(Horses at Churchill Downs in better days / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
Undoubtedly, these are interesting times. In all of my 64 years that I remember and know, I have never seen anything quite like this current situation that we all find ourselves in the middle. Hopefully, none of us will ever have to witness these unusual and unordinary circumstances again. Insert the praying hands emoji here.
Never been told that I should stay at home before. Never thought I would actually do what I was told to do before, either. But that’s another story for another day.
Never been told to wear a face mask in public. Then, again, I have never been told to wear a face mask in private, either. But here I am. Doing my best imitation of a bank robber in full monty?
Never thought I would carry around a bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket like a wallet or my car keys. Now, I find myself spraying my hands with what amounts to pure grain alcohol about 1,000 times per day. And, that just gets me to noon. Talk about dry skin? You ought to see these mitts.
There’s always a “yet,” right?
In these strangest of times, did we suddenly agree to make rather serious social, business, health, governmental, and critical life decisions based on the sign of the moon? Did I miss that?
Did we all agree that we are going to make rules and regulations on how we integrate back into society based on what the Crazy-8 ball comes up with?
Did we all think it best to turn over the world to palm readers, psychics, and, as the great Cher would sing: gypsies, tramps and thieves?
Did logic take leave of absence, too?
Did rational thinking go on hiatus?
Believe me, guys, I am happy to wear my mask if the health experts think that it is the best thing to do for you and me. Doing it.
Believe me, I will wear my latex gloves when pumping the gas; I will not touch a public door handle without a napkin or hand cover; and I will repeatedly squirt my hand juice on my digits if the germaphobes think that it will help prevent the spread of any disease. Doing it.
Believe me, if someone will please show me some scientific study that demonstrates that staying 6-feet away from you or anyone will keep you and me healthier, I will carry my measuring tape with me everywhere I go. Kinda doing that, too, even though I don’t understand the difference between 5-feet-11 inches and 6-feet.
Make it mandatory, if you wish and you think it makes people feel better. I’m in.
Someone, please help me figure out some of the following edicts from our governmental officials who are now acting like they were born to rule rather than elected by us to do so.
If you have an idea or explanation, then please pass it along. I truly need to get the gist; understand the reason; grasp the explanation; adopt the philosophy.
If not, I have a tendency to bolt.
And, I’m ready to bolt. (After all, I did go to a restaurant in Tennessee on the first day they were re-opened. We were the only ones on the patio. All the waiters and waitresses wore masks and gloves. Food was great. Never feared for our lives. And, we even crossed state lines to do so. Call me a rebel.)
So, here are my queries for the week:
1.) Why is a group of reporters and audio-video people allowed to sit in on Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily press conference at the Capitol and pose questions and record his actions, but no reporters or photographers allowed access on the backside of racetracks in Kentucky? Really? Obviously, social distancing is not an issue outdoors. Seems like a double standard and rather hypocritical to me. But if there is a reason? I’m ready to listen. Just wondering.
2.) Why, at the very least, are the owners of racehorses prohibited from the grounds and not allowed to even watch their property perform? Is there any other business owner that is precluded from doing this now that we have been granted permission to re-engage in life and society? The hardware store proprietor? The grocery store manager? The gas station operator? If distancing is an issue, I bet we can work out a suitable solution. After all, Churchill Downs can accommodate 150,000 people on most First Saturday’s in May. A few owners should not be an issue. I bet they all would bring a thermometer, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and snorkeling equipment along with them, if asked. Or is it just easier to say no. Because you say so? I remember those parenting skills. Didn’t work then. Probably not going to work now. Just wondering.
3.) Where’s the science that supports the claim that when restaurants do reopen that they should be limited to only .33% capacity? That number may be dead on perfect. After all, that’s the same percent of the time that favorites win at the racetrack. So, there must be something to it. Right? Can you do me a favor, though, and site a study? Point to some proven statistics? Quote an authority? Since we have never been in these kinds of times ever before, just who did develop the idea that .33% is the magic “number?” Nostradamus? Enquiring minds just want to know. Just wondering.
4.) If restaurants can reopen with this magically-defined and heavenly-sanctioned .33% occupancy rating, how soon can racetracks open their doors to allow for spectators to return at the same rate? If it works indoors, surely to goodness it should apply to the great outdoors, as well, right? Seems logical. And, since every racetrack in Kentucky has an eating establishment or two on the premises, are they going to be able open and provide food just like the regular restaurants will be able to do? Don’t get mad. Just asking. Just wondering. Questions are still allowed, right? (Well, they are inside the Capitol — where reporters are still allowed.)
5.) Lastly, does anyone truly think that the invention of a working vaccine is going to resolve this issue and that we are going to keep the world from spinning until then? Seriously? After all, what will be the percentage of people that will never get the vaccine? Is it 5%? Is it 10%. Is it 25%? Anyone know? But surely logic will convince you that 100% of the world is not going to be vaccinated. Right? So what do we do? Never go back to living? Are we going to have a test that prohibits the “unvaccinated” from entering the premises? Just wondering.
Some will say that we should just be thankful for what we have, and that live racing will resume this coming weekend. Some will say that we should not upset this fragile apple cart, which is being pushed as much as pulled. Some will say that we should not question why; just be grateful for.
I can understand that philosophy. Although, I have never lived by that way of thinking.
And, I want you to know that I’m not making light of the situation. It is grim. It is gross. It is awful. And, it is deadly in some cases. It is always sad.
I am for making things “right” in this situation, too. We have to adjust. We must adapt. We have to learn to live with things that we never had to live with before. Masks. Sanitizer. Distancing. All good things. All rational things. All things that make sense.
People can buy that. People can understand that. Even I can grasp that.
But I have questions, too. Questions that people should answer. And, if they can’t? Then we should question why.