“The restaurant’s owner, Federico Fuoco, said that in addition to a rent increase, thousands in monthly taxes being paid, and wage increase requests, the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘the nail in the coffin’ for the small business … ‘Now is the time for [small businesses] to get real help. Not deferrals or loans, but real financial help. This is the only way landlords will be able to work with tenants in finding real solutions instead of just letting tenants walk away for good,’ read the statement.”
Fuoco has been a force on the Drive –especially concerning Italian Day — for many years. He ran for City Council some while ago, and is still on the Board of the Vancouver NPA. He has been a leader in the move to “protect” the Drive from bicycle lanes. His club has staged numerous tribute bands over the years. It will be missed.
Last weekCabrito Cafe announced its closure, and Triple A Grocers was boarded up.
Today was our first rely-on-someone-else-for-shopping day of our three week self-isolation.
To set the tone I have to mention that the Everloving is a champion shopper; she could shop for Canada in the Olympics. She keeps a larder, tracks prices, befriends every storekeeper on the Drive, wants to feel and touch everything, and actually loves going to the grocers. This isolation business has put quite a dent in her travels. She had been out on a couple of days to do major shopping but for the last week or so she has remained at home as the cautionary warnings have become a more constant drumbeat.
I, too, have been diligent in my stay-at-home-ness, though I did sneak out to the corner store yesterday for some essentials.
So, on to today. It began yesterday when the latest in a line of good friends called to offer any assistance we might need. (This crisis has shown what an interesting support web one has around one even when the relationships were never designed that way). Anyway, when he called yesterday, the Everloving was just in the right mood to say yes.
That led to endless toiling over a detailed shopping list, emails, and several clarifying/scheduling calls with the friend. More calls were needed from the friend when the store he was at didn’t have a particular item requested and alternatives were offered and usually rejected.
And then the waiting.
And when it did arrive we were, of course, grateful and fulsome in our thanks. We wiped down everything before packing them away, and added the few things he had forgotten, like potatoes and peas, to the list we made for our own next trip out.
This coming together of community support is truly wonderful, but there’s a surprising amount of nervous energy involved.
Tonight we stood out on the porch to view the super moon. It was large and shockingly bright. That calmed us down.
Many of us, I know, have been contemplating the societal changes that could come about as a result of the devastation of covid-19. This disaster, horrible though it is, is an opportunity to step away from some of the bad decisions and policies we have followed for so long.
While some of us have thought and written about the possibility of a progressive — not to say revolutionary — future (guaranteed annual incomes, medical services for all, a rebalancing of corporate-human interaction, a fostering of community, etc), Politico has been looking at a decidedly more prosaic and worrisome set of possibilities. The following is from their email of today:
“Regular checkups — Singapore and other Asian countries adopted widespread fever testing in the aftermath of the SARS epidemic. After coronavirus, the same could become the norm in the U.S. Before someone enters a store, office building, school, stadium, airport or other public space, they could be subject to thermal scans to check for an elevated temperature, much like they sometimes have to go through a metal detector to check for guns today.
Tracking — China and South Korea are already using apps to trace people’s movements and record symptoms in order to track the next hotspots. Americans may have to get more accustomed to logging and sharing their movements to help officials track and contain the virus spread. Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo is urging residents to keep a daily log of where they have been in case they become infected. She suggested today that such logs could become a requirement for coronavirus testing in the state. “There is going to be a discussion about how to manage security and privacy concerns while meeting this gargantuan challenge of tracking sick patients in any given community,” said Dan Hanfling, an emergency room physician and vice president of In-Q-Tel, which invests in security technology.
Random sampling — Ohio and Masschussets are planning to randomly test people in order to get a better handle on case counts and virus spread. Until widespread testing is available, random testing could allow a region to track the virus spread and know when to re-impose stay at home orders.
Certifications — Germany is already creating certificates for people who have recovered from the virus, which confers on them at least short-term immunity. The certificates allow people to sidestep lockdown restrictions. If antibody testing becomes more widespread, the idea of certifying the recovered could take off here as well.
Staggered seatingsand at home services — Restaurants, museums and concert venues could offer staggered seatings and shows with smaller, separated crowds. Painted lines on floors could help people appropriately space. In addition, hairdressers, manicurists and other service providers could move to home services that limit customers’ contact with one another.
More public spaces and micro-transit — Cities could accelerate new forms of transit and rethink public spaces, said Steven Pedigo, a University of Texas urban affairs researcher. More cities could build bike lanes or widen the ones they already have. Wider sidewalks, too, could help people commute without contact. Cities won’t disappear as the result of the pandemic, but they could become less dense.”
What do we think of those as the future we grow into?
Further to my piece two weeks ago regarding the corona virus-related drop in pollution over China, we now have even more evidence that the deterioration in our atmosphere is entirely driven by man-made causes and not some “natural” cyclical cause.
The European Space Agency has released a set of images showing the improvement in NO2 levels over France, Italy, and Spain.
In Japan you see them everywhere — windows full of plastic food designed to tempt you into a restaurant. Business Insider has a good little piece on the history (1930s on), how it became a $90 million business, and how the artistic manufacture of these masterpieces takes place.
I would love a few of them to decorate my kitchen.