CA COVID: Restrictions, Mandates with an Election on Top

My latest escape to the less-COVID climes of Northern CA highlights some interesting anomalies.

And the results from Federal and Local Elections are still raining their bounties down upon the citizenry.

Firstly, let us consider the travel…

I unexpectedly found my hotel in Red Bluff (CA) to be in a more COVID-restricted town than its larger neighbor (Redding), just 30 miles away. This created the need for a daily commute for indoor dining and services.

Despite the existing local restrictions our arrival at the hotel front desk had reception personnel scrambling to even locate their mask supply when we entered sporting our own, gangster-like facial coverings.

The very visible cleaning staff never masked-up throughout the 4-night stay.

Our Hotel was initially largely empty but picked up activity as CA firefighters and power distribution workers came and went with overnight billeting; local fires were reaching containment.

Most guests wore masks around the hotel.

We were Drift Fishing locally and further South (on the Lower Sacramento River), while driving North for meals, purchases and off-road ATV adventures alongside the Shasta Dam.

No masks were requested or required during either outdoor activities or excursions up to Redding for indoor food and drinks.

There are spectacular views from dedicated ATV trails winding up the towering hills and mountains overlooking the Shasta Lake and Dam. And drift-fishing the Lower Sac for Steelhead and Trout was a treat.

We are already booked for a return visit to this region next week but will stay further North in Redding to enjoy the lesser COVID restrictions and indoor facilities.

And now back to Santa Cruz, my hometown…

The few visitors wander about outdoors with more now wearing masks, while areas mostly frequented by locals feature few facial coverings.

Overall, outdoor mask usage seems to be on the increase though it is not mandated hereabouts. Perhaps there are just more COVID-sensitive visitors drifting down from Silicon Valley to capture the last vestiges of warmer weather as it trails away? Perhaps it is a Pavlovian response?

More local restaurants are featuring restricted indoor seating and those who invested in makeshift outdoor seating areas are beginning to construct increasingly elaborate shelters to protect diners from the coolness of an encroaching Winter clime.

I hear of restauranteurs feverishly scouring the country to acquire outdoor heaters. Their solution may be viable in warmer States but will prove a difficult proposition to sell diners in more Northerly locations.

Temporary windbreaks and propane heaters are not viable business options where cold winds swirl, snow can fall and the indoor dining options are COVID-limited or none.

Today I heard that local restaurants having any indoor seating will be hit with increased social distancing requirements by the weekend.

I recently returned from a weekend journey to Alameda for a regular weekly boat outing.

In that County the accommodations for COVID restrictions continue to expand with outdoor masking requirements still in place.

More tall, wide plastic barriers appear between clients and cashiers everywhere; washbasins, urinals and toilets have alternate stations closed to help enforce separations.

It is common to see people line up rather than enter stores and restroom facilities when they perceive too many others inside. There are often no signs posted to enforce or recommend this behavior; people just do it.

The UK has just entered another lockdown. Public facilities, bars, restaurants etc. are all closed again, for a month. Restaurant food is again take-out only; folks are to stay indoors and avoid all gatherings. Only essential work and shopping is permitted.

They too have seen plastic screens and separation safeguards springing up everywhere.

When people are controlled long enough and required to wear masks, distance, not gather in even small groups, avoid humans from other residences and so on, they become increasingly compliant.

Societies are surprisingly easily moved to new programming standards.

Most humans follow and comply. It is their nature and destiny.

And then, along came the Election…

People turned out in droves, mailed ballots in record numbers and even voted from their graves.

Of course, we do have election fraud. It is as American as apple pie throughout the centuries of US voting experience.

ALL Countries who have permitted voting have election fraud woven through their histories. Even early Romans voting for their Republic experienced these problems.

Surely, everyone knows this?

And mischievously, let me loosely quote Joseph Stalin who said:  I do not care who votes, only who counts the votes.

Election fraud is Inevitable, Expected and Historically Consistent.

The only truly certain thing in Elections is that the leaderships of BOTH sides are lying. The real challenge is to determine exactly How Much?

This current election result remains contested. Did malfeasance determine the outcome? It is unlikely we will ever know precisely. Whomever prevails will write that history.

Our existing voting system is the laughingstock of most Western and Industrialized Nations.

Establishing a more secure, robust, LESS corruptible modern voting methodology and mechanism is relatively easy to accomplish. As a Nation we have repeatedly chosen to pass on this readily achievable option.

Obviously, this approach is simply NOT WANTED by controlling government officials, their prevailing influencers and special interest groups.

So, as I write it appears we have a new leader laying claim to the Presidency. The contest continues.

And the Politics of the Country continues a flirtation with both Socialism and Communism.

I personally come from a background where Socialist and left-leaning policies and practices have held sway from time to time, leaving their legacy and marks.

In fact, most industrialized Nations are at some level already Socialist. If you have national social programs, Welfare, Unemployment benefits, Large Workers Unions, Food Programs, Medical Assistance, Government Mandates and Controls etc., etc., your toes are already deep in the water.

The issue with Socialism is simply how far do you dive in?

To me, Socialism always seems analogous to a Black Hole.

There the excretion spins ever closer to entry, to be eventually and inevitably drawn in. You can never escape back through the event horizon and may only glimpse what was before; the top of the abyss is forever out of reach.

Socialism seems much the same. Has anyone seen a Nation enter and escape? Has anyone witnessed such events and seen other than a general national decline into mediocrity, or much, much worse?

And the comparative failures of Communism are equally strikingly visible to us all… unless you are situated in the very top percentile of privileged beneficiaries.   😊

Then there are also those warning signs that foretell Cultural and National decline.

Certainly, our Domestic Chaos, Political Unrest, Internal Polarizations, International Ridicule, escalating National Debt and diminished Global Status are obvious warning signs of decay.

It seems we may be witnessing an early progression along a catastrophic path.

And now, tragically, the happy early discovery of an effective COVID vaccine has become the latest political football; even while people sicken and die. Who can seize credit? Who must not?

I personally know far too many people who have already or are trying to find another place to live because of just such observations and concerns.

There is a palpable fear of unpredictable domestic restrictions emerging; mandates suddenly escalating and appearing for no measurably valid reason.

Might new policies have dire consequences?

But on the lighter side…

There is always next week.

Today, I can bury my head in the sand, again.

Tomorrow may look a little different. We will see.   😊

How is the outlook for you and yours in these troubled times? Is it now appropriate to review what lies ahead or establish new plans? Might there be a personal impact? Should you have any concerns?

Acting too early or needlessly can be both foolish and wasteful. However, Reacting too late may well eliminate your best options.

Ian R. Mackintosh is the author of Empower Your Inner Manager Twitter@ianrmackintosh.

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