids to tackle only sometimes and only certain ways didn’t quite catch on.
It wasn’t cool last week with Gov. John Bel Edwards loosened coronavirus restrictions statewide while clamping down some as other states opened up everything without scientific evidence that it’s time. I said it then, and I’ll say it again: We don’t know enough about what’s going on with these darn virus variants from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, so why would we loosen restrictions and open more?
Now, Mayor LaToya Cantrell has announced that she, too, is loosening up. Effective Friday, restaurants can have more customers, and bars can have indoor service. Heck, we’re even welcoming back live entertainment in a city well known for jammin’. Any establishment planning to do so has to follow some strict state fire marshal guidelines. I hope they find the policies too stringent to navigate. We need to hold on a bit longer.
I’ve counted on Da Mayor to keep us safe, to discourage people from playing around with that “I ain’t playing, no” glare and her “Now, you know…” moments. I want to trust that she knows what she’s doing, but I’m just not ready.
With moments of silence, prayers and song, local government and health care leaders on Tuesd…
I was happy to hear that more than 21% of 391,000 Orleans Parish residents have received at least the first virus vaccine shot. I was happy to hear that New Orleans is one of the leading parishes with vaccine distribution. I was happy to hear that Orleans has one of the lowest positivity rates in the state. But I’m not quite ready. Not yet.
Yes, it’s true that the crackdowns have hurt us economically. And it’s true that far too many have lost jobs and income, adjusted, gross or otherwise. But I’m still seeing too many people not cooperating, and I’m not comfortable with guessing who out there has been vaccinated and who hasn’t. I know I’ll feel safer with more people fully vaccinated.
I’ve had one accidental hug in the last year, and it was one of the strangest feelings. I want more hugs.
I’m just not going to risk life, mine or yours, to get them.