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    The "Reopening"

    In the latest article on putthison (https://putthison.com/how-to-dress-for-the-reopening/), Derek Guy says "soon, millions of Americans will return to public life." Which makes me wonder, how many of you haven't returned to public life?

    I'm in Salt Lake, and we haven't been meaningfully locked down, though we have been (mostly) masked and distanced, since probably May or June last year. My parents are in LA, where things are substantially less open (the result being that they've spent far more time here in Utah since last March). What's it like and how has it been where you are?

    #2
    Not counting today (because today has been MY reopening)--I live in a suburb of Los Angeles, just on the LA side of the OC/LA county border, we have been between 80 to 100 percent locked down since March 5 or 6, 2020, with some limited exceptions. (I remember the date because coincidently, my heart went out of rhythm, and I spent the next week in bed).

    From March through about the middle of May, it was close to 100% locked down--we went on walks outside, but avoided coming within 10 feet of anyone else on the street. We had groceries delivered and both worked from home. Towards the end of May, I needed a procedure to correct the heart issue, out patient (an ablation), which I was fortunately able to schedule between the first and second waves. Then we pretty much went to about 90% locked down, with trips out only to the grocery store and doctor appointments when necessary to be in person (e.g., eye exam). This lasted through about August--we did host a few friends and family outdoors, one or two at a time during this timeframe. One exception to staying at home during this time frame an outdoor dinner at a restaurant to celebrate our anniversary at the end of August.

    By September, we started to feel a little bit more confident that we weren't going to get Covid from casual and limited contact, and we had a situation where the mother-in-law's health was failing and she needed to come live with us. So, we started to shop for a new home large enough for us to both be working at home AND have MIL live with us.

    The only suitable house that we didn't get out-bid on was a home that needed a lot of remodeling to make it work, so after we closed in November, we started to have a lot of contractors around. But we played it very safe. They all wore masks. We all wore masks. One of the workers got Covid in January and exposed us, but I guess because of the masks and social distancing, we were safe.

    Remodeling also meant a lot of trips to hardware stores, design shops, etc. etc. All masked up. Many of the smaller design shops by appointment only. But other than that, going for groceries, and other necessary outings, we continued to stay home almost always. Xmas was not an exception. New Years we stayed home as well.

    One exception was my sister's 60th birthday in February. She has been fighting cancer for over three years now and we thought it might be her last (she is on the upswing now, thank you). Coincidently, all the siblings AND our mother were all in So.Cal. at the same time for the first time in at least 10 years, so we had an outside celebration with just the four siblings, my sister's husband, and my mother.

    A couple of other exceptions were that my partners and I decided to buy a small office building because the prices were so low on commercial property. We did tour several buildings. But I still had a lot of anxiety, so if there were move than five or six people in the building, I stayed outside.

    By early April both my wife and I each had both shots. On April 18, we had an indoor-outdoor birthday party for my mother's 81st. My brother was out of state, so he didn't come, but we had about 10-12 family members, all of who had been vaccinated with at least one shot.

    But even at that time, we mostly stayed home, except for necessities and some non-essentials, for example hair cuts. Although we had an active social life before the pandemic, very few entertainment venues were open. We did go out for dinner for my wife's birthday on May 10. That was almost normal. We had to wear masks until we got to our table. Only every other table was occupied.

    At the end of May, we hosted about 10 friends INSIDE our new (mostly remodeled) home for a karaoke party. Everyone had at least one dose of vaccine and almost everyone had two.

    AND TODAY--I had my first in-person meeting with a potential witness since maybe February 2020. I felt so free that I stopped off at a car dealership and took a test drive of a car I've had my eye on for over a year.

    AND TOMORROW--freakin' VEGAS, BABY!

    Okay, so that's our story. We were fortunate that we stayed well and that we prospered. Some of our good friends got very sick. Others got mild cases. Some of our friends and colleagues had parents who died. One of the support team members at my old firm died from it--he was not very old either, maybe 50ish. My daughter is an RN and she was exposed several times, but PPE kept her safe.

    Other friends took some hard hits financially. There are a lot of gig-workers in LA that kind of fell through the cracks of the first wave of financial assistance.

    A good friend who made 90% of his income from his band's live gigs was especially hard-hit.

    Many of the bars and restaurants we used to frequent seem to have closed permanently.

    So, it's been tough here.

    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
      So, it's been tough here.
      Originally posted by facelessghost View Post
      Which makes me wonder, how many of you haven't returned to public life?
      I'm kind of a cynic, and when I saw that article on Put This On and also SuitSupply's "The New Normal is Coming" ad, I thought it was a chance to make money on people's perceptions of reopening (and I consider myself more optimistic than most of the people I know and work with 😊)

      Buuuut

      Mebejoseph, my brother is a tax accountant and probably your neighbor! and his experience has been pretty similar. LA has had lots of trouble.

      Here in DC in my job (public school teacher) there was a big public fight between the union and the city about reopening schools. We had some schools open classes for a literal handful of kids in late 2020, our school did something similar in Feb of this year, for about 30 kids every day. I've been at work since then.

      But of course, going to the grocery store, big box store, the city being locked down only applies in certain situation. I don't mean to say this to bring any guilt about what people do for work, and being able to work at home. It's a logistical fact: there are a ton of essential workers, which means there are ton of other workers buying groceries, paper towels, clothes, etc. So people are still out and about, even if they're not sitting together in offices. Lots of businesses in DC like barbers, restaurants, bars, concert venues, etc have been closed for a while, then slowly reopening at limited capacity over the last year, but the daily-life tasks that people did couldn't all be done online.



      Personally, not just for making my job easier, but for the opportunity to see, meet, and talk to more people, I'm excited about the "Reopening," at least as it applies to us with our schools being open full time in the fall.

      Comment


        #4
        I guess it depends on how you define "locked down" - I'm in Maryland about a mile from the DC border (inner Montgomery County). My experience is similar to Andrew's - we were locked down tight for the first couple months of the pandemic. Last summer things started opening up some and we didn't go back into complete lock down again - restaurants were open but with very limited indoor seating to enable social distancing. They had outdoor seating too but over the winter dining outside here is not super pleasant. I haven't been into the office since mid-March 2020. I think that's what the PTO guy is referring to when he is talking about life returning to normal - the office workers all going back into the office and no longer teleworking all the time - have those workers all been going back into the office in SLC since last summer? I kind of doubt it but I guess it could be possible. Also live concerts and performances and such coming back with normal seating capacity...I don't know that that's happened anywhere except maybe Texas and Florida but again I could be wrong.

        We've been getting all our groceries delivered since March of 2020...mostly because we discovered that we like not having to go to the grocery store and are willing to pay someone else to do the shopping and driving back and forth for us. Most of our restaurant meals have been carry out or delivery, though we have eaten outside a few times and inside a couple. We're doing more inside dining recently now that we're all fully vaccinated. I may go into the office sometime soon even though we don't have to yet - I have an adjustable desk (sitting to standing I tried to get one through work and despite the fact that several people got them they then stopped providing them to people so I bought my own which I will take with me when I leave) that I want to install in my cube and right now I know I can park right at our building which makes transporting it from home to office a lot easier. Once things return to normal the parking garage at work will be full and getting that sucker into work will be tougher.
        Last edited by mark4; June 10, 2021, 08:59 AM.
        “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

        Comment


          #5
          I'm in the DC area with andrew and marc. Damn, how many Swampdwellers are on this forum anyway?! Northern Virginia specifically. Same deal. Masking, social distancing, etc. Some people stayed in for health reasons. But there sure were a lot of cars on the road even when the "Stay at home" order was in effect.

          I had to laugh reading that PTO article. It just highlighted what a bubble NYC has been for the past 18 months. Well, 18 decades actually. The only "millions of Americans" that are just starting to "return to public life" are the millions stuck in the Five Burroughs and parts of California. The rest of us have been mostly "reopened", with minor adjustments for masking and social distancing, for at least a year now. Well, schools are a different story, but I don't mean to spark any flame wars. Anyway, I'm glad that NYC and LA are emerging and the sooner everything gets back to normal - whatever "normal" is now - the better. Although, I'm not enjoying the return of normal NoVa traffic.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post
            Damn, how many Swampdwellers are on this forum anyway?! ...Although, I'm not enjoying the return of normal NoVa traffic.
            Lol I resemble that remark. And yeah, when I'm driving down there, those high rates for the toll roads start to actually seem worth it

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post
              I'm in the DC area with andrew and marc. Damn, how many Swampdwellers are on this forum anyway?! Northern Virginia specifically. Same deal. Masking, social distancing, etc. Some people stayed in for health reasons. But there sure were a lot of cars on the road even when the "Stay at home" order was in effect.

              I had to laugh reading that PTO article. It just highlighted what a bubble NYC has been for the past 18 months. Well, 18 decades actually. The only "millions of Americans" that are just starting to "return to public life" are the millions stuck in the Five Burroughs and parts of California. The rest of us have been mostly "reopened", with minor adjustments for masking and social distancing, for at least a year now. Well, schools are a different story, but I don't mean to spark any flame wars. Anyway, I'm glad that NYC and LA are emerging and the sooner everything gets back to normal - whatever "normal" is now - the better. Although, I'm not enjoying the return of normal NoVa traffic.
              I think NYC has actually been partially open for quite some time now. I have friends that live there and it sounds about like the way the DC area has been - not fully open but not totally locked down either - for many months. I think by "normal" the PTO guy is referring to going back to office desk jobs and live indoor performances mostly. I don't want to start a flame war either so I'll suggest this as something to think about...is the city of 9 million people of every ethnicity and persuasion, all of whom rub elbows with each other every day and mostly take a live and let live attitude towards all those around them really how we should define a "bubble", or is it the people who are creeped out or somehow disapprove of living that way who maybe live in a bubble? Yes, the traffic has seemed about as bad as ever in the DC area despite the pandemic.
              “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by andrewrg View Post

                Mebejoseph, my brother is a tax accountant and probably your neighbor! and his experience has been pretty similar. LA has had lots of trouble.

                Here in DC in my job (public school teacher) there was a big public fight between the union and the city about reopening schools. We had some schools open classes for a literal handful of kids in late 2020, our school did something similar in Feb of this year, for about 30 kids every day. I've been at work since then.
                @Marc4

                Last summer things started opening up some and we didn't go back into complete lock down again - restaurants were open but with very limited indoor seating to enable social distancing.
                They tried doing inside restaurants on limited basis in LA sometime last year. Infection rates went up. Indeed, two close friends got Covid lite after dinning inside a few times. Then they went back to outside dining with tents set up in parking lots.

                Most barber shops have been open on a limited basis off and on. My barber told me that they are very strict on following the mask and distance guidelines (every other chair being used and waiting for appointments outside) and they had ZERO infections of staff.

                I represent public entities in working on legal issues related to their construction problems. Most construction was deemed essential in California and never shut down at all. We had some of the contractors' crew members get very sick and at least two died.

                One grocery store in the area had a couple dozen cashiers get infected. To my thinking, that was one of the most risky jobs during this time.

                I want to point out something about California: Although we had the highest number of infections, if you check the stats, our infection RATE is well below the average for other states. People have been critical of the way our state officials handled this, but we could have easily had 10 or 20 percent more deaths.

                The economic damage is real, and getting back to dressing well, despite nuts and wackos, the vast majority of people in our state and the people in the rest of the states are strong, resilient, and hardworking--yes, some of our favorite clothing suppliers have taken huge hits (e.g., Brooks Brothers), but we will come back and leave the sweat pants and pajamas at home.

                We're going to Vegas today and I'm dressing to the nines. And I'm carrying around a wallet full of 20's and 50's, to help make up some lost income to the hard workers there.

                Last edited by mebejoseph; June 10, 2021, 02:44 PM.
                WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                Comment


                  #9
                  mebejoseph I live over the San Bernardino Mountains from you. During the worse of the high case in LA, you could sense the distrust of people, locals of the high desert, had for people that crossed the mountains. We were pretty isolated and not a lot of cases or infection rates out here. I don’t know if any else saw the stories about St. Mary’s in Apple Valley that made national news about being overfull but they kept forgetting that it’s the the only good hospital until LA so people flock there regardless. A
                  My experience with re-opening is I haven’t noticed a real difference yet except for restaurants having indoor seating and a increase of traffic because of people passing through to Vegas. I expect lots will change the 19th or the 17th when ever the states restrictions run out. I did notice the beach area of San Clemente, in Orange County, was a lot more relaxed than any where else I have been.

                  mebejoseph. post pictures of the outfits you were In Vegas and your opinion of wear you are staying. I keep thinking about heading to Vegas.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Been back for in person work with subway commute since NYC phased reopening in June 2020, since basically no part of my work can be done remotely from home.

                    It’s cool to watch the city slowly coming back to life. A few months ago, soho would be somewhat crowded on the weekends only if the weather was warm. Then you notice consistently more people riding the subway after general vaccine roll out in April. Finally after Memorial Day, people were out in full force. Sidewalks were more bustling than I remember from the “before times” with all the outdoor dining still going strong, now mixed with pedestrians.

                    for me personally, we went out for a short getaway over memorial day weekend after both the wife and I got fully vaccinated, full on indoor dining. Also finally ate indoors in the city last weekend. Short of going to theaters and shows, I suppose we are very close to “back to normal”. Oh, except the wife is still fully WFH with no end in sight.

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