As expected the Governor of Idaho has begun the process of tentatively lifting the edges of the stay-at-home order. We’ve been fortunate here, relatively speaking. By mid-March the first few confirmed cases of COVID-19 had exploded. Many of the larger cities and businesses had already anticipated the need to close things down. The Governor’s March 25th stay-at-home order provoked an almost palpable sigh around the state. Most people in the more populated areas understood the need for dire measures. A lot of rural folks, understandably, felt that stay-at-home orders were, for them, a bridge too far. As the weeks pass, more people are getting anxious–twitchy to be back to work, to life as “normal,” (as if there might ever be a recognizable normal in our futures). As April rolled into May, the first step toward recovering the wilting economy was welcomed by many, and met with consternation by almost as many.
I took one last surreally, peaceful stroll through town before the floodgates opened.
Something that worries me greatly about the new normal we’re headed for:jJust as we were taking baby steps to move away from the use of and misuse of plastics, now everything is wrapped in plastic. Individual plastic films and wraps have even invaded the more environmentally progressive grocery stores. And reusable beverage containers have become anathema. And then there are the discarded masks that are cropping up. For some twisted reason they make me think of discarded condoms.
Also, Americans have fully embraced the convenience of delivery. Hungry? Order a meal delivered. Your favorite restaurant doesn’t deliver, no problem. You can drive to the restaurant and wait outside with the car running to keep your internal thermostat happy. A quick call and out comes your meal, wrapped and rewrapped—in paper if we are lucky.Out of milk? Order a bottle delivered. Need to fill a prescription, have it ordered. There may be less traffic on my street, but there sure have been a lot of delivery vehicles, each bringing a specific product to my neighbors.
And now that we’ve proven how competent we are at working from home, why should our employer waste good money on office space, printer ink, electricity, parking spaces? Sure, keep working at home. It’s a great business model for your boss. Unless of course, your boss is generous enough to supply you with paper, ink, and electricity. Yeah, That’s gonna happen.
What the heck is Abe doing in Idaho? Did someone confuse Idaho with Illinois? Well no, Abe was the guy who established the Territory of Idaho in 1863. According to Lincoln scholar, David Leroy, Abe also commandeered a war chest of mineral wealth plundered from Idaho’s rich mountains to fund the Civil War.