Taking stock of one head-spinner of a week

Oct. 7, 2020 | G. Michael Dobbs

I don’t know how your last seven days have been for you, but for me it’s been a head-spinner of a week.

Here’s a couple of things that have contributed to my dizziness:

Gov. Baker has relaxed a number of pandemic restrictions which is great news for businesses but there is a catch: your community has to be in the “grey,” “green” or “yellow” classifications for three consecutive weeks.

As Chris Lisinski and Matt Murphy of the State House News Service reported, “Starting on Monday, Oct. 5 in those lower-risk communities, indoor performance venues can reopen at 50 percent capacity, topping out at 250 people, while outdoor performance venues already open can increase their capacity to the same levels.

“Many other recreational activities can also resume, including trampoline parks, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag, at half capacity in the same list of approved cities and towns.

“The order also includes changes for businesses that are already operational. Retail stores can open their fitting rooms, while gyms, museums, libraries, and both driving and flight schools can increase the allowable numbers of patrons to half of their capacity.

“Outdoor gatherings hosted in public settings can expand to 100 people, up from 50, in lower-risk communities but must remain capped at 50 people in any city or town deemed high risk. Other gathering limits will not change, staying flat at 25 people indoors and 50 people at private events outside.”

Springfield won’t be able to benefit from these changes, though as the city has gone from a “green” classification for COVID-19 to “red” in a matter of weeks.

It’s very frustrating, but this is the nature of this disease.


As a news person I know I was supposed to watch the first presidential debate and I honestly tried. I couldn’t do it. The problem is the president acted as a bully and Vice President Biden responded in kind. What works on the playground does not necessarily work in a presidential debate. It was also a factchecker’s nightmare.

This approach is not going to serve the voters. Clearly the only way future debates can take place is if the moderator can control the mics or has a stun collar on each candidate.

The debate was an exercise in hyperbole and at least in one case, irony. The president said at one point, “I wear a mask when needed… I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”


And that leads me to the next head-spinner: the president of the United States has COVID-19. What this means for the election is unclear. Obviously, the president can’t campaign, but I can’t help but wonder if Biden was exposed that night.

What would happen if both of these guys were sick? We will find out.


So recently I had to buy a new car, as my faithful little black Hyundai Accent couldn’t be fixed. I hate the process of buying a car.

My home computer, my equally faithful iMac, also had problems. I bought it in 2009 and it has reached the most useful part of its life. Yay, a car and a computer within a month one another!

I went to the Apple store only to find out because of the production in China and the pandemic there aren’t any new iMacs for me to buy.

Luckily for me one of the Apple reps found that Best Buy had the last iMac in the greater Springfield area and I was able to snag it.

There are a number of items produced overseas, which are in very short supply today because manufacturing slowed to a crawl earlier in the year. Try buying a freezer, for instance.

According to the website Whiskey Advocate, though, bourbon production has been going full blast with social distancing and other precautions.

That’s, perhaps, the best news I’ve seen this week.

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