"Binge-watching Netflix to self-distancing at meetings" by: Mike Reddell

   We binged watching Netflix last weekend, joining countless millions of Americans doing the same thing.
   In truth, Jessica and MaLinda watch. I semi-doze throughout, then the girls get put out having to catch me up on developments.
   After a while, I rose from the recliner resolute in my drive to get some things done.
   After feeding the dogs and cats, I return triumphant to the recliner.
   I think we’re all caught in a feeling we stepped into a Twilight Zone episode, waiting for Rod Sterling to step forward saying, “Imagine if you will, an entire world caught in the grips of a pandemic…”
   Since we print the Sentinel from our house, we’re already sheltered in place, other than grocery shopping and covering the few news events that require personal appearances.
   Interestingly, city council’s meeting Tuesday night, March 24, was teleconferenced with video streaming.
   En route to the commissioners court meeting in person Monday morning, I found driving downtown had traffic far less congested than usual. 
   Any concerns about safe distances at the courthouse are quickly mitigated by a fever screen when you enter the south (6th Street) door to the courthouse. That’s the only public entrance, by the way.
   There, you’re met by a health worker with a thermometer. You’ll be turned away and asked to leave the building if you have a temperature above 100.4. 
   And, at commissioners court, County Judge Nate McDonald asks those attending to be honest and step up if anyone has a fever or is feeling ill.
   At the Van Vleck school board meeting Monday night, trustees and reporters sat at separate tables six feet apart in the cafeteria, rather than in the more closed in board room in the administrative offices.
   It seemed to work – everyone could be heard – and safe distancing was preeminent.
   I worry about MaLinda’s delivery of the paper to news racks every Wednesday.
   She makes the rounds countywide.
   Roughly half of the Sentinel’s weekly papers are mailed to subscribers – some opt for our E-edition under that subscription – and the rest go to racks at convenience stores and other retail outlets.
   Many clerks now wear gloves – some have Plexiglas shields separating them from the public.
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   Hard for me to understand Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s comments about grandparents willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the U.S. economy.
   Patrick was going off on Fox on President Trump’s new mantra: the cure is worse than the disease in suggesting he may lift personal distance restrictions.
   I’m in that age group – three of my four grandchildren already are late teens or early 20s – but checking out from life on Patrick’s behest is out of the question.
   That bit of absurdity notwithstanding, this quarantine affects everybody in some serious way.
   I think we’re learning and focusing not only on our own vulnerabilities, but how others struggle with their own under this quarantine pressure cooker.
   Me, I’m a strong believer in hope. 

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