• Barrett

"The Great Lockdown"

Is this what future generations will call it?


Today is May 1, 2020.



For the first time, I saw an article referring to this current pandemic stay-at-home directives as "The Great Lockdown." Thankfully, it's referring to popularity of the lockdown, something that deserves much more attention. I won't harp, but it is, after all, imperative for the success of beating COVID-19.


Is this what my kids and grandkids will call it, like how we refer to The Great Depression, or even The Great Recession from our own lifetime? I guess we coin a phrase for everything and this is of course no different. The Great Whatever, always.


It's been a few since I last updated this journal. Lots has happened, too. Governor Abbott has decided to slowly reopen the Texas economy, beginning today, May 1. Of course, that has me nervous.


I think his plan is good: Reopen slowly, and only allow certain businesses to do so, and those that do reopen must operate at no more than 25% capacity.


However.


I think it's way too early. In fact, County Judge Lina Hidalgo just put the county under a mask order - meaning all people over the age of 10 must wear a mask if outside the house - for 30 days, beginning April 27. This order came about because it was announced by City/County health officials that we were looking at hitting the peak of infections over the next 30 days.


Not to mention that the US currently accounts for one-third of all the world's COVID-19 cases.


So why are we reopening, albeit slowly, now and not later?


Additionally, this effectively forces businesses within the designated industries to reopen or go out of business. If they're allowed to reopen, they can no longer receive government assistance. Therein lies the problem: They have to be open to make any money at all. This forces their employees to come to work. With us expecting to peak, this puts them in harm's way for no good reason.


With people still scared to be in public and around other people, there's a push to boycott businesses that reopen today. People are attempting to call out the irresponsible decision to do so.


That rubs me wrong.


These shop-small, local business owners are citizens, too. They're being put in this position by the government. This should not be a citizen-against-citizen row. The government is at fault here; they ought to continue to provide for citizens while we stay at home for our health. Citizens who happen to be small business owners should not be put in the position of having to choose whether to go out of business or risk endangering their employees. There is no winning option for them, and that rests squarely on the shoulders of state leadership.


Anyway, with my blood at a healthy simmer, I guess I'll take moment to step out of politics to share that despite all this, I finally know where I'll be living when my lease is up in July: We've chosen a nearby apartment and will [thankfully] remain in Washington Heights/Montrose.


I enjoy that this is a [rare] walkable part of Houston, central to downtown and all major highways, and close to several metro stops. Not to mention that the apartment itself is cute, with vaulted ceilings (top floor of the building, holla) and a full balcony.


...and neighboring us on the east side of the building are two cemeteries. Gorgeous, historic ones, too; between our building and Old Sixth Ward. I'm in love.



'Til next time,

Barrett

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